GREENWOOD, Del.- A lot of attention is being paid in Washington to the fiscal cliff, but Congress must also vote on a farm bill before Jan. 1, if it wants to keep the price of dairy products from skyrocketing.
The dairy cows at Jerrel Heatwole's farm in Greenwood produce about 8-10 gallons of milk each day. Without the farm bill, the price of that milk could be going up.
But higher prices does not make for happier farmers.
"This situation that Congress has us in is not good for anybody," Heatwole said.
Heatwole worries a spike in prices could lead to long-term losses.
"It has a huge impact on demand, then it trickles back down to price again," he said.
Dairy is a long-term game and it takes about two years before a calf produces milk and farmers have to decide if they can carry that cost during these uncertain times.
"It's hard for a farmer to plan," Heatwole said. "What do I plan for, $22 milk, $38 milk? What does the consumer plan for?"
Some consumers might be leaving milk off their shopping lists.
"I won't buy it as often. So I wouldn't stop buying it but I wouldn't buy it as often," said David McCorkale of Dover.
Jerrel Heatwole is urging Congress to act before he has to sell off some of his cattle.
"We're in an untenable situation," he said. "We don't know what tomorrow is going to bring and so how do you plan?"
Monday, May 20 2013 9:07 PM EDT2013-05-21 01:07:55 GMT
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