The much awaited Scottish suckler beef scheme looks like it might be temporarily delayed before the Scottish Elections on May 6 – but we can only hope that talk of background infighting will be resolved and that as soon as the Scottish Parliament resumes after the voters have chosen, it will be fast-tracked into being.

The scheme, as proposed by the industry-led Scottish Suckler Beef Group, primarily aims to maintain or even increase the national beef herd whilst at the same time vastly reducing the industry's carbon footprint. The eventual aim being a 'net zero' beef and sheep industry.

It's a laudable goal that will deliver a sustainable livestock industry that could – if not derailed by factionalism within government – be the envy of the world. It could be a 'greenprint' for how a modern industry can re-invent itself, with the cachet of environmentally friendly production as its main selling point.

It has the enthusiastic support of both the Rural Affairs Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing and the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, so why the delay? At least the more savvy politicians in Scotland can see the art of the possible within this scheme and how it could be a veritable feather in our bonnet to wave enthusiastically when Scotland plays host to the UN's Climate Change Conference, in Glasgow, during two weeks in early November.

But, the stark reality is that without its solid defence of maintaining numbers in the national beef herd and sheep flock, then the only way to meet the government's commitment of achieving net zero carbon emissions can only be achieved by consigning a vast chunk of our livestock industry to slaughter. That must not be allowed to happen.

High hopes for this Royal Highland Showcase

One thing that got settled before the politicians surrendered themselves to election campaigning was the whopping £750,000 ScotGov cash underwrite for the proposed Royal Highland Showcase that will stand in place of a full Highland Show, with most of its audience watching from afar, rather than at the ringside. Some within the industry are muttering that this is throwing good money after bad, as the experience just won't be the same. But after a year of not very much at all, surely something is better than nothing? And as RHASS chairman Bill Gray pointed out, the event will put Scotland’s agricultural industry front and centre as the country re-emerges from the lockdown darkness. Clocks go forward And speaking of emerging from the darkness – remember to set your clocks FORWARD one hour as Saturday becomes Sunday this weekend, and we officially enter British Summer Time