By Donnelle Eller

The Bridgestone farm tire manufacturing plant in Des Moines, Iowa, will lay off 69 workers, beginning this week, due to softer demand for farm equipment, the company said Wednesday.

Employees impacted by the layoff will collect unemployment pay as stipulated by the company's agreement with United Steel Workers Local 310. Under this pact, employees will receive 80 percent of their regular pay during the layoff period, the company said.

Bridgestone said it "will continue monitoring industry demand and re-evaluate the layoff status at the end of the first quarter."

Last fall, farm equipment manufacturer Deere & Co. it would lay off about 1,000 workers at Iowa plants, given lower commodity prices and weaker demand for farm tractors and other machinery.