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Source: National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB)

Both sides of the right-to-repair debate in agriculture were presented during a hearing this week before the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee.

The debate is whether Congress should limit the restrictions that manufacturers are allowed to place on their software, parts, and tools so that farmers, third-party mechanics and customers can be allowed to make their own repairs on equipment.

Ken Taylor of the Equipment Dealers Association expressed concern that giving people access to internal software in their equipment would allow them to change emissions and safety controls in tractors and other implements. While dealers already sell several parts directly to farmers, the manufacturer's association doesn't want customers tampering with controls for safety, environmental, and health reasons.

Gay Gordon-Byrne represented the Repair Association and said farmers just want to be able to get parts and make repairs themselves.

"All this worry about modifying emissions and tweaking tractors isn't repair," said Gordon-Byrne. "Our legislative intent is to allow competition for the business of repair as a basic requirement supporting the rights of equipment owners to control their property."

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