8150.0 - Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 1998-99  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/10/2000   
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  • Australian farms are using information technology more (Media Release)

MEDIA RELEASE

October 06, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
131/2000

Australian farms are using information technology more

Australian farms are making greater use of information technology, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
  • Almost half (49%) of 147,181 Australian farms with an estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of $5,000 or more owned or used a computer at March 1999, a 27% increase over the number of farms using a computer at March 1998.
  • Just under 18% of farms were using the Internet at March 1999, a 65% increase over the number a year before.
  • Just under 4% of farms shopped on the Internet during the year to March 1999.

There was a strong relationship between farm size and the use of information technology, with the proportion of farms using computers and the Internet generally increasing with the level of EVAO.
  • Computer use increased from 39% to 84% when comparing farms with an EVAO of less than $25,000 to those with an EVAO of $1 million or more.
  • The pattern for Internet use was similar, with Internet use increasing from around 14% to 42% as the level of EVAO increased.
  • Around 5% of farms with an EVAO of less than $25,000 shopped on the Internet. This was around double that for farms with an EVAO of between $25,000 and $249,999 where only 2% to 3% of farms had Internet shopping. This may be due to non-agricultural influences on the farms in the lowest EVAO category. However, for farms with an EVAO above $250,000, the proportion of farms undertaking Internet shopping rose in line with a higher EVAO (from 4% to 8%).

AUSTRALIAN FARMS USING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY BY SIZE OF FARM

Farm size
(EVAO)
Number of farms
(no.)
Computer use
(%)
Internet use
(%)
Internet shopping
(%)

Less than $25,000
34,792
39.0
14.6
5.0
$25,000 - $49,999
18,680
39.8
15.6
*2.8
$50,000 - $99,999
23,815
41.3
13.5
2.4
$100,000 - $149,999
16,052
47.2
15.5
*2.6
$150,000 - $249,000
21,677
56.1
17.6
3.2
$250,000 - $499,999
19,601
63.9
22.6
4.4
$500,000 - $999,999
8,755
72.1
27.5
5.3
$1 million or more
3,810
84.1
41.6
8.3
All farms
147,181
49.3
17.6
3.8

Note: Percentages are of farms in relevant EVAO category.
* indicates that estimate has a relative standard error between 25% and 50%.


Further details (including levels of access by region) can be found in Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, 1998-99 (cat. no. 8150.0) available from ABS Bookshops. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS bookshop in your capital city.