A problem with fertilizer applications due to Hurricane Ian are at the center of a FFVA request to defer BMP site visits.

Hurricane Ian has thrown a wrench into the growing seasons of many Florida growers, and Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) President, Michael Joyner, has sent a letter to Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Nikki Fried, requesting a deferment of BMP site visits for six months for those producers affected by the hurricane. According to a Specialty Crop Industry article, fertilizer applications are at the heart of the issue. See the details below.

Fertilizer Applications, Hurricane Ian, and BMP Site Visits

Best Management Practices (BMP) site visits are meant to verify that producers enrolled in the BMP program are following BMPs that aim to “improve water quality while maintaining agricultural production” where fertilizers and irrigation are concerned. However, according to the Specialty Crop Industry article, “Fertilizer applications that are required for fall and winter crops were washed away due to extreme levels of rainfall and flooding brought on by Ian.” This means growers will need to act outside of normal BMPs to try to salvage the remaining growing season.

In order to allow growers to give their crops what they need in terms of fertilizer applications, FFVA President Joyner has called for a moratorium on BMP site visits. In the article, he said, “In an attempt to alleviate any additional burdens on our growers during this challenging time, particularly for our citrus producers as they contend with an estimated 8% to 11% loss of viable trees, I respectfully request that the department defer by a minimum of six months any planned BMP Implementation Verification site visits, regardless of commodity, for those producers hit hardest by the hurricane. This would include any enrolled agricultural operations located within an area that encountered Category 1-4 strength hurricane force winds.”

The article maintains that “The proposed one-time exemption would only apply to those farmers impacted by the hurricane and would not absolve them from compliance with record-keeping requirements or other BMPs they agreed to implement.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.