This year milk production has soared way above expectations and the struggle against wastage is proving a major problem for dairy companies. The abundance is being put down to good milk production weather and the fact that farmers, faced with low prices, are trying to maintain income by boosting output. The industry has not yet replaced the capacity lost through factory closures in recent years ­ the giant butter and milk powder plant being built by co-op United Milk at Westbury, Wiltshire, for example, will not handle significant volumes for some weeks. One result of this capacity shortage is that milk, skim milk and cream are being exported to Ireland and the Continent at above normal levels to find a home for some of the extra supplies, and earning very low returns because of the high transport costs. In the UK market, milk that cannot be dealt with locally is being shifted around the country at high cost to make use of every bit of spare capacity. This will be an expensive time for milk supply co-operatives and dairy processors and the result will be further downward pressure on already low farmgate milk prices. {{CANNED GOODS }}

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