Here’s more evidence that agriculture is doing better than the overall economy. Deere and Co. has just merged it commercial and consumer equipment division into its ag equipment division. The new division will be called agriculture and turf. Deere’s farm equipment division has been doing well. Meanwhile, consumer equipment such as leaf blowers, riding mowers, utility tractors and gas barbeques haven’t been doing so well. For fiscal 2008, Deere posted a record net income of $2.05 billion. For the first time, more than half of ag equipment sales came outside of the U.S. and Canada. Ag equipment sales were up 37 per cent in fiscal ’08 while profits were up 54 per cent. By comparison, in commercial and consumer equipment, operating profits declined last year. The slumping U.S. economy is cited as the main reason. Deere is trimming some jobs with the reorganization. The company claims it will now be more efficient and competitive with the new agriculture and turf division even with the economic downturn. I’m Kevin Hursh.

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Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC