The driving force behind our product development has always been the needs of people who work the land. When producers talk, we listen.
To produce our State of the Global Farmer report, we surveyed over 600 farmers and ranchers across three continents. Combined with the insights we’ve gained from our user base of 11,500 active producers, it provides a fascinating overview of the industry today and what’s coming in the future.
Below are just a few of the insights that stood out.
Top 3 takeaways from the producers in the United States
Direct to consumer is trending hot
With a shared concern over packer consolidation, producers from across the United States are seizing control of the supply chain. 38.5% of US ranchers surveyed sell some or all of their cattle direct to consumers. That compares to 13.4% in Australia and 23.7% in the UK.
Smaller US producers see opportunities to stand apart from the pack. Value-added premiums and a commitment to telling “the where and how” of the food production story will help drive a shift towards direct-to-consumer marketing. To help producers add value to their cattle, join AgriWebb for their upcoming webinar focused on Beef Marketing Innovation.
Technology innovation is on the rise
Over 65% of US respondents believe tech adoption is vital to their success in the future. In the US, areas where current tech adoption is strongest include digital record keeping (81.3%), accounting and finance (75.4%), animal management (55.4%), business planning and management (41.5%), and grazing management (40%).
Carbon farming is more talk than action at the moment
While the hype around carbon farming practices abounds, 38.5% of US respondents said carbon was “not a priority,” while only 4.6% noted carbon sequestration practices and carbon market participation as a “top priority.”
Only 23% of US producers surveyed are involved in or actively preparing to participate in carbon and other natural resource markets. Significantly 27% “want to, but don’t know how to get started.”
Top 3 takeaways from Australian producers
Australia leads the way in tech adoption
Australia is a world leader in overall tech adoption, and producers embrace tech solutions across their operations. One factor influencing this is the vast size of outback livestock enterprises; on stations that take days to cross, technology allowing remote monitoring of both animals and resources means a considerable saving in labor costs.
A stand-out example is water monitoring technology, such as FarmBot. 23.4% of Australian producers surveyed use the tech, compared to 9.2% in the US and 5.3% in the UK.
The future’s looking bright
In recent years Australian producers have battled fire and flood – some still are – but, compared to their US and UK counterparts, they still have the most positive outlook. With cattle prices breaking records and demand outstripping supply, most anticipate above-average cattle prices for the foreseeable future.
Australian respondents are by far the most confident about the market for their meat – only 9.6% were “very concerned” about prices, compared to 21.5% in the US and 24.4% in the UK.
Producers are keen to tell their story
Australian cattle producers see technology that increases efficiency on-farm providing benefits further down the supply chain, as it allows increased transparency for consumers. They are proud of their produce and look forward to buyers being more informed about the provenance of the meat they purchase.
54.4% of survey respondents said they were currently involved in value-added or compliance programs. These programs can bolster environmental claims and reassure consumers that animal welfare standards are upheld.
Top 3 takeaways from producers in the United Kingdom Carbon farming isn’t the future; it’s here and now
While many producers in other regions have a “wait and see” attitude to carbon farming, it is very much front of mind in the UK. More than 50% of UK livestock producers said carbon sequestration and/or carbon markets are a priority. Only 13% of UK respondents said it wasn’t a priority, compared with 30.8% of Australian respondents and 38.5% in the US.
Producers are working to turn around their PR problem
A significant worry for UK producers is public and media perception. 29% of UK producers are “very concerned” about the issue, compared to just 12.3% in the US and 17.6% in Australia.
48.1% of surveyed UK farmers are in value-added or compliance programs, with another 19.8% interested in becoming involved. These programs can play a vital role in proving to skeptical consumers that animal welfare is always top of mind for producers.
UK prioritized genetics heavily
Genetics are important to producers worldwide, but it is of most concern in the UK, where 37% of farmers said it was “extremely important” for their operation.
As in all regions, the traits that UK producers are most concerned with relate to reproductive performance or fertility, which isn’t surprising considering the ramifications for profitability.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into our 2022 State of the Global Farmer Report to uncover more insights and predictions for the year ahead, you can do so by downloading the guide here.