Milk hits $4. Here's why.

US - A complex formula exonerates the most commonly cited culprit – Ethanol.
calendar icon 16 July 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
This might sound familiar: Ethanol wants corn and so do cows. So corn gets more expensive. And feeding corn to dairy cows gets more expensive. So your gallon of milk gets more expensive.

Sounds logical. It's been on television, and in newspapers.

But it's just not true.

Dairy experts, government economists, and market analysts agree.

"The media has tied the rising price of corn to the rising price of milk," sighed Russ Giesy, an expert on dairy with the University of Florida Extension Service. "Oh well."

Giesy, when asked, is a tireless explainer of the complicated life of milk.

Yes, corn is being diverted for ethanol. Yes, that is driving up corn prices. And yes, that means your local dairyman is paying more to feed his cows. But that isn't driving the price at your dairy case, Giesy explains.

Nationally, milk prices averaged $3.55 a gallon in June, with prices expected to continue to rise. Locally, milk prices have risen above $4 on many store shelves.

So why is it costing more to buy milk for your family? The answer lies back 70 years, and on the other side of the world.

Source: St. Petersburg Times
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