Home Precision Agriculture White House Says Executive Order on Right to Repair Is Coming

White House Says Executive Order on Right to Repair Is Coming


Over the previous few many years, as farm gear has develop into dearer and computerized, it’s additionally develop into tougher to repair.

Farmers, who shell out a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} for tractors, combines, sprayers and extra, have been stymied by a mix of things that stop them from repairing their very own dang gear. Whereas the tech corporations concerned—and we’re together with John Deere in that class—have fought it each step of the best way, it seems as if an government order is forthcoming from President Joe Biden that might allow simpler and cheaper repairs for farmers.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Biden will direct the Federal Commerce Fee to draft new guidelines defending what’s develop into referred to as the “right to repair.” Shortly afterwards, at a press convention, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that Biden has directed the USDA and FTC to, as Motherboard studies, “increase competition in the farming industry.” 

One of many areas during which agriculture—already a top-heavy business rife with consolidation—suffers from rampant monopolization is in gear, with John Deere primarily holding a monopoly. However that monopoly isn’t merely within the sale of heavy gear; Deere additionally controls service to an excessive diploma, utilizing software program locks (and, generally, intense lobbying efforts) to block those that theoretically personal this gear from repairing nearly something on their very own. That’s led to some hacking, mostly with bootleg Ukrainian software program, as Jason Koebler at Motherboard has reported over the previous few years.

In efforts to keep the extremely profitable death-grip on service, John Deere has achieved all the things it will possibly to stop any opening up of its software program, together with making (after which breaking) guarantees to meet farmers midway. The corporate, together with different tech giants, has made the argument that opening up the appropriate to restore—extra technically, the power to simply restore, as farmers are legally permitted to restore, they only aren’t in a position to achieve this owing to these obstacles—could be harmful. Citing security, cybersecurity and environmental issues, the businesses argue that it simply isn’t secure to permit farmers to repair their very own tractors, an argument the FTC itself declared false in a report.

Psaki’s announcement was gentle on particulars, though it did particularly point out farm gear repairs. Bloomberg’s report additionally contains extra tidbits about agriculture, together with a normal push for extra competitors within the business, guidelines to permit farmers to sue meat processors for unfair practices and stricter guidelines on the “made in USA” packaging.


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