"While double the price of milk sounds great right now to dairy producers, the consumers would not have been able to afford milk," Schutz said. "Certainly the milk processors would have stopped buying as much milk, and it would have caused a great dilemma for the dairy industry.
The problem was averted with a one-year extension of the farm bill, which bought time for Congress to write new farm policy.
"Fortunately, lawmakers extended the farm bill, which means the MILC - milk income loss contract program - is also still in effect," Schutz said.
The MILC program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, compensates dairy producers when domestic milk prices fall below a certain level. The monthly payments can help supplement producers' incomes if they are losing money at current milk prices. Dairy farmers should check with their local FSA offices for more details.