One of Pembrokeshire’s largest dairy farms, which has a 2,000-strong dairy herd, has submitted a scheme for new calf buildings to “reduce reliance on third-party farms”.

Hugh James has applied for permission for a calf building and weaned calf building, and associated yard areas, at Langdon Mill Farm, near Jeffreyston, Kilgetty.

A supporting statement, through agent Reading Agricultural Consultants, states: “Langdon Mill Farm is a dairy unit extending to approximately 1,215ha, comprising 283ha owned land and 730ha rented, located approximately 1km north of the village of Jeffreyston.

“A further 162ha is used by the business to spread slurry under informal agreements. The holding currently has a milking herd of approximately 2,000 cows, which are housed indoors for the majority of the year, with dry cows [cows that are not lactating, prior to calving] and heifers grazed outdoors when weather and soil conditions permit.

“There has been significant investment in buildings and infrastructure at the farm over the last decade in respect of cattle accommodation, slurry storage, milking facilities, Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant and feed storage. The unit is efficient, achieving yields of more than 10,000 litres/cow/year, with cows being milked three times/day in the 60-point rotary parlour.

Currently, calves are reared at Langdon Mill Farm for two months before being transported off-site to be reared at a number of third-party farms in the area.

At 22 months the in-calf heifers are brought back to the maternity building to calve, and then are introduced into the milking herd.

The proposed 61.2m long calf building is required to accommodate young-stock, following separation from the cows, to two-months, with the 164.8m weaned calf building to be used for calves from two months to seven months.

Following the construction of the new calf accommodation, the existing building would be used for machinery and straw storage.

Currently, weaned calves are transported by tractor and cattle trailer to be reared at a farm in Cresselly, approximately 2.4km from Langdon Mill Farm.

The application says the proposals would “clearly make the enterprise more financially robust by reducing reliance on third party farms,” adding: “Despite the scale of the new buildings, their relationship to the existing dry cow/maternity building and proposed anaerobic digestion plant would ensure that landscape impact associated with the proposed development would not be significant.”

The application will be considered by planners at a later date.