Wisconsin Farmers Computer Use

A new study out this week from the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service shows that Wisconsin farmers’ increasing Internet and computer usage outpaces the national average. The survey finds that Wisconsin farms with internet access went up five points to 72 percent from 2009 to 2013; nationwide, only 67 percent of farms have Internet access. Additionally, 73 percent of Wisconsin’s farmers own or lease a computer, an increase of two points from 2011, and five percent higher than the national average of 68 percent.


 “More and more Wisconsin farmers are highly wired from the combine to the kitchen table,” said Thad Nation, Executive Director of Wired Wisconsin. “America’s Dairyland is leading the way in adopting new technology and methods to farming like accessing new markets, using technology to maximize yields, and conducting new online marketing activities.”


 Wisconsin farmers are also rapidly moving towards a digital future. In 2009, 28 percent of Wisconsin farmers with Internet access still used a dialup connection, while only 11 percent had wireless Internet access. However, by 2013, only three percent of Wisconsin farmers with Internet access continue to use a dialup connection, while 32 percent now have a wireless connection. This 21 point increase in wireless connections outpaces the 11 point increase in wireless users nationwide over the past five years.


“The move by Wisconsin farmers to embrace faster wireless connections is part of a larger digital revolution that truly is reaching into every corner of the state,” said Nation. “The transition to an all-digital telecommunications system is helping transform everything from the way a child learns in Milwaukee to the way a farmer plants and harvests their fields in Prairie du Chien.”



A copy of the new study from the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service can be found at: http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/current/FarmComp/FarmComp-08-20-2013.pdf