LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- The American Farm Bureau Federation announced the signing of two new memorandums of understanding with ag equipment manufacturers Kubota Tractor Corp. and AGCO to continue to provide necessary diagnostic and other equipment to farmers and independent repair shops.
The MOUs are said to cover 70% of all agriculture machinery sold in the U.S. At the start of the year, AFBF entered into similar agreements with John Deere and CNH Industrial Brands.
The latest MOUs come about one month after the state of Colorado passed and signed into law a right-to-repair bill for ag equipment -- the first of its kind in the U.S., https://www.dtnpf.com/….
According to an AFBF news release, the MOUs "respect the intellectual property rights" of the manufacturers while "setting a framework" for farmers and independent repair companies in all 50 U.S. states and Puerto Rico to access AGCO and Kubota manuals, tools, product guides and information to self-diagnose and self-repair machines, as well as "support from the manufacturers" to "directly purchase or lease" diagnostic tools and order products and parts.
Kubota agreed to allow farmers and independent repair shops to either purchase or subscribe to the company's KOBD ACE diagnostic tool.
"AFBF agrees to encourage state farm bureau organizations to recognize the commitments made in this MOU and refrain from introducing, promoting, or supporting federal or state right-to-repair legislation that imposes obligations beyond the commitments in this MOU," the Kubota MOU said.
All sides can withdraw from the agreement at any time with 15 days written notice.
In the AGCO agreement that contains language nearly identical to the Kubota MOU, the company agrees to sell, lease or allow subscriptions to the AGCO tech connect diagnostic and/or AGCO electronic diagnostic tool. The MOU also covers manuals, product service demonstrations and customer training, on-board diagnostics via diagnostics port or wireless interface, as well as other publications with information on service, parts, operation and safety.
"Farmers and ranchers urged us to find a private sector solution to the challenges of repairing their own equipment," AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a statement.
"These agreements 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 Vice President of Customer Support Barry O'Shea said in a news release the company supports farmers' ability to repair their own equipment.
"We are dedicated to being their most trusted partner for smart-farming solutions, and this MOU with Farm Bureau is an outcome of that commitment," he said.
Todd Stucke, senior vice president of marketing for Kubota said the agreement was a "good step" toward allowing farmers to protect their safety while having the ability to maintain and repair their equipment.
"Kubota is pleased to join the AFBF in signing a memorandum of understanding to ensure our customers are empowered with the information and tools needed to safely maintain, diagnose and make repairs on their own equipment," Stucke said.
"Through our network of over 1,100 dealers, Kubota makes available the shop tools, parts, guides and manuals to owners who choose to work directly on their machines."
Farmers across the country have filed a series of class-action lawsuits against John Deere, https://www.dtnpf.com/…. The cases allege the company has monopolized the repair service market for John Deere brand ag equipment with onboard central computers known as engine control units, or ECUs.
The right to repair increasingly has become an issue in agriculture and other industries with state legislatures introducing bills addressing the issue in at least 32 states, including bills in 21 states in 2021.
Todd Neeley can be reached at email@example.com
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