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computers, agriculture, economics


This study has demonstrated the feasibility of using microcomputers on the farm or in the home to solve problems involving manipulation of large quantities of data or detailed mathematical procedures. A microcomputer with at least 32,000 words of memory and magnetic disk storage is recommended for efficient data processing. This capacity is required for programs of the type presented in this publication. A printer with at least an 80 character line is an essential feature. It is frequently necessary to have hard copy printouts of financial statements or cash flows in order to document the farm financial position. Programs may be prepared to serve this purpose if a printer is available. Without the printer, it is necessary to prepare documents from data viewed on a video screen. Other important features to consider in a microcomputer system include the capability for expansion and hardware compatibility with larger computer systems. Additional work is needed to develop software that is necessary in order to make the microcomputer a useful tool. Some farmers are beginning to purchase microcomputers being produced commercially. As these farmers grow in numbers, there will be an increasing demand for programs to meet their needs.


Economics Research Report 80-lb