Ted Haller, Senior Media Strategist, Rooster Strategic Solutions

There has been a lot of buzz lately that auto manufacturers are going to discontinue AM radio receivers in upcoming models. Once more this illustrates just how out of touch with rural America – particularly agricultural America in the Midwest – they are.

AM radio is an essential daily part of the American agricultural media landscape.  Multiple media studies done in 2022 all show the same results – a huge number of America’s farmers in the Midwest rely daily on AM radio stations. One study, which is the most thorough media study done against farmers from Ag Media Research in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, just completed their 2022 radio listening survey of 11,591 ranchers and farmers in 13 states. Their findings echo other studies done in 2022 that confirm the dependency on AM radio for Ag news and information.

Key Results

Nine out of the top 10 listened-to radio stations are AM, with just those 9 stations (“boomers” as they are called) alone reaching 22% of all the farmers/ranchers in the Midwest each week.

Twenty-seven out of the top 39 stations (69%) are AM stations and reach over 30% (just under 1 out of every 3) of all the farmers/ranchers in the Midwest each week.

In tracking radio listenership for a full year, the National Association of Farm Broadcasters found that…

  • Over 60% listen to AM radio for Ag news and information
  • Over 50% listen to FM radio for Ag news and information
  • 19% listened to Satellite radio for Ag news and information

The Bottom Line

It is doubtful that Midwest farmers and ranchers are going to give up their AM radio stations anytime soon regardless of the auto manufacturers discontinuing putting AM receivers in their new vehicles. The American farmer/rancher being one of the most resourceful groups in the country, will find a way to get AM radio in any vehicle they choose to buy – or possibly not buy.