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A revolution on American farms? If it happens, it will be a peaceful, electronic one - involving a major increase in the number of farmers using computers to beef up profits and keep records. So far only a small portion of US farmers own computers.

But as computer prices drop and farmers can buy more useful programs, the US stands ''at the edge of a vast revolution in use of computers'' by farmers, according to researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. They also predict an ''explosive growth'' in computer programs.

And electronic-oriented farmers are already making use of up-to-date marketing information from the US Department of Agriculture. USDA is beginning to send the information by telephone lines to public television stations. There it is scrambled and broadcast to home TVs, where farmers who have purchased a decoder can read it.

Knowing when to sell is a key to profits in farming.m

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