ONE OF the revelations of the necessity of 'things' during lockdown is that many that we took for granted and had embedded in our everyday life, have become largely unnecessary.

For the general public: A trip to the shops? Not necessary. Travelling 100 miles for a one hour meeting? No longer necessary. Having a City Centre office? Not really needed. For farmers: Going to specialist agricultural events ... do we actually have to be there? Do we have to go to get that spare part? No.

In other words, Covid-19 has moved the world on in many different ways. Some of them were already happening, but lockdown has accelerated the rise of on-line purchasing, for instance. In our world, the success of last week's Cereals LIVE event – a virtual replacement for the actual event – and the forthcoming Arable Scotland event, which will also be presented on-line, are surely pointers for the future for specialist events.

In many ways, 'life' is catching up with the publishing industry which has had to face the dilemma of on-line competition for the hard copy issue of the likes of this newspaper for some years. Ageing demographics play a lead role in this industry of perhaps maintaining the status quo. Covid-19 has changed all that and even octogenarians are embracing Zoom technology – mainly because lockdown forced them to.

Like newspapers, many of those who service the industry will have to rethink their strategies. Auction marts, for instance – which have had a kind of lukewarm relationship with on-line bidding since it was pioneered many moons ago by ANM – might yet embrace it, at least as an add-on to a live event.

Similarly, farm machinery sales are increasingly going on-line – and if Amazon were to go all out for farming's diaspora of spare parts, who knows what might happen?

The upshot is that events like the Royal Highland Show – which should have been on as you read this newspaper – will survive simply because of the industry being catered for as a whole. However some of the peripheral specialist events will have to face up to the argument that many are now asking themselves: 'I've survived without it and the expense of going to it ... do I need a physical presence next year?'

As we say in this business: This is a story that's going to run and run!

Kist parties

BY THE time you're reading this, we will have hosted at least one of our Royal Highland Show 'kist parties'. It's been a really positive story of a willingness to 'get on' and an indication of the breadth of talent and ability that makes agriculture a special place to work – for all concerned, including us.

So, take in our on-line tour of the kists and enjoy the craic. It's not quite the real thing, but there will definitely be someone in there that you know. Look for it on our facebook page and on our website