Tobacco Administrative Grading Service (TAGS)



Welcome to Tobacco Administrative Grading Service (TAGS), your AMS Tobacco Grading scheduling service.

Please follow these instructions to make your tobacco grading schedule at the time and location of your choice.

For Contract Tobacco contact your buying station prior to scheduling with TAGS.  Be sure to tell your buying station you need tobacco graded for crop insurance purposes.

The start date for scheduling for the 2023-24 season is Monday, August 14, 2023 at 8:00am.   

To make an appointment, please call our Scheduler toll-free at 855-776-8570.  You will need to provide the type of your tobacco (flue-cured, dark, or burley), your preferred grading location, your address, your telephone number, your email address, the county your tobacco was grown in, your farm serial number, and your policy information.  Your policy information would include your policy number and Approved Insurance Provider (AIP) name as well as your agent's name, agency, telephone number, and email address.   If you do not have a preferred grading location, our Scheduler can provide you with a list of available options.  Available appointment dates and times vary by grading location, but are typically offered weekdays between 8:00am and 5:00pm, excluding federal government holidays.  Our Scheduler is normally available Monday-Thursday between 8:00am and 4:00pm and Friday from 8:00am-12:00 noon Eastern time, excluding federal government holidays and the day after Thanksgiving.  Please note that Grading Confirmation Number (GCN) requests received after 3:00pm Monday-Thursday and after 11:30am on Friday will be marked as received on the following business day.  Appointments will need to be made at least three days in advance.  (We will waive the 3-day notice for the first two weeks of grading and the last 3 weeks of the Burley grading season.)  Thank you for your cooperation and please plan accordingly. 

Once your appointment has been made, you will receive your GCN.  Please bring this number and your Farm Serial Number for the tobacco being graded to the grading location so the AMS grader can grade your tobacco as scheduled.

Prior to being graded each tobacco bale is required to be labeled with both the GCN and Farm Serial Number.  Each Farm Serial Number is required to have its own GCN.

All tobacco must be weighed at the approved grading location where it is graded and on a State Certified scale.  If tobacco is weighed prior to coming into the grading station it must be weighed again by the station on their certified scales.   

Currently the fee for this service is 4.5 cents a pound for grading.  If a grower has a solid payment history and their appointment is for 50 or more bales, they can pay by check after we send the invoice; otherwise they must pay in advance by credit card or certified check.  Appointments for less than 50 bales are to be paid in advance either by credit card or certified check.  An invoice will be mailed to you shortly after grading is complete if you are approved for that form of payment.  For those paying by credit card, a hold will be placed on your card at the rate of $36 per bale, and the actual amout will be taken once the bale weights are received from AMS. There will be a $35 service charge for any returned check.  If an appointment is canceled or you do not show up for your appointment there will be a $25 cancellation charge.  Please understand that our fees are separate from those of your grading location, and we will bill separately from them.

Thank you for using TAGS, your tobacco grading scheduling service.