Deere Warning a Win for Right-to-Repair Advocates

Montana Farmers Union President Walter Schweitzer sees the EPA’s recent warning to John Deere as a significant win for farmers’ right to repair. The warning addressed Deere’s equipment manuals that limit emissions control system repairs to authorized dealers, potentially violating the law. Schweitzer emphasized that John Deere’s acknowledgment of the EPA’s stance validates the Farmers Union’s advocacy efforts.

Continuing their push, the Farmers Union advocates for legislation at both national and state levels that would enable farmers to repair their own equipment. Recent successes include Colorado’s adoption of right-to-repair laws, alongside federal efforts such as the Agricultural Right to Repair Act. A national law could save U.S. farmers up to $4.2 billion annually, factoring in reduced costs and downtime, as highlighted in a report by PIRG based on data from the National Farmers Union (NFU).

Despite opposition from equipment manufacturers citing EPA regulations and the Clean Air Act, the EPA clarified last year that these laws do not justify restricting independent farm equipment repairs. While John Deere has recalled certain manuals in response to the EPA’s warning, some emissions system repairs may still necessitate authorized technicians.

Both the Montana Farmers Union (MFU) and the NTU remain steadfast in their advocacy, anticipating further legislative advancements and regulatory changes by entities like the FTC to ensure comprehensive repair rights for farmers nationwide.