Affecting the cost of animal feed and lowering the amount of milk from cows, the drought is pushing up milk prices.

Fiscal Policy: The Dairy Cliff

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Dec 30, 2012    •    467 Views    •    TIME TO READ: 1 minute

The price we pay for milk might skyrocket unless the Congress passes a new farm bill or extends the old one during the next several days. If they do nothing, then we revert to 1949 legislation that will push the price of milk up from approximately $3.75 a gallon to more than $6.

Comedy Central has gathered some great names for the impending milk crisis:


In the Washington Post Wonkblog, journalist Brad Plumer created this excellent pie graph summary of the Senate’s version of the gargantuan farm bill. As an example of fiscal policy, the graph provides ideal detail.

The Senate Version of a farm bill is about a lot more than farms.

Currently the House and Senate versions of the bill differ. With so much to discuss, the Congress will probably extend existing legislation for a year to avoid going over the Dairy Cliff.

Sources and Resources: For the facts about the farm bill, the CBO version is here while a good summary of its contents and some background are in the Brad Plumer Washington Post article and in an NPR report. More specifically, if you are interested in the dairy price support system that would elevate milk prices, this government report is excellent. You might though just want to enjoy the Indecision Blog at Comedy Central.

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