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7 points from USDA computer usage report

Wyoming, Idaho producers among leaders in computer access, conducting business online

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released its latest Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report in August 2019.

General computer usage and internet access categories increased from 2017 to 2019 in the United States, according to the report. Nationally, 75% of farms reported having access to the internet, with 73% of farms having access to a desktop or laptop computer. Farms that used a desktop or laptop computer to conduct farm business was up 1% from 2017. More than half of the farms in the U.S. used a smartphone or tablet to conduct farm business, compared to 44% in 2017.

In 2019, 26% of farms used satellite and 22% of farms used a Digital Subscriber Line to access the internet. Since 2017, satellite and DSL have been the most popular ways that U.S. farmers access the internet.

Here’s a few highlights from the 2019 report:

  1. 8% of farms in Florida rely on dialup internet access.
  2. The five states with the highest percentage of farms with desktop or laptop computer access are Wyoming, 93%; California, 92% Washington, 91%; Oregon and Idaho, 90%.
  3. There are four states where more than 90% of farms have internet access: New Hampshire, 94%; Idaho and Utah, 92%; New Jersey, 91%.
  4. In Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, New Mexico, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas less than 20% of farms purchased agricultural inputs over the internet.
  5. In Colorado, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Utah, Washington and Wyoming more than 30% of farmers conducted agricultural marketing activities over the internet. The high was 38% in Utah.
  6. 20% or more of producers in Kansas, New Hampshire and North Dakota used the internet to access USDA or NASS reports.
  7. More than 60% of farms in California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming conducted business with non-agricultural websites.
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