So the drought is over – the endless, burning hot days have been replaced by muggy, showery weather.

This, in turn, has kick-started third cut silage to the most astonishing growth spurt I think I have ever witnessed. Fortunately, Michael decided to take the second cut off these drier fields in mid-July before they burnt too badly and got a reasonable return off them.

Second cut silage that was left on heavier fields is also bulking up and 60 acres of reseeds are all also starting to show signs of life and greening up. With soil temperatures so high, grass growth looks set to stay good for some time.

No doubt we’ve been luckier than many across large parts of the UK. Although we’ve had some beefy thundery showers, we’ve had no flooding and for all it’s been dry, stock have been thriving. Lambs continue to fatten much faster than in the wet and cold of last year. Despite burnt fields, cattle have been content.

Deadly flooding across Europe, catastrophic wildfires in Greece and North America, as well as extreme weather for us here in the UK continues to fuel the headlines about the impact of climate change. The latest update paper by the IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) on global warming and its impacts makes some pretty sober and scary reading.

Every day there is another story somewhere which is increasing the volume for a 'call to arms' to save the planet from the changing climate, caused in the main by human activity. Here, in Scotland, the First Minister has declared a climate emergency and, in her words, set 'the most ambitious climate change targets' in the world.

COP26 in Glasgow is nearly upon us and politicians of all parties are scrabbling around making headlines and trying to grab the limelight. It makes for pretty ugly watching to be honest.

You can have all the targets you like, ambitious or otherwise, and make all the claims and promises in the world, but unless you have a strategy and a plan which is deliverable to reach them, they are totally meaningless. It’s not politicians, or their officials, who deliver these targets, it is the thousands of businesses and individuals across every sector and part of society who take up this 'call to arms'.

Remember, politicians don’t win wars, they usually start them. It’s the foot soldiers who win wars, as long as they have clear, decisive leadership.

This is what makes the current inertia from our SNP administration and the continued silence from our Cabinet Secretary, Mairi Gougeon, in this policy area so surprising and, indeed, disappointing. The industry, through the FLG initiative, has handed the SG an absolute gift, but still nothing has happened.

This despite our Suckler Beef Climate Scheme being in the Programme for Government in September, 2020, as well as manifesto and 100-day commitments for all this stuff.

Even though myself and many others believe this is the way forward and will work, I don’t actually have a problem if Mairi doesn’t buy into the whole FLG concept, despite all the promises. That, of course, is her prerogative.

Where I have a massive problem is the lack of any coherent alternative. In fact, the total lack of any agriculture policy at all is now becoming beyond frustrating – it is actually embarrassing.

Instead of the opportunity to deliver something no other country in the world has proposed, or tried, by adopting an industry-led approach, we are instead falling behind almost every country in the world waiting for something, anything, to happen.

The irony of all this is that despite the best efforts of red meat haters, the demand for our beef and lamb has never been better. The tremendous lamb prices at Lairg this week that are being repeated week in week out at marts and abattoirs the length and breadth of the country, for well-bred beef and sheep meat from Scotland’s pasture lands and hillsides, bear testament to that.

Livestock production is the 'engine room' of Scotland’s rural economy. It sustains communities well beyond the locality where it is reared and produced.

None of those people who champion eating less red meat and reducing cattle and sheep numbers have ever explained what will happen to these communities if they get their wish. I doubt it has even crossed their mind, other than to use some unsubstantiated waffle that growing trees will fill the void.

I have asked several times for an economic impact assessment of reducing cattle numbers in my role as chair of the Suckler Climate Group. Funnily enough, I never got it!

But there is only so often you can make your point. There is only so often you can offer and give help. There is only so long you can do other people’s jobs for them until finally you just say 'sod it and hell mend them'.

I’m fed up writing and talking all about this stuff and trying to persuade some senior SG officials to give the industry the chance to implement a responsible, sensible course to meet our climate responsibilities. The truth is that whatever SG officials may or may not claim publicly, they don’t believe in it.

They don’t want to do it and unless someone tells them unequivocally it is happening, it won’t. So far, five months from my last meaningful contact with them and more than three months from the appointment of a new Cabinet Secretary, we are none the wiser.

There was maybe a clue in their thinking with an announcement last week about the latest publication of the eligibility criteria for the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation Grant Scheme. This lifeline scheme for the food sector has been hugely important and effective over the years in developing this vital part of our supply chain.

It now seems even this is being undermined. Mind you, why would you need food processing capability if you want to reduce the raw material to process?

Firstly, there is a tiny budget of £7.3m – not exactly a sum designed to stimulate a post-Covid recovery in any important sector to the Scottish economy, despite the spin around the announcement.

Secondly, you have until September 12 to apply and you should hear by December, 2021, if you’ve been successful in your application. And here’s the rub – if you are successful you have to complete your project, pay for it and apply for the grant by the end of March, 2022.

That would be challenging in any year, but with Covid-19 and the impact this is having on the availability of people, lead times for materials and equipment, it is absolutely impossible for a project of any consequence, or scale to meet this ridiculous deadline.

It would seem that those senior officials who signed this off have as little grasp of the 'real world' of operating in a Covid-19-affected business environment as they do about running a farming business.

So, while politicians ratchet up the rhetoric ahead of COP26, we continue to sit in limbo. Instead of the gift of farmers helping each other, as well as demonstrating or even inspiring others to improve their businesses and performance, we face the prospect of being told what to do by folk who know little about the challenges of running a profitable agricultural business and who, frankly, couldn’t care less.

'Do as I say' will become the mantra and will fail, just as the rural communities who rely on livestock production will if these people get their way.