Missouri Bans “JD 303” Tractor Hydraulic Fluid

The Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) has barred the sale of tractor hydraulic fluid (THF) labeled as “John Deere 303” effectively immediately.

The ban was announced by MDA’s Weights, Measures & Consumer Protection Division which called John Deere 303 fluids misbranded “because they fail to meet any current tractor manufacturer’s specifications.”

John Deere developed the JD 303 designation 57 years ago and it has been obsolete since 1974. In addition, there are no specifications available for JD 303 tractor hydraulic fluids and, as such, products making only “JD 303” claims cannot be tested to assure compliance with any known specifications.

State regulators recently conducted extensive testing on JD 303 fluids and found these products failed to meet modern performance demands. Typically sold in five-gallon yellow buckets, JD 303 fluids have long been the cheapest THF available, but independent laboratory testing on these fluids revealed significant gaps in critical performance benchmarks.

“We fully support the state’s decision to ban the sale of JD 303 THFs, which do not meet the lubrication requirements of modern tractors and have been proven to cause equipment damage,” says Jon Ihler, MFA Oil vice president of sales and marketing. “These so called ‘bargain’ fluids may have appeared attractive due to their low price, but their lack of performance-enhancing additives often ends up costing farmers more in repairs, downtime and equipment replacement in the long run.”

MFA Oil prides itself on providing its members and customers with high-performing products that meet and exceed their needs.

“We have been providing premium fuel and lubricants for nearly 90 years, and we always go beyond base specifications to provide superior performance to our customers,” Ihler says.

MFA Oil’s Premium GP Hydraulic Fluid is proven to provide superior performance and protection for hydraulic systems, transmissions, differentials, wet brakes and wet clutches. It meets John Deere’s J20C specification (the current successor to JD 303) and is suitable for use in most tractors.