In the last few weeks, European farmers have blockaded the roads in Poland, Spain, Paris, Berlin, and Brussels, with mass convoys of tractors.

They are angry about a number of things.

Cheap imports from Ukraine, increased diesel costs in Germany, and evermore EU regulation.

However, the issue that really unites the protesters is opposition to the EU Green deal which aims to reduce carbon emissions from agriculture.

The Green deal sought to dismantle the modern intensive farming systems that politicians and climate activists claim are destroying the planet.

These are the very systems that have made food ridiculously cheap, fed a world population that’s risen from 2.5bn in 1950 to 8.2bn today, and made a massive contribution to eliminating hunger worldwide.

The Green deal launched by the European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans in 2020 was driven by green ideology.

Timmermans new green laws would cut pesticides by 50%, cut fertiliser use by 20% re-wild 10% of EU land, and increase organic production to 30% by 2030.

Independent studies quickly pointed out the policies would cut EU food production by up to 20%, increase food prices for consumers, suck in third country imports, and lower returns to farmers.

They also questioned whether the green laws would benefit the environment pointed as banning pesticides and increasing organic production would increase the use of the plough and the cultivator.

That would increase carbon emissions rather than reduce them.

Timmermans brushed the criticism aside claiming consumers would have to pay more for healthy food and ‘farm productivity must be sacrificed to deliver sustainability’.

In the corridors of power in Brussels the once all-powerful farm voice found itself totally marginalised and their pleas for a more realistic approach were dismissed by Timmermans.

However, the turning point came when the Farmers Party won the Dutch regional elections in May 2023, after angry Dutch farmers brought the country to a standstill over their government’s plans to reduce nitrates.

Under the Dutch Government’s radical plan, 3000 livestock farms were to be shut down to comply with the EU nitrates directive.

That victory shattered the political consensus in the European Parliament which claimed after the 2019 election to be the greenest parliament ever elected.

With an election in May this year centre right MEPs feared they may lose their seats if farmer parties stood against them.

They started backing the farmers' cause and split from the green consensus in the European Parliament.

They succeeded in watering down the re-wilding law and the law to classify EU livestock farms as industrial methane emitters.

The massive farmer demonstrations in Brussels this month which brought the city to a standstill delivered the final blow.

The president of the Commission Ursula Von der Leyen caved into the farmer demands and announced she was abandoning the hated flagship green law to cut pesticides by 50% as it had become a ‘symbol of polarisation’.

She promised to listen to the farmers' concerns instead of ignoring them.

There is no doubt the farmer protests have successfully killed off the green ideological approach of the European Commission, but the challenge of cutting emissions from farming has not gone away.

With Irish farmers planning to ramp up their tractor protests, many Scottish farmers frustrated by the lack of progress on future support think the industry needs to adopt the same tactics and blockade Holyrood.

Many farmers believe it could force the Scottish Government to hand back the £61m that was robbed from the farm budget.

It might even force the Government to come clean about future farm support in Scotland.

However, there appears to be little chance of the NFUS backing direct action while the Union president is jointly responsible with farm minister Mairi Gougeon for developing Scottish farm policy as co-chair of the ARIOB committee.

The danger for the Union in refusing to take direct action is they may find themselves out of step with their membership.

We all know what happened the last time that occurred in 1998.

Mass farmer demonstrations at Stranraer and the resignation of the president and the CEO of NFUS.