What Insights Can You Expect from a Farmer Focus Group?

Two farmers talk in a field about farmer focus groups

Farmers have opinions and, coupled with experience and science, they use those opinions to guide their farming decisions. From thoughts on the best fertilizers, feed and seeds to use to beliefs about climate change and land use, the views they have influence the actions they take. It’s their livelihoods at stake, after all. Businesses, then, can — and should — capitalize on farmers’ expertise. With collaboration between and among all the players within the agriculture market, the industry as a whole can develop superior products and processes, as well as better anticipate future trends and issues. Here are some of the insights you can expect from a farmer focus group:

Awareness of Behavior

A farmer focus group permits a more thorough examination of farming practices, allowing farmers to detail how and when and where they use ag resources. An in-person exploration of behavior is often preferable to a purely quantitative study (that relies purely on self reporting) because it can more fully explore the specific courses of action a farmer takes in his or her daily life. Moderators can delve into circumstance and record exact patterns of behavior, gaining insight so that a business can really pinpoint and reach its target audience

Awareness of Attitude

Perhaps most importantly, though, a well-recruited and well-managed farmer focus group will help shed light on why farmers act the way they do. By exploring their attitudes and beliefs through discussion and group interplay, researchers are better able to probe and eventually understand the reasons they behave in a certain way. With this knowledge, ag businesses can improve upon their own products and services and/or better forecast a new product’s potential reception within the market.

Awareness of Preferences

A farmer focus group can also provide an awareness of farming preferences, allowing moderators to suggest and farmers to dream about the possible products and processes that could make the entire industry more efficient or even more profitable. This allows businesses to design future products and services that better match farming need.

Awareness of Concerns

In addition, a farmer focus group allows farmers to communicate their concerns, providing a sympathetic audience with which they can brainstorm, vent about and share their frustrations, perceived threats and interests. Not only does this encourage the perception that the business sponsoring the focus group is interested in and listens to farmers’ problems (thus, prompting the farmers’ loyalty), it provides the opportunity for those businesses to potentially address them! 

Awareness of Knowledge

Of course, a farmer focus group is a great way to investigate the level of awareness that farmers have of a certain product or issue. Overall brand recognition can also be reviewed, revealing whether or not farmers understand who and what is in the market and how they can utilize each to make their work easier and/or more effective. Businesses can use the information to further increase their market exposure and/or tweak their marketing efforts.

Ready to Learn More?

To learn more about utilizing a farmer focus group to gain the insights you need for your own agriculture business, please contact our team at Communications for Research. As a full-service market research firm specializing in the agriculture industry, we have access to over 30,000 people in our insights community and can reach over one million targeted contacts with specific equipment ownership, operation type, and occupation details. 

You might also wish to download our free eBook, The Ag Researcher’s Almanac, for additional information about conducting market research in the farming industry.

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