Deere lays out 2020 game plan


Robert Connelly, Quad-City Times

via The Courier (IA) - Jan 14, 2020


MOLINE, Ill. — Deere & Co. leaders will lean on further developments in advanced farming techniques to create more efficient machines while cutting costs through its voluntary buyout program for a better financial future.


Deere CEO John May, who took over the top position in November after previously serving as chief operating officer for the Moline-based ag manufacturer, gave remarks to stakeholders last week at the Consumer Electronics Show, a trade show in Las Vegas.


Advanced farming techniques fall under the umbrella of precision agriculture, or the use of technology to more precisely operate in fields.


“We’ll increase our investments in next-generation precision agriculture to accelerate autonomy, intelligence and plant-level management. Because we believe wholeheartedly in the value that precision agriculture will create for John Deere and our stakeholders, we must accelerate our allocation of capital to this area,” May said Wednesday.


“ … With the right portfolio of large agricultural equipment coupled with integrated foundational technologies, we are uniquely positioned to lead the innovation to the next generation of precision agriculture.”


Deere officials also noted the age of tractors still in use, something that allows for retrofitting vehicles with recent upgrades or parts for older equipment. In fact, May said his goal is to have more technicians at dealerships to help with aging equipment, which is the oldest it’s been in 10 years.


That is a sign of farmers extending the life of existing equipment as trade issues between the U.S. and China remain and the new North American trade agreement has yet to make it through the U.S. Senate. Chinese and U.S. officials are set to sign a so-called phase one trade agreement this week.


“Some of those indicators...