Survey: Farmers hopeful despite longer term uncertainty

More than three-quarters (76%) of farmers feel fairly or very optimistic about their business prospects in the next six months – despite the obvious challenges caused by a lack of summer rain.

That’s according to the Farming Sentiment Index, conducted in July by Farmers Weekly.

In the longer term, optimism is tempered by uncertainty no doubt linked to the general expectation that input costs are expected by most to increase over the next 12 months (89%), with fewer farmers (51%) anticipating any improvement in the price they are paid for their outputs.

See also: Economic prospects for UK agriculture in 2018

The potential effects of Brexit also appear to be on people’s minds, with a fairly even spread of opinion across our five-point scale giving a 2.79 mean score weighted slightly towards the negative end.

What is the Farming Sentiment Index?

The Farming Sentiment Index survey comprises five topical questions that are put to a panel of about 150 farmers each month.

Its aim is to get a sense of what the farming community is feeling, and to monitor the situation over time to see how the seasons, the political climate and the wide variety of highs and lows that come with a life in farming affect that mood.

About Farmers Weekly’s farmer panel

The panel is made up of about 150 farmers who take part in tasks such as polls and surveys like the Farming Sentiment Index, and have the chance to interact with the Farmers Weekly editorial team. Farmers who are interested in joining our panel should email the head of customer insight,