Happy New Year! I trust you’ve all had a good Christmas and that the luncheon table was filled with the best of British food.

Did Father Christmas manage to fit down the chimney, or was he jammed halfway down because of the wood-burning stove flue?

Was there a shiny new tractor outside in the yard, or was there a model one sitting on the kitchen table with a note saying “Maybe next year?”.

Whatever 2008 bought us in the industry, we can now put it behind us and look forward to this year.

So while I relax in front of the fire with what seems the last of the mince pies, I wonder what it will bring us.

Let’s hope that grain markets pick up so we can grow crops with confidence in knowledge of a sensible return.

My other hopes? That fertiliser prices drop to sensible levels, so we don’t need armed guards patrolling the shed.

That land agents acknowledge that high input costs and low grain prices do not permit rent increases.

That big supermarkets treat suppliers with respect and pay proper prices for the best food available and do not back-date any decreases.

That the government has the guts to sort out this dreadful TB problem, and that unelected officials keep their hare-brained ideas and schemes to themselves.

That the sun and rain arrive at just the right times and that we have a nice hot summer.

That the diesel price falls dramatically so that it doesn’t cost nearly £12 to fill a 20-litre container to get a fire going – on 5 November only, honest!

That England regains the Ashes with a five-nil thrashing of the Australians. Ah! I must have nodded off and started dreaming.

Best wishes to all readers and let’s make 2009 great.