A recent event drew many from Florida agriculture looking to learn about the benefits of bamboo of as an alternative crop.

Florida growers gathered recently in Lake Placid to hear about the attractions of bamboo as an alternative crop. Phillip Rucks, the owner of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery and the founder of Florida Grown Specialties, which helps those interested to establish a bamboo planting, spoke at the event. The benefits of bamboo for Florida growers from the event were shared in a Citrus Industry article. See the details below.

The Benefits of Bamboo

Bamboo has many attractions for Florida growers as an alternative crop in The Sunshine State. Benefits of bamboo include:

  • It can be grown on marginal grove land.
  • According to Rucks, there are “several varieties that will fit Florida’s environment with the right management.”
  • “The young shoots of bamboo are nutritious and popular with consumers…there’s a strong market demand already in place,” and “locally grown fresh shoots would be a hit with consumers over the bamboo shoots that are imported mostly from Asia.”
  • There is also a big market for bamboo for lumber and wood products.
  • “By year six, plants can be netting nearly $4,000 per acre (for shoots), according to data presented by Rucks.”
  • “Bamboo also is very effective at sequestering carbon, so it will present opportunities for growers to benefit from voluntary carbon markets.”

Another speaker at the event, Fred Murrell, a representative of Rizome, which manufactures bamboo lumber products, shared that the company is planning a processing plant in Florida. Similarly, Kimberly Lott, the founder of Crop Disaster Recovery, shared that they have applied for a grant that would provide cost-share dollars for growers interested in planting bamboo.

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.