After a break of three years, the National Ploughing Championships returns next week. Never was a national event that celebrates the role agriculture plays in underpinning the rural economy more needed.

It has been a difficult three years. Initially, in the face of the COVID pandemic, the essential role farmers play in ensuring consumers had a constant supply of top-quality, nutritious and safe food came centre stage. Like doctors, nurses and the emergency services, farmers and the wider processing sector were recognised as essential services.