Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sixty-two percent of U.S. Farms Have Internet Access

Farm Computer Usage and Ownership: United States 2001-2011

A total of 62 percent of U.S. farms now have Internet access, compared with 59 percent in 2009. Sixty-five percent of farms have access to a computer in 2011, up 1 percentage point from 2009. The proportion of U.S. farms owning or leasing a computer in 2011, at 63 percent, was up 2 percentage points from 2009. Farms using computers for their farm business remained virtually stable at 37 percent in 2011 compared to 36 percent in 2009.

DSL was the most common method of accessing the Internet, with 38 percent of U.S. farms using it, up from 36 percent in 2009. Dialup access dropped from 23 percent in 2009 to 12 percent in 2011. Satellite and wireless were each reported as the primary Internet access methods on 15 and 20 percent of those U.S. farms with Internet access, respectively. Cable was reported as the primary access method on 11 percent of the farms, the same level as 2009.
(source: usda)


  1. FWIW this was a twitter comment regarding this posting from friend, researchpuzzler Tom Brakke:

    "this seems impossible given how the farmers i know do business now"

  2. A lot of the farmers I know are "older" and aren't too tech-savvy but I'm sure that the next generation will be much more comfortable with it.

  3. I thought these numbers seemed low since all the farmers I interact with have computers and internet. But it is true that some of the older ones aren't that good at computer work, e.g., they can receive but almost never send email.

    Wondering how these numbers break down by farm type. I'll bet the larger farms/farmers that truly make their living in farming are fully computerized.

  4. Jason,
    Your comment definitely makes a statement about the progressive farming region in which you live. I could say the same about Boulder County, of course. The usda source does, in fact, go into which of the farms have greater internet access, and you are right about the larger ones.

    I do think it has been an important well-guided goal of the USDA to get internet into the remote farm regions as it is a quality of life issue for attracting younger people to farming. (Biden's idea IIRC) Where I grew up, it is still a challenge finding a decent service, but there are a couple of options available.