TAEP deadline expanded

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The Tennessee Department of Agriculture has expanded the application schedule for the 2016 Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP). Applications will be accepted online and by mail October 1 through November 1.

TAEP is a cost-sharing program. Producers fulfill requirements to defray the costs of strategic investments in their operation. The goal is to increase profitability and efficiency while promoting long-term investments in Tennessee's agriculture. This year's expanded schedule will allow producers more time to apply and offer more dry days for building structures.

"Producers' needs evolve over time," Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton said. "We continue to review and modify the TAEP program to meet those changing priorities. Our goal is to make this program flexible just as our producers have to be in order to succeed in the agriculture industry. We are grateful to Governor Bill Haslam and state legislators for their continued support of TAEP, and to the TDA employees who keep the process running smoothly."

Program administrator Mark Powell points out that there are several adjustments this year. One notable difference is that Premises Accounts will no longer be required for TAEP application. "Every year we get more and more applications," Powell said. "We hope these changes will allow us to continue to help as many producers as possible."

Other changes include:
Lower maximum cost shares to accommodate increased demand.
Limit of three lifetime reimbursements for hay storage, commodity shed or grain bin reimbursements.
The addition of new livestock equipment and feed storage program items.
A minimum of 0.15 EPD accuracy required for calving ease and growth to all bull types.
Instructions for accessing TAEP Online accounts and applying for 2016 funds are listed at www.tn.gov/taep and outlined in the printed applications. Producers are to use Application A for Livestock Equipment, Working Facility Covers, Genetics, Hay, Grain and Feed Storage.
A separate Application B is available for the Producer Diversification program. Producer Diversification assists farmers with investments in agritourism, fruits and vegetables, honey bees, horticulture, organics and value-added products. Applications are competitively evaluated by industry sector. Application C is available for Commercial Poultry Growers.
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 TDA representative when completing the application.
For more information or for an application, call 1-800-342-8206 or visit www.TN.gov/taep.
More than 5,600 producers received cost share approvals through the Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program for FY15/16. More than $123 million has been invested in 41,646 producer projects since 2005. The University of Tennessee Agri-industry Modeling & Analysis Group estimates that each TAEP dollar generates an average of $3.89 in local economies.

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