Climate FieldView released its Perceptions of Canadian Agriculture Survey
By Diego Flammini
A majority of Canadians are confident in the country’s ag industry.
That’s one of the key findings in Climate FieldView’s 2022 Perceptions of Canadian Agriculture Survey.
The survey asked 1,528 Canadian adults who are members of the Angus Reid Forum, a group of individuals who participate in online surveys and questionnaires.
Of the surveyed group, four-in-five, or 80 per cent, “say they are confident in (farmers’) ability to continue meeting domestic food demand,” Climate FieldView said in a Dec. 12 release.
And Canadians are starting to understand the importance of agriculture.
The survey posed questions about extreme weather events in the past year. More people, especially in areas that experienced adverse weather, view agriculture differently.
“62 per cent say they have an increased appreciation of agriculture,” the release said. “This growth in appreciation is particular evident when looking at regions such as BC, where 76 per cent noted an increase in appreciation” after the floods of 2021.
While Canadians are appreciative of the work farmers do, the general public remains unaware of how the work is done.
In 2018, for example, a study from the Canadian Journal of Plant Science found that 96 per cent of surveyed Ontario producers are using some form of precision agriculture on their farms.
But in 2022, less than 30 per cent of Climate FieldView’s survey respondents could name a piece of ag technology.
“When what kinds of technology came to mind that farmers use in their operations, 26 per cent of respondents (397 people) could not cite any examples, and only 13 per cent of Canadians viewed agriculture as more innovative compared to other domestic industries,” the Dec. 12 release says.
And 16 per cent of Canadians don’t know how farmers support sustainability.
These results indicate the ag sector’s need to continue focusing on awareness campaigns.
"Right now, there is a gap in knowledge of the innovation on farms," said Matt Eves, Bayer’s digital farming lead for Canada. "But public awareness and support for these advancements will be crucial for the industry to continue to innovate to be more sustainable and resilient in order to face ongoing challenges in the future."