Regulation

Will Pols Milk the Rise in Milk Prices?

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The Cincinnati Enquirer reports on the increase in milk prices:

Fuel costs, plus higher prices for feed corn and silage, are pushing dairy farmers' production costs up. With more corn being used to make ethanol, the increased demand is pushing up feed prices….

The average U.S. retail price of whole milk could rise to $3.35 a gallon by October, up from $3.07 in January, said Ken Bailey, an agricultural economist at Penn State University who specializes in the dairy industry.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast also predicts an increase in the price that processors pay to farmers for raw milk—an indicator that the retail price of milk also will rise.

When the average price of milk rose 19 percent in the spring of 2004, milk purchases fell less than 4 percent, said Stephanie Smith, a spokeswoman with the National Dairy Council.

More here.

Not that they need any more issues to latch on to, but would it be surprising if pols tried to milk milk prices the same way they do gas prices?

Let's hope they do–as it might just help start a discussion about the various ways in which governments at the federal and state level add some $1.5 billion a year to what consumers pay for dairy products through regulation, including price floors. Some history on that here and here.