Stories of flat-out farmers being hit with gruelling on-farm inspections have been circulating around the community this week. The Union is quite right to be calling for the Scottish Government to stop inspections during such a difficult period for the industry.

Some farmers have been up to their eyes in work when the department has arrived at the door looking to run all the animals through the race.

One must also feel for the inspectors who are most often stuck in the middle as they carry out orders from above. Since Brexit, there has been improvement in the inspection process with a more practical approach outside the tight yoke of Brussels.

I have high hopes for the Union’s plea, as if the Scottish Government is good at anything, it is good at delaying implementation. Surely if they can kick climate change action into the long grass, they can give farmers a break this spring so the field measuring and animal counting can happen later in the year.

Missing the 2030 climate change target has surprised no one in the farming sector. We are yet to obtain a universal and reliable method of measuring our emissions, let alone a roadmap to become ‘carbon neutral’.

The whole agenda needs to be turned on its head. If we carry on using the zero-carbon logic, we will simply offshore our production to countries across the globe. All the time we sit in our sanctimonious tower looking down on nationals willing to get on with the graft. If we have to head down this road, then we must look at the emissions caused by what we consume, not by what we produce. Unless we look at the whole picture, the whole climate debacle could descend into a pathetic paper exercise.

Speaking of paper exercises, I heard the botched rollout of the future beef calf scheme is rumbling on, as farmers attempt to register dead calves in a bid to retain their cow’s calving intervals. Farmers are tagging dead calves and being sent pointless passports, which then must be returned straight away. This is a total waste of time for everyone involved.

But it is not all senseless bureaucracy this week as leftover cash from the AHDB potato levy is being redistributed to GB Potatoes. There was a growing anxiety that the cash might have been snaffled by the Treasury never to be seen again.

It is also good news that the worries over ‘sticky-hands’ in Holyrood stopping the £400k sea eagle management contracts from being rolled out have proven to be false.

You would think farmers were paranoid that their cash might end up getting stuck in the machinations of government. But with a whopping £46m IOU sent to farmers following the last Scottish spending review, they have every right to be sceptical.