KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Milk prices could skyrocket as high as $8 per gallon if Congress does not pass another farm bill. Members of the House and Senate are fighting over the parts dealing with food stamps.
A side effect of the farm bill not going through is a rise in milk prices, which could affect other products.
Farmers at Sweetwater Valley Farm milk their cows three times a day. "About 10,000 gallons of milk," said farm owner John Harrison.
The milk ends up on store shelves like the ones at Greenback IGA. Owner Mike Juwaid worries a spike in the price of milk could bump up the price of a whole lot of other products.
"If the price of milk gets so high people won't be able to buy cereal. You have to worry about the price of ice cream going up, and cheese," Juwaid said.
If Congress can't come to a resolution over the farm bill, milk prices would rise because a law from the 1940s would kick in. When prices jump, dairy farmers would get some of that money.
"It's all hype," says Harrison, who believes it's all a scare tactic in an attempt to get the farm bill to go through.
"I don't think it'll happen. I think either we'll get a new farm bill or an extension of the present farm bill," he added.
Local store owners believe a milk price hike is a definite possibility and worry about a loss in sales.
"If people are not buying milk, they are not buying cereal, not buying dairy products," Juwaid said.
Senator Bob Corker, Representative Phil Rowe and Representative Chuck Fleischmann are all unsure how they will vote on the bill.
Sen. Alexander supported the Senate version of the farm bill and looks forward to reviewing the bill that comes out of the Senate/House conference.