Computer age reaches farms

30 April 1999

Computer age reaches farms

COMPUTERS are becoming a more common sight in the farm office, according to a recent report from Produce Studies Research, part of the Produce Studies Group.

The study found that 43% of the 500 arable farming businesses questioned owned a computer, 11% higher than in 1997. And, say farmers, that will rise to 53% over the next two years.

Computers were most popular among those businesses with stock and on larger arable units in the east. They were widely used for word processing, farm records, accounts and spreadsheets.

Almost half of the machines had been bought after 1996. And 29% of all owners were using the internet, with two-thirds of the rest expecting to follow within five years.

Of those with internet access, 73% used it for communicating via e-mail, 59% for getting weather in-formation and 50% to get product information from distributors. Tracking commodity prices and accessing technical bulletins were re-garded as important growth areas. &#42

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