THE WEATHER is a fact of life and none more so that the way it shapes the working lives of farmers – but this week has been a particular trial for the industry.

Livestock keepers, in particular, have been travailed by the cold blast that blew in from Russia mid-week and it is especially traumatic as it followed one of the worst summers on record. It is a sore thing for any business to endure when fodder stocks are running on empty and money is tight.

For that, the industry need someone to stand up and thank them for it. Insubstantial as it may be, we at The Scottish Farmer would like to thank all of those who fought through the snow drifts and endured the icy blast, this week, to feed their stock, move mountains (literally) of snow to keep them safe and ensure that the next generation, which is due to arrive soon on many cattle and sheep farms, have at least a chance of making it on to grass in the coming months.

We salute your perseverence and hard work.

We need clarity not ambition

WE ARE now 13 months away from the supposed finality of Brexit – and yet our industry which requires more than most some kind of clear leadership has yet to see anything but political infighting, lack of vision, and any depth of understanding.

Given the political machinations this week and the grand-standing from the negotiators within the EU and the UK, it is not impossible to assume that there may yet be another General Election before the fine points of Brexit are agreed.

We are in a shambolic mire which seems to be more driven by political ambition than by 'what is right for the country'. At a time when pride and ambition should be tempered by practicalities, our UK politicians have let this country down badly.

And, it comes in a week when we looked back at the end of the Great War in 1918, in a mixture of gratitude, sadness and 'what might have been', it is a denigration of the memory of those who laid down their life for us that we are embroiled in another war of a kind which will shape our existence for many decades to come and in such a fashion.