I’m sitting at my computer thinking about what I can write that’s topical, interesting, and keeping you wanting to read on!

There are no shows for 'the chat' and nothing much going on elsewhere. In fact, things are pretty dull apart from the weather.

We’ve certainly had some beautiful, if cold, days of late. Spring work is in overdrive and looking at the dry pen, so will calving be, soon.

Hopefully, before long we’ll see stock at grass. There’s nothing nicer than seeing new-born lambs skipping up and down the fields.

Enough waffle. What has been happening is a state-of-the-art 'Dairy Nexus' has moved a step closer to reality – £8m is being invested in this flagship facility at the Barony College, near Dumfries, in a bid to reduce our carbon footprint. Like it or lump it, decarbonising the dairy industry should be on all our agendas, particularly if you’re on a supermarket contract.

The Nexus will help drive innovation across the supply chain. With the latest in technologies, it will drive down carbon emissions, accelerate productivity growth and develop new products from the dairy sector in Cumbria, Dumfries, and Galloway, and across the Borderlands.

The investment will also monitor and manage cows, home-grown feeds, and soils, which includes facilities to develop new products from manure, forage, and milk in order to minimise waste and create new income streams.

If any of you read Jim Walker's page last week, you will remember he majored – somewhat angrily – on climate change. No wonder he was annoyed – reading what he had written pissed me off too.

Jim co-chaired the Suckler Beef Climate Group with Fergus Ewing and is blown away by the effort industry volunteers have put into this process, along with other farmer-led groups. Sadly, though, the enthusiasm and effort seemingly hasn’t washed with some senior ScotGov officials.

The Rural Cabinet Secretary, Mr Ewing, wanted to implement the reports from the FLG’s but senior policy officials took one look at it and simply said 'No'.

These officials are paid to supposedly promote and support our industry. Instead, it would appear there is an air of open hostility to meat and milk production.

Their solution is to simply cut numbers by a staggering 300,000 head. Yes, that’s 25% of a total 1.2m beef animals to meet targets. There’s worse though…to add insult to injury, 30% of almost 180,000 dairy animals are to be got rid of too. That’s 600,000!

That’s before we look at other sectors such as lamb and pork. In essence, there will be fundamental changes within the sector – fewer dairy cows, beef cows, sheep, and pigs. In a nutshell, less food production.

Jackie McCreery, chair of the Dairy Climate group, said: “It would be indefensible and counter-productive for government to proceed down a path of promoting domestic dietary change as a means of tackling greenhouse gas emissions, while global demand for dairy products is rising.

"And they can be more sustainably produced here than in other parts of the world. The group argued against simply cutting cattle numbers, believing emissions can be reduced by increasing efficiency and productivity of cows.”

Next question– how do these people propose to get rid of these animals? Just like that?

Furthermore, where then do we get the milk, beef, pork, and lamb from, that has suddenly dropped off the edge of a cliff. Aha … we import it. But do we?

Has anyone told them, in their Ivory Towers, that Brexit came into being at the end of last year! I don’t for a minute advocate importing when there’s plenty at home, but at this rate there won’t be enough to go round.

And say we did import it; all we would be doing would simply be bringing in products with emissions generated elsewhere at the expense of our industry.

The Scottish Government claimed it is committed to acting on climate change with legally binding targets. It also has committed to contributing towards biodiversity targets. And, of course, it expects agricultural businesses to play their part in achieving them.

That means many farmers will need to adapt their farming practices. However, we will still need to maintain quality food production.

The Dairy Climate Group is one of five farmer-led groups which have been set up to develop advice and proposals to ScotGov on how to cut emissions and tackle climate change. But why bother setting up these groups if you’re not going to take any heed of what they say.

We’re only the ones doing the job, day in, day out, so what do we know! We’ve already proved we’re willing to play our part in tackling the issue, but the bureaucrats aren’t interested. Or perhaps they just simply don’t understand.

It appears they’re opposed to the production of red meat and milk, conveniently forgetting the contribution they make to the Scottish economy. Maybe they’re all vegans and that's why they want to more or less outlaw such practices?

Everyone wants to improve their efficiency, productivity and profitability. Who wouldn’t? But why is the farming industry so readily used as a scape goat.

Animal agriculture is often blamed when it comes to climate change because of methane. Only 4% of greenhouse gases come from animals.

Furthermore, I don’t know where these government officials have been for the last year or so. The global pandemic we’ve been experiencing has virtually shut a lot of the country down. Planes stopped flying and there were a helluva a lot fewer cars on the road.

The result – a serious reduction in emissions! But guess what we’re still shouldering the blame. Why?

There has been absolutely no thought – or very little – given to the impact on the supply chain or meat processing sector that this primary production in Scotland supports.

It’s scandalous what’s being suggested and this outrageous thinking should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

If we don’t stand together in opposing these ridiculous suggestions our industry will be thrown to the wolves. We have to stand up for what we believe in and not be dictated to.

On a lighter note, there’s some welcome news. First Milk have announced a 0.5p per litre rise, while Arla is lifting their price by 1.5p. Will the other processors follow suit – probably best not hold your breath!

On a final note, I have been officially co-opted as a Trustee of the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers.

One of the many things RABDF organises is the Gold Cup, which is awarded for dairying excellence. Because of the pandemic, we’ve still to visit the winning farm of 2019, which of course was the Sloan family from Darnlaw, in Ayrshire.

Hopefully, restrictions will allow the open day to take place in August. I’m sure Bryce will don his best 'peenie' to serve tea on the lawn!