DRG News: Proposed legislation in DC would allow farmers to fix their own equipment

by Jody Heemstra

Legislation introduced in Washington, DC, Tuesday (Feb. 1, 2022) seeks to guarantee farmers the right to repair their own equipment and end current restrictions on the repair market.

The Agriculture Right to Repair Act, authored by Montana Democrat Jon Tester, is part of his effort to break up consolidation in the agriculture industry. Tester says farmers “need to be able to repair their own equipment, and this legislation will secure them that right.”

The legislation would require manufacturers to make available any documentation, part, software, or tool required to diagnose, maintain, or repair their equipment. The bill would also provide means to disable and re-enable electronic security locks for diagnostic and repair, allow for use of third-party software, and ensure parts are replaceable using commonly available tools without causing damage to the equipment. The bill also seeks to return data ownership to farmers, as Tester claims manufacturers currently collect and sell all the data generated by farmers.