The Future Of A Gallon Of Milk


By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Idaho ranks 3rd in the nation for dairy production.

With Southern Idaho making up 72% of that.

The possibility of milk reaching $7 a gallon has local dairy farmers scratching their heads.

For this week's segment of Grow Southern Idaho.

Joey Martin for Idaho’s First News explains what the united dairyman of Idaho had to say.

Bob Naerebout from the United Dairymen on Idaho says he's very optimistic that the average price of a gallon of milk will stay the same.

No matter what officials in Washington have to say about it.

Currently there are two separate Farm Bills on the floor in Washington D.C.

Both the Senate and the House have passed separate bills.

Recently the House and Senate Conference Committees have officially begun work on resolving the differences between their two versions.

"We do believe they'll make headway on that, but instead of going to separate houses for a vote... it will end up in the appropriations bill that they would be looking at on the 15th of January."
Said Bob Naerebout from the United Dairymen of Idaho

If the Conference Committee fail to come to an agreement and allows the bill to lapse.

What will that mean for southern Idaho Dairy Producers?

"If the Farm Bill lapses... you go back to parity for pricing, that stimulates a lot of the discussion about the price of milk going sky high."
Said Naerebout

But Bob Naerebout of the United Dairymen of Idaho feels that this is unlikely.

"The reasons that prices of milk won't rise is we have to understand that the government works extremely slow. So in order for the government to look at buying dairy products at parity they would have to number one... declare what products they want. They would also have to determine what kind of packaging they want it in.
We don't believe the government won't buy any products... they haven't bought products in at least a decade."
Said Naerebout.

So how optimistic is he that the House and Senate Conference Committee will come to an agreement?

"We do believe that there will be a Farm bill. That Farm Bill will probably more than likely be tied into the upcoming appropriations bill to prevent the government from shutting down.

So to ease the worries of local producers and consumers of dairy products... Naerebout has this to say.

"What we say to them is... the market controls the price, not the government. And that's how we see the future."
With a stable market controlled system... The price of your daily glass of milk should stay the same.

The diary industry here in Southern Idaho’s employs over 30,000 individuals.

Naerebout says with or without the Conference Committee coming to an agreement.

The local dairy industry will remain strong.