A Florida Senate Bill filed by Sen. Ben Albritton addresses issues with citrus BMPs concerning nutrient recommendation rates.

A Florida Citrus Mutual-sourced Citrus Industry article maintained that “much of the regulatory peace of mind growers got from participating in Florida’s BMP program has eroded.” The article is a follow-up to another concerning “outdated science supporting University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) nutrient recommendation rates.” Sen. Ben Albritton has filed SB 1000 to address these issues with citrus BMPs according to the article. See the details below.

Citrus BMPs Addressed

The article cites the Nov. 19 Florida Citrus Mutual Triangle newsletter for sharing the following key points addressing citrus BMPs in the bill:

  • “Clarifies that nutrient application rate recommendations are general guidelines, not site-specific, absolute rates and may not take into account the latest methods of producing agricultural commodities or changes to nutrient application practices due to disease, new crop varieties, changes in United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service standards, growing techniques or market conditions
  • Authorizes the use of rate tailoring in recommended nutrient application rates when rate tailoring is supported by written recommendations from a certified professional and documented using production and field data that is retained for review during the best management practices implementation verification process
  • Provides a presumption of compliance with state water quality standards when producers implement rate tailoring in compliance with the statues outlined in the bill”

The article cites the Triangle newsletter as maintaining “This piece of legislation is a critical component of ensuring that citrus producers are able to comply with Florida BMPs while providing the proper nutrition to HLB-impacted groves.”

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