Working towards a long-term solution on the right to reparation – RealAgriculture
You are in a new machine and something in the computer system crashes. Are you equipped to fix it? Do you have the right to repair it?
Geoff Backman, director of business development and markets at the Alberta Wheat and Barley Commissions, says farmers’ frustrations continue to grow because they don’t have access to the technology to fix their equipment.
âWhat we hear from our producers is that they are having issues with downtime; that they do not have the tools and the ability to get out and repair their equipment in a timely manner to get their operations back up and running. And that presents a risk for their farms, âhe explains.
The issue of the right to repair is perhaps best known as an issue for the automotive and tech sector, however, outside of the agricultural bubble, repairing agricultural machinery does not necessarily grab the headlines.
So how can we change this? Backman says the first step is to make sure our voices are heard. (Story continues below video)
âIt is important that farmers speak up and let legislators know what they need to have realistic and reliable repair options for their farms. This issue is progressing, and it is being raised by the automotive industry and the issue of personal electronics. And we have to make sure that farmers have their voices heard, so that they are also included in all decisions, ânotes Backman.
While there is still a long way to go and things that need to change, Backman says there have been some improvements.
âWe’ve been waiting for a long time to see some of the best access to repair manuals, as well as the availability of electronic diagnostic tools. These are important additions for self-repair. The rollout is brand new and is continuing at this time, âsays Backman, adding that the response from farmers at this point has beenâ rather lukewarm â.
“I think the biggest concern with these new deployments is that they need to be available at a cost that makes sense for the midsize farm.”
Backman also notes that an investigation will be conducted by the Alberta Wheat and Barley Boards in early 2022 regarding the right to remedy, so farmers should keep their eyes open for that.