Congress not acting on a farm bill before the end of the year has created rumors that milk prices could soar to six to eight dollars a gallon.
Ag Reporter Sarah Gustin visits with one local dairy producer who knows that higher prices at the grocery store won't mean higher prices in the barn.
(Kenton Holle / Dairy Producer) "6-8 dollar milk, I don't think would be good for our industry. I don't think it would be good for our nation's economy. I don't think it would be good for the consumers."
No matter how high or how low the milk price is---the cows have to be milked.
(Kenton Holle / Dairy Producer) "The price of milk is completely out of a dairy farmers control. We have nothing to do with setting the price of milk. That's all based upon markets and government policy. And aat the present time we don't have any time of government program, whatever we did have expired in the end of September and without a farm bill we don't have anything coming forward."
(Sarah Gustin / firstname.lastname@example.org) "The milk truck comes everyday at Northern Lights Dairy, south of Mandan. The dairy produces nearly 5,000 gallons of milk a day, and that milk is bottled right in Bismarck."
Kenton Holle has been milking cows since 1976.
Holle's milked through the ups and downs of the industry and is afraid higher prices at the store will scare consumers and decrease demand.
(Kenton Holle / Dairy Producer) "We have volatile prices that is nothing new to our industry. With the drought this year and some other factors, farmers have been losing up to 32 cents a gallon, I don't think it's quite at that level right now, but it's still below what our cost of production is."
With high feed costs, current milk prices aren't even at break even levels, making the urgency of getting a farm bill passed, more important than ever, as more and more producers are watching their profits go down the drain.
(Kenton Holle / Dairy Producer) "North Dakota is losing dairy producers very rapidly, the incentive to produce milk just isn't there. because we don't have any kind of safety net. We don't have any margin protection, the safety net we have right now is on the floor so it is doing us absolutely no good."
But one dietitian says cutting back on that source of calcium because of cost, isn't a good idea.
Sanford Health Dietitian Kelly Fisher says dairy products offer a lot of nutritional value and are necessary for health maintenance.
Fisher says milk, cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese are all great sources of potassium, calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and protein.
Fisher recommends getting at least 3 servings of dairy a day.
(Kelly Fisher / Sanford Health Dietitian) "I think before they compromise nutrition for their family, because dairy products are nutrient dense foods that your body needs for health maintenance and health promotion. Before you start scaling those things out of your diet, look for other ways to cut back on cuts. For instance, look at how much money we spend on soda, chips and snack types of things.
Fisher says to save money you can buy dairy products in bulk or buy dry milk powder and mix that with water.
She says that's a great alternative choice to be used in recipes.