‘Dairy Cliff’ looming, milk prices could almost double in 2013

'Dairy Cliff' looming, milk prices could almost double in 2013 (Image 1)
'Dairy Cliff' looming, milk prices could almost double in 2013 (Image 1)

The so-called fiscal cliff isn't the only obstacle looming for the new year. Congress also has yet to pass the Farm Bill, which could potentially affect the price paid for milk.

Every five years congress re-writes the Farm Bill. The current bill expired in October, and unless lawmakers take action by January 1, the formula that sets the price of milk could revert to the one passed in 1949's Parity Pricing Act.

Under that formula, the price of milk could almost double.

“I've heard predictions of $6 to $8 a gallon at the store,” dairy farmer Bob Strasser told Nashville's News 2.

Strasser is a third generation dairy farmer. He milks his herd of 90 Holsteins twice a day at his Davidson County farm.

“Nobody wants that,” he said of the potential price increase. “That's out of control and we would lose consumers that we would never get back. People can't afford $8 milk to feed their families.”

Ross and Stephanie Keisling are soon-to-be parents. They told Nashville's News 2 that a price increase would put a dent in their growing family's food budget.

“That's just too expensive and as much milk as we go through, probably two gallons a week, that would be pretty costly,” said Stephanie Keisling.

If a farm bill fails to pass, it would most likely have a negative impact on both producers and consumers.

Strasser still has hope that congress will step in to avoid price increases.

“I don't believe even this do-nothing congress we have will allow that to happen,” Strasser told Nashville's News 2.

The farm bill is often a source of controversy. In addition to farm-related issues, the farm bill contains legislation pertaining to food assistance programs.

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