Survey: Farmer respondents single out ‘biggest threat to farming’

Farmer respondents have singled out what they see as the biggest threat to farming in Ireland in the ‘state of the nation survey’ – conducted with almost 3,000 participants in recent days by AgriLand and Empathy Research.

2,921 respondents participated in this broad-ranging, open (online) survey, conducted through AgriLand.

The survey opened on Thursday, September 12, and closed on Monday, September 16.

‘Biggest threat’

One of the questions asked to participants was: “Which of the following do you see as the biggest threat to farming in Ireland?”

This was accompanied with a list of options including: Brexit; rural crime; climate change / unpredictable weather; lack of successors for the farm; lack of interest from youth to get into farming; price you receive for produce; beef prices; farming not being profitable anymore; insurance costs; competition from foreign suppliers; lack of support/incentive from the government; the reduction in consumption of meat; and the reduction in the consumption of dairy products.

A combined 70% of respondents highlighted profitability and product price as the biggest threat to farming. This comprised: farming not being profitable anymore (29%); the price received for produce (28%); and beef prices (14%).

Brexit was the next most popular option as the sector’s biggest threat; 7% of participants highlighted this.

Rural crime and insurance costs were least popular, with 0% of farmer respondents selecting these.

Climate change, lack of government support and a lack of interest from youth were all chosen by 4% of partakers, while competition from foreign suppliers and the reduction in consumption of meat were selected by 3% and 2% of participants respectively.

Finally, a lack of successors for the farm and the reduction in the consumption of dairy products were highlighted by 1% of respondents each.

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