THE Scottish Farmer has not come through these difficult times unscathed. We have people striving hard from the confines of their own home to produce this newspaper and we have several staff on furlough, not to mention being part of a steep economic downturn.

While it has been a treacherous time for us, that does not belittle the efforts of our front-line NHS staff, the people who support them and you, the farmers that support everyone by filling the nation's shopping baskets with some of the finest food available. It has been a team effort well done.

It has also meant that we have this week – for one week only –re-jigged our print schedules to try and get this week's edition to you in time to beat the twin constraints of a Royal Mail that does not now deliver at weekends and the VE Day Bank Holiday on Friday, May 8. We hope that the effort was worthwhile.

The SF's staff are continuing to work hard at bringing you the news, features and business critical reports that make agricultural businesses tick. In this week's issue, we take a critical look at what 'lockdown' has meant to some key people in the industry (see pages 20 and 21). It's a fascinating read.

As an industry, we should be mindful, too, that there is an economic Armageddon building in strength. While agriculture can be reassured of the fact that people will continue to eat, it will be a certain fact that there will be less money around to pay for their daily staples.

For the business of farming, there then remains a need to cut costs, tailor central and national governments' funding to production – rather than airy-fairy environmental schemes – and to temporarily abandon expensive climate change mitigation (the lack of an aviation industry will have done more for that cause than any animal flatulence). It's time to apply the KISS principle – Keep It Simple Stupid – and it's time to get back to basics.

Message to politicians and civil servants: Do not add any more unnecessary costs on an industry that is about to feel the squeeze. Do not take a hard line with those who inadvertently flout 'regulations'. But, most of all, do everything in your power to help the industry promote itself to the British public and support by any means possible home-produced produce, rather than throw our farming industry to the lions of state-aided produce from other nations that would covet our hard-won market-place.

It has been said more than once that 'We are all in this together' and that applies to ensuring a safe and secure food supply chain for a punch-drunk population looking for firm policy-making and direction. Time to look after our own.