Building off momentum in the states, a new Right to Repair for farm equipment was introduced in Congress by Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03), along with Reps. Joe Neguse (CO-02), Elissa Slotkin (MI-07), and Abigail Spanberger (VA-07). PIRG has endorsed the new bill, which is similar to legislation we helped to pass in Colorado.
The legislation would require manufacturers of tractors, combines and other farm equipment to provide farmers and independent mechanics with what they need to fix equipment. As the U.S. PIRG Education Fund has outlined in our series of reports on the topic, modern farm equipment often requires access to software tools to complete repairs, software tools only made available to authorized dealerships.
“Farmers deserve to be able fix their equipment — no exceptions,” commented PIRG’s Senior Right to Repair Campaign Director Nathan Proctor. “We were thrilled that Colorado led the way earlier this year with their groundbreaking farmer Right to Repair law. Now, we’re proud to support this new effort to protect farmers from coast to coast.”
Farming requires tight windows to complete necessary work. Any time farm equipment breaks down, it can endanger the crop. Manufacturer-imposed repair restrictions make equipment breakdowns even more painful by forcing farmers to rely on their dealership for many fixes. In fact, we estimated that Right to Repair reforms would save U.S. farmers $4.2 billion per year by providing farmers with independent repair options.
“The introduction of the Agricultural Right to Repair Act is an important step in our fight to ensure farmers across the country have fair and affordable access to the parts, tools, and information they need to fix farm equipment,” said National Farmers Union (NFU) President Rob Larew. “I want to thank Rep. Gluesenkamp Perez and her co-leads for introducing this bill to guarantee farmers the Right to Repair. NFU stands ready to push this bill forward.”