Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Computer Use in Agriculture: An Analysis of Great Plains Producers

Authors
item Ascough, James
item Hoag, D - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Frasier, W - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item McMaster, Gregory

Submitted to: Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Computers have changed a great deal in the past decade, yet the last survey of computer use in agriculture was performed in 1991. Furthermore, previous computer use surveys are not very extensive in coverage. In the summer and fall of 1996, we conducted a random survey of Great Plains producers. The purpose of the survey was to examine three questions: (1) who adopts computers and what are they and their farms like; (2) what are the characteristics of non-adopters; and (3) what tasks do producers want computers to perform? Our results confirmed that most of the variables earlier studies identified as influential on computer adoption still had an impact. These included farm size (acres and sales), ownership of livestock, farm tenure, and off-farm employment exposure to computer use. We found some question as to whether age or experience is a better predictor of computer adoption. Moreover, there also appears to be reason to question whether education has a significant impact on adoption.

Technical Abstract: Computers have changed a great deal in the past decade, yet the last survey of computer use in agriculture was performed in 1991. Furthermore, previous computer use surveys are not very extensive in coverage. In the summer and fall of 1996, we conducted a random survey of Great Plains producers. The purpose of the survey was to examine three questions: (1) who adopts computers and what are they and their farms like; (2) what are the characteristics of non-adopters; and (3) what tasks do producers want computers to perform? Our results confirmed that most of the variables earlier studies identified as influential on computer adoption still had an impact. These included farm size (acres and sales), ownership of livestock, farm tenure, and off-farm employment exposure to computer use. We found some question as to whether age or experience is a better predictor of computer adoption. Moreover, there also appears to be reason to question whether education has a significant impact on adoption.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014