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Tom Yeager, Jeff Million, Claudia Larsen and Bob Stamps

represents 16 southern states. The initial ornamental plant research and educational efforts conducted under the best management practice (BMP) umbrella in Florida began in the 1980s for the leatherleaf fern ( Rumohra adiantiformis ) industry. Those efforts

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Rachel Mack, James S. Owen, Alex X. Niemiera and Joyce Latimer

principal survey. Table 2. Exploratory survey of best management practices (BMPs) administered to five operations that self-identified as follows: one greenhouse, three nurseries, and one combination nursery/greenhouse ( n = 5). Respondents were asked open

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Laurie E. Trenholm and Jerry B. Sartain

Voluntary best management practices (BMPs) for Florida's green industries (lawn care, landscape, and pest control industries) have been in place for residential and commercial lawn care for a number of years in Florida. These BMPs were developed in

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Grant J. Klein and Robert L. Green

Turfgrass management best management practices (BMPs) encompass a wide variety of activities, including fertilization, irrigation, mowing, pest control, and soil management. Little attention is given to determining just how effective information regarding BMPs is being assimilated and used by professional turfgrass managers. The objectives of this study were to assess the current perception and implementation of selected turfgrass BMPs and to determine whether or not those perceptions and implementations differed 1) between turfgrass advisors and managers and 2) between general and sports turfgrass managers. Professionals from the turfgrass industry, with an average of 13 years of experience and largely comprised of decision-makers (88%), were surveyed at the University of California, Riverside, Turfgrass Research Conference and Field Day in Fall 1998 and 1999. Turfgrass managers, especially sports turfgrass managers, were found to be the most committed to implementing the BMPs in the survey. Overall, survey respondents considered BMPs to be important and not highly difficult to implement. Limitations to the adoption of BMPs were a lack of financial backing, employee education, and necessary time—all of which could be remedied with a sufficient commitment of resources by the turfgrass industry.

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Rachel Mack, James S. Owen Jr., Alex X. Niemiera and David J. Sample

for increasing environmental stewardship. Our objective was to validate the efficacy of selected Southern Nursery Association’s Best Management Practices Guide: Guide for Producing Nursery Crops ( Bilderback et al., 2013 ) to employ tail

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Larry Parsons and Brian Boman

Best management practices (BMPs) started in Florida citrus (Citrus spp.) in the 1990s and have evolved to play a major role in production practices today. One of the earliest BMPs in Florida arose from concerns over nitrate-nitrogen concentrations in some surficial groundwater aquifers exceeding the 10 mg·L-1 drinking water standard. This occurred in an area of well-drained sandy soils known as the Central Florida Ridge that extends north and south through the central part of the Florida peninsula. State agencies could have used a strictly regulatory approach and restricted how much nitrogen growers could apply. Instead of setting arbitrary regulations, the agencies promoted a scientific-based BMP approach. A nitrogen BMP for Central Florida Ridge citrus was established, and research is now validating the earlier groundwater work on more grower field sites. The purpose of this BMP was to minimize the risk of leaching nitrates from fertilizer into the groundwater. Several important aspects of the BMP involve: 1) limiting the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied at any one time, 2) increasing the frequency of fertilizer applications, 3) reducing fertilizer applications during the summer rainy season, and 4) managing irrigation to reduce leaching below the root zone. Since this Central Florida Ridge nitrogen BMP was established, major BMP actions to improve water quality and reduce the quantity of runoff water have taken place in the Indian River production area of Florida's east coast. BMPs continue to be set up in other parts of the state for a variety of plant and animal agricultural practices. In some cases, cost-share funds have been provided to help implement BMPs. With voluntary BMPs, growers have scientifically based guidelines, a waiver of liability, and an avoidance of arbitrary regulations.

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T.K. Hartz

Nutrient loss from commercial vegetable fields has become a significant environmental issue in all the major vegetable-producing regions of the United States. Growers are facing potentially disruptive regulations aimed at improving the quality of both surface and ground water. Significant improvement in nutrient management will be required to meet this regulatory challenge. This paper discusses five practical, low-cost nutrient best management practices (BMPs). These BMPs are widely applicable, relatively inexpensive to implement, and can dramatically reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loss from vegetable fields. However, even with careful application of these BMPs, runoff and leachate from vegetable fields may periodically exceed environmental water quality standards, which are very stringent.

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A.K. Alva

Nitrate pollution of surfacial aquifer is fairly widespread in deep sandy soil areas of Central Florida. Since citrus is a predominant crop in this area, despite lack of conclusive evidence suggesting citrus fertilization as the source of nitrate pollution, investigations are in progress to develop Best Management Practice (BMP) recommendations for N fertilization of citrus in an effort to improve N use by the trees and to minimize potential nitrate leaching. Our ongoing studies on both young and mature trees have demonstrated that the use of improved fertilizer formulations and programmed application schedules have facilitated to decrease the rate of N application considerably without any adverse impact on tree growth and/or fruit production while minimizing nitrate leaching below the rootzone. Our approach involves developing BMP recommendations on the basis of iudicious irrigation management and generating database on N removal by the fruits, annual N contribution to the trees by mineralization of organic N, and N losses including leaching, denitrification, etc.

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Tom Yeager, Donna Fare, Charles Gilliam and Alex Niemiera

More regulations have an impact on nursery industry today than 10 to 20 years ago, and additional regulations are likely in the future. In view of this, the southeastern nursery industry is taking proactive action by developing a handbook of irrigation and fertilization best management practices (BMP) for container nurseries. Using BMP would be voluntary but could “head off” additional regulations. Additionally, BMP would serve as guidelines for growers 1) attempting to be more environmentally friendly, 2) wanting to promote the fact they are environmentally friendly, and 3) dealing with a complaint from regulatory agencies. Our objective was to develop a BMP handbook that nursery managers could use to find answers quickly to management questions regarding irrigation and fertilization. The handbook was written by university horticulturists, but input and reviews were obtained from industry personnel, additional university personnel, and others associated with the nursery industry. The handbook will be distributed in late summer by the Southern Nurserymen's Association, Marietta, Ga.

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Eric H. Simonne and Monica Ozores-Hampton

With the development and implementation of best management practices (BMP), extension educators are facing a new and unexpected combination of challenges and opportunities. Because the BMP mandate requires a combination of research, demonstration, and outreach, it may affirm the relevance of the land grant mission in the 21st century, engage universities in interagency alliances, and help rediscover the wonders of the proven extension method. The extension approach to water and nutrient management needs to shift from “pollute less by applying less fertilizer” to “pollute less by better managing water.” Applied research is leading to advances in areas such as nutrient cycles and controlled-release fertilizers. At the same time, universities need to walk a fine line between education and regulation, address perennial issues of overfertilization, and consider the reformulation of recommendations that are now used in a quasi-regulatory environment. A combination of education, consensus, and novel approaches is needed to adapt the rigor of research to a multitude of growing conditions and risks of nutrient discharge in order to comply with U.S. federal laws and restore water quality.