DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – A game-changing agreement between the American Farm Bureau Federation and John Deere, that will allow farmers to repair their own equipment was signed this week.

The “Right to Repair” Memorandum of Understanding outlines a handful of things that will make repairing Deere machinery easier for farmers and independent mechanics.

It ensures they have access to parts and tools for “timely” upkeep of machinery.

Meanwhile, it also seeks protection from the modification of Deere’s intellectual property as well as any emissions and safety controls connected to equipment.

Finally, the memo includes language that discourages, farm bureau affiliates from supporting right-to-repair legislation at the state level.

For DeWitt farmer Joe Dierickx having the right to repair will cut down on delays whenever his John Deere equipment needs to be serviced.

“It’s critical that we get things repaired in a timely fashion,” Dierickx said. “When we’re going we need to have it repaired as quick as we can so that we can get back to work. Our windows of planting and harvesting are really pretty narrow.”

Usually, Dierickx doesn’t repair his own equipment, but the agreement means he has more options if his usual Deere-certified dealer is backed up. An independent mechanic can now step in and have more access to manuals, parts and other diagnostic technology, that can help with any fixes.

“Agriculture is not immune to the labor shortage,” Dierickx said. “This just gives [mechanics] more tools so that they can be more professional about fixing our equipment. The equipment is technologically cutting edge.”

Many farmers hope other manufacturers fall in line.

“This is really a great help to the area farmers,” Dierickx said. “Hopefully it’ll be a blueprint for Case IH and the other big line manufacturers.

Looking at the bigger picture, Dierickx was grateful this deal worked out.

“It helps the whole industry,” Dierickx said. “It makes John Deere look good. It helps us farmers and agriculture is important to this state and this nation and really the world. We need to have everybody working together.”

.After the memo was signed John Deere said the agreement formalizes its commitment to its customers’ needs in a statement to TV6 News on Monday.

“We look forward to working alongside the American Farm Bureau and our customers in the months and years ahead to ensure farmers continue to have the tools and resources they need to diagnose, maintain and repair their equipment,” wrote a company spokesperson.

TV6 did reach out to a handful of John Deere implement dealers around the QCA to see how this would impact their businesses. Most of them indicated they were instructed not to comment on the memo and referred our reporter to John Deere Public Relations.

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