Once again, our screens were bombarded with yet another poorly researched documentary on beef production this week. It appears there is a legion of journalists who fail to grasp the intricacies of global beef production and the vast differences between cows in Scotland and bovines in Brazil. More power to AHDB for urging Ofcom to put an end to such nonsense.

The recent revelation from the Scottish Government that a substantial portion of the hard-fought Bew funds has been diverted to other purposes is a damning indictment of the government's poor commitment to supporting rural areas.

How can money be withheld when there is an urgent need for investment in the countryside? The insult to injury is that underspending seems to occur annually with little effort to disburse the funds promptly.

Remember we are no longer bound by EU rules, which restricted the government's budgetary options. There is scant justification for not devising innovative ways to get the cash out the door and support rural Scotland. The mind boggles when the government claims to have been unprepared for the Bew money increase, did they have no faith in the former farming minister Fergus Ewing being successful?

Had the Scottish government attempted to tap into the farming funds while an EU member, Brussels' bureaucrats would have swiftly identified a breach in the rules. The government appears to only align to EU rules when it suits them and it does not bode well for a nation expecting to be ‘welcomed with open arms’ back to Europe, as our Holyrood chiefs believe.

As input prices skyrocketed last year following the illegal invasion of Ukraine, the Scottish government should have utilised the Bew funds to inject money into family farms. Initiatives such as doubling the beef calf scheme, providing funding for liming, assisting new farmers, and increasing area payments across the board should have been at the top of the list.

Instead, the government observed funds accumulating in the vault while the Deputy Minister's getaway car pulled up to the bank's door—twice!

In stark contrast to the declining farm budget, we have learned that grant rates for tree planting are on the rise. It looks like tree planting is taking precedence over food production, with farmers being informed that payments won't be index-linked to account for inflation.

Many areas designated for tree planting could be ideal for new and growing farm businesses. A more thoughtful approach to planting is essential. Planning departments scrutinise the minutiae of building details for new houses on farms but remain silent as generations of sheep farming vanishes following successful tree planting grant applications. These hill flocks are part of our national heritage and can not be removed swiftly for trees.

One thing is certain, if the Scottish government has its way, there will be plenty of food for the new Speyside beavers to sink their teeth into.