nutrition

BMPs Addressed in Bill

Ernie Neff BMPs

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 According to the Triangle, the bill addresses several issues stemming from outdated science supporting University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) nutrient recommendation rates pertaining to BMPs.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 …

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Growers Uncertain About BMPs

Ernie Neff BMPs

Citrus growers are adopting best management practices (BMPs), but there is some uncertainty about how the practices affect yields and profitability. That was the summary of a grower survey about BMPs conducted by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). A presentation highlighting the survey results was available at the UF/IFAS booth during Citrus Expo in …

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Florida Citrus BMPs: Update and Suggestions

Ernie Neff BMPs

Work on finalizing a newly revised citrus best management practices (BMPs) manual has slowed, and that’s a good thing, according to Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) Executive Director Ray Royce. In a recent HCCGA newsletter article, he stated that a number of issues, especially related to nutrient management and application efficiency, need to be better understood. “It is the …

Irrigation and Nutrient Management BMPs

Ernie Neff BMPs, Irrigation, Nutrition

A Citrus Expo presentation about best management practices (BMPs) focused on what growers should be doing now in their irrigation and nutrient management programs. The presentation noted that current BMPs were developed prior to HLB’s discovery in Florida in 2005, and that studies are underway to revise the citrus BMPs for nitrogen and phosphorus. The presentation was created by University …

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Grower BMP Concerns

Ernie Neff BMPs

Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) Executive Director Ray Royce recently discussed grower concerns about Florida’s Best Management Practices (BMP) program. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) runs the program. According to Royce, growers are concerned about the BMP implementation, verification audits, some of the information they’ve been asked for by the FDACS staff and what may …

BMPs Give Growers Less Peace of Mind

Ernie Neff BMPs

Editor’s note: A correction has been made to this article. It previously stated that “UF/IFAS’ current highest recommendation for phosphorus on citrus is 16 pounds per 100 pounds of fruit per acre annually if soil tests and tissue samples indicate insufficient phosphorus content.” The information has been corrected to 16 pounds per 100 boxes. For years, participation in Florida’s Best …

BMPs: Addressing the Costs and Benefits

Ashley Robinson BMPs

Agricultural best management practices (BMPs) are essential to protect Florida’s natural resources by mitigating agriculture’s potential negative impact on the environment. Public benefits of BMP implementation include sustained or improved water quality, reduced soil erosion and increased water conservation. Private benefits can include improved crop yield and reduced input costs from less labor, fuel and fertilizer. “Growers provide a public …

New BMP Record-Keeping Requirements for Florida Growers

Tacy Callies BMPs

By Ajia Paolillo On July 1, 2020, new record-keeping requirements went into effect for nitrogen and phosphorus amounts applied by growers enrolled in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Best Management Practices (BMP) program. These records are required due to the passage of Senate Bill 712, the Clean Waterways Act. Citrus growers have been asking many questions …

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BMPs Impacted by New Florida Water Act

Ernie Neff BMPs

Florida’s new Clean Waterways Act impacts agricultural landowners and producers enrolled in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Best Management Practices (BMPs) program. The act went into effect July 1. FDACS is required to undertake implementation verification (IV) site visits on properties enrolled in the BMP program every two years. During these IV site visits, FDACS Office …

BMPs Implementation and Verification Stepping Up in Florida

Ernie Neff BMPs

Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) is urging its members to “seriously consider” enrolling in and implementing best management practices (BMPs) if they haven’t already done so. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Ag Water Policy (FDACS-OAWP), as a result of several changes in state law, is in the process of stepping up its BMPs implementation …

Growers Discuss BMPs

Ernie Neff BMPs

Two growers participating in a Dec. 16 program about local agricultural issues shared some of the best management practices (BMPs) their companies employ. The event was hosted by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC) in Immokalee. Danny Sutton, president and general manager of Alico Citrus, said Alico sprayers …

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BMPs Discussion Attracts Growers

Ernie Neff Water

A Dec. 16 discussion of local agricultural issues with a focus on best management practices (BMPs) attracted more than 50 attendees to Immokalee. The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center hosted the event. Professor and center director Kelly Morgan summarizes the discussions, which he says included “some of the success …

Grower Participation Needed for BMP Survey

Abbey Taylor Industry News Release, Research

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researchers at the Southwest Florida Research and Education Center would like to better understand best management practices (BMPs) used by area growers. BMPs are individual practices or combinations of practices that are effective at improving the quality of surface water and ground water. Growers provide a public service by performing …

Impact of the Water Bill on BMP Implementation     

Kelsey Fry Irrigation, Water

By Kelly Morgan Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential nutrients for plants and animals and are the limiting nutrients in aquatic environments. The correct balance of both nutrients is necessary for a healthy ecosystem; however, excessive nitrogen and/or phosphorus can cause significant water-quality problems. Typically, nitrogen is the limiting nutrient in spring and surface water systems. Therefore, even modest increases in …

Bucks Toward BMPs

Kelsey Fry Water

Cost-share assistance is available from several sources for growers looking to implement improvements to best management practices. By Tacy Callies The names of the organizations and programs that provide funding to Florida citrus growers for best management practices (BMPs) projects — SWFWMD, FARMS, EQIP, etc. — can sound like a big bowl of alphabet soup. But in reality, they represent …

Research

What Growers Need to Know About BMPs Now

Ernie Neff Citrus, Water

Virtually all Florida citrus growers have signed up to participate in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (FDACS) best management practices (BMPs) for water quality and water quantity. “They’ve done an extremely good job over the last 20 years that we’ve had BMPs,” says University of Florida researcher Kelly Morgan, the statewide BMP coordinator. “The (state) water act …

Florida Citrus Nutrition Recommendations to Be Updated

Jim Rogers Florida, Nutrition

The Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference held in Savannah in early January included a session on citrus production to educate growers. Kelly Morgan, professor of soil fertility and water management with the University of Florida, spoke to attendees about newly updated production guides and their relationship to plant nutrition and HLB. Morgan noted that the third edition of the …

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HLB Changed UF/IFAS Recommendations

Ernie Neff HLB Management

Kelly Morgan recently summarized several recommended changes in Florida citrus production practices brought on by the devastating disease HLB. Morgan is a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) soil and water science professor. He discussed what growers need to know to follow best management practices (BMPs) at the recent Citrus Nutrition Day at the UF/IFAS Citrus …

Stepping Up Phosphorus Sustainability

Ernie Neff Environment, Nutrition

Two University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) researchers have joined a national research effort to promote phosphorus sustainability across the United States. The researchers will work under the funding auspices of the National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Center in the newly established Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability (STEPS). In addition to the University of …