Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

This spring, John Deere has been showing off next year's new product lines, which include a new, S-700 combine series. This morning at the Harvester Works in East Moline, company employees hosted dozens of reporters from all over the country for Deere Media Day.

John Deere

John Deere has announced more layoffs at two eastern Iowa plants, including one in the Quad Cities. Spokesman Ken Golden says 115 workers in Waterloo will be laid off, effective September 23rd and in Davenport, a week later.

Factory building with farm equipment parked outside
Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News

John Deere plans to lay off 120 workers at the Harvester Works in East Moline. Today, the company told the production workers who will be placed on indefinite layoff  September 6th.

Robert Anders / Flickr

Almost all the corn has been planted across the Midwest, according to the latest progress report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

In Iowa, corn planting is complete. Illinois farmers have planted 97 percent of the crop, which is about average for this time of year but slightly behind last year.

Nearly all the corn has emerged as well. Seventy-six percent of Illinois corn and 80 percent of Iowa's is in good to excellent condition.

Deere and Company

Profits fell for Deere and Company in the first quarter, but still beat expectations on Wall Street. This morning, the company reports it earned $254 million, or 80 cents per share, compared to $1.12 last year. Before this morning's report, the consensus among analysts was 71 cents per share. 

map of iowa with Des Moines & Raccoon rivers highlighted
Bill Stowe / Des Moines Water Works

"Doing nothing is just simply not acceptable." That's what US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says about reducing water pollution in Iowa and helping farmers with nutrient management and soil conservation. A new initiative will provide $660 million over ten years for a coordinated, watershed-based strategy.

Bill James speaks during a lunch meeting at the Farmer 2 Farmer conference in Bettendorf, IA.
submitted / Farmer's Business Network

Just like Major League Baseball, farmers can improve the bottom line by using statistics. That's according to a speaker at this week's Farmer 2 Farmer conference in Bettendorf. Today's lunch speaker was Bill James, an author, analyst, and founder of sabermetrics, in other words, moneyball.

An Iowa soybean field adjacent to wetlands / Iowa State Univ., Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy

Should farming continue to be exempt from the Clean Water Act? That's a major question being debated in Iowa and the Midwest due to a court case. Last spring, the Des Moines Water Works filed a complaint against three counties, asking a federal judge to make agriculture subject to the same rules and penalties as factories.

Rock Island County SWCD

If the state budget impasse continues, farmers and land-owners in Illinois could lose a key agricultural program. That's according to directors of the Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts, who are urging residents to contact their elected officials tomorrow, and complain about the lack of funding for the agencies.

A White House “national strategy” to reverse America’s declining honeybee and monarch butterfly populations is being praised by a University of Illinois scientist known for her research on the subject.

University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum says the plan is, to her knowledge, the federal government’s first comprehensive effort to address the decline in the number of pollinating insects.

“This appears to be really a landmark --- I don’t know how much will be implemented. That’s politics. At least the plan is there. And it is eminently feasible.”