Southeast Milk Inc., a full-service dairy cooperative operating across six states in the Southeastern U.S., has ceased operations at its reverse-osmosis plant in Baconton, Ga.

Southeast Milk originally built the plant as an ultrafiltration plant to condense milk to cut freight expenses when milk was most abundant in the spring months. During the fall months, the plant would shut down. In recent years, the cooperative converted membranes to reverse osmosis with hopes of running the plant year-round. But with milk supplies in the area declining, the need for surplus milk outlets has diminished.

“For many years, SMI’s Baconton plant has provided key balancing for milk suppliers in the Southeast,” Southeast Milk President Jacob Larson said. “But shifting market conditions have now made Southeast Milk perpetually deficit of milk, and we no longer need this facility to balance surplus milk. I must thank our numerous employees over the years that have put in many hours to ensure our members always had a home for every drop of their milk.”