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Supporting right to repair

Supporting right to repair

The Nebraska Farm Bureau hopes to reach a deal with equipment manufacturers

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

A U.S. farm organization hopes to further discussions about giving producers the right to repair their equipment.

In December, the Nebraska Farm Bureau voted 176 to 1 in favor of a policy statement mandating the organization support right to repair legislation or similar agreements.

Any law or agreement must guarantee that a farmer and independent technician has “access to the information, parts and tools that are available to dealerships…,” the organization’s policy statement says.

The vote also included a deadline.

If the farm group doesn’t have an agreement with equipment manufacturers by January 2021, it will support state legislation.

Giving farmers the right to fix their equipment could help them save time and money.

“For a lot of folks to experience some downtime, it can be super frustrating, and certainly time is money and it makes a big difference, especially given what agriculture has been facing the last few years,” Ansley Mick, director of state government relations with the Nebraska Farm Bureau, told NET News on Dec. 30. “We just want to make sure that they have the ability to repair their equipment and get right back up and running.”

Equipment manufacturers oppose the right to repair movement.

Necessary repairs and maintenance performed by company professionals will help ensure the work is done properly.

“To protect customers’ significant investment in equipment, and to ensure continued compliance with emissions, operator safety and other regulatory requirements, John Deere recommends that equipment repairs and service should be performed by John Deere dealers and the certified technicians they employ,” the company said in a letter in 2017 in response to Kansas’s Fair Repair Act.

The letter was posted to The Repair Association’s website. The organization is made up of groups that support right to repair legislation in different sectors.

Farms.com has reached out to the Nebraska Farm Bureau and producers for comment.

Comments (5)


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"176 to 1" speaks volumes when it comes from top-notch Farmers & Ranchers from every county in Nebraska voting. They're flat out Sick of this mess! The strategically placed comments sticking up for this Monopoly on Repair in Agriculture are hard to swallow. Why should Ag repair be different than Auto repair?... Farmers will win this battle & hopefully de-centralize the Ag Dealerships' control on Farmers' operations. The Ag Technicians go to a 2-day school to learn how to use Ag Repair Software...it's NOT complicated. AND John Deere Service Advisor in the hands of indpendent mechanics or farmers doesn't pose a threat to emissions, safety, etc. Lasty, the U.S. Copyright Office ruled in 2019 'in-favor' of Farmers' ability to not only 'Hack' their equipment...but hire 3rd parties to 'Hack' their tractors for them if they want. It is a huge 'WIN' for Farmers to not have to listen to the Ag Lobby's previous threats about 'Copyright-Infringement' when they're just trying to fix their Tractors...
Kevin Kenney |Mar 9 2020 7:36AM
Please know that I support the right to repair, but the conversation is habitually missing one important element... that a full understanding of the engine or system along with the integration of the control logic is essential. The impression is given that if you have the software to read a data stream it will tell you what is wrong. That is akin to saying if you buy an EKG machine... you are a cardiologist. The serial data software is the least of modern engines and equipment. I taught engine management for years... it is a discipline of study and is much more than just plugging into a data link. Sadly, that is the truth of it.
Ray Bohacz |Mar 5 2020 10:14AM
I have years of experience in industrial automation. To do a good job with automation, one should be a very highly skilled electrician first. In this case, one also needs a fairly high mechanical aptitude as well. "fixing" ones own tractor takes a lot more than down-loading a program and hooking up a cable to a lap-top. When I learned a certain P.C. based automation program, I spent a week in Michigan and spent several thousand dollars to do so. Like it or not, you either have this large skillset or you don't. Jury-rigging, monkeying, and guessing will only make a great big mess. I'm quite sure than most people wanting assess to the software have absolutely no idea what they're actually asking for.
Harry |Jan 13 2020 1:06PM
Wish you the best of luck with your campaign. Having worked in the dealership environment for many years, and knowing how it all works, you are going to have a hard time getting a mfg, to relinquish the access to their software programs, re-calibration files, system switches and the list goes on. If they do that, then they loose the stranglehold they have on their customers. Any mfg that is using computer style technology has the same mindset. If you are going to pay the prices for that equipment then you should have full access to the system after warranty expires. Wonder if fair trade practices have been looked into along these lines, best luck to you.
james taylor |Jan 6 2020 6:13PM
If the US is anything like Canada, the tech people that do (when)show up come with out proper programs, tools, schematics etc not to mention there production level is dismal.
Paul |Jan 6 2020 3:07PM