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Milk producers peer over the dairy cliff

Published: Wednesday, July 29 2015 10:30 p.m. MDT

Oct. 2012, Farmer Sally Goodrich talks about her farm in Danville, Vt.  Congress' failure to act on a farm bill before the election recess has put small dairy farms in limbo. Already strapped by soaring feed and fuel costs that are putting some out of business, small farms from New England to the Midwest no longer have a safety net that provided them a boost when milk prices fell to a certain level. (Toby Talbot, Associated Press)  (Associated Press) Oct. 2012, Farmer Sally Goodrich talks about her farm in Danville, Vt. Congress' failure to act on a farm bill before the election recess has put small dairy farms in limbo. Already strapped by soaring feed and fuel costs that are putting some out of business, small farms from New England to the Midwest no longer have a safety net that provided them a boost when milk prices fell to a certain level. (Toby Talbot, Associated Press) (Associated Press)

Our take: Most dairy farmers are feeling in over their head as the Milk Income loss Contract expired in 2008, protecting them if the feed price was higher than the milk price, according to David Sommerstein reporter from NPR. While Americans face a fiscal cliff, dairy farmers are facing a cliff of their own. Sommerstein reports on the problem:

"There's more than one cliff drawing controversy this month. The federal farm bill is one of many items caught in congressional gridlock. The bill resets U.S. agriculture policy every four years, and most farmers are still covered by crop insurance and other programs until next planting season. But there's one exception: dairy.

Dairy farmers now have no safety net if milk prices fall. And with feed prices soaring, many feel they're falling off a cliff of their own."

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