AFTER a wet winter and an early spring played havoc with milk production last year, Murray Goulburn has declared Gippsland as the one area set to beat the trend.
Murray Goulburn manager of commercial milk supply, John Perrott, has reported that while milk collection in Gippsland remained lower than the same time last year, there had been an important turning point.
"On current trend, by mid-January we are on track to get more milk on a daily basis than last year," he said.
"The wet weather has meant that the peak has been a lot flatter this year, with summer and autumn now expected to provide better returns.
"We are getting good quantity and quality from our suppliers," Mr Perrott said.
Murray Goulburn Maffra field services manager Gregor Allan said the season had begun poorly, but was now turning around.
"Maffra can do that," he said.
"There is a 100 per cent allocation of water in the Macalister Irrigation District and we have had a good harvest of silage on most farms and hay cutting is still going on."
On the manufacturing side, Maffra's extended three-month plant shutdown is still set to go ahead, to cope with an expected reduction in milk intake.
Murray Goulburn operations and supply chain executive general manager Chris Diaz said the closure would ensure Murray Goulburn met milk processing requirements and maintenance activities, and that planned total plant shutdowns took place every year.
"The air dryer plant will have a standard month-long shutdown, with the bulk fat processing plants having the extended shutdowns.
"Due to a reduction in our seasonal milk intake, the shutdown will be longer than usual.
"As per the normal shutdown process, employees will be requested to take leave in June; however they will also be offered leave over the months of April and May.
"Any excess milk will be processed at Leongatha."