Benefits of the Farm Implements Act

How it protects farmers, dealers and distributors regarding new farm machinery purchases

In Ontario, all new farm machinery purchases costing over $3,500 are protected by law in terms of warranty, safety and parts supply. This protection is provided by the Farm Implements Act. Purchases of used machinery are covered in matters relating to safety, parts supply and repairs, though they are not covered on warranty issues.

The range of farm machinery covered by the act is vast. The act defines "farm implement" as "any equipment or machinery designed and used for agricultural or horticultural use and includes attachments." This includes farmstead equipment systems, such as equipment for milking, feeding, ventilation, feeding and manure handling. It also includes precision agriculture equipment, such as precision planting, yield monitoring and auto-steer equipment..There is no coverage for equipment with a manufacturer's list price under $3,500, tractors 20 horsepower or less, drainage equipment, lawn and garden equipment, and tires.

The Farm Implements Act provides the following benefits to farmers, dealers and distributors:

Benefits for farmers, dealers and distributors

  • A free complaint resolution service is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Rural Affairs to mediate disputes between farmers, dealers and manufacturers.
  • Hearings (by the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Appeal Tribunal) to rule on disputes that are not resolved by mediation. Tribunal hearings provide farmers, dealers and distributors with a forum which is considerably less expensive, time-consuming or formal than the courts, and is more knowledgeable about farm implements and agriculture. Farmers, dealers and distributors are all represented on the Tribunal.
  • Consultations between farmers, the industry and the ministry to address broad industry concerns regarding farm implements (e.g. safety, repair cost estimates, inadequate standards, exclusivity clauses in dealer/distributor contracts, establishment of standard requirements requested for dealerships, leasing proposals).
  • A forum for the development of cooperative and constructive relations between farmers, dealers, distributors, manufacturers and government on farm implement issues.

Benefits to farmers

  • All new farm implements have warranty protection for implements costing over $3,500.
  • Defective new farm implements can be returned for a refund, under certain conditions.
  • New farm implements are required to perform according to the manufacturer's specifications.
  • All farm machinery, new or used, must be sold with all necessary safety shields and decals.
  • Operator's manuals must be supplied with new farm implements.
  • All new tractors, and all used tractors manufactured after January 1, 1992, must be sold with roll-over protection.
  • For every new farm implement, spare parts must be available for ten years.
  • During season of use, emergency spare parts for farm machinery must be supplied within three working days.
  • If farm implement repairs done by dealers are unsatisfactory, there is recourse for farmers.

Benefits to dealers

  • Provision for the return of all new inventory to distributors on termination of a dealer/distributor contract.
  • Delineation of responsibilities between dealers and distributors on issues of defective new farm implements, warranties and supply of regular and emergency spare parts.
  • Standard farm implement safety requirements, established in law, to reduce the risk of lawsuits against dealers arising from farm implement accidents.

Benefits to distributors

  • As a respected impartial arbitrator, the ministry saves manufacturers and distributors the cost, in terms of both finance and public image, of paying settlements solely for the preservation of good public relations.
  • Standard farm implement safety requirements, established in law, to reduce the risk of lawsuits against distributors arising from farm implement accidents.

Please note that the benefits listed above are subject to conditions as established in the legislation.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 05 March 2014
Last Reviewed: 05 March 2014