Farmers can now access right-to-repair information on a new website managed by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF). They can also give feedback on personal experiences with local machinery dealers by visiting fb.org/issue/right-to-repair.
The site follows memoranda of understanding (MOU) AFBF signed with machinery manufacturers in 2023. Those include AGCO, CLAAS of America, Case IH, John Deere, Kubota and New Holland.
Each MOU outlines company commitments to give farmers access to error codes, specialty tools and information on how to fix problems, while protecting intellectual property rights. Farmers and independent repair facilities can also directly purchase diagnostic tools from manufacturers at reasonable prices.
Farmers’ right to repair has been an area of concern for years, said Alabama Farmers Federation’s Carla Hornady.
“When a piece of equipment breaks down, it can cause major disruptions on the farm,” said Hornady, who leads Federation Cotton, Soybean and Wheat & Feed Grain divisions. “That’s why it’s important to have access to the tools and information needed for farmers to fix the problem and get back in their rigs as soon as possible.”
Right-to-repair MOUs cover more than 70% of American machinery manufacturers and are slated for regular review. The MOUs represent AFBF’s commitment to voluntary programs and grassroots advocacy, said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.
“Market-based solutions are effective and much less likely to get bogged down in politics and red tape,” Duvall said. “It’s about sitting down at the table and sorting things out.”