More farms using high-speed Internet

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USDA's latest report on farm computer use shows a significant shift away from dial-up connections, but just a 2 percent increase in overall Internet use since the last report in 2007.

DSL was the most common method of accessing the Internet, with 36 percent of U.S. farms using it -- up from 27 percent in 2007. In 2007, dial-up was the most common method of accessing the Internet.  Dial-up access dropped from 47 percent in 2007 to 23 percent in 2009. Satellite and wireless were each reported as the primary internet access methods on 13 percent of those U.S. farms with Internet access. Cable was reported as the primary access method on 11 percent of the farms. 

A total of 59 percent of U.S. farms now have Internet access, compared with 57 percent in 2007. Sixty-four percent of farms have access to a computer in 2009, the same level as 2007. The proportion of U.S. farms owning or leasing a computer in 2009, at 61 percent, was up 1 percentage point from 2007. 

Farms using computers for their farm business increased 1 percentage point from 2007 to 36 percent in 2009.

In 2009, 81 percent of U.S. farms with sales and government payments of $250,000 or more have access to a computer, 79 percent own or lease a computer, 69 percent are using a computer for their farm business, and 76 percent have Internet access. For farms with sales and government payments between $100,000 and $249,999, the figures are: 70 percent have access to a computer, 67 percent own or lease a computer, 52 percent are using a computer for their farm business, and 63 percent have Internet access. Of the farms with sales and government payments between $10,000 and $99,999, 62 percent reported having computer access, 59 percent own or lease a computer; 38 percent use a computer for their farm business, and 57 percent have Internet access.

For crop farms, 65 percent have computer access and 40 percent use a computer for their farm business in 2009, up 1 and 3 percentage points from 2007, respectively. Internet access for crop farms has increased to 60 percent in 2009, compared with 56 percent in 2007. 

In 2009, a total of 63 percent livestock farms have computer access and 58 percent have Internet access. 

The full report is available from USDA.


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