Public support for British agriculture has increased for the fifth year running, underlining the importance of the sector in the UK, according to the NFU.
The OnePoll survey, commissioned by the union, found 69 per cent had a favourable or very favourable view of British farmers – a 9 per cent rise since 2012.
The survey also found 92 per cent thought farming was important to the economy and 91 per cent thought it was important to see a productive farming industry.
When asked if they thought farmers had a beneficial impact on the countryside, 77 per cent agreed.
They also believed support payments were vital for farm businesses, with 68 per cent stating payments should continue.
NFU president Meurig Raymond said: “The public support is extremely important to the British farming industry – a message which will not go unnoticed to politicians and retailers.
“The survey results show the public does understand the importance of farming to the economy as the bedrock of this sector; the food and farming industry is the biggest manufacturing sector and the fact people are noticing how vital this is a massive asset to us, as farmers.
“And the recent farming crisis has demonstrated the importance of financial support to farming; clearly this has been understood by public.”
Mr Raymond said the farmer favourability statistics were testament to the industry and highlighted the 250,000 people who visited farms across the country as part of this year’s Open Farm Sunday.
“Without this event and the positive attitude from farmers, many thousands of people may not be active supporters of our sector,” he added.
More than 26,000 people have signed up to the union’s Back British Farming Campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the UK’s agricultural industry and encourage consumers to buy British.