Deere & Co.'s board of directors approved an increase of the company's share buyback program by $8 billion.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 51 cents per share, which will be paid on Feb. 3 to shareholders of record on Dec. 31.

Deere, which is based in Moline, Ill., makes tractors, plows and other gear used by farmers.

Through its share buyback program, the company says it has already repurchased about $11 billion of common stock since 2004.

Deere shares are up $2.99, or 3.6 percent, to $85.70 in morning trading Wednesday.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.