The National Agricultural Statistics Service just released their newest Farm Computer Usage report but don’t start using it just yet. It’s being re-released next week! I wondered why I couldn’t find it on their website and here’s what it says – “The Farm Computer Usage and Ownership report released on July 29, 2005 by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be reissued on August 12, 2005 due to corrections in the data.’
I was going to report on how it shows that for the first time farmer internet access is over 51%. There’s lots of interesting information in the report but now I wonder what will change. The stories I’ve seen so far seem to be focusing on the fact that the increase in internet access is a smaller percentage than previously seen in earlier reports and that this might mean that farmer’s use of computers and the internet is levelling off. I don’t think I’d jump to that conclusion just yet. For one thing you have to dig into the data and there’s quite a bit of it.
For example if you just look at the total overall numbers you have to realize who was surveyed and basically that’s anyone farming that makes over $1,000 from farming. There are income breakouts that you should look at because the numbers are very different at different income levels.
Unfortunately I can’t point some of them out since I don’t know what’s going to change. I also can’t link to the report but I will when the release is available.