Farmers need to fix their equipment. Repair restrictions continue to get in the way.

Without access to digital repair software, farmers are too often forced to send their machines to authorized dealers for fixes.

For farmers operating on tight growing and harvesting seasons, a broken tractor can be a serious setback. Fixing that tractor, though, may be unnecessarily difficult thanks to manufacturer restrictions.

A February U.S. PIRG Education Fund report found that, without access to digital repair software, farmers are too often forced to send their machines to authorized dealers for fixes they otherwise could have made themselves, leading to lengthy delays and inflated repair bills.

To discuss farmers' calls for reforms that would lower barriers to repair, U.S. PIRG Right to Repair Associate Kevin O'Reilly, Montanta Farmers Union President Walter Schweitzer and Nebraska farmer and state Sen. Tom Brandt spoke with NPR's Uri Berliner in May.

"Farmers continue to speak out. We see more and more states introducing this legislation," said Kevin. "The movement continues forward as they realize that they just want to be able to fix our stuff. And that's not too much to ask."

Listen to the interview.

Read the full report.

 

Photo: (Clockwise from top left) Kevin O’Reilly, Right to Repair campaign advocate with U.S. PIRG Education Fund; Missouri state Rep. Barry Hovis; Montana state Rep. Katie Sullivan; Walter Schweitzer, president of the Montana Farmers Union; and Florida state Sen. Jennifer Bradley discussed how repair restrictions impact farmers in February, following the release of “Deere in the Headlights.” Credit: Staff