Posted: Dec 27, 2012 11:04 AM CST
Updated: Dec 27, 2012 12:19 PM CST
By Stephanie Robusto - email
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - As lawmakers struggle toward a compromise on the fiscal cliff, a very important farm bill is waiting in the wings.
If and when Congress reaches a deal concerning tax increases, it may be too late.
It's been dubbed as the "dairy cliff," and if lawmakers don't give this bill some attention soon, farmers will continue operation under a 1940s law since the farm bill expired three months ago.
Federal funding assured through March 2013 has kept prices at the average for now, but if the first of the year comes and goes without any action on the farm bill, prices could skyrocket.
The cost would be based on the cost of production, set over 64 years ago, which would pass along more cost to the consumers.
In 1964, the year the Beatles came to the United States and Martin Luther King, Jr. won his Nobel Peace Prize, the price of a gallon of milk averaged 95 cents.
In 1980, when Ronald Reagan was elected president and the Mount St. Helens eruption killed 57 people, milk cost $1.60.
In 2011, the average cost of a gallon of milk was $3.39. So what can we expect if the farm bill is swept under the rug? Well, your gallon of milk could cost around $8.
Here's a look at the increase in prices in the United States over the past 50 years:
Tune in to WMBF News at 4 to see how this price increase could effect you.
Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.