Milk Prices Could Spike on Fiscal Cliff Failure - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

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Milk Prices Could Spike on Fiscal Cliff Failure

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by Mark Curtis ABC6 Chief Political Reporter 

mcurtis@abc6.com 

Got, milk???

Well, maybe not much longer

Customers were stocking up at Arruda's Dairy Farm in Tiverton and elsewhere.

This after hearing that failure of the so–called fiscal cliff talks in Washington could cause milk prices to double, perhaps $6 to $8 dollars per gallon.

Zachary Mendonca, a Milk drinker, "That's a lot of money, but milk's one of the necessities in life. You just need to adapt to it. It's going to be a lot of money but we can't control it."

It's not just stores. Restaurants like "Custom House Coffee," use lots of milk in lattes and coffees.

A spike in milk prices might mean higher prices for customers.

ABC6 Political Reporter Mark Curtis said, "This isn't just about consumers. In fact, about 14 percent of milk produced in the United States is sold overseas. And farmer's say if the price doubles, they'll lose that business and the income."

Farmers, like those at Escobar Highland Farm in Portsmouth are worried.

They were supporting a new farm bill that is now stalled by the fiscal cliff standoff.

That bill would have let market forces set the price of milk.

Dairy farmer Louis Escobar said, "Where the dairy industry was going to keep the control within agriculture, and supply and demand. It was probably the best Farm Bill yet, with a dairy portion that I'd ever seen."

Instead, if the fiscal cliff is not fixed farmer's say agricultural price supports would revert to an archaic formula set way back in 1949. That, in turn, could cause milk prices to hit as high as $8 dollars per gallon.

 

 

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