Time is the highest source of stress for farmers, according to a new study by NUI Galway and Teagasc.

The findings were presented by Denis O’Hora, Behavioural Scientist, the All-Island Farm Safety Conference held in Monaghan today (Thursday).

Financial worries and job stress contribute to mental health and injury expectations, the study found.

The second highest cause of stress in farmers was bureaucracy followed in third by unpredictabilities such as weather and markets.

Another finding of the study was that social support is crucial in improving mental health.

The 121 farmers surveyed were dairy farmers who attend Teagasc meetings regularly and were a well-supported group, O’Hora said.

He also highlighted that 57% of accidents happen to dairy farmers.

The study found that more social support reduces stress and reduces injury risk.

“Social support is helping to reduce anxiety and therefore injuries.

“Also, how much you worry about your finances are a threat to stress and mental health.

“If a farmer is operating under stress mental health will disimprove.

“The figures on farm deaths make for stark reading,” O’ Hora said.

O’Hora said that self-care is very important, often farmers that are least careful about themselves.

He said that financial threat and stress should be tackled by offering farmers more training and support.