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Deere Reaches Deal to Allow Farmers to Repair Own Equipment

Patience Haggin reported in today’s Wall Street Journal that, “Machinery manufacturer Deere & Co. signed a memorandum of understanding with the American Farm Bureau Federation on Sunday that the group said ensures farmers can repair their own farm equipment or take it to independent repair shops.

The Wall Street Journal (Page B6 – January 9, 2023).

The agreement addresses a debate that has grown in recent years, as the farm industry has implemented high-tech equipment like software and sensors in machinery like tractors and harvesters aimed at boosting harvests and speeding planting.”

Today’s article explained that, “Some farmer organizations and consumer advocacy groups have accused Deere and other manufacturers of using proprietary software on their equipment to restrict repair work to the manufacturers’ own dealers.

“Some farmers have said it has increased their costs by forcing them to call in technicians from dealerships for repairs they could handle themselves, if the equipment companies would give them greater access to the software.”

“The agreement creates a mechanism to address farmers’ concerns and give them access to resources needed to repair their own equipment, such as diagnostic and repair codes, manuals and product guides,” the Journal article said.

Reuters writer P.j. Huffstutter reported yesterday that, “The Farm Bureau’s memorandum of understanding with Deere ‘will ensure farmers everywhere are able to repair our own equipment,’ Farm Bureau president Zippy Duvall said, speaking at the federation’s convention in Puerto Rico.

“‘This will enable you and your independent mechanics to identify and fix problems,’ he said. ‘You will have access to the diagnostic tools and information you need. And you’ll get it at a fair and reasonable price.'”

And Bloomberg writer Chris Dolmetsch reported yesterday that, “Farmers have long campaigned for the right to repair their own equipment as the technology has become increasingly complex.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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