WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAU) - While much of the nation worries about a “fiscal cliff” coming at the end of the year, failure to pass a new Farm Bill could bring a hazard being called a “dairy cliff.”
A failure to pass the bill would revert current federal farm law to conditions in the 1949 Farm Bill, which could actually double the price of milk overnight. The U.S. Senate has passed a 2012 Farm Bill, but the House of Representatives hasn’t brought its version to the floor for a vote.
Inside the farm bill are crop subsidy programs like the Milk Income Loss Contract which paid out more than 83 million dollars to almost 12 thousand Wisconsin dairy farmers.
If the Farm Bill is not updated, support programs like that one revert to the Agriculture Act of 1949. That would set the government purchase price at about 40 dollars per hundredweight, or about twice what milk is selling for on the market right now.