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Advances in information technology can help local cooperatives remain competitive in a changing agricultural sector. This study examines the adoption and use of information systems by local farm supply and grain cooperatives and the relationships between information system characteristics and cooperative performance. Cooperative characteristics were found to have a significant effect on information selection, overall cost structure, and the allocation of information system expenses. Information system selection was also related to operating performance. In all size categories, farm supply cooperatives that owned computers had better operating performance than those that did not. In contrast, operating performance was not related to computer ownership in grain cooperatives.


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