Sir, – I used to think that a robotic milker would be too much of a technical challenge to be worth developing, yet now they are widespread and might even be on their way to being the commonest way to milk cows.

Likewise, a seed to seed period of only eight weeks for wheat, used to be the stuff of science fiction (The SF, Jan 6, page 37). Why stop there?

A lot of the effort and cost of crop growing goes into establishment. Wheat and some other staple cereals are basically grasses, and some grasses are perennials. Putting the two together could be possible, as a time may come when it is economically and environmentally worthwhile to grow staple crops indoors with artificial lighting and conditions.

Yields of more than 200 tonnes dry matter per ha per annum would seem to be possible, consistent, and free from weather dependency.

A good analogy is that developments that first appear in racing cars, often later become standard in everyday vehicles.

The urgent need to tackle linked problems, like climate change and its consequences, loss of wildlife species and habitats, and rising population levels, may all conspire to change the market situation in favour of indoor farming.

Sandy Henderson

Faulds Farm,