U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer is calling on the lower house in Washington to act quickly on renewing the National Farm Bill before the end of this year, otherwise Americans could be paying a lot more for dairy products – including twice as much for a gallon of Milk.
During a media conference call earlier this week, Schumer addressed the Farm Bill, saying members of the House of Representatives needs to take action by Jan. 1 to avoid a “Dairy Cliff.”
Specifically, Schumer is calling on the house needs to pass the bipartisan Senate Farm Bill – which would bring back the Milk Income Loss Contract program for a period of time. This will allow farmers to continue to receive support from the Federal Government, so they can in turn keep the price of dairy products down. If a bill is not passed by the end of this year, Schumer said it would devastatingly impact dairy consumers and producers.
In speaking with the media earlier this week, Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) briefly addressed the Farm Bill. “I know a lot of attention has been on the Fiscal Cliff crisis, but the folks on the [House] Ag Committee – and Chris Gibson in particular – is keeping us informed as to where it’s going, and I remain hopeful that we will get this done as part of this lame duck session and come up with a long-term, five-year bill to deal with the farm policy for America.”
Reed was referring to NY Congressman Chris Gibson, a republican from the Catskill area who sits on the House Ag Committee.
Dairy farmers are already missing out on payments from this program during a time of extremely high feed prices. Additionally, dairy farmers could lose significant market share abroad if prices were let to soar.
According to Senator Schumer, if the bill is not renewed, the federal government will revert back to depression-era policy that will require the purchase of a specified amount of dairy products in order to maintain a certain minimum price of milk, and a certain level of demand for the nation’s dairy farmers.
This means the government would be required to act as if the price of the milk going into the product has increased three-fold, which would also translate to double the market rate for consumers.