While the warm, drouthy blink of spring-like weather which we were lucky enough to enjoy at the start of the week might have been all too brief, it did give us a chance to make a wee foray into the spring sowing.

And while it’s disappointing that things have deteriorated a bit since, even such a short taste of spring was enough to boost the spirits.

With a lot of water lying on the early ploughed lighter land it was going to take a good deal of persuasion to encourage it to dry out, for while the surface water might have dried up, a good deal of the stuff was still held just below the surface in the sponge-like grip of the siltier parts of fields.

So it was the later ploughed stuff which let us get a start – and while some of it took a fair bit of working down, I suspect things it would have been even tougher if it had had the chance to dry right out.

Maybe it was early enough to be getting started but any sowing we can get done before lambing time kicks in as well has to be considered a bit of a bonus – anything to avoid the joys of having to repair a breakdown on the driller when you’re needing to look the sheep or the delights of having to catch Blackie gimmer in full flight on the hill when your needing to push on with the sowing.

And with the clocks changing this weekend, time is moving forward.

Elsewhere, though, the results of the long-heralded potato levy ballot couldn’t have been much clearer, with almost two thirds of growers, whichever way you cut them, voting to wave farewell to the services of the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board.

From the soundings which had been coming out of the sector the result probably wasn’t a huge surprise for anyone – including the AHDB itself – although the magnitude of dissatisfaction might have been underestimated.

And I guess that there isn’t likely to be any resurgence in the warm fuzzy feeling department for the board in the short term with the news that, despite the strength of feeling, no decision is going to be taken on the future of AHDB Potatoes until after the Scottish and Welsh elections – meaning that this year’s levies will still be both charged and payable.

But the vote also throws the future of the organisation’s representation and levy collecting prerogatives in other sectors into some doubt as well – especially as George Eustice has stated that all the other enterprises represented by the board will have the opportunity to vote on the same issue – basically whether or not the AHDB is delivering value for money or no.

While the AHDB was undoubtedly in need of some pruning, like any big organisation it was always easy to be critical of the way in which it operates – but sometimes less so to offer the solutions to rectify these problems.

As NFU Scotland said, this is a pivotal time for the potatoes sector – and developing the GB side of things to compensate for the potential loss of the EU market is going to be critical over the next weeks and months – so the work that AHDB would have done on this must be replicated elsewhere, as will the efforts to open up new markets which was another area in which the AHDB played an important role.

So you have to ask if now is the time for the industry as a whole to be stepping back from the united front offered by producer organisations in whatever shape and form – and whether we should be pulling apart or pulling together.

For, with a whole host of changes set to be coming down the line over the next few years, some sort of collaborative front needs to be put forward by the industry as a whole to make sure that the sectors aren’t picked off one by one, or worse still, fighting amongst ourselves.

On this front I hope that attempts to adopt a collective approach between the various farmer-led groups which have been set up to offer their advice on how future policy and climate change issues should develop in the different sectors bear fruit.

It was towards the end of last year that the Scottish Government announced the creation of the farmer led climate change groups, based on a sectoral approach with the initial suckler beef group set up early last year being followed by further groups covering arable, dairy and hill and upland – with an existing pig producer group feeding in its own findings for their report.

But from the start I felt a degree of unease at setting things up in this sort of silo format – for not only did it create false divisions between sectors which were, in the main, highly integrated at both national and individual farm level, but it also stood the risk of forcing them into a degree of competition.

There was also a distinct possibility that by adopting different approaches to solving what are basically similar problems, a considerable degree of not only duplication but also of confusion could arise.

And it could also result in an overwhelming number of schemes to be entered into by the vast majority of Scottish farms which still adopt a fairly mixed approach in the range of their farming enterprises – for despite the recent focus on specialisation, the majority of units still operate across two or more sectors meaning I’m probably not the only one to enjoy the competing calls of Blackie gimmers and broken drillers on my time.

But whichever of the many sectors of the industry we operate in, the challenges of the future will need a united front from the industry – and some of the issues which will be facing us were laid out in the publication this week of the Scottish Government’s 'Just Transition Commission’s' document on how to deliver a fairer, greener future for the country.

And while the report covered everything from homes to industry, transport to education, farming and land use got their fair share of interest.

Ideas such as the establishment of a Just Transition Plan for Scotland’s land and agriculture with clear milestones through to 2045 along with the creation of a new 'Sustainable Scotland' brand to support Scottish agriculture deliver climate action and to 'empower' consumers to choose sustainably produced food and drink are to be commended – but so are some less palatable paragraphs:

“The transition will mean more and more is demanded from our land. The scale of change needed is made clear by the Climate Change Committee – the way we use as much as a fifth of our current agricultural land may need to change in order to reach net-zero.

“By 2045, there will be less farm land. There will be more woodland cover and healthy peatlands, helping to store carbon.”

So it’s got to be time for us to pull together to deliver a future which still has viable farming at its heart.