Milk prices expected to rise in 2013 - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Milk prices expected to rise in 2013

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Get ready to open your wallets, the price of milk could be doubling in 2013.

Part of the reason is the federal Farm Bill is stuck in Congress.  Normally it offers dairy farmers a safety net of sorts if the price of milk falls.  Without the Farm Bill, there's no net. 

Mike Yoder has hundreds of cows at his Middlebury farm.  He paying close attention to the Farm Bill.  "The old Farm Bill provided some support so when prices feel really low, below our cost production, it would help narrow that profit that margin, that loss," said Yoder.  That old Farm Bill expired September 30th. And a new farm bill has not been passed by congress yet.

"I think what most of agriculture would like to see is another Farm Bill passed," said Yoder.  But he admits that's not the big issue for him right now.  "The primary problem for dairy operations right now is the high cost of corn and soybean."  Because that's what he feeds his cows.  Costs are up due to this year's drought.  "The cost of feeding a dairy cow this year has been twice what it was last year," said Yoder.

A lot of people are worried if a new Farm Bill isn't passed the price of milk will double.  But Yoder said because of the drought and the problems it's caused for dairy farmers, an increase in milk is inevitable.  "Consumers have to pay more for milk or we go out of business, it's pretty simple," said Yoder.

Mary Ann Lienhart Cross with the Elkhart County Purdue Extension office agrees that mother nature is wreaking havoc inside grocery stores.  "The drought is going to affect more than dairy products... all food prices will go up."  She said it means families are going to have to make some harder choices when it comes to spending.  "Maybe they'll look at entertainment and say ok we're not gonna be able to keep all the luxuries that we have because it's harder or tougher to put more food on the table," said Leinhart Cross.

A choice she hopes you don't make is cutting out milk.  She says it is the best source of calcium, especially for kids.

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