Milk Prices Could Triple in New Year

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(Memphis) Prices could soon triple at the grocery store for things you absolutely need in your refrigerator.

We`ve heard a lot about this fiscal cliff, but if congress doesn`t come to an agreement on the farm bill, which is a separate issue, grocery prices will skyrocket.

Everyone needs milk, and if congress doesn`t act fast on a farm bill it will mean you have to dig even deeper into your wallet next time you head here to the dairy aisle.

The average cost of a gallon of milk is $3.54.  But New Year`s Day the price could shoot up to over $7 a gallon.

And don`t forget that would drive up the cost of butter, cheese, ice cream and yogurt too.

Current farm subsidy laws expire when the New Year`s ball drops, and if lawmakers can`t agree on an extension before then it`s bad news for farmers and consumers.

Tony Owen runs Miss Cordelia`s Grocery Store on Mud Island, and he says most people don`t even know higher prices are a possibility.

“I don`t think the reality of it has truly hit home with most people and wont until they see the price on the shelf if that`s where we have to go,” said Owen.

The price would go up because farmers get tax payer money from the government to keep dairy prices low. 

It actually costs a lot more than $3 a gallon to get the milk from a farm to your refrigerator, and shopper Molly Haynes says maybe customers should be the ones paying instead of the government.

“I think they should probably make changes, but I think that if changes aren`t made people may not be happy about it but they will still pay for the milk,” said Haynes.

Without an extension of the farm bill farmers could also lose out on disaster relief funds that already expired.