'Dairy Cliff:' Milk prices could double if Congress fails to pass farm bill


Milk consumption in the US dropped 30 percent since 1975 likely due to health concerns and abundance of new drinks.


Justin Sullivan

In addition to the "fiscal cliff," now Americans have to watch out for the so-called "dairy cliff."

According to CBS News, milk prices could double if Congress does not pass the new farm bill by January 1.

More from GlobalPost: Milk consumption drops off massively in the US

NPR explained the bill contains something called the Dairy Product Price Support Program, that helps set the minimum price for milk, or the "support price."

The bill would replace the last farm bill which actually expired about three months ago but has been operating under a provision from 1949, CBS News reported.

The Agricultural Act calculates prices set in 1949, which was $39.53 per 100 pounds of milk. That is twice as much as the average cost today, NPR reported. If enacted, milk could jump from $4 a gallon to more like $8 a gallon.

The reality is that there is a very serious risk that we might not get a farm bill done this year," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently said, according to USA Today. "The uncertainty of not knowing what the policies are going to be will create difficulties. We need a farm bill and we need it now."