IT IS a sad, sad thing indeed that common sense has been killed off by the coronavirus pandemic that has swept around the world.

Any decent person who witnessed empty supermarket shelves, seen people pushed out of the way to get a bar of soap and the sheer downright greed at the till, would have been appalled at the tribal behaviour being exhibited.

The sheer size and scale of the selfishness will, we would hope, not have been un-noticed down Westminster way. A lack of food and water has been a source of civil unrest for time immemorial.

Farmers have been saying for months – and in the face of considerable criticism from the likes of the 'we don't need farmers' economic 'guru', Tim Leunig (he's been strangely quiet these past few days) – that food security was as important now as it ever was. If not more so ... and this past week has shown that to be exactly the case.

There is every reason to suggest that food supplies will actually tighten even further. There will be consumer backlash to food sourced from areas that have been worst hit by the pandemic. That ranges from chicken produced in the Far East – if there were any left to be had? – to a drying up of fruit and veg brought in from Iberia, and then, there's barely a macaroni pasta shell to be had this side of the Alps. The fact is, the only readily available foodstuffs are the ones that are produced on our doorstep and in many ways that is the way it should be.

The public – and even some of you – have been seduced by ugli fruit, by avocados, by Kiwi fruit and even by soya-based sausages(!). But the plain fact of the matter is, we are back to basics, back to neeps, tatties and mince – and what's so wrong with that? Buy local, eat local ... and save the planet – without having to cut red meat out of your diet.

As an industry, we could have every right to be smug and crow about the fact the 'we were right'. And then to milk (pardon the pun) the situation for all it was worth. But, as ever, the primary producer can rarely influence even the simplest of supply and demand scenarios these days. This time, it might just be different.

Looking for the best

IF THERE is any succour to be had for farming, it is that the weather forecast is largely good for the next 10 days to a fortnight and that many of you will be going in to self-isolation anyway. Be that in a tractor seat, a lambing shed or a calving pen.

This is the time of year for the industry to shut itself off from the 'real' world. And this year, that might not be a bad thing! May your pens be full and your tractors without punctures.