Deere CEO looks ahead at 2014 prospects

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The CEO of Deere & Co. says this year will be pivotal for the company as lower demand for farm equipment cuts sales but he is optimistic demand for construction equipment and other advanced machinery will strengthen.

Samuel Allen says 2013 was the company’s third straight year of record profits, but net income is expected to decline next year by 7 percent to $3.3 billion.

Lower grain prices have left farmers with less cash for tractors and combines.

The Quad-City Times reports ( ) Allen believes a global population shift to urban areas will create demand for the company’s technologically advanced farm equipment and will drive a need for roads, bridges and buildings and the construction equipment Deere makes.

He spoke Wednesday at the company’s annual meeting in Moline, Ill.

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