See questions to ask about your sod production to determine the appropriate BMPs for nutrient management for Florida sod.

Best Management Practices, or BMPs, are defined as “a practice or combination of practices determined by the coordinating agencies, based on research, field-testing, and expert review, to be the most effective and practicable on-location means, including economic and technological considerations, for improving water quality in agricultural and urban discharge. (373.4595, F.S.).” One section of BMPs includes nutrient management for Florida sod, and BMPs might be part of a larger basin management action plan (BMAP), which is a framework for water quality restoration, that you may be operating under. While BMPs for Florida sod are being revised, the most up-to-date publication, “Water Quality/ Quantity Best Management Practices for Florida Sod,” includes a needs assessment questionnaire to help producers determine the appropriate BMPs for nutrient management. See them below.

Nutrient Management for Florida Sod BMP Needs Assessment

The following questions are answered either “Yes,” “No” or “Somewhat” depending on your familiarity with the topic. Those where you answer “No” or “Somewhat” are the areas where you need to focus when looking at BMPs for nutrient management for Florida sod:

  1. Are you familiar with the relationship between soil type and water quality?
  2. Have you conducted a soil survey to determine your soil type(s) and identify the environmentally sensitive areas on your farm?
  3. Are you familiar with the procedures and benefits of soil and tissue testing and how to use the results?
  4. Are you aware of the effects of pH on the availability of nutrients?
  5. Are you familiar with IFAS recommended crop nutrition requirements for N and P and other essential nutrients?
  6. Do you manage nutrients carefully in coarse, sandy soils and address the special needs of managing P on uncoated sands?
  7. Are you familiar with the benefits of splitting soluble fertilizer applications or using controlled release fertilizers during field establishment or in sensitive areas?
  8. Have you considered the effects of heavy rains after making soluble fertilizer applications? Are you familiar with the guidelines for supplemental applications after leaching rains?
  9. Are you familiar with the use of fertigation and when it should be used?
  10. If reclaimed water, manure, or biosolids are used on your operation do you adjust your fertilizer applications accordingly?

The guide directs users that “if you need more information about a BMP category, please read the related text in this manual under General Information for Environmental Protection on Sod Farms. This text provides important background about BMPs and directs you to reference materials for more information. Additional references are contained in BMPs for Sod Farms, at the end of each BMP category section.”

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.