THERE'S nothing quite like sunshine to gladden the heart and that was certainly the case at this week's Scotgrass event, near Dumfries, where £multi-millions in shiny bits of metal showed their paces in a pretty damned fine crop of grass.

It also brings home just how much the industry has come on in terms of technology in the three years since this event was last held – under laden skies and short of grass – with on the go crop assessment, auto steering and auto-filling of trailers now an accepted part of the business of grass conservation.

It is certainly not cheap – the average price of a tractor at the event must have been close to £100,000 and foragers can get within an ace of £0.5m – but as they showed on Wednesday, if given the right conditions then they can chomp their way through some stuff. But there's also a revolution going on in other areas, like clamp management and crop additives (not that much 'chemical sunshine' was needed this week!) and it's a testament to the professionalism of farming that these are now more readily embraced than they have ever been.

This is an industry on the move and flies in the face of its critics in government who seem hell-bent on telling them how to farm better. There weren't many politicians to be seen as the whirring tedders and rowing up machines made the tidiest of piles for the harvesting giants to gobble up. Maybe if they had attended they would have left with the impression that their notions of 'improving farming' are just not up to scratch. The industry is way ahead of them on that.

More than anything, the Brexit chat at the event – if it ever got beyond the nuts and bolts of new machinery – was that the industry wants to just 'get on with the job'. And that means producing food to the very best of their ability.

A worthwhile investment

HATS off, too, to the organisers of the Royal Highland Show, RHASS, for their ramping up of plans for the showground.

Undeterred now by the prospect of being gobbled up by the nearby Edinburgh Airport, there are considerable investments being made in time and money to add value to what is already a stonking venue.

The new members' pavilion – on track to be finished by March next year and on budget – will add considerable appeal for other events, while at the same time providing a magnificent view of the main ring when it is part of the show in 2020.