Report Shows More Colorado Farmers Using Computers
A new report shows Colorado farmers beating the national average when it comes to accessing computers and the Internet. But just under half are actually using them for business.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture surveys farmers every other year to find out who has access to computers, and who’s using them for marketing and other business purposes.
In Colorado, 79 percent of farmers reported access to computers. But only 47 percent of that group is actually using laptops and desktops throughout the workday.
“I think it’s important to see where the trends are in how farms are accessing [computers]. Also we look at how much Internet they use for business, and what the percentage is over time,” says Dale Hawks with the National Agricultural Statistics Service. “That percentage has been increasing.”
Hawks says the West is leading other regions in almost category with computer and Internet access. According to the report, the South is lagging furthest behind the national average.
The USDA has applied millions to increase broadband usage in rural areas since 2009. Among other advantages, officials say the Internet gives small businesses access to national and international markets.