Writing this, the good news was that it was a beautiful sunny morning – unfortunately, the past week was the opposite, unlike how March came in, like a lamb.

Hopefully, it will not go out like a lion. My friends in the South-east of the country, (including The Gleaner, Doug Niven,) have a higher rainfall than me – which seems to have been the case for January and February. No doubt I will overtake them in the weeks ahead!

The other piece of good news is that I cut my lawn for the first time this year on February 22 ... and it is ready for a trim again.

That dirty game – politics – we saw it at its worst in the first week of March with the aim of destroying our First Minister. It might have provided interesting TV viewing, but little else.

Over the past 40 years, I have voted for all four political parties, so that makes me a floating voter! What influences my thinking is how a political party will treat and support farming.

Twenty years ago I voted SNP and in all that time we had two farm ministers, Richard Lochhead and Fergus Ewing, who have almost certainly been the best farm ministers Scotland has had in my years of farming. In that 20-year period, I lost count of the number of ministers that went through that revolving door at Westminster, some of whom I doubt had any commitment to agriculture.

We are heading for another election on May 6 and I think, for the first time that I can recall, we could have someone in the SNP seats who knows about farming, not from a farming background, but from being a shepherd, and the person who set up the first farmers market, Jim Fairlie.

He knows what it is like to serve the public with the best of Scottish food. He also knows how to breed, feed, and present our products as it should be done.

According to Scottish history, we Scots have been fighting with the English for generations and if not with them, with ourselves, and have only managed to be friends with the Irish and the French when it suited us, until finally we were united by the throne. So, what has that got to do with the forthcoming election?

I supported the last referendum on independence, but since then I have blown hot and cold on the idea. I have never been in favour of one party having a large majority in any parliament, which is currently the case at Westminster. All that is needed is a small working majority.

I would very much favour – Devo Max – not only for Scotland, but also Wales and Northern Ireland. That's because since the last UK election the reverse of devolution has been taking place and I do not like what is currently happening.

Back to the day job. I have been asked many times this week, why the value of store cattle is rising so much? The answer is simple – scarcity.

So, why are beef cattle scarce? You can again put the blame clearly at the door of either the supermarkets, or the processor packers, because if one goes back to November, 2013, when the average deadweight price was 420 per kg, it has been a continual decline, with a low of 325p/kg in May, 2016.

That's the reason there has been such a vast decline in suckler cows and until recently, less beef from the dairy herd. Also, in the last year there was a 25% drop in cattle from Eire into UK for slaughter.

Since the ending of milk quotas, Ireland has seen a dramatic drop in suckler cows with milk production increasing by 33% and more recently, because of Brexit, Ireland has been looking at other markets in the EU and elsewhere for it’s beef instead of the UK.

We have been predicting what is happening now for some time, which is, unless the returns to both breeder/finishers and finishers improve that 'dirty' word, called 'profit', beef production will continue to decline.

There is one thing the British consumer does not want and that is inferior imported beef which should be labelled as such at every stage of the food chain.

Is there any hope of the UK increasing beef production? Absolutely none, especially in England with its new ELM plan, where the suckler cow will continue to decline.

Scotland may be different if Fergus Ewing's Suckler Beef Climate Change Group gets the right plan in place. So far they have missed the number one important point, change the outdated EUROP grading system and replace it with an US-style quality-based system that recognises flavour, taste, and succulence, and has nothing to do with shape and all about consistency.

Where will the beef price to the producer be by the time you read these comments? Probably at least on average, £4 per kg and rising. Where will it peak? I do not see it reaching lamb values of £6.40 per kg – which is scary – but if one looks at 400kg store values, £4.20/kg will not get them out of jail!

So, we are now in unchartered waters, but can I remind you that the highest return I have received was back in November, 2013, at £428p per kg. If it had stayed around the £4 mark, instead of dropping to 339.6p – the average paid in 2019 – we would not have lost all those suckler cows.

Climate change has the world in a turmoil and so far as the UK is concerned, cattle are getting unnecessarily blamed. Here are some statistics to make you think.

Firstly, the UK in 1950, there were 4m vehicles registered on our roads. It is estimated that the 2020 figure will be 38m. I could not acquire the cattle stats for the UK, but I did find them for Scotland. In 1974, we had 2.68m cattle. By 2019, that total was down to 1.73m.

Excluding all trucks, buses etc, just counting cars registered in 1975, came to 800,000 and by 2017 it was 2.4m. If I could have included all the vehicles, the figure could have been in excess of 3m, which means that cattle 'damage' to the climate had decreased by almost half, whilst vehicle pollution increased multiple times – even before we include air traffic.

So, cows and farming have minimal blame for climate change.

Regarding Covid-19, it looks as if our country is winning the battle on what has been a horrendous time for many. It certainly appears that the vaccination programme is working and hopefully by the end of May or soon after, we will be back to what will be a new normal.

By that time consumers will be facing a new challenge: Food inflation in almost every aspect, because for too long food has been cheap, with the whole world’s farmers suffering the pain of meagre profits – that dirty word again!

Hence the reason we are seeing shortages in basic food – cereals, milk, lamb, beef, pork (in China) and fruit. Added to the cost of Brexit on food imports, you can ask any shopper and she or he will tell you it is already happening in every supermarket.

Products that used to be readily available are no longer there. Certain items have been downsized, or increased in price.

I drink tonic to relieve cramp and it is up by 65p per bottle in two months. As I wrote earlier, all food is going to rise because the world population is growing and the world’s farmers are producing less.