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Milk Prices May Increase on January 1st, 2013

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The fiscal cliff has been getting daily press as 2012 comes to a close. With no agreement, taxes will go up. However, that’s not the only ‘cliff’ that could arrive in 2013. A dairy cliff is set to go into effect. A federal farm bill is set to expire on January 1st, if Congress fails to pass a new farm bill, the price of milk and other dairy products could jump sharply on January 1st.

On January 1st, federal agriculture policy will revert to a 1949 policy that says government must buy milk at higher prices to keep dairy farms afloat.The minimum retail price for a gallon of whole milk is $3.71. Some experts speculate that the price of milk for consumers could double!

Maine has more than 300 dairy farms that employ about 1,400 people. Another 2,600 work in processing plants and other dairy businesses.To prevent the spike in prices, Congress either needs to extend the current bill, pass a new law, or enact a provision to keep the 1949 law from taking effect.

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