Saturday, September 30, 2023

Lincolnshire dairy farm secures funding to invest in carbon efficient cowshed

Lincolnshire-based dairy farm, White House Farm, has significantly increased its productivity after investing in a new carbon-efficient cowshed, using £1.05 million of funding from Lloyds Bank.

Located in Bourne, the fourth-generation, 800-hectare dairy and arable farm is owned by the Dorrington family and its herd of nearly 300 cows produces milk exclusively for Arla.

The seven-figure loan from Lloyds Bank has supported the construction of a new 2,700-metre square cowshed and will significantly improve the farm’s natural slurry filtration by using deep channels to move liquid manure below ground quickly and without the need for electric pumps.

The large, open-plan pitched-roof building uses natural ventilation and LED lighting in a further boost for the farm’s net-zero credentials, while its passages are wide enough for an electric robot slurry scraper to operate, helping to further improve cow welfare by reducing the number of mastitis cases and the need for antibiotics treatment.

Investing in the new state-of-the-art cowshed supports Dorrington Farm’s long-term sustainability commitment on both the dairy and arable side of the business. The shed’s new slurry separator has allowed the farm to move separated manure away more efficiently and use it to reduce the artificial fertiliser needed to grow the crops, with fields of maize grown entirely from slurry and solid manure applications this year.

Zara Dorrington, who’s great-grandparents moved to White House Farm in 1924, runs the business along with her father Ross and uncle Simon. Commenting on the investment in the new cowshed, she said: “Slurry management was a key area we wanted to improve when designing the new shed. We knew it was where we could significantly strengthen our sustainability agenda, turning what was historically a waste product into a useable asset with many benefits.

“With Lloyds Bank’s support, we’ve taken great lengths to make sure its design and build is as carbon-efficient as possible, whilst also providing a comfortable and nurturing environment for our herd.”

The finance package comes via Lloyds Bank’s Clean Growth Finance Initiative, which provides discounted funding to help businesses transition to a lower-carbon, more sustainable future.

Steven Withers, agricultural relationship manager at Lloyds Bank, added: “Every industry is under pressure to improve sustainable practices, and with agricultural land making up 70 per cent of the UK’s land area, farming has a particularly crucial role to play.

“Our Clean Growth Finance Initiative is designed to support businesses with their environmental and sustainability goals, and so the build of the new cowshed at White House Farm will not only improve efficiency and production levels, but allow Zara and her family to operate more sustainably. We will continue to be by the side of land-based businesses like this to help them thrive in the most carbon-efficient way.”

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