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AG enhancement program application period almost here; farmers can now apply for TAEP funding online

Posted on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 9:00 am

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has set June 1-7 as the application period for the 2013 Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program.

“Governor Haslam recognizes the importance of the Ag Enhancement program to farmers and has once again fully funded the program in his proposed state budget,” Agriculture Commissioner Julius Johnson said. “Now in its ninth year, we want to reach as many farmers as possible and expect that the new online system will encourage even more participation.”

This is the first year farmers have the opportunity to apply online.

“We are very excited about TAEP Online and encourage all producers to take advantage of this new system; however, online participation is not mandatory,” said TAEP administrator Justin Bryant. “Producers can still submit paper applications during the application period, and applications must be postmarked between June 1-7.”

Instructions for accessing TAEP Online accounts and applying for 2013 funds are listed at <www.tn.gov/taep>, as well as outlined in the printed applications. Producers have the opportunity to submit Application ‘A’ for Livestock Equipment, Genetics, Hay, Grain, and Feed Storage online. Application ‘B’ for Producer Diversification is not available online and must be submitted by mail or hand delivered. Producers new to TAEP will not have an account prior to June 1, but will be able to apply online during the application period.

Through TAEP, farmers can qualify for 35 or 50 percent cost share, ranging from a maximum of $1,200 to $15,000 depending on the project.

Funding in 2013 will continue to be approved based on applicant determined priorities.

New items have been added for 2013 under the Livestock Equipment program, including pasture sprayers. They must meet all of the following specifications to be eligible: minimum tank capacity of 100 gallons; minimum pump output of 20 gallons per minute; PTO or hydraulically driven roller or centrifugal pump covered mineral feeders (stand alone and ground only); insecticide and/or oil applicator combinations are not eligible

Also, new dairy-only items have been added under Livestock Feed Storage program including, manure/lagoon pumps; manure/lagoon agitators; and manure spreaders (liquid/dry).

Quotes will not be required for the Hay, Grain and Feed Storage Programs, and applicants who received a Hay Storage approval in 2012 are not eligible to apply for Hay Storage in 2013.

Dairy and cattle producers will need a current BQA number at the date of application. Producers with livestock on their farm will need to register their premises with TDA at <http://www.tennessee.gov/agriculture/forms/tpissignup.pdf> or by calling (615) 837-5120.

Applications are available at most farm agencies including USDA Farm Service Agency, UT Extension and Farm Bureau offices, as well as most farm supply stores. To ensure accuracy, producers are encouraged to work with their local extension agent or local TDA representative when completing the application.

Producers can get important messages and updates on the program by calling 1-800-342-8206. For more information or to download an application, visit <www.TN.gov/taep>.

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