Farmers in Colorado may get the first opportunity to fix their own equipment next year, thanks to newly approved right-to-repair legislation, which would be the first of its kind in the U.S.
The “Consumer Right to Repair Agriculture Equipment Act” passed the Colorado Senate 46-14 this week, while the state House passed the bill in February. The bill had bipartisan support as farmers’ profits were squeezed by expensive repairs and rapidly rising input prices.
Colorado is the first U.S. state whose lawmakers voted to approve this type of law. The bill now goes before Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) for his approval. He has ten days to sign the bill into law and is expected to do so, according to Reuters.
The legislation mandates that farm machinery manufacturers like Deere and CNH Industrial furnish their customers with diagnostic tools, software documents, and repair manuals beginning on January 1, 2024. Manufacturers must also provide those resources to independent technicians.
Manufacturers had required customers to use authorized dealers and their technicians to perform repairs on farm equipment, such as tractors and combines.
A Deere spokesman told Reuters that the company supports farmers’ right to repair, but believes this bill wasn’t necessary and will carry unintended consequences.
Both Deere and CNH Industrial had signed separate memorandums of understanding with the American Farm Bureau Federation to allow farmers the ability to repair their own equipment.
Similar “right to repair farm equipment” bills have been filed with state legislatures in ten other states, including Missouri, Texas, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey and Vermont.
Sources: Reuters, NAFB News Service.