Local News

“Dairy cliff” could send milk prices up to $6 to $8 a gallon

Milk may soon be a luxury, at anywhere from $6 to $8 a gallon, if Congress does not pass a new farm bill by December 31st, when a dairy subsidy is set to expire.

The U.S. would then go back to a policy from 63 years ago, where the government would be forced to buy milk directly from farmers at double wholesale prices.

FOX43 caught up with some shoppers buying groceries to see if that would stop them from buying milk.

“Is it going to impact my buying habits, probably not,” said Tony Almodovar of Leola. “But that’s a lot of money for milk, for sure.”

Others said they’d have to reconsider.

“Maybe drink a little less or have a little less cereal, I don’t know. It depends on if it goes up or not. If it does, most likely we will cut back a little bit,” said Jennifer Fuentes of Lancaster.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey, D-Pa., has been pushing House lawmakers to pass a Farm bill for months. The Senate passed its own version of the bill in June.

“This is completely avoidable,” Sen. Casey said. “If the House does what the Congress has done for decades, which is, pass a Farm bill.”

The last Farm bill was passed in 2008. It’s intended to fund agriculture, nutrition and farm programs for five years.

If a new bill isn’t passed, it would take a few months for milk prices to double. The prices of other food made with dairy are likely to go up as well.

Some lawmakers are suggesting a temporary solution, by folding an extension of the 2008 Farm bill into a bigger fiscal cliff resolution.

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