FACTBOX-Highlights of $289 billion U.S. farm bill

May 15 (Reuters) - The five-year, $289 billion U.S. farm bill would expand public nutrition, land stewardship and biofuels programs by a combined $15.6 billion over 10 years.

Here are highlights of the bill.


* Increases public nutrition programs by $10.3 billion over 10 years, including $7.9 billion for food stamps, $1.25 billion for donations to food banks through The Emergency Food Assistance Program and $1.05 billion for a fresh fruit and vegetable school-snack program.

* Ten million people to see larger food stamp benefits. Farm bill increases the standard income deduction for households of less than four people to $144, increases the minimum monthly benefit to $14, and indexes them for inflation. The assets limit to qualify for food stamps also is adjusted. Larger deductions allowed for child care costs.

* Food stamp program is renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.


* Denies all supports to people with more than $500,000 adjusted gross income and denies "direct" payments to people with more than $750,000 in farm income. People with more than $1 million AGI not eligible for land stewardship payments unless two-thirds of income is from farming; waivers allowed.

Farm payments will be tracked to individuals and "three-entity" rule allowing people to collect subsidies indirectly is eliminated.

* Creates the optional, Average Crop Revenue Election program, the first federal program to shelter growers from poor yields as well as low prices. Participants accept lower crop subsidy rates to qualify for payments linked to nationwide revenue for a crop.

* Sets minor increases in subsidy rates for wheat, soybeans and some smaller-acreage crops.

* Creates standby $3.8 billion disaster relief fund for farmers and ranchers.


* Increases funding for land stewardship by $4 billion over 10 years.

* Provides additional $2.4 billion for Environmental Quality Incentives Program, which shares the cost of controlling runoff from fields and feedlots.

* Sets target of enrolling 80 million acres by 2013 in the Conservation Stewardship Program, a green payment scheme that pays farmers who practice land, water and wildlife conservation on working lands. CSP gains $1.1 billion in funding.

* Reduces the Conservation Reserve to a maximum of 32 million acres; ceiling now is 39.2 million acres. The reserve pays landowners to idle fragile farmland for 10 years.

* Provides $1.3 billion for Wetlands Reserve, enough to enroll 1.22 million acres over five years.

* Allows enrollment of 1.22 million acres of fragile land in the Grassland Reserve.


* Cuts the tax credit for corn-based ethanol by 6 cents to 45 cents a gallon beginning in 2009; creates $1.01 a gallon credit for cellulosic ethanol through 2012; and extends the 54-cent import tariff on ethanol through 2010.

* Provides $320 million in loan guarantees for construction of commercial-size plants producing advanced biofuels, such as ethanol, from cellulose.

* Provides $300 million in mandatory funding for payments to support production of advanced biofuels including cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel.

* Provides $250 million in grants and loan guarantees for renewable energy and energy efficiency systems for agriculture and rural small businesses.

* Creates program to pay farmers who experiment with biomass crops near biorefineries; $70 million in mandatory funding for 2009-12.


* New funding of $1.3 billion over 10 years.

* Expands Specialty Crop Block Grant Program by $466 million over 10 years to aid promotion, research, marketing and exports of fruits, vegetables, nuts and nursery crops.

* Creates Pest and Disease Program, with $377 million over 10 years, for federal-state work to combat invasive pests and other threats to plant health.


* Modifies law requiring country-of-origin labels on packages of meat effective Sept. 30 by simplifying the labels that will be used. Reduces fines for unintentional violations of record-keeping rules. (Compiled by Charles Abbott; editing by Jim Marshall)