The price we pay for milk might skyrocket unless the Congress passes a new farm bill or extends the old one before January 1st. If they do nothing, then we revert to 1949 legislation that mandates purchasing dairy products at about twice the current price. With milk averaging $3.46 a gallon, that means $6 to $8 is a possibility.
A year ago, when Congress took us to the edge of precisely the same dairy cliff, they extended existing legislation. Then, (and equally applicable now) Comedy Central gathered some great names for the impending milk crisis:
During June, the Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill. Simplified by the Washington Post through the following graph, its complexity is tough even to imagine.
Illustrated by the Congressional Research Service below, the gap between the House and the Senate remains.
So, here we are again at the same fiscal policy precipice.
Sources and Resources: For the facts about the farm bill, the Congressional Research Service version is here while a good summary of its contents and some background are in a 2012 Washington Post article and in an NPR report. More specifically, if you are interested in the dairy price support system that would elevate milk prices, this government report is excellent. You might though just want to enjoy the Indecision Blog at Comedy Central.
Excerpts from last year’s dairy cliff post have been quoted.