John Deere sends a viral message about electric tractors

A viral and politically charged Facebook post about John Deere (a maker of heavy machinery for agricultural and other use), a Midwestern farmer and electric farm equipment has been doing the rounds since March. The story has been shared a seemingly countless number of times as a copy-and-paste post, also known as copypasta.

The story, summarized

According to the story without evidence, a John Deere representative phoned a farmer in the Midwest who was part of a “farm in partnership” program with the company. The company representative asked him to convert his farm equipment to John Deere electric tractors and combines by 2023. In response, the farmer asked several questions about the company’s batteries and the the robustness and versatility of its electrically powered agricultural equipment.

The post (which we’ll quote in full below) ended with a political rant about “left-wing Democrats,” ostensibly as a way to slap it on supporters and politicians who affiliate with the Democratic Party. He also mentioned negatively a “green dream,” which appeared to be a reference to the Green New Deal, a climate change policy mostly supported by Democrats.

John Deere responds

We reached out to a company spokesperson for John Deere to ask about the viral post. Over email they told us, “John Deere does not have a partner farm program.” They also said they “never called farmers asking them to switch to electric tractors by 2023”. Perhaps most importantly, the spokesperson said the company “has no plans for large battery/electric tractors and combines.” In other words, the viral story didn’t even seem like a possibility in reality.

Additionally, while we’ve been told the company has long-term business goals that involve offering a range of small electric tractors and other compact equipment by 2026, large tractors and harvesters- threshers for farms are not part of these plans.

Contact the author

The story originated in a March 9, 2022 post in a Facebook group called The 1791 Society. We contacted the user on Messenger who said he wrote the story. Our message was sent to the user before receiving the response from John Deere’s company.

“Yes, I wrote it down, based on the conversation and the description of the call because it was about me,” the user told us. “The farmer is a close friend of mine. I can answer general questions about it, but I can’t give specifics about the location of the farm or the man involved. He is a very responsible citizen and a trustworthy person. He has a large operation that relies entirely on JD equipment and wants no retribution.

After receiving John Deere’s statement, we reached out to the Facebook user again to tell him that the company said the so-called “farm in partnership” program and large battery-powered farm equipment mentioned in the story don’t even exist. We have not received a user response as of press time.

The original story

One of the most popular versions of the shared story reads:

For those of you who think electric vehicles are the answer – this is a true story of a Midwestern farmer – and I’m reposting it –

A Midwestern farmer with over 10,000 acres of corn and spread across 3 counties. His operation is a “farm in partnership” with John Deere. They use large farms as demonstration projects for the promotion and development of new equipment. He recently got a phone call from his John Deere rep, and they want the farm to switch to electric tractors and combines in 2023. He currently owns 5 diesel combines that cost $900,000 each and are traded in every 3 years. Also, over 10 really BIG tractors.

JD wants it to go all-electric soon.

He said, “Okay, I have a few questions. How do you reload these combines when they’re 3 counties from the store in the middle of a cornfield, in the middle of nowhere?”

“How can I run them 24 hours a day for 10 or 12 days straight when the harvest is ready and the time comes?”

“How can I get a 50,000+ pound combine that spans the width of an entire road to the shop 20 miles away when the battery is dead?”

There was dead silence on the other end of the line.

When corn is ready to harvest, it must have the right sugar and moisture content. If it’s too wet, you have to put it in giant dryers that burn natural gas or propane, and lots of it. Timing of harvest is critical because if it goes downhill in sugar content or quality, it can drop the value of his harvest by half a million dollars or more.

It is analyzed at the time of sale.

Standard procedure is to run these machines 10-12 days straight, 24 hours a day at harvest time.

When they need fuel, a tank truck delivers them and the machines keep running. John Deere’s only response is “we’re working on it”.

They are pressured by the left-leaning Democrats in government to impose these electric machines on farmers.

These people are out of control.

They waste the production of food crops that feed people and livestock…all in the name of their “green dream”.

Expect the cost of your box of cornflakes to triple over the next 24 months…” -Sourced

Everything we do has consequences. A compromise with every action is a reaction. From oil to gas, roads, plastics to exhaust fumes. We live in an oil based economy, there is no getting around it. Charging the batteries requires a power source. Most of this energy comes from fossil fuels.

Conservation is our best resource. Use and recycle and recycle it again. Make the most of our resources, we have a lot to do. STOP THE TAX!

This story will be updated if we receive additional details.

Sources:

“Sustainability Report | Skip the ambitions. John Deere United Stateshttps://www.deere.com/en/our-company/sustainability/sustainability-report/leap-ambitions/.

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