Newspapers hang on to a place in UK farmers hearts but the age of digitalisation roars loud & clear


| General

| Aug 17, 2022

Woman using phone

Is the farmer in your life spending more and more time on his phone? The Covid 19 pandemic has escalated the use of technology in every household with screen times hitting new highs. As we feel our way back to reality, today we look at the impact the Covid 19 pandemic may have had in transitioning farmers from getting their farming news from old school print publications such as newspapers, magazines etc. to getting it through the web, apps and other online sources.

For many farmers across the UK, mobile phones have become the number one port of call for news, connecting with friends & much much more but what are the leading apps, web pages etc. that farmers use nowadays and has the day of papers, magazines etc. been left behind? Herdwatch’s latest member survey has all the answers!


Herdwatch, the number 1 farm management software across the UK conducts a survey of 1300 of their members every year on a variety of topics. This survey revealed that despite the advancing technology and increased screen time, newspapers, magazines and other print materials still have a place in farmers lives across the UK.

73% of farmers surveyed are still buying newspapers magazines etc. to keep up to date with all the latest farming news and events locally, nationally and worldwide! However this figure is down 3% from the same survey in 2021 showing that print materials are declining slightly, but what are the most popular publications that farmers are purchasing? The surveys shows that The Farmers Weekly & The Farmers Guardian lead the way as the most purchased publications amongst UK farmers.


The decline of print publications has no doubt been impacted by the easy access to the same news copy amongst websites, apps etc. 89% of UK farmers now use websites and apps to gain access to farming news & information with 65% of farmers claiming they use websites and apps at least once a day if not more, this is up a staggering 18% on 2021 showing the increased dependence on the web when it comes to farming news.

What are the leading online websites/apps that farmers are using?


That’s Farming leads the way in the most used online website that farmers are searching however there is a wide spread of websites and apps being used to access news. As the two graphs show, some of the leading newspapers/magazines also have a strong presence online.

Social media has become a necessity in farmers lives with only 2% of farmers surveyed stating they don’t use any social media at all. Social media’s offering knows no limits with great resources such as farming groups where like minded farmers can ask questions, discuss the current state of the farming environment and even buy/sell cattle, sheep etc. Over 82% of UK farmers use Facebook with forums such as “The British Farming Forum” holding over 55,000 members. Other platforms such as YouTube & WhatsApp also hold a strong presence in farmers lives with 84% of farmers using WhatsApp the free messaging service & 60% using YouTube to access farming content. Over 83% of UK farmers say they use social media at least on a daily basis with 17% using it a couple of times a week.


We can see from the survey results that farmers are adapting with the times and the use of online digital assets has become a key factor for UK farmers to access news, hold discussions and so on. However although the growth of social media, websites etc. is very evident, old habits die hard and there is certainly still a place for print publications such as newspapers, magazines etc. in farmers lives.

Herdwatch is the No.1 Farm Management app across the UK with over 17,000 members using the app to save time on farm paperwork and make better decisions. You can download the FREE app today from the app store or play store or to learn more simply visit or call 02037732763.



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