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Farming goes online

(article, Culinate staff)

Farmers' markets and CSA-subscription farms have long relied on the Internet for marketing purposes. But farmers who aren't necessarily connected directly with their eaters are climbing on the virtual bandwagon too. 

As Gosia Wozniacka reported recently for the Associated Press, more than half of the country's farmers are online. And they're not just hanging out: 

bq. Farmers say they're increasingly using the Net to speed up their work flow, improve their farming techniques, market their crops, connect with customers and retailers, and fulfill a variety of regulatory requirements.

The relative dearth of high-speed Internet connections in rural areas, combined with the cost of buying electronic equipment, has prevented farmers from keeping up with the rest of America in Web habits. The number-one hindrance, however? Farming itself — which naturally takes up most of the day on a farm.