The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) has published a valuable look at the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in Australian agriculture, including an industry breakdown showing technology uptake in the vegetable industry.

In this report, ICT is used to mean technology like computers, phones and radios, GPS devices, sensors and devices, and other hardware and software.

You can access the online summary here, or go directly to the PDF version of the report. We’ve also drawn out some of the most interesting findings from the research for this article.

  • Of the sectors involved in the survey, the Australian vegetable industry had the highest proportion of farms with an online presence. Around 9 per cent of vegetable farms have a website, while around 8 per cent of farms have social media, and 6 per cent have both – reflecting our industry’s increasing engagement with direct-to-consumer sales.
  • Overall, around 90 per cent of Australian vegetable farms are connected to the internet. This is linked to a general trend of larger farms being more likely to be connected to the internet, with our industry’s large population of small farms likely affecting the overall numbers.
  • While around 90 per cent of Australian vegetable farms use ICT for record-keeping and input management, they’re far less likely to use it for marketing and contract management (around 48 per cent) and managing production (around 27 per cent).
  • Roughly 60 per cent of our industry uses ICT for other information-gathering.

The data collected for this report was gathered through ABARES’ range of industry surveys, including its survey of the economic performance of Australian vegetable-growing farms, which is funded by Hort Innovation.

AUSVEG’s analysis of these statistics does not imply that ABARES is the source of these claims. Please refer to ABARES’ full report for exact numbers and attribution information.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 13 November 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!