An Eastern Iowa agricultural machinery manufacturer laid off 21 employees this week, the latest equipment maker to respond to a slowing farm machinery market due to low commodity prices.
Kinze Manufacturing in Williamsburg, in a statement released Friday, said it has been “closely monitoring the declining state of the agricultural machinery market.”
“As a privately held company and a large employer in our community, it is our goal to retain as much of our workforce as possible as the industry outlook changes,” Kinze said. “In light of the recent downturn, we have proactively offered options to employees in an effort to avoid layoffs. This includes the opportunity for voluntary, unpaid time off and early retirement packages.
“Unfortunately, these measures were not enough to counter the current ag market.”
Based on projected orders for Kinze equipment, the company, which makes row crop planters and grain auger carts. said it does not plan any additional layoffs.
“We greatly value our employees and support a lot of families in our community, which is why we go to great lengths to avoid layoffs,” said Jeff Vogts, Kinze director of human resources. “We will continue to do everything we can to retain our workforce as we weather the changes of the industry.”
Last month, Deere & Co. said it would indefinitely lay off more than 600 employees at plants in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas as falling grain prices hurt demand for tractors, harvesters and other agricultural machinery. The layoffs, which will begin Oct. 20, include 460 employees at the company’s operations in Waterloo.
Moline, Ill.-based Deere said agricultural-equipment sales will be flat or worse in each of its regional segments, with a decline of about 10 percent seen in the United States and Canada.
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