Farm plans to extend milking herd by double

Cows on land off Kirkby Lonsdale Road in Over Kellet, which has been earmarked for possible development
Cows on land off Kirkby Lonsdale Road in Over Kellet, which has been earmarked for possible development

Brook Farm in Nateby has applied to the council to expand its business in order to double its dairy herd in the near future.

The pedigree dairy farm, on Longmoor Lane, currently has 130 milking dairy cows but if plans, to add an agricultural dwelling on the farm, are accepted by Wyre Council this will double to 260.

The application, which was submitted this month, follows a country wide decline in farmers leaving the industry and a global fall in milk prices.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) recorded 60 dairy farmers left the industry in December alone last year and warned fewer than 5,000 dairy farmers could be left in the UK by 2025, if current rates of decline continue.

Brook Farm currently has 130 milking dairy cows, 130 dairy followers (young cattle) and one stock bull.

It has two full time staff and one part time, however, with the addition of accommodation another employee would be able to remain on site and give 24 hour support for works on the farm, any time of the day or night, and help to tend to the expanding herd.

But like oil, world milk prices have come down in response to an imbalance of supply and demand and farmers have been warned milk prices have further to fall despite being at their lowest level since 2007.

However, within their application Brook Farm claims it is a “well established business, with substantial labour demands”. Farm owners Mr and Mrs Myerscough added the added dwelling “is essential for the continued growth of the farm, and sustainability of the local rural economy”,

And the argue to deny the application would have “ a detrimental affect on the progression of the business and have severe detrimental impact on the day to day running of the farm, and limit any future expansion.”

Garstang Coun Tom Balmain said: “There is no doubt that a farm wanting to increase its milking herd is a good thing for the agricultural industry.

“Obviously farmers are having a hard time, there is no doubt about that, and the price of milk being bought by supermarkets is a disgrace.

“We should be supporting our local milk man and having milk delivered to our door.”