There have been changes made to FDACS Best Management Practices—BMPs—concerning water that Florida citrus growers need to know about.
Florida citrus growers have long been participants in the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) BMPs concerning water quality and quantity, according to a Citrus Industry Magazine article. University of Florida researcher and the statewide BMP coordinator, Kelly Morgan, was quoted as saying, “They’ve done an extremely good job over the last 20 years that we’ve had BMPs.” However, there have been changes to the BMPs that all growers need to know about. Find them below.
Changes in Florida’s Water BMPs
“The (state) water act in 2016 brought about some significant changes,” Morgan said in the article, and he shared those changes at a presentation at a recent seminar in Immokalee, Florida. Morgan shared that FDACS is now required to ensure that growers are doing what they are supposed to as part of the BMPs. “They have to now, because of the water act, certify that the growers are actually performing the BMPs that they have said that they would on their original letters of intent,” Morgan said.
“The BMPs are still the same; the BMAPs (Basin Management Action Plans) that have been enacted over the last 10 years or so are still in place. But if a grower’s field is in a BMAP area, he has to be in the BMP program to qualify for certain things, including cost share,” Morgan explained.
He added that, “every five years, the Department of Environmental Protection is required to review the water quality in that BMAP. And if it has not met the standards that they have approved for it over a five-year period, then the growers have to be enrolled in the BMP program, or they will be mandated to start taking water-quality samples from their fields at their expense. This can be quite high.”
Morgan shared that FDACS will be looking mainly for records and documentation from growers that they growers have been implementing the BMPs. Records can include:
- Records of irrigation
- The amounts and dates of fertilizer applications
- Data from soil moisture sensors
Contact the Florida Office of Agricultural Water Policy for further details.
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.
Image courtesy of the NRCS Photo Gallery.