R.F.D. NEWS & VIEWS: Deere agrees to ‘right to repair,’ offers assistance

By Tim Alexander for Chronicle Media

John Deere’s new L341R baler is pictured. A historic agreement between the company and the American Farm Bureau Federation will allow farmers to legally repair Deere products without employing a certified Deere technician. (Photo courtesy of John Deere)

The big news in farming last week was the historic agreement reached between John Deere and the American Farm Bureau Federation allowing farmers the “right to repair” large farm machinery purchased through Deere dealerships. For more info on the compromise, please plow ahead …


Deere agrees to ‘right to repair,’ offers assistance

EAST MOLINE — A historic agreement reached last week between the John Deere Company and the American Farm Bureau Federation allowed owners of Deere machinery to legally perform their own service and repairs. In the past, purchasers of Deere equipment were required to return their products to licensed technicians for repair and service. A federal lawsuit brought by the AFBF seeking to force Deere to allow owners to perform their own machine maintenance was underway at the time of the announcement.

“AFBF is pleased to announce this agreement with John Deere. It addresses a long-running issue for farmers and ranchers when it comes to accessing tools, information and resources, while protecting John Deere’s intellectual property rights and ensuring equipment safety,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “A piece of equipment is a major investment. Farmers must have the freedom to choose where equipment is repaired, or to repair it themselves, to help control costs.”

According to the AFBF, the agreement formalizes farmers’ access to diagnostic and repair codes, as well as manuals (operator, parts, service) and product guides. It also ensures farmers will be able to purchase diagnostic tools directly from John Deere and receive assistance from the manufacturer when ordering parts and products.

Existing tools offered to customers in order to maintain and repair larger Deere agricultural equipment include:

  • Easy access to parts, operator, and technical/repair manuals — see johndeere.com/repair
  • Customer Service ADVISOR, a diagnostic and information tool that customers and independent repair shops can purchase from dealers or online directly from Deere. With this tool, customers, including third party repair shops, can view schematics, diagnostic code definitions, and find other information to make repairs to their own machines.

For customers who want enhanced support for their equipment,

  • JDLink™ connects the machine’s information to the web and can alert customers to issues as they develop and provide other useful information like location and status.
  • John Deere Connected Support™ allows dealers to remotely analyze, clear, and refresh Diagnostic Trouble Codes in near real time to isolate potential issues with a customer’s machine. This speeds up the diagnostic and repair process to maximize uptime. (Deere, AFBF news releases)


Avian flu driving high egg prices

WEST LAFAYETTE, IND. — Consumers left scratching their heads over the recent increase in egg prices at retail (a spike of at least 60 percent over one year ago, according to most sources) can credit highly pathogenic Avian influenza, or bird flu. This is according to Jayson Lusk, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, who told Farm Journal’s Tyne Daly that the impact of bird flu on egg prices has been the single biggest driver behind the price surge.

“We’ve had a significant reduction in supply from depopulation this spring and again in the fall and winter,” said Lusk, adding that higher feed and energy costs are also contributing — to a lesser extent — to higher egg prices. “Couple that with inelastic demand for eggs, and you get the price spikes we’re seeing.”

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, U.S. egg inventories were 29 percent lower in the final week of December 2022 compared to the beginning of the year. Around 43 million egg-laying hens were impacted by the disease since the start of the outbreak in February 2022, USDA estimated, either from birds being directly hit with the disease, or producers forced to depopulate to get the disease under control.

“Losses were spread across two waves: from February to June (30.7 million hens) and from September to December (12.6 million hens),” USDA reported. ” On constrained supplies, wholesale egg prices (the prices retailers pay to producers) were elevated throughout the year. The HPAI recurrences in the fall further constrained egg inventories that had not recovered from the spring wave.” (AgWeb.com)


Federal ports coming to northern Corn Belt

BLOOMINGTON — Federal approval for ports on the upper Mississippi River has the Illinois Soybean Association feeling optimistic about the future of grain and oilseed delivery from the northern Corn Belt to worldwide destinations. The Dec. 8 announcement marked the first time in history that ports on the Upper Mississippi River in Wisconsin have been federally listed and ranked, making the region more competitive for federal government, state government, and non-profit organization investment.

“The addition of the Northern Grain Belt Ports to the Corn Belt Ports family creates and bolsters an important national identity for America’s largest grain producing and exporting region,” said Todd Main, Director of Market Development for ISA. “We welcome them to our larger team and value their role in making our products more competitive in the global marketplace.”

Corn Belt Ports, which are located above Locks and Dam No. 26 at Alton, Illinois, collectively handled 96 million tons of cargo on the Upper Mississippi River and the Illinois Waterway System during 2019, according to an ISA news release.

“The Corn Belt Ports are an essential part of the national and global supply chains, attracting over $1.25 billion in additional transportation and natural infrastructure investment since 2021 from federal and state government organizations, and nonprofit organizations,” said Main. “We expect the Northern Grain Belt Ports will see increased investment in their region comparable to growth and expansion the federal approval of the Illinois waterway ports has provided.” (ISA news)


Illinois Farm Fact:

The John Deere Plow Company was founded in 1837 in Grand Detour, Illinois.

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