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Tech-savvy farmers are going mobile

It appears the days of escaping to the tractor cab for a few air-conditioned hours away from the telephone are over on the farm.

A recent Farm Credit Canada survey found 81 per cent of farmers are now packing cellphones and they are rapidly investing in smartphones and tablets.

The FCC survey found 29 per cent of farmers now own smartphones, compared to 30 per cent for other Canadians.

Six per cent of Canadians and Canadian farmers alike own a tablet such as Apple’s iPad or RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook. Fifty-three per cent of producers who own a smartphone today plan to buy a tablet within two years.

“Canadian producers are innovative and have historically adopted new technology so we weren’t surprised by the survey results,” FCC chief operating officer Remi Lemoine said in a release last week.

“However, it does emphasize that organizations like ours and others which serve the complex and dynamic industry of agriculture need to be considering ways to make information increasingly technology friendly.”

Eighty-six per cent of respondents have high speed Internet.

However, 50 per cent of producers who don’t own a smartphone say they will never own one, while the other half expect to have one within the next two years.

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