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Monitor farm hosts meeting about carbon footprints
12:03pm Tuesday 31st July 2012 in Farming
DAVID MARTIN, of Lords Plain Farm, Levens, near Kendal, in Cumbria, hosted a SAC meeting .
The farm on the Levens Hall Estate is a monitor farm in an initiative delivered by SAC, via Rural Skills Cumbria, and funded by the Rural Development Programme for England.
It is a low-lying 283-acre grass unit with a 230-strong Holstein herd. Some extra land is rented and crops bought in for wholecrop.
The herd calves all year and is run on a high input/high output system averaging about 10,000kg per cow milk sold.
Feeding is on a semi- TMR system topped up in parlour.
A heat recovery unit works on the bulk tanks and Mr Martin is considering installing a bigger area on the existing plate cooler, or possibly a new unit.
A borehole yields brackish water so the farm is heavily reliant on mains water supplies.
A new calf building is planned and solar panels are being considered for the roof.
The farm is expected to come under the Lake District National Park in the near future, but Simon Fawcett, planning assistant, said the park wanted to support renewable energy initiatives wherever possible.
In many cases, farm installations would qualify as permitted development, not requiring formal planning approval.
The park’s main concern is the landscape, but, Mr Fawcett said that 95 per cent of applications were accepted – well above the national average.
Wind turbines had a problem in that the most suitable sites were usually on highly visible high ground. However, farm scale wind generators have little impact.
He said farmers should talk to planners at an early stage of any project to get