READERS of our farming pages are being urged to take the Great West Cork Farming Survey, 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 with the spectre of Brexit looming. How big a financial hit do they fear as a result of Britain leaving the European Union?
Climate action is also a big 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 and if they have a sustainable farming strategy in place.
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.
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?
We ask farmers how conscious they are of farm safety and if they feel they could do more to improve safety on their farms.
The survey closes on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018. It can be completed anonymously, but there is also an option to enter a competition to win a family day ticket to the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore next September.
The survey results will be revealed in The Southern Star West Cork Farming magazine, which will be in the shops on Thursday, March 15th.
· To take the Great West Cork Farming Survey, the URL is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WestCorkFarming