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BBC2:Farming without Oil

'Now my farm will help teach the world to live without oil, says woman who banished plastic bags from her town

I was under no illusion that being a farmer would be easy, but last year's fuel crisis, with oil prices continually rising, was a wake-up call for me. Our costs went through the roof - animal feed, diesel for the tractors, agricultural contractor bills - but the biggest rise was in the price of fertiliser. We use very little chemical fertiliser, but many farms were driven to bankruptcy. With this in mind, I decided to make one last BBC documentary to find out if, and how, modern farming could survive the 21st Century.

By seeking advice from experts, pioneer farmers and growers, I heard plenty of dispiriting news, but also discovered how nature holds the key to farming in a low-energy future. All farms, even organic ones, run on fossil fuel, particularly oil. It powers the machinery and is used to create the fertilisers and pesticides on which modern agriculture is so dependent.

Now that the price of oil has collapsed, the temptation is to think the crisis is over. But, as Toyota Motor Sales USA said recently, 'it was a brief glimpse of our future'. Worrying words from the world's biggest car company. It was a reference to 'peak oil' - the point when the maximum rate of global oil extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline . . . '

Full story Daily Mail, 15 Feb 2009

Rebecca's film A Farm For The Future will be screened on BBC2 at 8pm on Friday and repeated on Sunday, February 22.