WAMC News
12:20 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Schumer Warns Consumer Milk Prices May Double If Farm Bill Not Passed

New York Senator Charles Schumer is warning that milk prices in stores could double if the Farm Bill isn't renewed by the end of the year.

The Farm Bill, the framework for food and farm policy, is enacted every five years. The 2012 bill is stalled in the U.S. House, where leadership will not hold a vote on the measure until after Election Day.  But the 2008 Farm Bill expired on September 30th. Over the weekend, Senator Charles Schumer raised concerns that if the Farm Bill does not pass during the lame duck session, the Agriculture Act of 1949 will go into effect on January first. Schumer says that means consumers could see milk prices rise to 6-dollars, or more, per gallon. Northeast Dairy Foods Association Executive Vice President Bruce Krupke says New York’s senior senator is making irresponsible claims.

The National Milk Producers’ Federation says it is a real possibility that milk prices will double. Senior Vice President of Communications Chris Galen calls it an unintended consequence of the failure to pass the Farm Bill.

Why would a 1949 law affect the 2012 Farm Bill?  Chris Galen explains.

Cornell University Professor of Agricultural Economics Andrew Novakovic says Senator Schumer is not necessarily predicting prices will rise, but illustrating the severe consequences of failing to pass the new Farm Bill or to extend the current legislation.

The Farm Bill passed in the Senate in June by a two to one margin.

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