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Should Agtech companies be worried about farmers right to repair?
Bridging the gap between sustainability and finance

Should Agtech companies be worried about farmers right to repair?

The debate around the "right to repair" for farm machinery has been rumbling on for some time. This week we consider what it might mean for the companies that produce the specialist agricultural equipment.

Summary: The debate around the "right to repair" for farm machinery has been rumbling on for some time. Earlier in the year we looked at the topic from the perspective of the farmers. This week we turn it around and consider what it might mean for the companies that produce the specialist agricultural equipment. Being brutally realistic, the financial impact is not likely to be material.

Why this is important: For obvious reasons, the producers of sophisticated agricultural equipment would prefer that they retain control of the parts, servicing and repair process. Partly this is about the profitability of this type of work, but it's also about intellectual property and data. We expect some form of right to repair to eventually become the norm, not just in the US, but across Europe. But we expect progress to be slow. By contrast, spending on Agtech in the US has risen strongly over the last few decades, and we see no reason to believe this will decrease. In fact access to Agtech is becoming more rather than less important. Balancing out these factors, we expect that unless the right to repair movement really gains political momentum, the financial future for the Agtech companies looks positive.



The details


Summary of a release from the US National Farmers Union

The debate around giving farmers the right to repair tractors and other agricultural equipment, bypassing the dealer network, has had many twists and turns. In their opposition to Right to Repair legislation, equipment manufacturers and dealers have invoked EPA regulations and the CAA – specifically related to tampering with emissions control systems – as justification for their need to restrict repair.

But, in a letter to National Farmers Union (NFU), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) affirmed that the Clean Air Act (CAA) cannot be used as a basis to restrict independent repair of farm equipment. The letter specifically states that "like NFU and its members, the EPA believes barriers to the proper repair and maintenance of nonroad equipment is harmful to the environment… We support efforts by anyone to enact legislation clarifying that independent repair is allowable, provided such efforts continue to clearly prohibit illegal tampering of emissions control systems.

Let's look at why this is important...


Why this is important

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