Right to repair movements often target the tech industry, but a recent Senate bill puts the farm equipment industry squarely in its sights.
As equipment of all types has become more complicated, the end user is often left paying for expensive repairs, with self-repair almost impossible. A number of laws and bills have been introduced to target this in the electronics industry, but the farm industry continues to suffer the same issues.
“I visited with my local mechanic and asked which tractor he could fix, and it was a 1995 one,” Scott Potmesil, a fourth-generation farmer, told NBC News. “New equipment is getting so complicated and loaded with sensors. If one of them goes out, you can’t even start your tractor. You need a technician and software to identify the problem.”
The Senate has introduced a bill designed to tackle this problem. Sponsor, Sen. Jon Tester, believes the bill will be a significant help to farmers, reducing costs and helping them stay operational.
“We’ve got to figure out ways to empower farmers to make sure they can stay on the land. This is one of the ways to do it,” Tester said. “I think that the more we can empower farmers to be able to control their own destiny, which is what this bill does, the safer food chains are going to be.”