Precision ag firm AgJunction plans post-merger job cuts

Precision agriculture equipment and software firm AgJunction is set to cut down its workforce in the wake of its merger with a U.S. competitor.

AgJunction, which in 2013 relocated its head office from Calgary to Kansas and shut its Calgary manufacturing plant, announced Wednesday it will reduce its total workforce by about 20 per cent by the end of its third fiscal quarter in 2016.

As of mid-October, AgJunction had 182 employees worldwide following its merger with California-based precision steering equipment firm Novariant. AgJunction and Novariant came to the merger with 130 and 52 staff respectively.

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AgJunction’s product lines include Outback Guidance farm equipment guidance systems and Satloc equipment for aerial applicators.

The job cuts and other consolidations are expected to cost the company about $600,000 and reduce annual expenses by about $3.3 million through lower overhead and manufacturing costs and improved operating margins.

AgJunction didn’t say where specifically its job cuts would be made. Its operations include its head office at Hiawatha, about 110 km north of Topeka; its global engineering centre and Satloc sales office at Scottsdale, Arizona; its Canadian sales office, in Winnipeg; and an engineering centre and sales office at Brisbane in Australia.

The company’s “near-term” consolidation program is meant to “leverage the immediate business synergies available which reduces costs and improves operating efficiencies,” AgJunction CEO Dave Vaughn said in a release. “We are also aligning our workforce to our current needs to focus on the core business.”

The merged company, he said, will also be reviewing “longer-term synergies, under which we can rationalize products, engineering projects and geographic markets.”

During the streamlining process, the company said, its core business and customer service “will not be interrupted.” — AGCanada.com Network

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