Dairy prices could double if Congress doesn't pass new farm bill

Farmers around northern Michigan are waiting to see if Congress can come together to pass a new bill that would continue billions of dollars in government programs that help farms.

If congress cannot come to an agreement by January 1st, a policy from the 1940s requires the government to buy up milk at double the market price to balance out the milk market. This would end up costing consumers between $6.00-$8.00 per gallon.

Mark Rubingh at Rubingh Dairyland in Antrim County tells 7&4 News that it is likely that prices for other milk based products like cheese, yogurt, and ice cream could also go up. If lawmakers don't pass something soon, Rubingh expects consumers will not respond well to inflated prices.

"I think people will buy 70% less dairy products," Rubingh said. "It would be catastrophic to dairy farms."

A version of the bill already has passed through the Senate, but now awaits approval from the House. And with time dwindling away, the bill is beginning to develop the nicknames, "Dairy Cliff" and "Milk Cliff"