Super dairy ‘will have no problem selling milk’

An 8100-cow dairy herd planned for Lincolnshire will have no problem finding a buyer for its milk, says a leading quota agent.

Output from the £50m Nocton Dairies farm is expected to reach 250,000 litres daily should planning officials grant the go-ahead.

Milking could begin as soon as this autumn at the super dairy, located between the villages of Nocton and Dunston, a few miles south of Lincoln.

Animal welfare campaigners claim consumers wouldn’t like their milk to come from such a big farm.

But Ian Potter, of quota agents Ian Potter Associates, said the business would easily find a buyer for its milk.

“There is no doubt at all that a dairy farm of this size will be of interest to all the major processors,” he told Farmers Weekly.

It was a foregone conclusion that the farm would secure a liquid contract – although not necessarily with a retail-aligned buyer.

Collecting milk from a single 8100-cow site rather than from scores of smaller herds was an obvious attraction.

“It’s an easy pick-up,” said Mr Potter.

Mr Potter acknowledged that smaller milk producers felt they would be unable to compete with the super dairy.

But fears that Nocton Dairies would drive smaller producers out of business were no reason to call a halt to the venture, he said.

“Some people think it will put small farmers out of business, but that is competition for you and that’s life.

“If smaller farmers do go out of business, it won’t be the sole reason they go under. It is about survival of the fittest.”

Graeme Surtees, consultant to Nocton Dairies, confirmed that milk would go to the liquid market, rather than be processed by the company.

Nocton Dairies was talking to a number of buyers, he said.

“There is lots of interest but we don’t have a final agreement in place yet.”

Located away from Nocton village on the B1188, the farm would add less than 1% traffic to the B1188, said Mr Surtees.

All lorries, including the 25 milk tankers expected each day, would be routed away from surrounding villages.

A planning permission decision is expected to be announced by North Kesteven District Council by early May.

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