Local dairy operators to take hit if farm bill stalls

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Posted: December 29, 2012

The Winchester Star

Kitty Hockman Nicholas tosses feed to the Jersey cows in the milk parlor of Hedgebrook Farm south of Winchester. If Congress doesn’t pass by Tuesday the sweeping farm bill that provides disaster subsidies to farmers, the price of milk could eventually rise dramatically. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)
Dairy farmer Mike Stiles of Waverly Farm in Clear Brook said that even though milk prices are expected to rise if Congress doesn’t pass a farm bill, the price of cattle feed also would rise and could erase all of his profits. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
A Jersey cow stares down a chicken in the milking parlor of Hedgebrook Farm south of Winchester. The chicken was eating spilled cattle feed. (Photo by SCOTT MASONAssociated Press)
Curious Jersey dairy cows watch a stranger pass by on the Waverly Farm. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
Dairy farmers Laura Jackson and her father Mike Stiles of Waverly Farm in Clear Brook reflect on the upcoming potential expiration of the farm bill. Stiles said nearly all of his income goes to feed, fuel and fertilizer. “It’s been a money-losing situation for the last several years,” he said. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
Mechanical milking machines are used at Hedgebrook Farm. (Photo by Scott Mason/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — Congress has two days to pass the federal farm bill before dairy operators and milk buyers begin to peer over their own fiscal cliff.

If the lawmakers fail to send through a new farm…



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