Sir, – Never before has there been a time to realise that so much of our industry relies on crude oil for diesel, fertiliser, ag-chemicals, silage wrap, baler twine, net wrap, lick buckets, feed bags, grain drying, tyres, water-proofs, etc – not to mention the haulage of raw materials on and commodities off farm.

Is our soil really providing any fertility and if so, is it depleting or enhancing? We have to find another way of producing food without relying on oil. For example, meat derived from grazing perennials uses far less oil than a tillage-based conventional wheat.

Some facts: 20% of road miles in the UK are hauling food around; 30% of food is wasted in the home. One potential outcome of increasing oil and food prices is both of these figures will reduce and neither are defensible.

Are we farming, or converting oil into food?

Henry Cheape, Strathtyrum and Fossoway Farms, St Andrews.