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 state government and the state for decades. Previously with the Omaha World-Herald, Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha Sun, he is a member of the Omaha Press Club's Hall of Fame. He grows hops, brews homemade beer, plays bass guitar and basically loves traveling and writing about the state. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation.