Major concerns right now for farmers after Congress recessed without passing a farm bill. The current one is set to expire Sunday.
Kern County milk producers said the expiration of this bill could put them out of business for good. That's because without the bill, milk producers have no guarantee they'll sell their milk for the price it costs to produce it.
"It adds another level of uncertainty," said Betsy Hunter-Binns, Kern County Representative for the Milk Producers Council.
With 54 dairy farms and more than 100,000 milk cows, milk production is a big part of Kern County business.
"They contribute about $50 million to the Kern County economy," said Hunter-Binns.
But, that contribution may start to decrease as an expiring federal farm bill could milk local dairies dry.
"If a dairy farmer doesn't get a specific amount for his milk then he can't pay his bills. When you can't pay your bills, you go out of business," said Hunter-Binns.
Passed in 2008, the farm bill gives all farmers subsidies. The important subsidy for dairy farmers is the Milk Income Loss Contract or MILC. It guarantees that no matter the price of milk, producers get a profitable price.
"The farm bill adds a level of certainty to shipping and make milk," said Hunter-Binns.
This comes in a year that feed costs are at an all-time high, so farmers can't help but look at the milk glass half empty.
"This is just an amount of cost that dairymen are not used to facing, and unfortunately they cannot recover that from the market. They are price takers so they are kind of stuck," said Hunter-Binns.
Congress discussed versions of a farm bill for about a year, but failed to pass a bill before they recessed.
Bakersfield Congressman Kevin McCarthy has promised to make the bill a top priority, saying in a statement, "I am pressing my colleagues to get a farm bill through the House and Senate in a timely manner that meets Kern County needs."
Even if the bill passes when Congress reconvenes November 13th, dairy farmers say until then, they're left with a sour milk taste in their mouths.
"It's very frustrating and really depressing," said Hunter-Binns.
If it happens, crop farmers wouldn't see their subsidies taken away until the beginning of next year because it's the middle of the growing season.