Wood Farm, Ruskington has been sold achieving a sum in excess of its £800,000 guide price. The poultry farm developed for the rearing of ducks for one of the largest producers in the UK attracted considerable interest as an increasing number of farmers look to capitalise on the strength of the sector.
The poultry farm was originally developed to supply ducks to Cherry Valley Foods, which was sold to UK poultry processor Avara Foods in 2015. Avara Foods then pulled out of duck production in 2020, leaving many poultry units in Lincolnshire and the surrounding counties looking for alternative uses.
The 10-acre site featuring 60,000 sq. ft. of Harlow-built duck-rearing sheds is now set to be used for pullet rearing before the birds are sent to egg-laying farms.
Fisher German Partner Robert Hurst said that the poultry sector can generate significant returns for farmers, and he expects this strength in the market to continue going forward.
He said: “Poultry meat and eggs are the most eaten proteins in the world, and the British poultry industry contributes £4.6 billion to the UK economy each year. The poultry sector of farming generally produces much higher returns on investment (ROI) than are typically seen in the agricultural sector, albeit with associated levels of risk.
“ROI on newly built or good, modern broiler units are generally between eight and 10 per cent, while ROI from a new egg unit is around six to eight per cent. The recent political and economic uncertainty has created a largely downward pressure on agricultural values, resulting in some farming businesses looking at alternative higher-yielding enterprises.
“Although there is some volatility in the egg sector, there is still a strong demand for free range, with nearly all major supermarkets and outlets choosing not only to sell free range eggs but also use them in their products. With a very limited amount of free range eggs being imported, this puts the UK industry in a very strong position.
“It is therefore no surprise that bidding on Wood Farm was extremely strong, and we were very pleased to achieve such a positive result.
“We also achieved similar success in the poultry sector last year with the sale of Leatherbottle Farm, in Fulbeck. The broiler unit which had reached the end of its economic life attracted a large amount of interest and is now being completely redeveloped as a modern broiler chicken farm.
“Although the UK poultry industry faces challenges ahead, it is likely that continued investment in the industry to improve technology and increase sustainability will be key to its success and we would expect it to remain a strong and successful market going forward.”