[22 August/ The Wall Street Journal]

Deere & Co. has seen its latest quarter profit fall by around 40 percent to USD 511.6 million as a result of weak crop prices reducing the demand for new farm equipment, while also leaving dealers with a surplus of used models. Used-equipment market consultants, Iron Solutions estimated that the supply of used farm machinery in North America was around 30 percent higher than demand, forcing dealers to slash prices on trade-ins to attract buyers. Deere & Co. Director of Investor Relations, Tony Huegel said the used equipment market continued to be a challenge, with the company now offering free warranty coverage and performance-monitoring software on all certified used equipment purchases. Sales of the company’s new farm equipment continued to suffer, with third-quarter sales falling 24 percent to USD 5.3 billion. The company’s farm-business earnings fell 50 percent to USD 472 million, while the company said it expected world-wide sales of its farm machinery to decrease 25 percent this year, worse than its May forecast. The company now expected overall equipment sales to fall by 21 percent to around USD 26 billion, 3 percent lower than its May forecast.