We’ve been doing a quick survey on farmers in the Aspectus office this week in a bid to fully understand this vertical market and how UK farmers engage with the press.

One interesting thing we noticed was that, unlike many verticals where rival publications fight it out for a share of the readers, farmers are a news hungry bunch and tend to read everything they can. Pretty much everyone we spoke to read both the key publications, Farmers Weekly and Farmers Guardian along with a large selection of more specialist titles, focusing on energy and renewables production, dairy farming, or cattle management depending on the specifics of their business.

Picking up a title from the newsstand or receiving it via post remain the key ways of obtaining the publication for most farmers, although many reported on a recent surge in online activity.

Farmers have sourced the best purchasing deals online for many years. However, news consumption has lagged behind. Change is creeping in though. Not only do most key publications now have an online service, but interaction with readers is increasing. The Farmers Guardian is running online Q&As and Farmers Weekly is ramping up its online interaction with forums and newsletters.

Farmers Weekly also told us that its page impressions have now hit more than 3.5 million. Does this mean that farmers’ purchasing habits are moving away from the newsstands?

As the farming press is one of the most successful trade publishing sectors, only time will tell if online will eclipse print. One thing is for sure though, it’s an exciting press to work with!

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