The right to repair issue has been a concern of farmers for years. When a piece of equipment breaks down it can cause major disruptions on the farm, which is why it is so important to have access to the tools and information on how to fix the problem.
Farm equipment can’t be repaired with the turn of a wrench or a piece of bailing wire anymore. Machinery relies heavily on the latest technology, which enables farmers to preserve resources and use better sustainability practices. When a piece of machinery breaks down, the nearest dealer may be hundreds of miles away, leading to long downtimes and expensive repairs.
“Market-based solutions are effective and much less likely to get bogged down in politics and red tape. It’s about sitting down at the table and sorting things out.”
- Zippy Duvall, AFBF President
That’s why AFBF worked with manufacturers to find a private-sector solution to the right to repair issue. AFBF successfully negotiated memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with several major agricultural equipment manufacturers. The MOUs between AFBF and leading manufacturers give farmers access to error codes, specialty tools and information on how to fix the problem, while protecting companies’ intellectual property rights. Farmers and independent repair facilities can also directly purchase diagnostic tools from the manufacturers at a reasonable price, which enables them to repair equipment on or near the farm. AFBF and the manufacturers will meet regularly to review the agreement and address concerns.
Through AFBF’s efforts, approximately three quarters of the agricultural machinery sold in the United States is now covered under right to repair MOUs. The MOUs have the potential to serve as a model for even more manufacturers in the future.
If you would like to provide feedback or are having issues with a manufacturer that signed a MOU, please let us know here.