What John Deere was doing was borderline illegal!

A year ago I wrote about how unworkable warranty restrictions were seriously undermining John Deere's longstanding relationship with American farmers.  Legally so for some like North Dakota's own Forest River Farms.

Forest River Farms in Forest River, North Dakota, asked for a trial by jury and wants the court to order John Deere to make the necessary software available to individual farmers and repair shops.

In addition, the lawsuit seeks damages for farmers who have paid for repairs from John Deere dealers beginning on Jan. 12, 2018, to the present.

What is the beef?

Problem is...John Deere requires repairs through an authorized John Deere service team.

equipment manufacturers currently will not allow farmers the hardware or software needed to diagnose a problem, much less repair it. So, dealers must send their teams out to the field to diagnose a problem and likely order parts, then come back out to make the repairs. There may be other complications with repairs.

Problem is...Authorized John Deere service teams are fewer and farther away.

In 1996, John Deere had about 3,400 dealerships. By 2007, the number decreased to 2,984, according to the lawsuit. "In 2021, only 1,544 dealership locations remained," the lawsuit said. "Only 144 of these dealerships are not owned by 'big dealers,' i.e., dealerships that operate five or more individual dealership locations. Very few single-location dealerships remain.

It appears now John Deere has wisely agreed to open up their acceptance of  other repair options through a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) and that means they don't want any regulations coming their way.

AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a news release. “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.

This from the actual agreement...

C. Purpose. The purpose of this MOU is, through a voluntary private sector commitment to outcomes rather than legislative or regulatory measures, to:

1. continue to enhance the ability of Farmers to timely control the lawful operation and upkeep of Agricultural Equipment;

2. assure the timely availability, on Fair and Reasonable terms, of Tools, Specialty Tools, Software and Documentation originating from Manufacturer, and Data from the operation of Agricultural Equipment originating from Manufacturer;

Now was that so hard?

A HUGE victory for farmers everywhere. Read the entire MOU.


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