Deere Looking To Expand In Russia

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) -- Deere & Co., the world's largest agricultural-equipment maker, said Monday it's prepared to significantly expand its farm, forestry and construction operations in Russia "under the right market access conditions."

The Moline, Ill.-based company is working to expand its agricultural-equipment manufacturing operations in Russia by early 2010, Deere's president and chief operating officer, Samuel Allen, said in a statement. Allen will become Deere's CEO on Aug. 1.

Deere issued the statement ahead of a Russia-U.S. business forum held in conjunction with summit meetings between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and U.S. President Barack Obama in Moscow.

With the support of the Russian Federation government, Allen said, Deere "could envision a series of significant investments over the next five to seven years in expanded capacity for manufacturing and supporting all types of Deere equipment."

"We share the vision that Russia can make a significant and sustainable contribution to help meet the world's growing demand for food, energy and forest products," Allen said. "Under the right market access conditions, John Deere anticipates significant investments in Russia."

The company, which did not elaborate about the market access conditions or provide dollar figures for the possible investments, said it anticipates investing in manufacturing facilities for tractors, construction, forestry and harvesting equipment.

Deere already has a network of agricultural and forestry-product dealers across Russia and a manufacturing operation in Orenburg that provides seeding and tillage equipment. It is developing an operations, training and parts center near Kaluga.

Earlier this year, Deere introduced a line of construction equipment to the Russian market.

Deere and its independent dealers employ nearly 2,000 people in Russia, including technicians, engineers and agronomists.

Shares of Deere fell 93 cents to $37.60 in morning trading.

More in Operations