So will America’s ag producers see a new farm bill passed by Congress by the end of the year? The answer depends on who you talk to.

“Unfortunately, I think the prospects are slim in passing a farm bill in the lame-duck session,” said Steve Nelson, Axtell farmer and Nebraska Farm Bureau president.

The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 last summer on a vote of 64-35. The five-year, $500 billion bill has $23.5 billion in cuts over the next 10 years — $4.5 billion from nutrition programs and the rest from farm and conservation programs. Direct payments to farmers would end.

“It creates a market-based approach for producers to select the best crop insurance policy for their needs, and it reauthorizes the disaster relief provisions that assist livestock producers impacted by this year’s drought,” said Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a member of the Senate Ag Committee.