A federal report finds more farmers hopping on the information superhighway. The U-S-D-A’s Economic Research Service conducted a survey of about two million farms and ranches nationwide.E-R-S spokesman Mitch Morehart in Washington, D.C. says about 600-thousand farm is now on-line and are doing transactions via the World Wide Web. While some people kid farmers about being out of touch with the modern world, Morehart says the opposite is often true when it comes to farmers and computers. He says farmers are quick to adopt computers in their operations.Of the farmers who used the Internet for transactions in 1999, the U-S-D-A survey found more than 40-percent purchased crop inputs on-line, one-third purchased livestock inputs and one-quarter reported selling livestock. Morehart says he’s not sure if the farmers who were on-line were using the technology to turn a bigger profit. He says that’s the next focus of their research, but he says it’s obvious that the farmers tried computers to improve their operations. Morehart had no numbers specifically for Iowa.
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