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Sour situation: milk prices could reach record high

By ANNA MEILER

VERNON, N.Y. (WKTV) -- When you're checking out at the grocery store, you can add 60 more cents to your bill when buying milk.

"Terrible. It's sickening. It's really bad," said Susan Rahauiser.

The latest price hike could mean shelling out $5 or $6 a gallon. Families with kids that go through a gallon a day could end up spending nearly $1,700 on milk a year.

"Kids don't have a shot today with the prices of food. Parents go out of their minds just to provide for their kids," said Rahauiser.

One reason milk prices are rising is because the cost of cow feed is rising. So some farmers are decreasing the cows they own, leading to less milk production.

"When there's less product produced, there's still a demand for the product. As long as that demand stays high the middle man is going to say okay these people still want this, there's not quite as much of it here available, so we're going to charge more," said Steven Adams, vice president of the Oneida County Farm Bureau.

Adams says urban spread is taking away land from local farmers, giving them less space to grow corn and soy beans to use as cow feed. So the problem of purchasing pricey grain likely won't go away and neither will the demand for milk.

"It's too much, but what are you going to do? You're going to drink milk,  you got to buy it," said Ted Kozlowski.

Consumers say they plan on compensating.

"When you have to spend an extra few cents for a gallon of milk it takes from other things that you need- basic necessities to survive with," said Frank Gerace.

The current drought in California is affecting alfalfa used for cow feed so milk prices could increase again later this year.

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