Researchers with UF/IFAS have begun the research to update fertilizer recommendations for BMPs for many important Florida crops.

With The Nutrient Application Rates Bill, or SB 1000, going into effect July 1st, and sizeable funding from the Florida Legislature, UF/IFAS has started the research necessary to update fertilizer recommendations for BMPs, or Best Management Practices. Citrus growers raised concerns in 2021 with the science guiding current BMPs being “outdated” and not reflecting the differing needs of crops based on site location, diseases, pests, and more. This led to the creating of The Nutrient Application Rates Bill and UF/IFAS pledging to conduct research to update fertilizer recommendations for BMPs. See the details below.

Details on Research to Update Fertilizer Recommendations for BMPs

According to a UF/IFAS blog, researchers are beginning their research with tomatoes, potatoes, citrus, grain corn, and green beans. Other crops that will follow are hemp and forage grass. The research is expected to take two to three years, though research has already started into some crops, like tomatoes and potatoes. Researchers from the Panhandle to South Florida will work largely with grower-cooperators in their fields to conduct the research.

UF/IFAS received $8.8 million in funding from the Florida Legislature to conduct the research in order to update fertilizer recommendations for BMPs, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will administer the funds. In a Specialty Crop Industry article, Thomas Obreza, senior associate dean for UF/IFAS Extension and project leader said “A lot of what we’re going to be doing is concentrate on nutrient use efficiency; just applying enough for the crop to use without applying excessive amounts; managing the water correctly to make sure that we minimize any losses to the environment. Nutrient use efficiency is a big focus of the work that we’re going to be doing, particularly with the nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorous.”

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.