A very unusual opportunity for dairy farmers to upgrade to a unit that could compete with the best in the country is about to be launched – in the Cambridgeshire Fens.
Redgate Farm, Guyhirn, near Wisbech, extends to 124ha (307 acres) in the heart of arable country. However, rather than growing wheat, oilseed rape or roots, the ring-fenced unit is down to mainly grass and forage crops and is home to a 600-cow dairy unit.
As well as being in an unusual location, Redgate Farm is also different in that it was established on a greenfield site in 2007. It includes a modern North American-style dairy cubicle house measuring 140x36m, with adjacent 20:40 rapid-release parlour, 35,000 litres of bulk tank storage to suit every-other-day collection and a collecting yard.
Other facilities include two silage clamps with over 14,000t capacity and a slurry store with eight months’ capacity fed by automated scrapers and pumps.
The result is a simple yet highly efficient set-up, which also benefits from being surrounded by arable farmers, according to Antony Oliphant of Savills.
“Agreements have been in place to swap slurry for straw and for contract-growing arable forage crops. Local vegetable packing stations also provide cheap by products for feed,” said Mr Oliphant. “The farm can also grow potatoes and land swaps with neighbours have been done to extend the forage cropping area.
“In addition, the farm is not shown as being located in a Nitrate Vulnerable Zone. Redgate Farm, on a total cost per litre basis, will compete favourably with many other farms in the north and west of the country.”
Milk is currently sold under an Arla Sainsbury contract. Additional income could be secured through a roof-mounted PV scheme and/or an anaerobic digester, and there is plenty of space to expand the buildings further and extend the parlour.
The farm is for sale following the Irish owners’ decision to sell up and return to their homeland, said Mr Oliphant. A recently built four-bedroom house and temporary agricultural dwelling are included.
The guide price for the land and buildings and house is £3.4m. However, the preferred option is to sell the package as a whole, including the herd (currently 425 head), stocks and machinery. A guide price for the whole package is available from the agent. (Savills 0115 934 8123)