Advisory: Lack of repair options for Maryland farmers has Deere in the Headlights

Media Contacts
Rishi Shah

Maryland farmers need software tools to fix their tractors but manufacturers such as John Deere won’t provide them

Maryland PIRG

WHAT: Maryland PIRG, one of the leaders of the “Right to Repair” movement, is hosting a webinar on Feb. 18 to unveil its new report, Deere in the Headlights, and talk about how farmers’ livelihoods are impacted by how difficult it is to repair John Deere tractors. State legislators will talk about efforts in Annapolis to address the problem.

WHO: Rishi Shah, Maryland PIRG Campaign Associate

Colby Ferguson, Maryland Farm Bureau

Kevin Anderson, Wimberly Farms

State Sen. Katie Fry Hester

State Del. Jessica Feldmark

State Del. Kevin Hornberger 

WHEN: Thursday, February 18, 2021 @ 9:30 AM 

WHERE: Send an RSVP to [email protected] for the Zoom link. The press conference will also be broadcast on Maryland PIRG’s Facebook page.

VISUALS: B-roll footage available on request.

“The Association of Equipment Manufacturers, of which John Deere is a prominent member, promised that by 2021, they would make it easier for farmers to fix their machinery. However, Deere has reneged on that commitment, so Maryland farmers — and all us, who rely on them to produce food — are worse off,” said Rishi Shah, Maryland PIRG Campaign Associate. “We have heard from Maryland farmers and called John Deere dealerships, and they have confirmed that Deere hasn’t followed through on its offer to make repair tools and information more accessible. Reporters could make those same calls.”  

The report provides background information about why John Deere and their competitors’ tractors are so hard to fix. Modern farm equipment, like most 21st century technology, runs on software. But when manufacturers restrict access to the software tools needed to repair broken tractors, farmers need to rely on dealerships and a simple task can turn into a month-long wait.

Right to Repair legislation—which would provide farmers with access to the physical and software tools used to diagnose, calibrate and otherwise authorize repairs—is gaining popularity amongst farmers as a result. Maryland has introduced a general Right to Repair bill, which calls for access to repair material for agricultural equipment as well as other electronic devices such as cellphones, laptops, household appliances, and medical equipment. 


Maryland PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful interests that threaten our health, safety, and wellbeing