As in many industries, the right to repair has been a contentious issue in agriculture. Farmers want to be able to fix their equipment because it is often cheaper and allows them to minimize downtime. Even using a local service provider of their choosing for repairs is often faster than having to ship equipment to an authorized service provider who might not be local or might be too busy to provide quick service.
Manufacturers have pushed farmers to go through official channels for repairs and maintenance. Keeping service operations in-house brings in a lot of revenue. It also allows companies to keep proprietary technology close. The growing sophisticated of farm tractors and other machinery has advanced this trend.
However, with increasing sustainability moves toward sustainability efforts and extended producer responsibility for equipment at end of life, more states are looking at developing right-to-repair legislation. While many of these programs are targeting consumer electronics and looking to minimize “e-waste”, initiatives in other areas are also popping up.
For instance, John Deere recently reached an agreement with The American Farm Bureau Federation to provide farmers and independent repair shops with the information they need to service Deere agricultural equipment. While some right-to-repair advocates are concerned about how it will be enacted, the goal was to develop a single plan rather than what could potentially be a patchwork of state-level regulations. Manufacturers who operate in more than one state or jurisdiction tend to prefer a single consistent policy over having to watch changing local rules in order to keep up with what is required under the most stringent set.
Freedonia analysts will continue to watch for updates in extended producer responsibility and right-to-repair policies, particularly as the Biden Administration has called on the FTC to watch for unlawful repair restrictions and more states are considering various options in right-to-repair laws.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, especially Global Agricultural Equipment, Global Construction Machinery, and Global Off-Road Equipment Technology 2022. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence.