What we hope for, and what we actually get, are often two different things. And coronavirus is proving to be a situation which can make the gap between hope and reality seem larger than ever.
While we hope the death toll brought about by this disease will continue to reduce and therefore lead to a reduction in the lockdown rules, the reality will be led by science (we hope) and the decisions of those in Government.
It is a similar journey which agriculture is embarking on with regards the potential positives to emerge from this period in time, versus what the future might really hold.
While the perception of farmers and domestic food production has no doubt been boosted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the issues which so perplexed agriculture before the crisis, in this case the demonisation of livestock production and ignorance towards the industry, are still swirling.
It is a similar issue regarding pollution and agriculture’s impact on the environment.
The huge reduction in emissions now car journeys have halved and air travel has all but halted leads many within farming to hope their point is proven, that agriculture is not the problem and that initiatives such as making the industry net carbon zero no longer need apply to them. All of which is wishful thinking.
And throughout all this we should not forget about Brexit. Despite being out of the media spotlight, the reduction in direct payments, potential greening of support and trade implications which still lie in wait will reshape agriculture far more than Covid-19 ever could.
The Government should seek to extend the transition period and delay next year’s proposed reduction to Basic Payments, therefore providing the industry with a suitable buffer following what could be an entire year of market disruption.
With all that is going on, it is not so much the challenges of today which should vex the industry, but how it is on the front foot to grapple more effectively with the major issues of the future which, while currently dormant, have not gone anywhere.