FOR MANY years the farming industry has been accused – and many would argue quite rightly so – of losing contact with its biggest customer, the Great British Public plc. It was always going to be the case that with mechanisation, fewer and larger farms, then there would be many from the towns and cities who were several generations away from any connection to the land.

Could an unexpected side-effect of Covid-19 be that there could be a re-connection of lost lines of communication? On the one hand we have an industry crying out for labour sources to work in our fruit and veg sectors, and on dairy farms, while on the other hand we have a seemingly endless supply of younger people (and some older ones too) who, through no choice of their own, want to work.

And so, the schemes that are now up and running with the aim of putting those in need of labour, in touch with those willing to work, will be a 'good thing' for all. Maybe necessity has forced upon us an ideal conduit to bring rural and country people closer again – and for the long term benefit of all?

This might be a rare legacy of good to come out of Covid-19 and its many disastrous side effects, not the least of which have been tragic loss of life.

Hygiene rules!

WHILE the immediate concern regarding our personal biosecurity is centred around not catching, or spreading coronavirus, our correspondent, Alasdair Macnab, is advising that we should be as stringent with our hygiene for both livestock and farms (see pages 12 and 13 in this weekend's paper, or on our website at 4pm on Saturday 28).

He makes some excellent points. We have maybe become too lazy in allowing chemistry to 'fix' problems, such as disease in grain and potatoes crops, plus the use of the syringe in remedying problems in livestock.

There are many ways, he argues, that we can prevent disease and contamination by taking simple measures. It was ever thus.