Viewpoint: Politicians will hear some hard truths at this week's Ploughing
Published 22/09/2015 | 02:30
Tens of thousands of people will be leaving their homes at dawn today to make a beeline for Ratheniska and the annual gathering that is National Ploughing Championships.
The Ploughing is usually a convivial affair, with many in holiday mode after a busy few months on the farm.
It's a chance to catch-up with friends, old and new, and also an opportunity to window shop all the latest farm gadgets and machinery.
As my Grandad was fond of saying, 'It doesn't cost anything to look.' Whether he was talking about shopping or not, we were never quite certain.
Among the machinery aficionados, and those just enjoying a day out, there'll be a lesser spotted species that is often more commonly encountered during the run-in to an election.
It will be hard to escape the whiff of a General Election in the air and there will be plenty of politicians pressing the flesh and gauging the mood of the farming sector.
Compared to this time last year, the mood in the beef sector is relatively positive, while the sheep sector has enjoyed a more stable summer.
It's a different story altogether in tillage and dairy.