WAMC News
12:20 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Schumer and Gillibrand Warn of Higher Dairy Prices Sans Farm Bill

Senator Charles Schumer is sharpening his warning that if Congress, and the House in particular, does not pass the Farm Bill, consumers may see the price of milk double and dairy farmers lose any price stability.

The federal farm bill expires at the end of this year, and New York’s senior senator says if the House fails to act on it, farmers and consumers face a “dairy cliff”.  If there is no action, Schumer notes that on January 1st, dairy pricing policy reverts to a  1940's era law - which would mean steep spikes in consumer milk prices. New York Farm Bureau Spokesman Steve Ammerman says the senator is reflecting what ag experts have said could potentially happen if a farm bill extension or the Farm Bill is not passed.

Agrimark Dairy Economist Bob Wellington says farmers are frustrated with the lack of action on the Farm Bill.

If the Farm Bill reverts to the 1940 scenario, Bob Wellington doubts the federal government would allow the predicted consumer price spikes to happen.

In the absence of the Farm Bill, both of NY’s Senators are calling on the House to temporarily restore a program that protected dairy farmers from volatile price swings. Bob Wellington says that’s critical.

New York Farm Bureau Spokesman Steve Ammerman says the lack of a farm bill is fueling anxiety over a potential “dairy cliff”.

New York’s Senators are also urging that dairy pricing reforms be kept in any final farm bill agreement.

Credit WAMC