John Deere’s Indirect Assault, Joining the War on Agriculture

Published by Guy Taylor on

Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes

Last Updated on 2023-03-28 by Guy Taylor

Here we go again, I really do need to start blogging more, especially with the future plans I have for this website, in the realms of eCommerce, but I’m here now – feeling a little happier with the way I’m getting this website to look. I’m not very savvy when it comes to website design so I’m learning, bit by bit, inch by inch. After all, that’s what life is for right (well, part of it, a big part)? Learning.

Anyway, so by now the entire agric community, wherever they are in the world knows about the lawsuits facing John Deere over the right to repair and quite rightfully so. John Deere, by all intents and purposes, have, whether directly or indirectly joined in the assault on the agricultural community. In this case indirectly, but first, before we get there…a little spiel and I’m not gonna bs my visitors/audience, I have to make this as long as possible for my Google hits.

Now, I’m not some lawyer, I’m just some standard Joe guy who has been in love with John Deere since I was a kid, I mean, can you show me many farm kids, no matter how old that aren’t? John Deere are, or were, the creme de la creme of the farm equipment world.Β 

When I learnt how to drive tractors I was roughly 11 years old, so a bit of a late comer on that front and it wasn’t a John Deere. It was in the early 90s from way back forever and it was a beat up old Massey Ferguson that was used on grain feeding runs on the ranch that played a big role in my life growing up in Zimbabwe, if any of you saw my blog, The Need for Belonging (if not I will insert a hyperlink for it at the end of this blog along with other references) you will have seen that I didn’t quite feel like I belonged there growing up but I have to say that if there is anything, asides from my parents that I miss about Zimbabwe it is that ranch, other than my folks and that ranch. I say ranch because it was a mixed brahman cow | calf operation, mainly. There was maze (or corn) grown, but by way of livestock if I remember right it was small compared to the cattle scene.

Of course as I grew older I came across other makes of tractors and combine harvesters and formed my own opinions – which were perhaps a bit naive and some biased, because I learnt how to drive an old Massey Ferguson I naively decided I didn’t really like Massey Ferguson and yet I haven’t tried another since, mainly due to lack of opportunity due to a stupid life change I took. There were however two Deere’s on that ranch which is why I formed the love for them that I did. You just look at a Deere and it’s class, you can tell that it’s sturdy, reliable and in the agric world it’s a proverbial tank. Beautiful machines. Then one day, on another farm, headed from my mid to late teens I came across Landini which I grew to absolutely despise, unlike Deere I found them clunky and unreliable, changing gears was a nightmare. So if you were to ask me, through experience which my favourite makes are I’d easily tell you firstly John Deere, secondly Massey Ferguson and if absolutely pushed, or forced…albeit off a cliff, Landini. I include Landini because I don’t have experience with CASE, CLAAS or any other makes. But I must say, you just look at CLAAS or CASE and it is immediate β€œclass”.

Okay, spiel over. Now to my gripe with John Deere. Which I do find pretty unfortunate and quite sad because JD will lose a loyal customer base over this. Even if they were to withdraw, turn around to their customer base and go β€œyou know what? We were wrong, our hands are up, you were right” – though I think there is as much of a chance of that as Putin withdrawing from Ukraine.Β 

Over on my Instagram some time ago I wrote a short post which said, and I quote:Β 

β€œRefusing farmers the right to repair the machines that they have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for is yet another direct assault on the global farming community, and not just in North America, but the UK, Australia, New Zealand etc.

This war against the agricultural fraternity has gone on long enough. If it’s not some ignorant bs about livestock being bad for the environment, it’s bs about tractors and combine harvesters being too heavy on the soil and then it’s to bs by John Deere refusing farmers and ranchers the right to repair their machines that they have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for, sometimes in the millions for one tractor, forgetting the price of a combine harvester, with all its extra accessories.

If I own a John Deere 9R 640 and it fails a day before seeding or baling I want to be able to fix it myself, or because I’m not very mechanically minded and a little technically challenged (put me on a horse rather than in a cab, I’m much happier) use a mechanic or technician of my own choosing without having to wait for a certified John Deere technician, or mechanic who might probably not be able to arrive until a week after I was meant to start seeding or baling – it is my only tractor, what am I to do? I have paid $1,000,553.00CAD which is the price for the base machine without any other accessories. Which lets face it, many of the accessories are necessities in North America and other parts of the world. Adding those accessories will certainly add quite a few more figures onto the bill and yet I’m still beholden to John Deere???

This has to end now. Farmers and ranchers, throughout all the other hardships at the moment do not deserve this cr*p.

The right to repair is a must, every farmer and rancher deserves it. Short of that the only other way, bar court case after court case against John Deere would be a call to boycott the entire brand which has been my favourite for as long as I can remember but for the sakes of ethics I would be more than willing to switch sides to another manufacturer.”

Of course I won’t include the obligatory tags in that post though.

I still stand by those words, I do believe that JD has been extremely unfair in this motion.Β 

So for this blog let’s stick with the aforementioned 9R 640, yet another stunning piece of JD machinery, again, an absolute tank. Under normal circumstances if I was a rancher and could afford it I would definitely buy it, without a second thought and it wouldn’t be the base machine, I would fit it out with the necessities, but, these are not normal circumstances and I’m sure much like many others my loyalties have been tested on this, but lets carry on.

If I were to go to JD I would most likely order my tractor online to be built from the base model by going to the necessary part of their website, so for the purpose of this exercise we’ll stick with John Deere Canada. The price of the base model has dropped since I originally wrote that note on Instagram from $1,000,553.00CAD to $973,250.00CAD, always great. Now, if you’re not into agriculture you might sarcastically think β€œyeah, what a significant amount” but in agriculture any price drop of a product is a boon, especially at the moment, regardless of where you are in the world.Β 

So you decide to build your tractor from the base model, which currently is the 9350RW which admittedly is still expensive but cheaper than other models. I’ve built the tractor with the attachments and accessories I would for maximum performance. I go to this page here and start to build my machine or add what is needed, I won’t add everything or that would make this too long.


Fuel/Water Separator, Severe Duty –Β  $1,088.00
Engine Brake – $9,208.00

Foot Pedal Accelerator – $666.00
Radar With Dual Beam Sensor – $1,849.00
Back Up Alarm – $829.00

Greasable Steering Pins – $947.00

Auxiliary Hydraulic Connections – 3/4 in. – $1,948.00

Heavy Duty Frame with Tapered Roller Bearing Gudgeon – $6,348.00
Tow Cable – $4,066.00

Hydraulic Trailer Brake Valve – $2,097.00

Ballast Packages
1,676 kg (3,696 lb) Ballast Package – $8,794.00

We’re already at $1,011,429.32 for what I deem necessities not luxuries.

Then of course what I need to do is take our location into consideration. Alberta, so we go back to the drawing board and keep building our machine, remembering not to bling it out. We’re ranchers and farmers so no bling. No alloy rims please…

Dealer Installed Attachements

1 x Carpet Cab Floor – $536.32
1 x Floor Insulation – $186.14
1 x Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel – $372.69
1 x Fire Extinguisher, Wheel and 4 Track – $170.88
1 x Sunshade – $208.65
1 x Foot Operated Speed Control – $285.31
1 x Category 4 air filtration kit, cab – $2,612.00

Of course this list could go on, but as you can see, we’re not too far from $1.1m CAD already, that is a lot of money for, what is essentially a fantastic machine, it’s John Deere.

But what is happening here is essentially John Deere refusing the farmer or rancher the right to repair their machine; they are not selling it, it feels like they are renting it out as opposed to selling it.

Hypothetically speaking, I’ve just gone out and possibly got a loan to buy that tractor if I don’t have the money. My loan is backed up by the fact that I feel in the next few seasons I will be able to repay that loan, yet I am beholden to John Deere because they are essentially refusing me the right to service my tractor that I have paid over a million bucks for.

Whether John Deere like it or not they have joined in, indirectly, the assault against agriculture by refusing farmers and ranchers the right to repair their machines that they paid for from their own pocket or have risked everything by getting a loan, simply on the off chance, or the belief that they will do well in the coming seasons, because that is what agriculture is, of course it is a way of life but it is also often a gamble in many, circumstances but a gamble worth taking – on many levels.

It would only be right, or fair for John Deere to admit that they are morally, or ethically wrong in this. I have been loyal in my passions towards John Deere but for the sakes of ethics I would be prepared to boycott them, if I were in the position to do so and either go with Massey Ferguson or try another make, such as CLAAS or CASE, most probably CLAAS though.

I think it is time for John Deere to do the right thing, for not only the agricultural fraternity but for their existence. It would only be the right thing for John Deere to withdraw and allow farmers and ranchers the right to repair their machines.

The Need for Belonging

Deere Right-to-Repair Complaint Filed

John Deere to face lawsuits over right to repair

Right to Repair Movement Goes Deere hunting