READERS of our farming pages are being urged to take the Great West Cork Farming Survey 2020, which is currently being conducted online by The Southern Star.
We are looking to find out what the farmers of the area – full-time and part-time and across all age groups – think of the issues of the day and the challenges that face them as we enter an uncertain period for the agriculture and food industries caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, with Brexit still lurking in the background and a possibly less-favourable new CAP regime looming. How big a financial hit do they fear as a result of all of these?
Climate action is still a live issue for farmers and the survey seeks local farmers’ attitudes to it, asking to what extent they feel criticisms of farmers over greenhouse gas emissions are justified. We also ask about price volatility and if they think the government and the EU are doing enough to protect farm incomes.
Another important question is whether farmers feel adequately rewarded for all the hours they work. We also ask farmers how conscious they are of farm safety and if they feel they could do more to improve safety on their farms.
A lot of the time, farmers are working on their own and the survey asks if they ever or often feel isolated and if this has an effect on their mental wellbeing. Are there adequate supports to help them deal with mental health issues if they arise?
The survey closes on Friday, May 29th, 2020. It can be completed anonymously, but there is also an option to enter a competition to win four tickets to the 6th annual West Cork Farming Awards gala luncheon run by The Southern Star and the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery.
The survey results will be revealed in The Southern Star that will be in the shops