As I write we have almost finished our third wartime Ukraine planting and have finished the Brazilian soybean harvest. The second crop corn is growing rapidly there.

Farming never stops. The dreadful weather conditions in UK, following a poor autumn sowing campaign, meant both delayed drilling and soil damage. In Spain and Portugal reservoirs are full after recent torrential rains but now temperatures are nearly 30°C and crops are being irrigated.

Soil conditions are good for planting in Ukraine although temperatures, like Scotland, are cooler than normal now and rain has paused planting temporarily. Despite up to two weeks delay on border crossings we have had all our multiplication seed delivered.

Our local starch contract growers group continues to develop following a successful farmers open day and support from US Aid.

The Scottish Farmer: The latest convoy of vehicles to UkraineThe latest convoy of vehicles to Ukraine

All credit to our local team. New mobilisation laws for military service are a challenge for our labour needs at both factory and farm, but again our local team have done a good job on staff reservations for a vital industry.

Vital for Ukraine now and in the future. Our project to produce biopolymers from potato starch has made good progress this year. We are working with a number of packaging end users to develop more biodegradable and sustainable products. Potato starch has some unique properties in this rapidly developing arena.

With reduced sowings it is likely wheat prices will increase after ‘distressed’ Ukrainian/Russian supplies clear the market. There has been a big rebound for Ukrainian agrobusiness this year, if not for individual farmers. Ukraine’s agro-industry top ten leaders increased income by 35% over the last year, from a low base. Market leaders earned a third more than in 2022 and almost 50% more than before the start of the full-scale war.

Companies from the MHP group, Kernel group, and Ukrprominvest group were included in the index. They reported the largest profits among all businesses on the list. At the same time, 46% of the top ten’s total income is accounted for by four poultry breeding companies.

The war continues and Russian advances, in spite of immoral political posturing in the US, are only held at bay by crowdfunded and donated drones and the valiant efforts of Ukrainian air defences. As noted in my last column missile and drone attacks by Russia have intensified as defence ammunition diminishes, whilst the West dithers. Both of these efforts are being helped by our charity PickupsforPeace, as well as saving lives at the front with rescue vehicles and medical aid.

While you read this another convoy of our aid filled vehicles has headed across Europe driven by determined volunteer drivers. Our target 400 4WD vehicles by the end of summer 2024. The generosity and efforts of the agricultural and related industries has been immense, as has the gratitude of Ukrainians.

Across the globe China may be poised to grow a record-large corn crop in 2024, besting the previous year’s record, despite government incentives aimed at increasing plantings of soybeans instead. That could keep Chinese corn supplies plentiful enough to further reduce reliance on U.S. corn exports, especially with a possible production Brazil rebound next year. Against this background it is very worrying that the UK has no wartime plan nor credible food security plan. At least the EU has realised, aided farmer demonstrations, that Net Zero organic ‘green’ initiatives will neither keep a viable farming industry nor feed their citizens.

Neither will ‘down corn up sitka in Scotland. We have eaten into global stocks for the last few seasons and this hides the large portion held by China. Meanwhile climate related deaths continue to decline to an all time low.

Weather, not climate, will have an impact annually and 2024 wheat crops have many hurdles to overcome before the combines roll. There is little evidence to suggest a significant reversal of fortunes in declining world wheat stocks this year. Trying to encourage farmers to produce greater volumes while profitability is marginal is blowing into the wind.

Prices will have to rise to have any real impact on global production and thus world stocks. However, unless harvests in 2024 surpass expectations it is hard to see prices continuing the bear trend for much longer.The prospect of the bulls returning to drive a price rally by mid to late 2024 is realistic.

As global prices rise due to weather or geopolitics, UK food processors using wheat will need to pay higher prices to secure wheat imports into the country compared to access to a local supply. Current markets are beneficial for consumers, but do not support farmers facing lower incomes and higher costs. Gains in the global market this season will be favourable for the profitability of farmers, but will inevitably give inflationary prices for consumers.

On the subject of inflation we still have the pathetic sight of UK Government Ministers trying to hoodwink the populace that a drop in inflation rate somehow means a drop in underlying prices. It clearly doesn’t!

These same ministers claimed that underlying global factors outwith their control, such as the war in Ukraine, were to blame, now try to claim credit for these same uncontrollable global factors bringing food and fuel inflation down. An incredible con trick to attempt to play on the UK public, displaying an unheard of intellectual disrespect and hubristic arrogance towards the electorate.

This month, as the overwhelming majority now realise Brexit was a bad idea in search of a non existent problem, new costly labelling and trade regulations come into force. This at a time when new trade deals threaten not only welfare and food health standards, but also UK farming and domestic self sufficiency.

This year is an unprecedented year for elections all over the globe. This will see a further surge in Russian and Chinese psyops to influence gullible electorates to their advantage. Social media companies found anger is the most effective emotion to generate longer engagement times on platforms.

They utilise this algorithm mercilessly to influence us, as do others with even darker purposes. Remember the Parisian bedbugs viral story late last year? This has now been proven to be a Russian pysops story to attack the Parisian Olympics.

Many elections will have a direct impact on food production and security. Many have either influential and/or numerate farmer constituencies. In India and Pakistan there are calls for increases in export bans and tariffs, which as the world’s top and fourth rice exporter will impact global grain prices.

India will benefit from the pivot away from trade with China by others.

Just as it did from importing cheap Russian energy and armaments throughout the war in Ukraine. In Indonesia whatever the outcome support for rural areas and palm oil will continue, maintaining pressure on global oilseed prices. US domestic politics this November will play a key role. A Biden win will mean more climate change policies, whilst a Trump win may well mean more import tariffs for our exporters. Still no sign of that Trussian US Brexit Trade Deal.

A Truss currently funded by the US far right, as well as us UK taxpayers as an MP. A more Trumpian insular approach downplaying alliances and global accords mean it is even more important for both Europe and Pacific to step up and build their own axis which reduces reliance on the US should Trump win, whether on food, energy or military security. Food and farmers may yet again be key in global peace.