The US Farm Bill has jumped the final hurdle, passed by the Senate with bipartisan support, 68 votes to 32.

It ends the controversial $5 billion annual direct farm payments, paid even if farmers didn’t plant a crop.

Farmers’ main assistance will now be subsidised crop insurance to cover disasters, at an additional cost of $7 billion.

Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow calls it’s a breakthrough.

"No one loses the farm because of a few days of bad weather or a drop in prices in the market place.

"On the other hand, you can pay tens of thousands of dollars in crop insurance and never get a dime unless you face a loss.

"It’s a very important change in policy."

The budget committee forecasts savings of US$23 billion over 10 years.

The Bill includes an US$8 billion cut to the Food Stamp program.

But opponents of the bill still say the amount of farm subsidies remains ‘mind boggling’ and that it ‘will waste spending on wealthy farmers at the expense of the poor’.

Republican Senator John McCain from Arizona voted against the Bill.

"The only policy that gets bipartisan traction in Congress is Washington’s desire to hand out taxpayer money like it’s candy."

The Bill has still to be signed into law by President Obama.