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8150.0 - Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia, Jun 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 26/09/2001   
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MEDIA RELEASE

September 26, 2001
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
121/2001

Large growth in Internet use by Australian farms

Use of information technology by Australian farms continues to increase, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Almost 60 per cent of Australian farms with an estimated value of agricultural operations (EVAO) of $5,000 or more, used a computer at June 2000. This represents a 17 per cent increase in the number of such farms using a computer since March 1999 when the survey was last conducted.

An estimated 34 per cent (or 49,499) of the 146,371 farms in Australia used the Internet at June 2000.

While fewer farms had used the Internet than had used a computer, there was a 91 per cent increase in the number of farms using the Internet over the 15 months to June 2000. This significantly exceeded the growth in the use of computers for the same period.

There was a strong relationship between farm size and the use of a computer and the Internet. As farm size increased so did the proportion of farms using a computer and the Internet. For example, 25 per cent of farms with an EVAO less than $50,000 used the Internet compared with 68 per cent of those with EVAO of $1 million or more.

Of all the States and Territories at June 2000, the Northern Territory reported the highest proportion of farms using a computer (71 per cent) and the highest proportion of farms using the Internet (49 per cent), while New South Wales reported the lowest proportions, with 53 per cent and 31 per cent respectively.

The Poultry farming industry reported both the highest proportion of farms using a computer (72 per cent) and the highest proportion of farms using the Internet (45 per cent). The Grain, sheep and beef cattle farming industry had the lowest proportion of farms using a computer (55 per cent) as well as the lowest proportion of farms using the Internet (31 per cent).

Further information can be found in Use of Information Technology on Farms, Australia (cat. no. 8150.0). If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication contact the ABS Bookshop in your capital city.

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