Farm Equipment Makers, Related Industries React

Farm equipment manufacturers, their suppliers and distributors are reacting to the fast-moving COVID-19 situation. They are focused on meeting farmers’ needs, protecting employees, and navigating a maze of emerging state orders and federal laws. Among recent developments:

AGCO Reduces Production, Withdraws Guidance

AGCO said it “significantly reduced” production in several of its European facilities, largely due to material shortages and constraints in the European supply chain. It expects additional production disruptions in other regions over time.

AGCO also said it is withdrawing its sales, earnings and other guidance in response to uncertainty related to the virus.

Deere Halts Production in Brazil, Withdraws Guidance

Deere indefinitely suspended operations at two facilities in Brazil last week. Its domestic operations continue with modifications.

It temporarily closed its plant in Dubuque to disinfect the operation after an employee tested positive.

The company also withdrew its financial outlook for 2020. It urged its suppliers to create operational and contingency plans to assure a robust supply chain.

Alamo Group Suspends Work in Europe, Briefly Closes U.S. Plant

Alamo Group closed factories in the U.K. and France with an expectation that work will resume in mid-April.

A factory in Wisconsin was closed to be professionally cleaned after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The plant has since reopened.

CNHI Lays Off Workers Temporarily

Workers at a CNH Industrial plant in Burlington, Iowa, have been laid off for as long as four weeks.

The layoffs came after groups representing the United Auto Workers in Burlington and Racine, Wis., filed grievances related to safety concerns and the spread of COVID-19. CNHI said the layoffs were the result of a lack of work.

The company also suspended its assembly operations in Europe for two weeks.

ArcelorMittal Idles Blast Furnaces

Steel maker ArcelorMittal said it will idle blast furnaces in response to weakened demand in North America resulting from COVID-19.

The world’s largest steel maker by production said it would turn down a furnace at its Indiana Harbor Works, in East Chicago, Ind., and another at its Dofasco mill in Hamilton, Ontario. The company already had reduced production at several European mills. It also withdrew its 2020 financial outlook.

Supply Chains Shift Skyward

American Airlines launched its first cargo flight since 1984 last week in response to a ground freight system burdened by COVID-19 demands and a travel industry with too few fliers. Global carriers including Delta Airlines, Korean Airlines, and Qantas Airways are also running passenger aircraft as freight-only flights.