AS I pen these notes on April 25, the weather has been so fantastic that it seems like I'm in Tenerife!

And, even though we live, just east of bustling Glasgow, you'd think that we were in some remote part of Scotland today. No traffic on the roads, and we have just had lunch outside in 20-plus degree temperatures.

In the last 24 hours, the countryside has burst into green as trees and hedges respond to the warmth, blossom is everywhere and the grass is jumping. I had a Stabiliser steak on the barbecue that night, and next week it will be Belted Galloway, the other breed that comes into the same category as Highlander, in my opinion.

That leads me to the shambles that is the beef sector right now. I have just had a call from a beef finisher’s wife who had gone online this morning to Asda, in Portlethen, to order Scotch steaks, to be told there were none available – only Irish.

The supplier for Asda is ABP, which has an abattoir in Perth and which has said, that in order to get carcase balance, it imported Polish beef.

Even the chair of QMS condoned that move, which is as bad as the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland going to her second home in Fife for the weekend – and she had to resign!

It is common knowledge that the UK is only 62% self sufficient in total food. Scotland is way over self sufficient in both beef and lamb – I am not sure about pork. With this a known fact, there is no way any supermarket or butchers shop should have anything else other than Scotch on their shelves.

Our No 1 export market is England, with a miniscule amount going outside the UK. If our promotional bodies were doing their jobs correctly, there should be no foreign beef on Scotland’s shelves.

Another supermarket story. A beef farmer’s wife went shopping to Asda, where all the Polish mince was on display – don’t ask me how she did it without being caught – but she literally swept nearly all of it on to the floor and walked out, because she was so furious at ABP importing this rumoured 400 tonnes of beef!

There is no doubt that ABP, Asda and Sainsbury’s are getting a backlash of unprecedented proportions for unnecessarily importing Polish product, especially following the massive drop in the price they are paying for Scotch-produced beef. This is the only farming publication that publishes, every week, a three-year graph (on page 32, last week) where it clearly showed the massive drop being paid by the handful of large beef processors in Scotland.

It is not only Scottish producers that are giving ABP a hard time. The Irish Farmers Association has called for an independent regulator to find a way of passing back a realistic return for investment and work to the primary producer.

Unfortunately, the real truth of the matter is that we are too good at our jobs because we produce too much. Most of the product that leaves our farm gate today is realising almost the same as it was 20-plus years ago, but our cost of production has increased at least five-fold – and yet we all go on and produce more, which has been the case all my farming life.

Who, or what is to blame for the continual drop in our profits? Is it we farmers, the processor packers, or the supermarkets? I am told that Scotland has the largest density of supermarkets in the world, per head of population.

Is that driven by their race to the bottom, in order to continually increase their footfall? Is it the processor packer who continually tells us how challenging he finds the market place, yet all seem to regularly publish accounts with mouth watering profits?

Why should we whinging farmers be expected to be grateful for where we live, the environment in which we work, the enjoyment in what we do, but live without profits for security and investment? Many would question that, even more so if you are milking cows, and then pouring the milk back into the slurry tank!

Oh, for the return of the milk boards! It reminded me of the story my mother used to tell us about putting the churns of milk on the train at Balloch Station, in Dunbartonshire, to go to Glasgow, and in the spring it would be returned with some feeble excuse and had to be fed to the pigs! That was pre-1933, before the milk boards were formed, after which your milk was always lifted, you never had to send an invoice and the cheque never bounced. Many milk producers will wish they were in that position today.

Unfortunately, Maggie Thatcher put an end to that great farming marketing organisation. Look at the situation today, with many producers being paid less than they were 25 years ago and some not being paid at all.

How would the boards have handled the current disruption, compounded by the spring flush? Milk would have been diverted to Galloway creamery at Stranraer and made into either butter or cheese, with the skim dried into powder and sold into other markets during the rest of the year.

There might have been a slight dip in producer prices as all the milk was pooled, meaning every dairy farmer got the same price for their milk. Today’s shambles mean that some producers are getting zero for some, while others are getting 30-plus ppl.

What is the answer? I ran out of space to touch on it five weeks ago, because the milk surplus was erupting before the market distortion. There is only one answer and that is to produce 10% less!

I had a large part to play in it when, way back in 1984, when milk quotas were introduced, that we all dropped production. Within two weeks of a 9% drop being introduced, BOCM Gold Label cake dropped £60 per tonne and within three months the price had risen by 5ppl – that was when interest rates were 20%!

Talking about changes in farming, as I sit looking out at a 32-acre silage field reminded me of one of the biggest changes for us. Half a century ago it would have taken me a week, at least, with my 1000-gallon slurry tanker, to cover it. Six weeks ago, our slurry contractor did it in three hours with an umbilical pipe, at 2500 gallons per acre.

On the weather, if we do not have rain before Friday (May 1), this will be the first month since July, 1976, that we have had a full month that I have recorded zero rainfall. A couple of arable friends in the east are getting concerned about their spring grain, drilled several weeks ago and desperately in need of a drink. Their winter grain was almost drowned out and it looks as if some spring grain could be drought stricken. That does not bode well for a good harvest.

Turning to politics, I have to admit I was a lukewarm supporter of Donald Trump, because of the money he pumped into Scotland, but he's now 'out of favour' with me because of his performance at his daily press reviews on TV. Love her or hate her, our Nicola Sturgeon, of all the world leaders I have watch on TV has excelled beyond them all. I think she has been a credit to our country in how she has handled her task.