Right To Repair

Did John Deere give farmers their Right to Repair?

No. John Deere's agricultural Right to Repair agreement is a milestone for farmers and advocates, but legislation is still necessary to guarantee farmers' right to repair.

A green combine harvests golden wheat
Alex Fu | Used by permission

The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and John Deere signed an agricultural Right to Repair agreement on Sunday. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) comes after years of campaigning from PIRG, farmers and other repair advocates to remove barriers to independent repair of farm equipment such as tractors and combine harvesters.

The MOU states that Deere will provide farmers and—at the request of a farmer—independent mechanics, with “Tools, Specialty Tools, Software and Documentation,” that the company provides to its dealers.

A milestone, with work left to do

Forcing the agriculture giant to act is a milestone for farmers and the Right to Repair movement. However, this action alone does not fully solve farmers repair restriction woes. The agricultural Right to Repair agreement does not include the enforcement that would come with regulation, may not be comprehensive and provides Deere with the option to walk away from the agreement after providing 30 days notice. Deere and other agricultural equipment manufacturers, which are not included in the MOU, have also fallen short on prior commitments, as a PIRG and VICE investigation demonstrated.

That’s why PIRG Right to Repair Campaign Director Kevin O’Reilly said legislators, “should continue pushing Right to Repair legislation until every farmer in every state with every brand of equipment can fix every problem with every tractor.”

For more, see iFixit’s explainer on the MOU, as well coverage of the announcement in the Wall Street JournalNPR and Gizmodo.

PIRG Right to Repair Campaign Director speaks at a podium in front of a National Farmers Union backdrop.
Kevin O'Reilly

Former Director, Campaign for the Right to Repair, PIRG

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