In a recent article, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam, sings the praises of Florida farmers for their environmental stewardship.
Most of Florida’s ag industry thinks the world of Ag Commissioner Adam Putnam, and according to a recent article by Putnam himself on GrowingProduce.com, he thinks the world of Florida farmers. The piece was in honor of the three Florida ag operations that have been named recipients of the Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award. The award is given by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to three Florida farming or ranching operations that “demonstrate a sustained commitment to conserving Florida’s natural resources and improving our environment.” Read Putnam’s praises below.
Florida Farmers: Stewards of the Land
“Florida’s farmers and ranchers not only fuel our people and economy, they have proven themselves as responsible and innovative stewards of our land and world-renowned natural resources,” Putnam wrote in the article. Florida features unique environments and ecosystems, and a thriving agriculture industry that dates back before the founding of the U.S. itself. Florida’s agriculture industry is paramount in protecting the land, water and air, as well as preserving a historical way of life.
Putnam named the three following Florida ag operations as winners of the Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Award, and the detailed the contributions of each:
Jones Potato Farm. Located “in Manatee County, has fully incorporated precision ag into the operation to produce more with less. The farm uses GPS-guided variable-rate fertilizer application and reduced fertilizer use by around 30%. In addition, the farm uses a low-volume irrigation system and reduced water use by around 70%, conserving more than one million gallons of water per day.”
Alliance Dairies. Located “in Trenton, the largest free-stall dairy in one location in the state, is pushing the boundaries of sustainable agriculture. Alliance Dairies recycles nearly all the water used on the dairy, recycles 80% of the sand used for bedding, uses and recycles effluent as fertilizer on forage, and composts manure for bedding, to fertilize grass and to dry irrigation corners. In addition, their cows eat about 33,000 pounds of by-products such as canola meal, soybean meal and hulls, brewers grain and citrus pulp. Alliance Dairies is also the first dairy farm in the Southeast to use a methane digester to convert cow manure into electricity.”
Cherry Lake Tree Farm. “In business for more than 30 years…in Groveland, has harnessed soil moisture sensor and evapotranspiration-based irrigation for the benefit of their operation and Florida’s natural resources. Over the past five years, the farm has reduced its water consumption by 15%, while simultaneously increasing production by 15%. Nursery trees and plants with similar irrigation and nutrient needs are strategically grouped together to further reduce waste. With coming irrigation system improvements, the farm is projecting to save an additional 70 to 80 million gallons of water per year.”
Putnam ended by saying, “All three recipients of this year’s Agricultural-Environmental Leadership Awards are proof of agriculture’s longstanding commitment to conserving Florida’s precious natural resources. I’m proud to recognize these Florida farms for implementing innovative, business-savvy farming practices to conserve and protect our state’s diverse, world-renowned and economically important natural resources and environment.”
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.