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Milk supplies are heaviest in the Northeast, but more manageable compared to the holiday period. Processing plants in the rest of the country are working on reduced schedules as year-end milk supplies are worked through and other fluid handlers and smaller processors have resumed normal intakes.
Through the first 10 months of 2012, the volume of major products increased a combined 5.5 percent to more than 2.8 billion lbs. Although growth had softened in recent months, U.S. cheese and whey protein concentrate were poised to shatter volume records, and nonfat dry milk/skim milk powder was tracking at or near record levels. For the second consecutive year, U.S. export volume accounted for more than 13 percent of total milk solids produced in the United States.
The top-end UHT milk products are mostly 100% foreign made and imported mainly from New Zealand, Australia, Germany and France.
The market for dairy alternative drinks is growing, fueled by its increasing popularity in the West, where it is moving out of the specialist heath food arena and into the mainstream.
A combination of three factors: butter prices declining this week to levels last present during mid-July, cream offerings being heavy and expected to increase, and butterfat tests since July substantially above the last few years, all lead to one result - surplus cream
Milk supplies available for cheese manufacturing have increased and cheese plants are working additional hours to accommodate the increased volumes Midwest farm milk production is increasing steadily, and California milk production is slowly building.
Class I demand continues to be very strong in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, limiting manufacturing milk supplies. California milk output trends continue to indicate steady to slightly higher gains. Processing plants are running at manageable levels and no issues are expected over the Thanksgiving holiday period. Conditions have been ideal for milk production across Arizona and total output is increasing on a weekly basis.
The research firm Beijing Shenong says organic milk accounts for less than 1% of the total. Among the reasons: The cost of an organic farm is high.
Total cheese output (excluding cottage cheese) was 871 million pounds, 0.3 percent above September 2011 but 1.9 percent below August 2012.
At its Natrel Division plant in St. Paul, Minn, Agropur makes rBST-free white and flavored milk, heavy whipping cream, half n half, buttermilk, organic milk, nutritional drinks and shakes and sport drinks. Nondairy beverages (soy, rice, coconut, and almond) coffee creamers, broth and sauces.
This photo gallery contains additional, unpublished photos of dairy processing facilities featured in Dairy Foods magazine. To view more Behind the Scenes galleries go to our archives page!
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