Barometer Takeaways: Rural Internet Access, Future of Farming

Nearly three out of ten farmers who responded to the most recent survey from Purdue University and CME Group cannot take full advantage of many applications and services which require reasonable quality internet access.

In a question asking farmers to characterize the quality of internet access at their farm, 12 percent of farmers said they did not have internet access. Sixteen percent characterized their access as “poor.” Three out of 10 respondents reported “high quality” internet access, and 41 percent chose “moderate.”

Each winter, surveyors ask farmers to project their annual growth rate over the next five years. Based on seven years of responses, researchers have found the percentage of producers who say they either have no plans to grow or plan to exit/retire in the next five years has been on the rise. In February 2016, 33 percent of survey respondents said they either planned to exit farming or had no plans to increase their operation’s size. This year, 53 percent said they fit into those categories.