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Lawmakers say no farm bill in 2013
By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas Congress reached a deal on a two-year budget plan, and the farm bill will not be voted on by the end of the year.
The 2008 farm bill is set to expire on Dec. 31.
Americans could end up spending up to $8 a gallon for milk in 2014 if the farm bill is not extended.
If lawmakers do not extend the bill, prices will revert back to the 1949 formula.
"Dairy farmers will have a choice between selling to local dairies at prevailing prices or selling to the federal government at double the market price," said Tom Fullerton, a UTEP economics professor.
But not everyone in El Paso is nervous about the possible price hike.
"It may go up in the short term, but once the farmers get used to the system, they will produce what's needed and the price will most likely just go back down to where it was," said Eric Hanly from West El Paso.
However, others said they'll have to cut back on their dairy products.
"I enjoy milk, so I'm going to end up paying whatever it goes up to," said Scott Collins from West El Paso. "Instead of getting three gallons, I'll only get one gallon, I guess."
But for nutritionist Elaine Gordon, she won't be bothered at all if the price of milk jumps.
"It's a good thing because we really don't need that much milk; does not do a body good actually," Gordon said.
The nutritionist argued milk should only be for growing babies and that adults should not drink conventional milk at all.
"Our bodies are not made to digest cows milk; actually goat's milk is much better for us because it's a little more similar to the way human's milk is when it's produced," Gordon said.
Gordon is urging more people to start drinking alternatives to conventional milk, such as almond milk and cashew milk.
"You can make it yourself," Gordon said. "You buy a cup of almonds, you soak them at least eight hours a night before and throw them in your blender."
Although a decision will not be made by the end of the year, farm negotiators said Tuesday they hope to make a decision by early January.