Report shows more US farmers relying on Internet

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Associated Press

Posted on August 26, 2011 at 2:30 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 26 at 3:02 AM

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — The number of farmers with Internet access has dramatically increased, changing the way farms do business.

A new report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that within the past decade, the number of farms with an Internet connection increased by nearly 20 percentage points. More than half of America's farms now have access to the Internet, with farmers in the West and big farms with the highest access.

Farmers say the Internet has become an integral part of doing business. It's used to improve farming techniques, speed up the work flow, market crops, connect with customers and retailers, and fulfill a variety of regulatory requirements.

Some farmers still face barriers to using the new technology, including age, cost, the speed of the Internet connection and lack of time.

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