I have recently filed a report for the Scottish government telling it exactly how fruitful our harvest has been. Why does our government need to know this information? Is it fearful that the country’s barns are empty, is it planning for a crisis where pestilence has swept the country and we cannot feed the people?



I suspect not. It is yet more information that will be gathered, compiled, analysed and eventually filed, forgotten by a legion of civil servants who do nothing with it.

Until, under the Freedom of Information Act, commercial giants will access it and make use of it, although I’m not sure it will benefit the bloke who gave the information in the first place.

As I write, the wind is howling outside and I am rueing the fact that I haven’t managed to get the fungicide on to the oilseed rape. With short days, opportunities to spray are becoming fewer.

But, happily, only late-sown wheat after broccoli remains unsprayed for weeds. I have to confess, though, that ground conditions in the last field were not good and there are some unsightly tramlines.

Speaking of which, I am impressed with a new technique that has been pioneered in the neighbourhood – putting tramlines in around the perimeter of the field. I am told they are for the hedgecutter. I am sure it will catch on.

I didn’t like being reminded how essential the rigorous programme of vaccination against the menace of November pneumonia we undertake is. The vet administered a bottle of drugs into two recently bought cattle, and the £100 price tag puts them into the “we only keep them for the muck” category. If there is a bright side to this, at least the barley is cheap. Who said bright side?

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