Federated Farmers gets a few grumbles from members about how many different subjects we send out surveys on as we look to build hard data and ‘real farmer experience’ into our submissions and advocacy work. But one group of farmers in particular recognises the value of that mission by responding to a monthly survey on everything from pasture growth and rainfall to farm input cost changes and the general mood of farmers in their local district.
Feds GIS analyst Siobhan Wakeling has been collecting and interpreting data from the monthly On-Farm Outlook Survey since November last year. Feds members can access the survey results on our website (search ‘On-Farm Outlook’).
While a key aim is to develop an up-to-date database with records of the feed situation across the 24 Feds provinces, other questions help the Federation understand what else is happening on farm, such as local resilience to severe adverse weather events.
Julie Geange, national manager industry support and adverse events, says with the same geographically spread respondents answering the questions, there is consistency to the sample and Feds is building up a sound baseline of information that will help identify trends and enable comparison of experiences for a particular time of the year with the same period in years past.
“Our policy people use the information when making submissions and engaging with government departments and decision-makers,” Julie said.
There’s always room for more farmers willing to fill in the monthly survey. Anyone interested should email SWakeling@fedfarm.org.nz
Just to give an idea of the depth of information gleaned, on the topic of delays the June survey found: “Fewer properties are facing delays when trying to get stock off farm to meat processors, now at 46% of farms compared with May’s 57% and Aprils 73%.
“Delays with getting general work completed has been increasing over the past few months, and was at 53% of farms in June, compared 50% in May and 39% in April. Outside of meat processors, these delays were commonly related to; builders (27%) and electricians (19%), followed by fencers, mechanical services, and transport (all at 17%).”