During the first half of November, the world heaved a sigh of relief on two accounts – the defeat of The Donald by Joe Biden and the expectation of a Covid-19 vaccine.

I watched the US Election with not a little interest, because of what the outcome would be, with the UK becoming in effect a third World Nation, as a result of Brexit.

There is no doubt that Trump did some good for the U.S.A during his four years. The problem was his bullish attitude, not only to his own staff, but to other world leaders.

We have two kinds of politicians, leaders and bullies, once they get into power. In the Western democratic world, bullies do not usually stay in power very long before they die by the sword. Sadly, because of his reluctance to accept defeat, he will go into the history books as a disgraced president. His flamboyance saw him through his early years, but sadly his downfall has been the result of the lies he continually trotted out.

In Scotland, he invested a massive amount of money, but the hotels are currently showing large losses. In fact, he seems to be in debt, not only in Scotland, but to a much greater degree in US.

So, what effect is the demise of Donald going to have on his mini-clone, Boris? He was lost for words when the inevitable was taking place in the US.

His dream of a deal on cheap food powering in from the US after the January 1, has come to a halt! The deals with the Good Friday Agreement in Ireland and Brexit will be giving him a few sleepless nights, not to mention Joe Biden, who is a much more experienced politician.

To put it in Scots terms, he will never be able to ‘lace his boots’. Boris is not far behind Donald in making blunders, with his latest being that Devolution has not worked for Scotland.

What a wonderful gift to the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon in the run up to a May’s election, especially with the polls running in favour of separation. Any more blunders like that and he will have handed a landslide to the SNP, if not already!

At last week’s on-line poll of farmers 75% voted to stay in the EU. Like the editor, I would have said that when that referendum took place, the result would have been close to 50/50 and I would also say the same for the referendum on Scotland going it alone. I wonder what a farmers poll would discover now if voting for Scotland to be independent?

Briefly on Covid-19, there is no doubt the expectation of a vaccine by spring at the latest, is a massive relief for the world. Hopefully, by April or May, we will be closer to normal.

Fortunately, as food producers, the effects of this horrible virus have had minimal repercussions at producer level, but it has been concerning when it shows up in the processing facilities which was seen last week affecting a few abattoirs.

It could not have come at a worse time, with the extra kill in the run up to Christmas. Fortunately, the authorities have been most helpful in keeping things going, albeit at a reduced throughput.

The last thing any government wants is a food shortage, especially as there will be an estimated 6m-plus more people in the UK over the festive period who would normally be holidaying abroad. That means many more mouths to feed, so the last thing politicians want is empty supermarket shelves, followed by civil unrest.

Isn’t it amazing how attitudes can change when there is a possibility of a food shortage. I hate to be a pessimist, but we ain’t seen nothing yet. Just wait until the stupid Brexit deal kicks in.

Let's turn to the fashionable topics of the day – climate change and emissions. There are certainly different views on what agriculture has to do to reduce global warming, with the biggest being, has farming, especially from this tiny wee blip on the world map called Scotland, with its stable population and a very much reduced number of livestock, anything to do with the rise in world temperatures?

You will recall when the first lockdown took place back in March, emissions dropped dramatically in large towns and cities. That had nothing to do with farming but all to do with cars and planes in the sky, which have all increased enormously over the past 50 years.

So what is Jim Walker’s Suckler Beef Climate Group (SBCG) and the 'Farming for 1.5°' going to achieve, plus many other farming-led groups going to do to tackle climate change?

To complicate matters, a number of scientists have diverse opinions as to whether farming has any part in producing emissions play any part in global warming. There even seems to be a disagreement on how these emissions are measured.

All my life, farming has changed gradually over decades.Take this farm since the 1800s when it was a mixed farm, hand milking cows until 1952, when it stopped. I resumed milking in 1964 in a different way with a herringbone parlour, 21-day grass paddocks, sleeper roadways on which the cows travelled, self –feed silage, cake in the parlour, plus Hunday out of parlour feeders for the high yielders.

Then, in 1976, it changed to Keenan feeders and TMR rations and 1972 saw the introduction of a beef finishing enterprise to utilise empty dairy young stock buildings, when they went out to grass. The next major change was 2006 with the termination of the milkers and beef finishing going from 700 to almost 2500 per year. Another change in 2006 was slurry storage increasing from six weeks to six months and bag fertiliser usage dropping 120 tonnes per year to less than 20 tonnes.

Like most farms over the last 50 years, change has been ongoing, but we do not know how much carbon emissions have changed because 50 years ago they were not measured.

The only study that has taken place in recent times was by McDonalds' M-Beef Carbon Report, in which we were involved. That took place between 2008 and 2014, covering 200 farms in the UK in partnership with Alltech. Repeating that study again of those farms would give a much more meaningful picture of what is really happening.

Lots of the SBCG proposals are already being done on the majority of suckler cow units and by other beef producers.

The cause of the decline in numbers, not only in beef farmers, is the decrease in margins in most sectors of food production. It is not rocket science! If there is no profit, then you go and do something else – and that's been happening all my farming life.

The alternative is, if you wants to stay in farming, you become more efficient, which has been trotted out all my days; or you get larger, which has also been happening all my life.

The downside is that borrowing continues to rise, fine when interest rates are low, but I shudder to think what would happen if they went back up to 20% plus as they did early in the 1980s. Some of my generation would say that these were tough times and that it is a cake walk today.

What is the future for all these climate change groups? We will have plenty of talk and a raft of proposals which are already being carried out by the majority of farmers in every sector, with many already ahead of the game and have been for some time.

As has happened all my life, there is the bottom 25% who, for many reasons, do not need to change, or do not want to change, mainly because they have always got by.

Then, if land values ever drop, there is always the base value which is now the planting price. Already, there are thousands of acres that could be planted with no effect on food production!

Finally, winter is here and I do not like being in the tier 4 group, which makes life even worse. Speaking to friends around the world, we are not so badly off in Scotland.

Sheep farmers are happy, just praying it continues and it looks promising as so many sheep have been killed thus far. One could say the same about the beef sector simply because there is no big backlog of finished prime cattle.

In fact, it is more likely to be a scarcity that could be the order of the day and not only here in Scotland, but across the Irish Sea where numbers of prime cattle have taken a dramatic drop.

We are back to what history has always taught us: Supply and demand means you cannot buck the market. That law never fails.