Farm and lawn machinery maker Deere & Co. said Monday it will invest $124 million to build two new factories in Brazil to supply growing demand for construction equipment in South America.

The company said the factories will cost a total of about $180 million to build, and it will co-own one with Hitachi Construction Machinery Co.

Deere will fully own a factory slated to make backhoe loaders and four-wheel-drive loaders. The factory it owns with Hitachi will make excavators. Together, the plants could employ more than 600 people, according to Deere.

Deere plans to expand its distribution system in Brazil to sell the equipment and will also import some products into Brazil for sale.

"Brazil is one of the world's fastest-growing markets for construction equipment," CEO Samuel Allen said in a statement.

Construction is scheduled to start next year, with the factories expected to be up and running by 2013.