John Deere to allow farmers to repair their own farm equipment
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Thanks to a new John Deere agreement, US farmers will now be able to repair their own tractors and farm equipment.
US farmers can now have Deere tractors and other agricultural equipment repaired without having to use the manufacturer’s own parts and facilities, under an agreement the company signed with the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) on Sunday, stated a media release from CNN WIRE.
The memorandum of understanding with the AFBF will give farmers access to same Deere documentation, data and diagnostic tools used by the company’s authorized repair shops, stated the agreement. Farmers will be able to diagnose and fix broken down equipment on their own or by choosing an independent repair facility, which will also have access to the proprietary tools and data on the same fair and reasonable terms.
In exchange, AFBF officials agreed not to push for state or federal legislation promoting users’ right to repair products they’ve leased or purchased, and according to the agreement farmers and third-party repair shops may not disable on-board safety features or use their access to Deere’s technology to illegally copy the software controlling their equipment.
The voluntary deal safeguards Deere’s intellectual property while giving farmers more control of their own business, said Zippy Duvall, president of AFBF.
John Deere’s SVP of agriculture and turf marketing, David Gilmore, said in a statement the agreement reflects the “longstanding commitment Deere has made to ensure our customers have the diagnostic tools and information they need to make many repairs to their machines. We look forward to working alongside the American Farm Bureau and our customers in the months and years ahead to ensure farmers continue to have the tools and resources to diagnose, maintain and repair their equipment.”
The agreement aims to resolve longstanding claims that the requirement to use authorized dealerships can interfere with agricultural production, harming farmers and disrupting the food supply chain, stated the media release.
Farmers say having to wait days or weeks for an official repair can undermine planting and harvesting schedules and some advocacy groups have blamed the delays on consolidation in tractor dealerships, the majority of which are controlled by Deere, according to the US Public Interest Research Group.
“A piece of equipment is a major investment,” Duvall said in a statement. “Farmers must have the freedom to choose where equipment is repaired, or to repair it themselves, to help control costs.”
Since the signing of the agreement, the tension between farmers and Deere has been resolved without the need for regulation or legislation, the agreement said.
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