Have you ever heard of $8-per-gallon price for milk? Well, you certainly have if you have listened to some of our elected officials as they saturate the news media all across the U.S. regarding future milk prices charged to consumers. It is preposterous that the officials would claim that milk prices paid by consumers might reach $8 per gallon. It is my opinion that these tactics are being used to encourage consumers to pressure Congress to pass a new farm bill. However, the dairy provisions in the proposed farm bill are not geared to raise or stabilize prices paid to dairy farmers, despite the fact that feed and other prices have raised the cost of producing milk by an additional 60 cents per gallon during 2012.
Did these same elected officials bother to tell the press that the proposed farm bill calls for a margin insurance provision that mandates the American taxpayer to pay for the premium on the insurance programs? Even under the worst scenario, if Congress doesnt take immediate action to pass a new farm bill and the 1949 act kicks in, it appears to me the price per gallon of milk might go to nearly $5.65 a gallon, not $8. However, this just isnt going to happen. Yes, there should be a new farm bill passed. But this bill must contain a new pricing formula that is based on the dairy farmers cost of operation. Therefore, we urge Congress to pass a new farm bill, but we favor a continuation of the dairy provisions in the old farm bill until a sensible solution can be agreed upon that will not force thousands more dairy farmers out of business. This has to be done.
There is a sensible solution to the dairy farmers financial dilemma. That solution is contained in the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act (S-1640), which was introduced by Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA). This bill would return a fair, stable price to dairy farmers, and is not geared to cost the U.S. taxpayers any money. The good part of the bill is, if it was enacted, the price of milk in many areas would be around $4.15 a gallon. We believe this price to consumers is affordable and would stabilize our dairy farms across the United States. Our elected officials should be paying more attention to this type of proposal rather than scaring consumers regarding $8 per gallon price. Yes, there is a solution. And we urge all consumers to immediately contact your local representatives and senators and urge them to pass a cost-of-production bill like S-1640.