If you’re a growing family with young kids, you know how fast a family of four can go through a gallon of milk. Congress went home for Thanksgiving break without passing a farm bill. If the bill drags out beyond New Year’s Day, some speculate that milk prices could spike to as much as $7 a gallon.
A key sticking point holding up the bill is funding for food stamps. Both sides have their concerns and as a result Congress is at an impasse.
But the clock is ticking on milk prices and the deadline is January 1. That’s because if Congress doesn’t pass a farm bill by then, subsidies for dairy and other commodities will expire triggering a funding formula from the 1940s that could lead prices of several commodities like corn, soybeans and wheat to spike.
As early as January, the price of milk could double from the current national average of $3.47 a gallon.
But, farmers and ranchers are optimistic.
“Congress is going to get the farm bill resolved,” said Dale Moore, chief lobbyist for the American Farm Bureau Federation. “When they get back after Thanksgiving, hopefully, they’ll be ready to say: ‘Here’s what we think we got on the middle ground.’”
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said he thinks Congress will get a deal before Jan. 1 and avoid triggering sky-high prices of milk and other commodities. “The key here is to focus on getting the job done and understanding that there is a consequence if the job doesn’t get done,” he said in a call with media. “No one wants to do that.”
And, Arizona Farm Bureau’s own President feels that the issues can be resolved in the next four weeks before we see the New Year ushered in.
Interviewed this morning on KTAR, Rogers gives a note of encouragement: