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$7 Per Gallon Milk Looms On Horizon

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Milk (AP)

Milk (AP)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Congress has been struggling to pass any bills this year, but one of the biggest failures has been the lack of a farm bill. If Congress doesn’t move a farm bill soon, getting a gallon of milk may be more expensive than a six-pack of soda.

If no bill is passed, the country will face what some have nicknamed, “the dairy cliff.” The dairy cliff is similar to the fiscal cliff the nation narrowly avoided in January 2013.

Once the nation goes over the dairy cliff; the U.S.’ farm policy would revert back to the 1949 farm bill. Back then, the federal government gave bigger price supports to the diary market. Putting the 1949 law into effect today would force the government to buy milk, butter, and cheese at double the current prices.

So, a dairy farmer could choose to sell it to a purchaser at today’s prices, or sell to the USDA for roughly double the price.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said there would be supply issues as well and milk could quickly end up costing at least $7 a gallon a little after January 1.

The dairy cliff was avoided last year when a temporary extension of the 2008 farm bill was added to legislation that kept the country from going over the fiscal cliff.

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