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Strong farm interest in mobile technology


December 20, 2011
By Farm Credit Canada

Dec. 20, 2011 – Canadian farmers are keeping up with the times when it comes to the use of mobile technology.

Dec. 20, 2011 – Canadian farmers are keeping up with the times when it comes to the use of mobile technology.

Farmers have been as quick to purchase a smartphone (29 per cent) as other Canadians (30 per cent), according to a recent Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Vision panel study. It can be found at www.fccvision.ca/research.

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It’s the same story for tablet use. Six per cent of producers own a tablet, as do six per cent of Canadians.

Tablet adoption is expected to be highest among current smartphone users. More than half (53 per cent) of Canadian producers who own a smartphone today plan to buy a tablet within two years. With a strong web connection, these devices can turn vehicles and farm machinery into a mobile office where producers can conveniently place orders, market products, and monitor weather, interest rates and grain markets, for example.

“Getting access to relevant financial data and economic information can be a real advantage in a fast-moving marketplace,” says Jean-Philippe Gervais, FCC senior agriculture economist. “Innovation has always been a major driver of profitability in agriculture and mobile technology is just one more tool available to gain a competitive edge.”

OTHER SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS

• One third of producers (36 per cent) will try new technology once they hear positive feedback from their peers.

• 81 per cent of Canadian producers own a cell phone.

• Smartphones are owned most often by producers under 40 (41 per cent) compared to their peers over the age of 40 (26 per cent).

• Of the one third of producers who own a smartphone (29 per cent), the majority are using a Blackberry (63 per cent), while 24 per cent are using an iPhone.

• 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.

• 86 per cent of respondents have high speed Internet.

“The survey is another reminder that agriculture is a progressive industry,” says FCC President and CEO Greg Stewart. “The agriculture and agri-food industry employs one in eight people in Canada and feeds people around the world through exports to nearly 200 countries. New technology and innovation are going to continue to be a strategic advantage in helping to ensure that Canada remains a leader in the new global knowledge economy.”


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