Supporting right to repair

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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.

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