Forest River Farms in Forest River, N.D., has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Deere & Co. over what the case claims to be a “monopolization of the repair service market for John Deere (“Deere”) brand agricultural equipment with onboard central computers known as engine control units, or ‘ECUs.’”

The class action lawsuit was filed in Chicago federal court on Jan. 12, 2022.

According to a Jan. 13, 2022, report by Progressive Farmer, “Forest River Farms in Forest River, North Dakota, asked for a trial by jury and wants the court to order John Deere to make the necessary software available to individual farmers and repair shops."

The lawsuit also seeks damages for farmers who have paid for repairs from Deere dealers since Jan. 12, 2018 to the present, according to the complaint. 

It is also noted in the complaint that Forest River Farms owns 5 Deere tractors and 2 Deere combines that use ECUs. 

The complaint states, “Deere’s monopolization of the Deere Repair Services Market allows Deere and the Dealerships to charge and collect supracompetitive prices for its services every time a piece of equipment requires the Software to diagnose or complete a repair. Consequently, Plaintiff and Class members have paid millions of dollars more for the repair services than they would have paid in a competitive market.”

The complaint also claims that while Deere has demonstrated that it understands farmers have a right to repair their own equipment, the manufacturer has been “misleading the public regarding how easy it is for farmers or independent repair shops to perform repairs.”

Two reports by Farm Equipment's sister publication, Ag Equipment Intelligence, are referenced in this lawsuit:

You can find the full complaint here

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