Web and Twitter increasingly keep farmers up to date in the field, survey shows

British farmers are ahead of their Continental counterparts on mobile computing and also increasingly use social media in their work, a survey by supplier Syngenta has found.

Edwina Mullins - image: Syngenta
Edwina Mullins - image: Syngenta

A full 64 per cent of UK farmers now have an internet-enabled smartphone, compared to an EU average of 53 per cent.

"There has clearly been a general increase of internet usage by farmers over the last five years, but we have experienced a very sharp rise in the past year, especially through mobile phones," said Syngenta's digital marketing manager Edwina Mullins.

Over 40 per cent of traffic to the Syngenta website is now via phone or tablet, she pointed out, adding: "In the past farmers had primarily been looking at digital information in the morning or evening. Now we see they are looking at emails and viewing the website throughout the day."

Social media site Twitter is also emerging as a serious tool to help farmers, she said. "It enables them to instantly trade good practices and spread information, and has pioneered a revolution in the way they can track the development of pests and diseases through other farmers' updates."

Syngenta's own technical account on Twitter (@SyngentaCropsUK) already has over 4000 followers, conveying information and agronomy tips to the sector.

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