For local farmers, there are some changes for TAEP Cost-Share Program when you apply in October 2019.
Guided by survey responses and input from the committee, as well as priorities determined by TDA, TAEP changes for 2019 include:
*A new cattle herd health program aims to improve the health, reputation, and profitability of Tennessee cattle. Participating farmers will implement a preventative herd health protocol for beef and dairy cattle.
*In partnership with the University of Tennessee, the new cattle genetics online tool will assist in determining a bull’s eligibility for TAEP.
*To ensure more long-term investments, the verification period has increased. Applicants must utilize equipment and structures reimbursed with cost share funds for a minimum of five continuous years from the date of purchase.
*The Hay Storage program will not be offered for the 2019-2020 program year in order to launch the new Hay Equipment program. Hay production will be the focus, with hay mowers, mower-conditioners, tedders, rakes and balers eligible for cost share. Participants must meet minimum requirements of 100 head of cattle, 150 head of goats or sheep, or 100 acres of hay in production.
*The renamed Working Facility Structures program features the Working Facility Cover for existing livestock working equipment and the Permanent Working Pen for receiving, separating, weaning, or holding livestock.
*The Grain Storage program is now called Row Crop Solutions. Cotton has been added as an eligible commodity. New items include drive-over scales, stationary fuel tanks, GPS displays and receivers, grain bin rescue tubes, and no-till drills. The maximum reimbursement has increased to $20,000.
*Application B for Producer Diversification has been simplified and shortened to ease the application process.
*Application C for Poultry Growers will now include ventilation fans and LED lights for retrofitting, as well as feed bins, poultry house trolley systems, and litter management equipment. The maximum reimbursement has increased to $10,000.
*The lifetime reimbursement limits for commodity sheds, grain bins, and livestock working facility covers have been removed.