It’s really official that 51 percent of U S farms have internet access now! That’s up 3 percent from 2003. The percentage of increase is smaller than in past surveys showing some levelling off in farms obtaining internet access. This makes some sense when you consider that the average age of a farmer continues to move upward. I can’t see the number declining though and at 51 percent that means that almost 1.1 million farms are online! That’s a significant number.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service had to re-release this. Now we have the “final” version of the Farmer Computer Usage & Ownership survey. Not any real big changes. Just to make sure though I interviewed Sarah Hoffman, section head, environmental & demographics section of the National Agricultural Statistics Service to make sure.
You can listen to my interview with Sarah here
The percentage of farms with internet access goes even higher when you look at the breakouts of farms at higher income levels. The percentage goes up to 72 percent at the highest level ($250,000+ income).
For the first time NASS asked what type of internet access farmers have. Of those with access, 69 percent get it by dialup and 23 percent through broadband (cable, dsl, satellite) with a tiny percentage of “unknown.” There aren’t comparison number on this but common sense tells you that the broadband percentage has grown and will continue to do so as USDA continues its program to assist companies financially who are installing rural broadband access.