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Milk Price Crisis Avoided; Congressional Compromise Keeps Prices from Doubling

After a close call, the agriculture committee reveals compromise so milk prices won't double in 2013. Prices were expected to hit $6 to $8.

 

While the U.S. Congress worked up to the last hour to prevent the country from heading over the "fiscal cliff," leadership of the agriculture committee prevented a "dairy cliff" on Sunday, Dec. 30.

The committee announced a compromise over the weekend regarding the Farm Bill that will keep milk prices from skyrocketing to $6 to $8 per gallon.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow indicated that in addition to the one-year extension that has the backing of the committees, the House GOP is also considering two other extension bills — a one-month extension and an even smaller bill that would simply extend dairy policy that expires Jan. 1, reported the Associated Press on the NPR site.

Dairy subsidies under the 2008 Farm Bill expired on Monday, and, without a bill in place, prices paid by the government to farmers would revert back to higher 1949 levels, reported USA Today.

Wheat and other commodities could have be impacted later in 2013.

"If a new Farm Bill is not passed in the next few days, Agriculture Committee leaders in both chambers and both parties have developed a responsible short-term Farm Bill extension that not only stops milk prices from spiking, but also prevents eventual damage to our entire agriculture economy," said Stabenow.

"It is not perfect -- no compromise ever is -- but it is my sincere hope that it will pass the House and Senate and be signed by the President by Jan. 1," Frank Lucas, R-Okla., chair of the House Agriculture Committee, said in a statement.

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