Milk: the new white gold!
Holy shizz! Milk might be hitting $6 a gallon if there’s no farm bill resolution!
Congress didn’t complete action on the bill this year after it expired in September, and if no fiscal agreement is reached, farmers could face the prospect of returning to an antiquated system for pricing milk that would bring big price increases for consumers.
The fallback plan is Congress passing an extension of current farm law, which would provide a temporary fix.
But farmers still shudder at the thought of any prospect, even remote, of reverting to an old system under which milk could surge to $6 a gallon.
Here’s what would happen according to the source:
The Agricultural Act of 1949 contains the basic provisions for setting milk prices. The act is superseded every time a new farm bill is passed, but if no new bill or extension is passed the old act goes back into effect.
That law includes a mechanism for guaranteeing a minimum milk price that covers producers’ costs. The government guarantees to buy their milk products at that price, but producers can usually do better selling on the consumer market. But if the old mechanism were applied to current market conditions, the government price could be double the current rate, industry officials say. Farmers would sell their dairy products to the government instead of the private market and store prices would surge. Then prices might collapse as the government eventually sold its dairy stockpiles.
Another worry is that surging prices for American cheese would give American consumers incentive to switch to cheeses from New Zealand and Europe.
Let’s just hope something happens, and soon!
[Image via AP Images.]