Dec. 19 2012 01:51 PM

As the deadline for a possible return to 1949 agriculture legislation looms, only a solution to the fiscal cliff can end the standoff for farmers. The real question is, when will the days run out?

by Lucas Sjostrom, Hoard's Dairyman Associate Editor

It's everywhere. "It" is the news that the fiscal cliff may double milk prices. Of course, it should be fitting that milk prices are the focus as we near towards the end of the Mayan calendar, farm bill and fiscal cliff in two weeks of fireworks.

So, are we any closer?
Last week, I said an expiration of the farm bill is not likely to happen. But if it does happen, it likely won't last for very long. That's because the government would need to start buying product at high prices, we would likely be deep in violation with the World Trade Organization, and our export market would completely shut down.

But hey, it could happen. The effects would be disastrous long-term, but we might get $39/cwt milk for a couple of fun days (maybe enough money to start paying down debt accrued from 2009?).

Today, President Obama spoke on national television asking Republicans to "take the deal,"referring to the current proposal under discussion.

Later on, John Boehner, Speaker of the House and Republican from the Ohio's rural 8th Congressional District, answered with a statement accusing Obama of not making a proposal to balance taxes and spending cuts. Boehner said the House will pass the plan to raise taxes on those above $1 million – which is a concession from his earlier statement that they wouldn't raise taxes. Obama was originally looking to raise taxes on everyone with income over $400,000.

The Senate remains in limbo, with the President likely having the ear of the Upper House leadership since it is Democrat-controlled.

While the Mayan calendar runs out this Friday, the fiscal and dairy cliff wait until the end of the year. Another calendar ran out at the end of last week: Congress'. But plans have changed and members have been warned they may be staying through Christmas, according to a CNN story.

So which calendar should you trust? We would recommend the Hoard's Dairyman calendar. Despite warnings of the world ending, it runs through the complete calendar year.