Summer is usually a quiet time for farm protests. Farmers are too busy on the land. But this summer has been different and last week there were flashpoints at different protests organised by the IFA and the Beef Plan movement. There is a toxic mood within farming right now which is dividing rather than uniting.

Farmers have been protesting ever since the infamous march on Dublin in 1966. And while there has always been a certain air of hostility and genuine anger at the core of these pickets and protests, there was never much by way of menace. But that too is changing judging by some of the more erratic posts by individuals on social media in recent times.