Two more equipment companies have inked right-to-repair memorandums of understanding with the American Farm Bureau Federation, bringing about 70% of the ag equipment sold in the U.S. under the same umbrella of agreement.
Farm Bureau has new deals with AGCO and Kubota, the group announced this week. The two new MOUs add to the pacts already reached with John Deere and CNH Industrial to “respect the intellectual property rights of the manufacturers while setting a framework for farmers and independent repair facilities” to access “manuals, tools, product guides and information to self-diagnose and self-repair machines.”
Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall said AFBF members wanted a “private sector solution” to equipment repair challenges, and the MOUs “represent ongoing efforts to ensure farmers have access to the tools necessary to keep their equipment running, and to keep food on the table for families across America.”
AGCO’s Barry O’Shea said the company supports “farmers’ ability to repair the equipment they own,” and Todd Stucke, senior vice president of marketing for Kubota, said the deals make sure customers can get the most out of their equipment.
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“We strive to ensure that our equipment is manufactured to the highest engineering standards to maximize performance for our customers, and this agreement is a good step toward further protecting their safety while operating, maintaining and repairing it,” he said.
While Farm Bureau and equipment companies have hailed the MOUs as progress on a tricky subject, some producers are worried the deals don’t go far enough to protect them from turning a wrench in the wrong place on their machinery. Montana Farmers Union President Walter Schweitzer said of the original John Deere MOU inked in January that the language was “pretty subtle and vague.”
Several states have also waded into legislative discussion on the issue, with Colorado being the first to codify a right-to-repair law in April.
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