Florida Sen. Ben Albritton filed a bill (SB 1000) to address issues related to best management practices (BMPs), the Nov. 19 Florida Citrus Mutual Triangle newsletter reported. According to the Triangle, the bill addresses several issues stemming from outdated science supporting University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) nutrient recommendation rates pertaining to BMPs. The bill also clarifies that nutrient recommendations are purely recommendations that were never meant to be regulatory.
The Triangle article states that specifically, SB 1000:
- Clarifies that nutrient application rate recommendations are general guidelines, not site-specific, absolute rates and may not take into account the latest methods of producing agricultural commodities or changes to nutrient application practices due to disease, new crop varieties, changes in United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service standards, growing techniques or market conditions
- Authorizes the use of rate tailoring in recommended nutrient application rates when rate tailoring is supported by written recommendations from a certified professional and documented using production and field data that is retained for review during the best management practices implementation verification process
- Provides a presumption of compliance with state water quality standards when producers implement rate tailoring in compliance with the statues outlined in the bill
This piece of legislation is a critical component of ensuring that citrus producers are able to comply with Florida BMPs while providing the proper nutrition to HLB-impacted groves, the Triangle stated.
Earlier this year, a Citrus Industry article reported that much of the regulatory peace of mind growers got from participating in Florida’s BMP program has eroded. Learn more.
Source: Florida Citrus Mutual
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