Nebraska Farm Bureau applauds agreement on ‘right to repair’ tractors, farm equipment

By: - January 8, 2023 9:40 pm

A tractor works a Midwest corn field. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

LINCOLN — Nebraska’s largest farm group is applauding an agreement reached Sunday with John Deere that they say will ensure farmers’ and ranchers’ rights to repair their own tractors and farm  implements.

“Right to repair” has been a big issue in farm country as tractors and other equipment becomes more technical and loaded with sensors and computers, and manufacturers impose prohibitive warranties or restrict spare parts for home repairs.

But the Nebraska Farm Bureau said Sunday a memorandum of understanding signed between the American Farm Bureau Federation and John Deere should resolve concerns.

The agreement was the result of several years of discussions and debate, which included the introduction of legislation in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures, including Nebraska.

Mark McHargue said it’s essential that farmers and ranchers have the ability to “purchase what they need at a reasonable rate to get their equipment up and running or have the option of turning to an independent technician.”

According to the Farm Bureau, the MOU will allow farmers, ranchers, and independent repair facilities:

  • Access to diagnostic and repair codes and their meanings;
  • Manuals (operator, parts, service) and product guides;
  • Ability to directly purchase diagnostic tools from John Deere;
  • Assistance from John Deere when ordering parts and products.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau said it will continue to work with the American Farm Bureau to engage in similar discussions with several other manufacturers.

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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and later, editing the Papillion Times group in suburban Omaha. He joined the Lincoln Journal-Star as a sports enterprise reporter, and then a roving reporter covering southeast Nebraska. In 1990, he was hired by the Omaha World-Herald as a legislative reporter. Later, for 15 years, he roamed the state covering all kinds of news and feature stories. In the past decade, he served as chief of the Lincoln Bureau and enterprise reporter. Paul has won awards for reporting from Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press, Nebraska Newspaper Association and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation, a member of the Nebraska Hop Growers and a volunteer caretaker of Irvingdale Park in Lincoln.