Around 16,000 farmers are expected to arrive at the NEC today, when the Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers stages its biggest dairy show yet.
Some of the latest industry innovations will be at the show, including robotic milking machines, milk pregnancy test kits, computerised neck collars to detect cows' fertility and 'text messaging' feeding machines.
Dairy Crest has announced that it will close its site at Crudgington in Shropshire within the next 18 to 24 months. The move puts up to 161 jobs at risk.
The company says it proposes to consolidate the manufacture of all retail butters and spreads at its existing site in Kirkby, in Liverpool.
It also plans to increase bulk butter production at its Severnside creamery in Gloucestershire.
Dairy Crest say overall job losses will be offset by the creation of around 50 extra jobs at Kirkby and another 20 at Severnside.
“Today’s decision, while still a shock for members, won’t really have come as a surprise to them. Both Crudgington and Kirkby have been operating under capacity and ever since the review started a couple of years ago. I have been on site today and the news has really demoralised everyone."