Florida cattle producers care deeply about their animals and their land, and it’s not just because the livestock and fields are tied to their livelihoods. Many ranches in The Sunshine State are family-owned, and ranchers live on the lands with their families. The land is a ranching family’s heritage and a gift for future generations. Cattle ranchers throughout the state protect the land, air and water every day. Explore some of the ways Florida cattle producers don the hat of conservationism.
Doing More With Less
According to a 2007 study by Washington State, cattle producers, including those in Florida, are raising more beef with less inputs than their predecessors. Compared to ranchers 50 years ago, there are half as many farmers and ranchers that feed a world population that has doubled in that time. Compared with 1977 data, a pound of beef raised in 2007 used 33 percent less land, 12 percent less water, 19 percent less feed and 9 percent less energy created by fossil fuels. During that time, beef’s carbon footprint was reduced by over 16 percent.
In Florida, cattle ranches use large tracts of land that are saved from development due to their agricultural uses. The water ranches use from Florida’s aquafer stays on the land, and the mostly wild spaces of cattle ranches preserve habitats for Florida’s wild animals. To protect these wild spaces into the future, many Florida cattle producers are turning to conservation easements.
Conservation easements allow the landowner to sell or donate parcels of land that will be preserved, with use restrictions remaining in place even if the surrounding lands are sold. The landowner usually gets tax credits and continued access to the use of the land, usually for grazing and other ranch-related activities. In this way, Florida’s wild spaces will remain wild in perpetuity, thanks to Florida cattle ranchers.
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.