Collin Peterson, ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee, expressed optimism that a farm bill can be passed in 2013. Peterson is a Democrat from Minnesota.

Peterson, in his weekly email newsletter, stated on December 6 that he met with House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow and Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Thad Cochran earlier in the week, and "some good progress on farm bill negotiations" has been made.

"We're continuing discussions and I'm somewhat optimistic for this coming week," Peterson said.

The current farm bill, an extension of the 2008 farm bill, expired October 1, but many of the current bill's programs remain active until the end of 2013.

The 2013 farm bill is currently in a farm bill conference committee, which consists of members from both houses, including Peterson, Lucas, Stabenow and Cochran. The committee is hashing out differences between the House and Senate versions of the 2013 farm bill.