The last print edition of Farm Business was published in September as new owner Lewis Business Media took the decision to turn a content-led farming publication into a wholly digital title for the first time.
According to publisher John Lewis, the move reflects changes in the way progressive farmers – the title’s target audience – obtain information.
“After researching the opinions and needs of this group, it became obvious that modern farm businesses consume most of their information and manage their organisations via electronic media, ie online,” he says. “That is why we decided to move to a fortnightly publication, supplied by email as a PDF, to be read on-screen, providing timely industry-leading analysis and comment.”
Editor Chris Lyddon, a Member of the Guild, welcomed the move: “I’ve always wanted to be in a position to tell readers what is going on, quickly; and to respond to it quickly. I’ve got right up to the last minute to make sure we’re reflecting the issues that affect our readers.”
Lewis Business Media, based in East Sussex, has diverse publishing activities that include print and digital magazines for the distribution trades, graduates, petrol retailing and sub-postmasters. The company bought Pig World in 2012 and acquired Farm Business and the rest of the Grove House Publishing portfolio earlier this year.
The fortnightly title, along with the Agronomist & Arable Farmer and Over the Counter magazines and related awards, joined Pig World, the paid-for monthly trade journal of the National Pig Association and its website www.pig-world.co.uk, to create a sizeable agricultural division.
The Farm Business package comprises the fortnightly digital magazine carrying features and comment, a new www.farmbusiness.co.uk website for news and market information, a blog offering fast comment on the news, and a twice-weekly news update delivered by email to give a heads-up on developing issues.
“Our target farmers, who are already familiar with the print magazine, are younger than the industry average, with many in their 40s,” says John Lewis. “They are familiar with technology and will not be fazed by the idea of reading our publication on screen – they are already getting most of their information that way.
“They want us to take a broader view, want to understand political developments and how they are likely to affect the industry, and they want thought-provoking writing on how policy will affect them and how the market for their products will develop.”
As Farm Business changed to digital, LBM’s farming division director Simon Lewis outlined a new strategy for another of its agricultural titles: “Pig & Poultry Marketing is being relaunched as Poultry Business with six editions a year from February 2017, complemented by the www.poultrynews.co.ukwebsite launched in May this year.”
Note: Details and contacts for all publications covering farming and other rural topics are listed in the Farming Media Centre directory on this website.