Terry Stevenson’s Agricultural Weblog

A blog about news and events occuring in Canadian agriculture

Farmers keep pace with advances in internet usage

with 2 comments


I had the opportunity this week to attend a presentation about an eBusiness in Agriculture Report that was hosted by the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association at the Cutten Club in Guelph. This report was completed by IPSOS FORWARD RESEARCH and is repeated every two years and represents more than 1000 farmers from the prairies, Ontario and Quebec. The base criterion was that the farmers had to have more than $50,000 in annual sales in order to participate in the survey.

The results demonstrated that farmers as a group were keeping pace with their internet usage as much as urban folks. The biggest single factor identified as the catalyst for farmers increased internet activity has been the rapid expansion of high-speed service, particularly in rural areas. There are still pockets where high-speed internet service is not available, but this is changing rapidly with almost all provinces having commitments to establish access for everyone by 2011.

Some interesting survey results (random)

1)      More than 53 per cent read a blog

2)      More than 53 per cent watch streaming video

3)      33 per cent visit social networks – chat rooms (modern coffee shops)

4)      More than 55 per cent reported purchasing products online in the last 12 months

5)      82 per cent use the internet to view their financial statements

6)      Farmers spend on average more than 8.5 hours a week on the internet

Some of the conclusions reached by researchers are that the internet is the mainstream tool for commercial farmers and e-mail is the most cost effective way for suppliers and or advertisers to reach them. Farmers are also looking for ways to electronically interact with their chosen suppliers providing convenience for them in business transactions.

As identified in the survey results farmers are avid readers of blogs and watching streaming video. As our newspapers continue to experience a downward trend in readership and advertisers and suppliers are increasingly finding it more difficult to reach their farm customers, the internet is proving to be fertile ground for them to expand their communication skills. These survey results confirm that not only do farmers adapt to new technology – they embrace it!


Written by terrystevenson

June 20, 2009 at 9:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Fascinating and effective summary, Terry. Thanks for sharing it, and for your succinct presentation.



    June 28, 2009 at 10:07 pm

  2. …and by the way, nice exposure for AGRIS in this week’s Ontario farmer (2C), in the piece about TOMcast.


    July 5, 2009 at 1:25 pm

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