‘What do you be doing on that phone anyway?’ – Herdwatch farmer survey reveals all

‘Is the internet all things to all farmers?’ ‘Why are they always stuck in their phone?’

Herdwatch said that it surveyed 1,100 farmers recently to find out how they interact with news/media. It says that the results reveal that farmers are “hungry for news and information” and that they are “active across multiple media platforms”.

Survey results

It found that 97% of those surveyed use online websites for news and information, while 92% use social media.

According to Herdwatch, respondents said that AgriLand is the website of choice; 87% use it to access farming news and information. It was significantly ahead of the competition; just 31% use the nearest competitor.

30% of respondents said that they use Facebook groups to access farming news.

And, of those who access online farming news (97% of all respondents), 87% said that they use it every day or multiple times a day.

Social media

The Herdwatch survey results also revealed that 92% of respondents use social media. 62% apparently commented that they are “never off it” or that they are “on it all the time”.

81% use the WhatsApp messaging app to communicate with family and friends, but also to engage in farmer groups where they can seek and receive advice.

More than half of respondents use Facebook to stay connected with friends; half use YouTube to watch videos.

One in three use Snapchat. Interestingly, 54% of those farmers who use Snapchat are over 35 years-of-age. Twitter and Instagram are also popular; one in four use those.


Commenting on the results, Mervyn Harvey from Herdwatch said: “Farmers’ engagement with online news and social media is very high. This can help to reduce rural isolation, especially during the current [Covid-19] crisis.

Farmers are doing an amazing job – keeping our food supply chains going right now.

“We continue to do our bit to help, with our Herdwatch Covid Cattle Exchange. It has already helped hundreds of farmers to buy or sell animals, while marts are severely constrained.”