UPDATE 1-Deere results beat estimates on strong demand
* First-quarter EPS $1.65 vs $1.40 est
* Agriculture and turf equipment sales rise 16 pct
* Total revenue rises 10 pct
* Shares up 2 percent before the bell
Feb 13 (Reuters) - Deere & Co, the world's largest farm equipment maker, reported first-quarter results above analysts' expectations as farmers geared up to plant the largest corn crop in U.S. history following the worst drought in the U.S. Midwest in 56 years.
The company also raised its forecast for net income this year to $3.3 billion from $3.2 billion. Analysts had estimated $3.26 billion on average, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Relatively high commodity prices and strong farm incomes are expected to continue supporting a favorable level of demand for farm machinery during the year," Deere said.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said this week that farm income would soar to a record $127.6 billion this year, up 15 percent.
Deere said it expects total sales of agriculture and turf equipment to rise by about 6 percent in the year ending October.
Sales of agriculture and turf equipment -- which make up about three-quarters of Deere's total revenue -- jumped 16 percent in the quarter ended Jan. 31.
Total revenue rose 10 percent to $7.42 billion, well ahead of the $6.72 billion analysts had expected.
Net income attributable to Deere rose to $649.7 million, or $1.65 per share, in the first quarter from $532.9 million, or $1.30 per share, a year earlier. Analysts expected first-quarter earnings of $1.40 per share.
Deere shares were up 2 percent before the bell on Wednesday. The stock, which has gained about 10 percent in the last 12 months, closed at $93.97 on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.