(201) Strategies to Encourage Grower/Industry Participation in the Development of BMPs for Vegetables in Southern Florida

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  • 1 1University of Florida, Miami-Dade County Extension, Homestead, FL, 33030-2309
  • | 2 2University of Florida, Miami-Dade County Extension, Homestead, FL, 33030-2309
  • | 3 3University of Florida, Manatee County Extension, 1 Palmetto, FL, 34221
  • | 4 4University of Florida, Hendry County Extension, LaBelle, FL, 33975
  • | 5 5University of Florida, Hillsborough County Extension, Seffner, FL, 33584
  • | 6 6University of Florida, Palm Beach County Extension, West Palm Beach, FL, 33415
  • | 7 7University of Florida, St. Lucie County Extension, Ft. Pierce, FL, 34945
  • | 8 8University of Florida, Tropical Research & Education Center, Homestead, FL, 33031
  • | 9 9USDA, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Florida City, FL, 33034

Florida, like other states, is developing BMPs for specific commodities. Vegetables are in a statewide document that includes field crops. Vegetable advisory committee members from the counties in southern Florida were concerned that the existing document was too broad in its scope and that many practices did not apply to production on sandy or calcareous soils. Based on grower comments, extension agents organized grower meetings to address these issues. The first meeting was a presentation by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Office of Agricultural Water Policy. The second meeting in Miami–Dade was a hands-on session, where growers and industry were divided into three areas—nutrition, pesticides, and water quality. Each group was facilitated by a faculty member or the NRCS conservationist. Other counties used newsletters and other methods to receive grower feedback. Participant comments were compiled and forwarded to FDACS, where they are being incorporated into a greatly revised document. Concerns will be presented.

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