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Business owners and shoppers say they would feel the pinch if milk prices go up

Published On: Dec 09 2013 10:28:04 PM EST

Milk prices would affect more than milk, business owners and shoppers say

The clock is ticking and fears are rising as the fate of milk prices remains somewhat unknown.

If Congress doesn't make any movement on the Farm Bill by the end of the year, the cost of a gallon of milk could jump, but experts believe the spike won't be as drastic as some believe.

"I wouldn't lose any sleep over the price of milk going to $8. It will never happen," said John Berry, with the Penn State Lehigh County Extension.


Lehigh Valley Congressman Charlie Dent doesn't think it will happen either and believes a vote could happen as early as this week.

"Even if the Farm Bill were not to be considered this week, I suspect the House and Senate would agree to an extension of the current milk law," Dent said.

If the farm bill doesn't pass, experts said the worst case scenario would likely be a jump of about $1.25 a gallon.

But even that could be trouble for Kim MacIver, owner of Ice Cream World in Allentown.

"If ingredient cost jumps immediately, then we would have to raise our costs," MacIver said.

She believes this could affect her business significantly.

"People notice when costs go up.  We have people that come in on a weekly basis and they know when prices go up," MacIver said.

MacIver said the problem could extend well beyond milk and ice cream.

"Other products are more important than ice cream for survival and nutrition," MacIver said.

Lisa Aponte said her kitchen is stocked with a variety of dairy products that could be affected by the price of milk, including cheese.

"Cheese alone, we use a lot of cheese in my household.  It means cheese is going up.  Not good," Aponte said.

William Strauss said Congress should strongly consider basic human needs when making a final decision.

"What's more important than food and food products?" Strauss asked.