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Advanced technology has brought farmers modern-day tools to assist in increasing yield and decreasing costs. However, as farm machinery becomes more advanced, legal questions arise as to a farmer’s ability to perform routine maintenance and other repairs on their equipment, according to the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

To explore these issues, the National Agricultural Law Center will discuss Right to Repair statutes in a free online discussion at 11 a.m. Wednesday . Interested participants may register online at https://bit.ly/3bDi-ZL7.

Much of the advanced technology embedded in today’s farm equipment can only be repaired and issues can only be diagnosed through copyrighted software that is not available to customers without going through a licensed technician. Because of this limitation, farmers and independent repair shops are unable to work on much of the equipment, which can be an issue when farmers need timely repairs to get back into the fields, according to a university news release.

“The movement to enact Right to Repair statutes has been pursued as a means to ensure that agricultural producers have certain rights and legal protections to repair their equipment,” said Ross Pifer, director of the Penn State Center for Agricultural and Shale Law. “If passed, these statutes would not only allow farmers to repair their own equipment, but give them the ability to take their machinery to a repair shop of their choice. On the other side of the issue, concerns have been raised that Right to Repair Statutes will lead to key safety or environmental protection features being disabled — intentionally or unintentionally — on today’s highly technical agricultural equipment.”

Pifer will discuss Right to Repair statutes in the free webinar Wednesday, hosted by the law center, a unit of the UA System Division of Agriculture, which works with the USDA Agricultural Research Service, National Agricultural Library.

Pifer’s presentation will provide an overview of these statutes, discuss the current status of legislation and legislative proposals in various states, and review the core components or the proposals that have been considered.

“Right to Repair, along with questions on agricultural data, are just a few of the legal issues arising due to the adaptation of agricultural technology,” said Harrison Pittman, director of the National Agricultural Law Center. “Understanding the issue at hand is the first step in developing a solution, which is why we’ve invited Ross to speak on this topic.”

For details or to register, visit https://bit.ly/3bDiZL7.

Print Headline: Session covers farm right-to-repair legislation

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