As part of an infrastructure plan, President Trump vowed expanded access to broadband internet in rural areas earlier this summer. Because of the digital divide between urban and rural Internet users, farmers can be left in the dust.
In 2017, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), created two new methods farmers could select for Internet access: fiber-optic and mobile internet service.
While these two options were used by a total of 25 percent of farms, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) connection is the most commonly used method of getting Internet access. 29 percent of farms use DSL, a decrease from 20 percent in 2015.
According to a release from USDA-NASS, 73 percent of farms have computer access. Of these farmers with computer access, 72 percent own or release a computer. 52 percent of crop producers use a computer for farm business compared to 42 percent of livestock producers