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UPDATE: Still hope for avoiding large milk price hikes

The milk section of a grocery store is pictured in Los Angeles
The milk section of a grocery store is pictured in Los Angeles

UNDATED (WSAU)   The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee says there’s still at least some hope for warding off a large price increase for milk at the start of the New Year.

Oklahoma Republican Frank Lucas says his staff has been working on piece-meal items that would re-instate parts of the federal Farm Bill which expired at the end of September.

One of them would prevent a return to an old 1949 law which doubles the government’s guaranteed rate for dairy products. Lucas said an effort would be made to attach the farm bill provisions to other bills next week.

Democrats from farm states have been trying to make an entirely new Farm Bill part of the package that’s being negotiated to avert the fiscal cliff come January 1st. But House Speaker John Boehner said he wouldn’t do it, because many in his party would never favor it.

Senate Ag Committee chairman Debbie Stabenow of Michigan said she’s appalled that Boehner is doing nothing to move the Farm Bill forward. And Minnesota’s Collin Peterson, the ranking Democrat on the House Ag Committee, says a new Farm Bill won’t be considered now until the end of February.