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In 2013 Bayer CropScience commissioned a global consumer survey that revealed common perceptions about agriculture and food production. That study showed that around three-fourths of consumers want stricter food production laws and regulations, as well as food grown without pesticides.
To identify how those findings impact American farmers, Bayer CropScience commissioned another study one year later. Results of that study were presented at the 2014 Farm Progress Show.
The study showed that, while consumers are concerned with modern farming practices and have a negative perception of GMOs, they trust farmers. In fact, consumers ranked farmers as the most trusted source of information for agricultural food production. That trust extends to farming practices, as nearly three-fourths of consumers react at least somewhat positively toward technologies farmers use to keep food available and affordable. In addition, while consumers have a negative perception of GMOs, they support the benefits provided by the technology.
Other research shows alignment between consumers and farmers as it relates to the environment. Just over half of consumers want farming practices that help improve the environment. Likewise, in a poll of 2,700 farmers at the Farm Progress Show, just over 50 percent listed water quality as the sustainability initiative that means the most to them.
All in all, the studies show that the work of farmers and industry stakeholders—including Bayer—is having a positive impact on consumers. But the work is not done—greater effort is needed by all farmers and stakeholders to engage with consumers to demonstrate the benefits of modern agriculture and assuage concerns over technological advancements that benefit production of more available and affordable food.
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