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Milk Prices To Go Up In 2014

December 31, 2013, 10:00 PM by Angela Kennecke

Milk Prices To Go Up In 2014

It's something almost everyone buys, especially families with children.  But it will cost you more in 2014.

While the lack of a new farm bill threatens to cause a jump in the price of milk, it's going up anyway.

Right now in the diary case, skim milk is $3.50 a gallon, while whole milk is more than $4.00.  But as the ball drops on New Year's Eve, those prices are rising.

"It's all world-wide demand," Bob Trader of Hy-Vee said.

And not politics in Washington.  While the horror story is if Congress can't pass a new farm bill, milk prices could jump to $8 a gallon, it's likely Congress will pass an extension so that doesn't happen.  However, milk prices will go up anyway.

"Last summer there was a drought in New Zealand, which really reduced their dairy herds.  New Zealand feeds Asia with milk, so you're seeing a significant rise in imports from China of U.S. dairy products," Trader said.

The demand from China is one big reason milk will cost you more. 

"You're going to see maybe 10 to 20 cents a gallon affect in the first three months," Trader said.

"I hate to see them go up because I think it's a really important food product for our families.  The children are going to suffer because people will start giving their kids less milk and more water.  They'll find out that sodas are cheaper than the milk," shopper Diana Navin said.

Milk isn't the only dairy product you'll be paying more for at the grocery store.  You can expect to pay more for butter as well.  That's because the U.S. Exported 142 million pounds of butter in 2014.  That is a 60-percent increase. 

But it's not the diary farmers who end up profiting.  Their costs have also gone up. 

"For the producer, it's probably balancing out for them.  And we just have to bite the bullet," shopper Alan Bortnem said. 

For those who continue to drink milk, biting the bullet may last until summer, when demand for milk lessens. 

International demand could continue to increase significantly for US dairy products, as China eases its one-child per family policy.

Follow Angela on Facebook.

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