Computer Technology Adoption By Canadian Farm Businesses: An Analysis Based on the 2001 Census of Agriculture

Computer technologies have evolved very rapidly and, compared to other businesses, farm operations have been slow to adopt computer applications. This paper investigates the key characteristics of the farm operators and farm businesses that influence computer use. To that end, data from Statistics Canada's Census of Agriculture are used. The results of the logistic regression point out a trend in the adoption patterns of computer technology use. Farm operations where a computer is used in their management tend to be larger farms, have younger operators who are female, their operators work off the farm, are part-tenant/part owner operators and produce certified organic products. The impact of language spoken on the probability of adopting a computer and types of computer use varies across applications. As for provincial location of the operation, generally the Atlantic Provinces and Manitoba appear less likely to adopt the computer technology than Saskatchewan (= reference province). Finally, all other types of farm have a higher probability of adopting a computer and types of computer use than cattle operations. Although the proportion of farm businesses that have adopted a computer and the various types of computer applications is still far below 50%, further incremental use of computer softwares, mail and internet services increases the potential for better decision making and improved efficiency in farm businesses.

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Agriculture and Rural Working Paper 65

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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