JEFFERSON CITY — The FCC’s Office of Economics and Analytics has released a new paper titled “Impact of Broadband Penetration on U.S. Farm Productivity.” This novel report finds that broadband availability has significant positive impacts on crop yields and other farm production metrics.
The working paper analyzes the impact of increased broadband availability in rural areas on the productivity of U.S. farms, drawing on both FCC data on broadband availability by census tract and U.S. Department of Agriculture data on agricultural productivity by county, for key row crops like corn, cotton, hay, and soybeans. The working paper finds statistically significant effects of increased broadband service, both in terms of lower costs (fertilizer, fuel, seed, etc.) and higher production (yield). To cite one striking result, the analysis finds that a 1% increase in the number of 25 Mbps/3 Mbps or better broadband connections per 1,000 households is associated with a 3.6% increase in corn yields, as measured in bushels per acre.
To learn more about the FCC’s broadband impact report, click here!
— Missouri Department of Agriculture
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