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8150.0 - Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 2003-04  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/11/2005   
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This publication presents statistics on the use of computers and the Internet on farms in Australia. The data were obtained from questions included in the 2003-04 Agricultural Survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Information obtained was in respect of the year ended 30 June 2004. Comparative data from the 2002-03 Agricultural Survey have also been included.


The statistics in this publication relate to farms in scope of the 2003-04 Agricultural Survey, that is, farms with an estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of $5,000 or more. The 2003-04 survey consisted of a sample of approximately 28,000 farms (21% of all farms) operating in Australia at the end of June 2004.


Details of other ABS activities in the field of information technology statistics are available from the Innovation, Science and Technology Statistics theme page on the ABS web site <>. To access the theme page, select Themes from the menu on the home page and then Innovation, Science and Technology under the Industry heading. Details of other ABS publications relating to the use and production of information technologies in Australia can be found in paragraph 10 of the Explanatory notes.


The ABS welcomes comments and suggestions on data items for inclusion in future surveys. Please contact Nicholas Deverson, Innovation and Technology Branch, Australian Bureau of Statistics, GPO Box K881, Perth WA 6842, or phone Perth (08) 9360 5323.


For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Nicholas Deverson on Perth (08) 9360 5311.



  • In 2003-04, 55% (72,342 ) of the 130,526 Australian farms with an estimated value of agriculture earnings (EVAO) of $5,000 or more used a computer and 47% (or 61,082 ) used the Internet as part of their business operations. Both computer and Internet usage rates have increased by 1 percentage point from 2002-03.
  • Western Australia reported the highest proportion of farms using a computer for business operations (68%) and the highest proportion using the Internet for business operations (59%), while Victoria recorded the lowest proportions, with 51% and 41% respectively.
COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE ON FARMS, By state and territory - 2003-04
Graph: COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE ON FARMS, By state and territory—2003–04

  • The highest proportion of Internet use was recorded in Horticulture and fruit growing and Other livestock farming industries (52%), with the lowest use recorded in Grain, sheep and beef cattle farming and Dairy cattle farming (45%).
Graph: COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE ON FARMS, By industry—2003–04

  • There was a strong positive relationship between farm size, as measured by the estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO), and the use of a computer and the Internet in 2003-04. The proportion of larger farms using a computer and the Internet for business purposes was significantly higher than for smaller farms.
  • Generally, the more remote areas of Australia recorded higher proportions of farms using the Internet. Farms situated closer to Australia's capital cities tended to have lower Internet use.


The publication also contains further detailed information on the above points of interest as well other information relating to computer and Internet use, including:
  • Use of computers and the Internet, by region
  • Use of computers and the Internet, by farm size

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