• THERE IS one positive to come out of the global downturn in business – shipping rates are now at a two-year low, which helps exports of bulk raw materials, such as wheat.

  • TIME TO focus this week on the world's oilseed market after looking into the reasons behind a burgeoning sugar market last week.

  • WARM DRY conditions meant that potato planters were out in force – at least for the first half of this week – and if all the tractor traffic on the road was anything to go by, a lot of spring work was carried out.

  • SPRING WEATHER has arrived at last in much of Scotland, with some dry sunny and breezy weather drying the land and allowing drills to get going at last with spring beans and barley.

  • MARCH reverted back to winter in many parts of Scotland with much snow last weekend – but, for us in the Borders, we had half-an-an inch of rain and a slight covering of snow.

  • JUST AS the daylight hours are lengthening so, too, does the list of commodity traders getting into wheat, once again pushing up prices.

  • IN ALL, 50mm or two inches of rain has fallen this month to date and only five days with no recorded rainfall.

  • NOW THAT 2011 is underway, we can turn our thoughts to the future.

  • SNOW, ICE and dangerous roads – where is it all going to end – and we haven’t even got to Christmas yet!

  • SNOW CONTINUES to wreak havoc with work, roads, problems feeding livestock and now there are concerns for frozen pipes as the Met office forecasts yet colder weather.