MOLINE, Ill. — Deere & Co.’s board of directors has approved an increase of the Moline-based tractor maker’s dividend to 51 cents a share on common stock, the company announced Wednesday. The dividend is payable on May 1, 2013 to stockholders of record on March 28, 2013.

The new quarterly rate represents an increase of 5 cents per share over the previous level — about an 11 percent increase. It’s the 11th increase to Deere’s quarterly dividend since early 2004. Deere last raised its dividend in February 2012.

“Our dividend increase reflects our confidence in our long term cash flows,” Deere’s Chairman and CEO Samuel Allen said in a news release. “Deere is well-positioned to benefit from major trends that we continue to believe hold great promise for the company and its customers and investors. We remain committed to our plans for profitably growing the company and returning cash to shareholders.”

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