I hope the change of month will bring a change of weather – February was, quite simply, horrible.

We endured 269 mm of rain, giving a total year to date of 445mm as well as three significant falls of snow. Added to the deluge from September, that takes us to more than 1000mm in six months. No wonder the ground is saturated.

It’s the worst I’ve ever seen fields at this time of year, which means the cows are facing another eight-month winter, which, to be honest, is becoming the norm.

All Mule ewes are housed and in-bye Blackies are in good condition, but the ground will need to dry up significantly to give us the chance of successfully delivering the big lamb crop which is in them. The hill ewes have scanned exceptionally well – in fact to record levels with well over half of them having twins, or worse, triplets!

What on earth Michael will do with them if things don’t dry up is another question, but at least there are lambs to work with. All barren ewes have been killed – and at record prices.

This bodes well for later this year as everyone should have cashed in surplus hoggs and ewes at current prices, clearing the decks for a new crop of lambs and keeping cast ewe numbers tight. All we need now is Mother Nature to give us a break!

There will be many hoping Mother Nature gives us all a helping hand when you see the devastation around the country. The weekend news was reporting a Government advisor, apparently close to Dominic Cummings, suggesting that Britain doesn’t need farming or farmers in the future. In some areas, with everything that’s going on, he may well get his wish!

I’m not sure this is really news. Treasury/Defra have been anti-farming, or certainly ambivalent to the role of farmers as food producers, for 20 years. The first thing that struck me a year ago, being involved with them on the Bew Group for the first time in 15 years, was how little the rhetoric had changed.

The message had hardened that UK Government would only potentially support environmental schemes delivering 'public money for public goods', whatever that means.

It is interested in the creation of habitats for all sorts of plants and creatures. It is interested in using land to dump water to save houses built in the wrong places on natural flood plains and the like. But, produce food or feed the nation, no chance, it doesn’t even feature.

Anyone who read the Bew Report and saw the fleeting references to 'sustainable production' of food, should realise that they were added, after it was drafted by Defra, at my suggestion and the group’s insistence. But neither Treasury nor Defra believed it or supported it, and clearly still don’t.

With the UK Government now publishing more details about future support (or should I say, reduced support) for agriculture in England, it is all the more important we do things differently in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has been crystal clear for years that in Scotland food production matters, no one more so than our current Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing. As well as being an important part of the Scottish economy, farming can also assist in the fight against climate change as well as continue to play a key role in managing the natural environment.

That’s not to say we can’t do things differently and better, but in Scotland we are seen, at least by some, as part of the solution, not part of the problem as is the case south of the Border. However, let’s be clear, we have a small window of opportunity to prove this or our voices and protestations will be drowned out by the media megaphone that seems to inform and drive this whole debate.

However, suggesting that we don’t need to change, or that we don’t have a different role to play in the future, is delusional and will be as disastrous as the 'aye been' mentality which will see some farmers who are not prepared to change go to the wall.

The new Suckler Beef Climate Group (SBCG) can act as the catalyst in Scotland to do something totally different to develop a suckler beef sector, free from the restrictive and prescriptive shackles of the lowest common denominator, one size fits all policies, dictated by the CAP.

There isn’t a business on the planet that can’t be more efficient or perform better and that goes for every suckler beef producer and finisher in Scotland. The opportunity for the scheme which we will propose is that improved on-farm performance is consistent with contributing to a reduction in the GHG emissions and wider environmental benefits.

This isn’t an 'either/or', they go hand in hand. If beef farmers buy into this, then the potential to change not only what we produce, but how it is sold, is real.

We have had no control of either what support is paid for, nor what happens to our product once it leaves the farm gate for more than 25 years. Clearly, that hasn’t worked when you look at the profitability of suckler farms and the number of cows that have gone off in that time frame.

Differentiating what we do, what we produce and then, by definition, what we sell, is the challenge and the opportunity.

The idea and the aspiration of the much-maligned Beef Efficiency Scheme was laudable – the implementation was laughable. That doesn’t mean to say it wasn’t a good idea – it was, but any scheme needs to have clear and measurable objectives and someone to champion and drive it. It had neither.

The Scotch brand is a fantastic building block to access markets, but it is no longer a point of differentiation which commands any consistent premium. Like the BES, that doesn’t mean that it is all bad, it just means that in today’s world, with today’s challenges, it needs to develop.

The SBCG, with support from forward thinking organisations and individuals, who are contributing some fantastic ideas for this initiative, will produce a scheme which has the chance of taking the industry to a different place. None of us would have got involved if we didn’t believe this was possible and, just as importantly, know it is vital that it happens.

What is currently happening in the supply chain just isn’t working and never will. No amount of sitting in rooms talking about it, or going to endless happy-clappy meetings will change that. What we are currently doing on farm isn’t good enough and needs to improve.

If we really engage with our customers, we can help them feel they are contributing to the climate change debate by buying a truly differentiated, quality product. It is limitless in opportunity.

No-one involved is under any illusion of how challenging it will be, but what is the alternative – a continued race to the bottom with reliance on ever-decreasing handouts and a dysfunctional supply chain?

Or, seize the moment, seize the initiative and try and regain some control of our future?