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Des Moines (A) Register reports:

Deere & Co. is laying off some middle managers.

Citing the need to become a "leaner" business, company spokesperson Jennifer Hartmann said Tuesday morning that Deere will cut salaried employees, though she would not say how many or whether any are based in Iowa.

The announcement comes after the company offered buyouts to salaried workers through the end of last week. Deere, based in Moline, Illinois, announced a new corporate operating model June 17. Executives said in a news release that the company would provide "new value for customers" and devote its research division to "more promising and profitable opportunities."

Hartmann told the Des Moines Register in an email that the new wave of cuts will eliminate some managers, which she said should allow the remaining employees to deal with customers faster.

"We need to move faster and develop tools that deliver greater value for our customers," she said.

The company began cutting jobs before the COVID-19 pandemic. Per a quarterly filing, Deere already had eliminated about $85 million worth of annual salaries in the United States through buyouts from November through the end of April.

Deere also filed layoff notices with Iowa Workforce Development in late June, announcing 35 cuts at its Waterloo plant and 82 cuts in Davenport. The company later walked back the Davenport layoffs.

In its May quarterly report, company executives said that because of the pandemic, customers ordered fewer Deere products than projected at the beginning of the year. The company temporarily closed its factories in Argentina, Brazil, France and India. Suppliers that Deere relies on also shut down or slowed production, causing problems at the company's factories in the U.S., Mexico, India and southern Europe.

The company reconfigured the layout of its factories and staggered shifts to spread workers out for social distancing.

All told, the company earned about $666 million in net income for the quarter that ended in April, down about 40% from the same period in 2019.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing in May, Deere executives lowered their expectations for earnings for the fiscal year by $1 billion. The company will file its next quarterly report Aug. 21.

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