Dairy processors sound alarm as milk supplies head for record highs
Dairy processors are facing a wall of milk for the next fortnight as they battle to keep supplies processed through the peak production period.
Weekly supplies are running 13-20pc ahead of last year, as a combination of bigger cow numbers and strong grass growth is reflected in increased deliveries.
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Ireland is on target for another record year of milk supplies, and is set to exceed the 8bn litre mark for the first time. Last year's figure topped 7.5bn litres.
Industry sources are confident there is enough processing capacity in the system nationally to deal with the latest surge in milk supplies, but they cautioned that every plant will be needed to stay on stream over the next few weeks, despite close to €1bn being invested in stainless steel over the last decade.
A spokesman for Arrabawn said: "The entire industry will need the next few months to go smoothly. Any interruptions to processing will cause a challenge."
Another industry insider said processing capacity could be "in trouble" if there were problems at any of the major facilities, especially over a weekend.
Most dairies expect to see milk deliveries peak over the coming week, which is much earlier than usual.
Processors report a massive jump in April milk supplies compared to both 2018 and 2017.