From the NBC “Today” show on Saturday: “‘Imagine if Wisconsin cheddar costs more than imported French brie,’ said NBC’s Stephanie Gosk. ‘What would that mean for the average grilled cheese?’ The dairy industry is calling the possibility of the rising milk prices the ‘milk cliff.’ Just like tax rates, the price of milk could go way up if a farm bill isn’t approved by Jan. 1.”
David Rogers reported yesterday at Politico that, “With President Barack Obamashowing new interest, House and Senate Agriculture committees are drafting a short-term farm bill extension to avert a spike in milk prices next month but also permit another round of direct cash payments to already profitable growers — a costly subsidy that lawmakers had vowed to end this year.
“Without some action, an outdated 1949 farm law will kick back in on Jan. 1 requiring the Agriculture Department to buy up dairy products at a rate of $38.54 per hundredweight, or more than double the current prevailing price. Secretary Tom Vilsack risks being sued however he chooses to implement the policy, but consumers could see a real impact at the grocery store in a matter of weeks.
“That potential milk crisis has caught the attention of the president, who is coming off the sidelines after largely ignoring the farm debate all year.”