The Daily News reports tax cuts proposed in Congress would potentially save dairy farmers next year if not for the higher feed costs spurred by the extended ethanol blenders’ tax credit.

The bill extends an ethanol blenders’ tax credit and an ethanol import tariff which could increase demand for corn making it more expensive for livestock producers to feed their cows. One economist predicts the rising corn prices could cost a modest-sized farm tens of thousands of dollars.

Dairy producers are already expecting higher corn prices without competing for the commodity with ethanol companies. Dairy producers have already felt the impact of higher feed costs as corn has increased by 60 percent in the last six months. Corn is about 20 percent of a cow’s diet.

"Dairy families are scratching their heads trying to figure out how Congress can justify this taxpayer giveaway to the corn and ethanol industries at the expense of our livestock industries," said Rob Vandenheuvel, general manager of the Milk Producers Council, a California organization, in a press release. "This policy is indefensible, and needs to be stopped now."

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