When U.S. producers were asked to respond to questions for USDA-NASS's biennial "Farm Computer Usage and Ownership" report, 70 percent report having access to the Internet, up 3 percentage points from 2013.

A DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) connection is the most common method of accessing the Internet, with 30 percent of the farms in the United States using it, down from 35 percent in 2013. A wireless connection, at 29 percent, and a satellite connection at 21 percent, increased 5 and 4 percentage points, respectively.

Other reported methods of accessing the Internet include cable modem service (12 percent), dial-up service (3 percent), and other or unknown (5 percent).

Farms with computer access at 73 percent is slightly higher than the 71 percent of the farms that reporting owning or leasing a computer.

Computer access by sales class is 71 percent for sales class $1,000--$9,999; 70 percent for sales class $10,000-- 99,999; 73 percent for Sales Class $100,000--$249,999; and 85 percent for Sales Class $250,000 or more.

Computer usage for farm business at 43 percent nationally, is up 3 percentage points from 2013. This compares with usage by the four geographic regions: West (48 percent), North Central (46 percent), Northeast (45 percent), and the South (36 percent).

Comparing computer usage by crop and livestock farms, 47 percent of the crop producers use the computer for farm business compared to 39 percent of the livestock producers.

Computer uses include:

  • Purchasing agricultural inputs: 19 percent
  • Marketing activities: 16 percent
  • Accessing USDA-NASS reports: 10 percent
  • Accessing other USDA reports/services: 17 percent
  • Accessing other federal government websites: 17 percent
  • Conducting business with any USDA website: 9 percent
  • Conducting business with any other federal government website: 7 percent
  • Conducting business with a non-agricultural website: 44 percent

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