National Farmers Union study underscores farmers’ desire for right to repair reform
A new study by the National Farmers Union and US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG) highlights farmers’ support of right to repair reform.
NFU’s Aaron Sheir tells Brownfield the study, including a survey of 75 US farmers, revealed three main findings regarding the access farmers have to repair ag equipment.
“Almost all of the survey respondents said that they support the right to repair, fair and reasonable access to parts and tools to do diagnostics so that they or independent mechanics, not tied to a specific equipment dealer, can do those repairs.”
He says farmers also indicated concerns that reliance on dealer technicians has led to higher repair costs.
“92% of farmers surveyed said they thought they could save money if they had better access to independent repair or could make their own repairs.”
And Sheir says 77% of the farmers surveyed indicated they have opted for older equipment because of the restrictions that come with correcting software errors.
“Potentially inflating the cost in certain places for older equipment because of that high demand. But also, we know there are benefits of newer equipment in terms of efficiency and precision agriculture. If farmers are being detoured from using it because of repair restriction concerns, that is not ultimately good for anybody.”
He says the study reinforces concerns they’ve heard from their members and hopes the results will be considered as the administration and state governments work to address right to repair rules.