Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Farming Propaganda

Spotted a Facebook post maintaining 58% of farmers are voting OUT. The poll was conducted by Farmer's Weekly and comprised 577 farmers who responded.

If you look up how many farmers there are in the UK you'll find this:

"Despite the relatively large number of farms in the UK, the majority of the agricultural area is farmed by a much smaller number of farmers. Some 41,000 farms (~14% of the total) are larger than 100 hectares and account for over 65% of the agricultural area."

Now on that basis there are roughly 292k farms in the UK - and that's just farms and not farmers. But assuming it's farmers then Farmer's Weekly's claim that the overwhelming number of farmers are voting OUT is based on a self-selecting group, not a scientific representation, comprising 0.02% of possible farmers (and not all readers of Farming Weekly are necessarily farmers - they could be people who sell things to farmers and hence have a vested interest in knocking out the EU competition), That's not a poll, it's propaganda.

It's also exactly the opposite of what the NFU maintains.

Be careful of misleading headlines and spin, on both sides.

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