News surfaced this week of plans being put on hold for what would have been the United Kingdom's largest dairy. Nocton Dairies, which had intended to build an 8,100-cow operation, faced opposition from animal rights activists and environmental campaigners.

Nocton Dairies released a statement saying they would take more time to address the "technical issues" and develop additional surveys and reports.

Across the pond, California dairy producers facing similar opposition are being wooed by other states that offer decreased expenses and less complex regulations. According to the article, the top eight locations are Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, Texas and Wyoming.

The author interviewed Darin Dykstra who moved from California to northwest Iowa in 2002. (Check out this 2009 Progressive Dairyman article about hoof trimming at Dykstra Dairy.)

"Living in Southern California, there used to be grape vineyards next to our dairy. Now there are houses there," Dykstra said, regarding the move. "It's not ideal to have your farm in the middle of all that and slowly we were getting pushed out — all the dairies were getting pushed out — so you have to move to the Central Valley or move out of state, and I chose to move out of state."


The article went on to highlight benefits of dairying in Iowa and Texas. Some states, like Kansas, even have programs designed to draw producers to the area. In fact, the recent Southwest Kansas Dairy Tour showcased the advantages of large-scale operations. PD