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Spilling over "dairy cliff" could mean $8 gallons of milk - abc27 WHTM

Spilling over "dairy cliff" could mean $8 gallons of milk

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

There's no use in crying over spilled milk, unless that gallon cost you $8.

If federal legislators can't agree on a farm bill by January 1, we could spill over the "dairy cliff," and end up paying more for milk.

Dairy farmers get financial support from the government. Without that, a gallon of milk could cost anywhere from $6 to $8.

But Jay House, deputy secretary of Regulatory and Consumer Affairs with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, said that does not mean you need to rush out to the store and stock up on milk.

"There's no reason for panic," said House. "It'll be disruptive, but in the long term, the market will settle out."

Another problem to consider, without a farm bill deal, prices of all other dairy products would go up, too.

House said he is confident Pennsylvanians will not see prices sky rocket. But even if they do, there won't be changes right away -- and they won't last forever.

"It's hard to envision a situation where this worse case scenario would endure for very long. There would have to be a remedy," said House. "Destroying the market is an exaggeration. Disrupting the market is a more accurate word to use."

If lawmakers do not come to terms on a new bill by January 1, they could also vote to extend the old one and buy some time.

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