"Dairy Cliff" could mean higher milk prices - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

"Dairy Cliff" could mean higher milk prices

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LINCOLNTON, NC (WBTV) -

Dairy farmers like Corey Lutz of Piedmont Jerseys Farm in Lincolnton have been through a brutal year after the country's historic drought drove up the cost to feed cows.

"I've been in business myself for thirteen years, and this past year is probably the worst year I've had up to date," he says.

If things don't turn around, we may not have a dairy industry.

"We used to have two hundred dairies in Catawba County which is where I grew up, and now there's two or three," Lutz says.

Now, he says lawmakers are making the problem even worse. Lutz is talking about the dairy cliff, named after that famous fiscal one, which, of course, has been distracting Congress.
While lawmakers grapple over taxes, they're running out of time to pass a new version of something else crucial to the economy called the Farm Bill.
And if they do indeed miss that deadline, the price of milk will double.

"We need to get this farm bill passed," Lutz says.

He is sure his profit would go down even as the sticker price on a gallon of milk goes up, because people will simply stop buying his product.

"The market is going to be so disrupted because of this, that we're actually going to be worse off than if milk prices never went up at all," he says.

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