WDAY: The News Leader

Published December 20, 2012, 09:39 PM

Prices of milk could soon skyrocket

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- If Congress doesn't act before the new year, people across the county may see milk prices skyrocket.

By: Kay Cooley, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- If Congress doesn't act before the new year, people across the county may see milk prices skyrocket.

They could reach more than 6-dollars a gallon without a farm bill resolution. Although the exact price is hard to predict, experts say the amount people pay may double or even triple come January first.

That's if Congress can't reach an agreement beforehand to either pass a farm bill, or extend the current program.

Lavonne Richards/Georgetown, MN: It woudn't be a good thing. I mean, everybody needs milk for their health."

April Grandalen/Portland, ND: "I think it's ridiculous."

Got Milk? Well come 2013 many shoppers may not unless they want to pay two or maybe three times as much. Congress has not been able to compromise on a Farm Bill, which currently regulates the price of milk.

Heidi Heitkamp/ND Senator Elect: "it's a further example of where the failure to get along, the failure to come together and solve problems crease unintentional consequences that everyone will say, 'Well this is ridiculous. How could you not fix this?'"

Consequences that hit the entire dairy section at grocery stores nationwide. Not only would milk go from roughly 4 dollars a gallon to maybe 8, or even 12. But cheese, butter, yogurt, it'd all go way up.

Grandalen: "I have kids, and I still have to buy it either way."

Richards: "I think it would make it very difficult for people to- they're going to go to powdered milk or the kids, they're not going to get their nourishment because they won't be able to afford it."

And it doesn't stop there. Dairy farmers, like those in Cole Rupprecht's family, will see demand drop.

Cole Rupprecht/Cass Co. Extension Ag. Agent: "in the long run, we'd be over-producing milk because no one would be able to afford to buy it. Our foreign markets would cease to exist. So more or less they would run out of business because there'd be no one there to buy their product.

A business needed to feed hungry families and build strong bones.

Heitkamp: "going forward, we really need to break the log jam in the House of Representatives."

Heitkamp says she believes Congress may approve an extension of the current bill by the end of the year.

But that is only a temporary fix.