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Corn+Soybean Digest

Increase In Farm Computer And Internet Access

The 2003 computer usage estimates are based on responses from over 26,400 agricultural operations and represent all sizes and types of farms. Questions on computer ownership, access, and use were included on the 2003 June Agricultural Survey, which primarily covers crop and livestock estimates.

Fifty-four percent of all U.S. farms own or lease a computer, up from 50% in 2001. Farm operators using computers for their farm business increased from 29% in 2001 to 30% in 2003.

A further breakdown shows Internet and computer access based on the size of farm. Farms with over $250,000 in annual sales show a higher percentage of computer usage. Of these farms, 82% have access to a computer, 79% own or lease a computer, 68% use a computer for farm business, and 72% have Internet access. Although over half of all farms with annual sales of less than $250,000 reported access to computers, 46% have access to the Internet, but less than 30% use computers for farm business.

Eight percent of U.S. farms use the Internet to purchase agricultural inputs, and 8% also use it to conduct agricultural marketing activities. Six percent of U.S. farms use the Internet to access NASS reports, while 11% use the Internet to access other USDA reports and research information.

Access the complete Farm ComputerUsage and Ownership report online at www.usda.gov/nass/ or call 800-727-9540. More information will be released with the "Census of Agriculture" in the Spring of 2004.

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