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Growers Go High-Speed

A year ago, we ran a series of stories to help readers buy high-speed Internet access. At the time, a survey of Farm Industry News readers found that 42% of those who own computers use high-speed connections to the Internet. In our magazine's latest reader survey, that number had edged up to 47% of computer owners.

Any increase in high-speed access is good for our magazine and farm businesses. It shows farmers are staying electronically savvy, which should help them stay abreast of other technological changes. Why is this important? The future of farming includes high-tech electronics like GPS, assisted steering, and variable-rate planting and spraying.

In this issue, three companies involved in precision agriculture are honored with a 2008 FinOvation Award for their innovative products. The honored products are wireless Internet from the cab, automated steering service over the Internet, and automated implement steering. Other winners of our FinOvation Awards include high-tech components in their products as well. A separate story on page 64 gives instructions in how to make free field maps on Google.

Growers who take advantage of new products like these will need high-speed Internet access. Although our series of stories about high-speed Internet is over, we don't want readers to forget about upgrading their slow dial-up connections. After all, high-speed access is available to all growers with a view of the sky because satellite reaches everywhere. In many places, other good options like DSL and wireless cell phone networks exist.

Now is the time to get online. And once you're there, be sure to visit

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