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Farming with Computers

Over 43% of farmers now have a computer and the rate of adoption is growing significantly according to a Lincoln University national survey of computer use on farms.

"Eventually every property will need a computer to carry out normal business," says Dr Peter Nuthall, Director of Lincoln University's Management Systems Research Unit, who conducted the survey with Research Assistant Craig Benbow.

All forms of primary production were included and a similar survey in 1993 showed that 24% of farmers had computers. In 1986 the figure was 6%.

"Use of computers is increasingly focusing managers' minds on the business and economic aspects of production. The exposure of New Zealand producers to world markets means that increasing farmers' awareness of the costs and returns inherent in all decisions is crucial to the well-being of farm families," says Nuthall.