Focus on sourcing agricultural equipment as the right to repair movement sweeps across the country

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This week’s Thomas Index report is sponsored by Osborne Industries, a Thomas Verified and ISO certified bespoke manufacturer of systems and equipment for livestock feeders and other agricultural equipment.

Welcome to the Thomas Index report for the week of March 22sd.

If you are in need of COVID-19 resources or would like to register your industrial company as a COVID-19 response provider, please go to Thomasnet.com/COVID-19.

In this week’s report, we take a look at the latest trends in the procurement business for agriculture and farm equipment. Our data shows that the supply of agricultural material on the Thomasnet.com platform grew 123% year-over-year and 103% from the fourth quarter of 2020. In a related category, research from agricultural material grew 116% year-on-year and 30% from last quarter figures.

This substantial spike can probably be attributed, at least in part, to the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of supply chain stress and shrinking workforce – but this increased demand equipment was also affected by the right to Repair movement.

Let’s start with the COVID-related factors leading to this increased sourcing activity. Unable to do their jobs remotely and often working close by, farm workers were seen as an essential part of the American workforce and a vital link in the food supply chain, but it also made them vulnerable to the virus contamination. According to a to study by UC Berkeley, farm workers were 8% more likely to contract COVID-19 than the general population. As farm workers fell ill, farmers turned to automated equipment to keep operations as possible.

The other factor driving the demand for farm equipment is the Right to Repair movement, which is rapidly gaining momentum in 2021. The broader Right to Repair movement across the country is about empowering consumers and small businesses access the components, software and instructions necessary to maintain and repair electronics and other assets. In an agricultural context, the right to repair would mean that farmers would have access to the tools and documentation they need to repair equipment without having to take the machines to a dealership for maintenance. 14 states are currently considering right to repair bills, but in the meantime, farmers have to bring their equipment to dealerships or replace it instead of being able to make adjustments on their own, which also leads to increased purchases in this area.

For more sourcing information and further analysis of Thomas’ industry data, subscribe to the Thomas Industry Update newsletter at Thomasnet.com/Updates.

Are you looking for more information on the industrial sourcing activity during the first quarter of 2021? Learn about Q1 sourcing trends, industry and region specific sourcing growth, and Thomas’ forecast for next quarter to next sourcing activity. First Quarter 2021 Industrial Sourcing and Supply Chain Business Webinar. Thomas live online seminar, which is free to participate, will take place on April 6, 2021 at 1 p.m. ET. Register for free by clicking here.

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