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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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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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John C. Majsztrik and John D. Lea-Cox

technologies. It is typically less expensive to implement best management or conservation (e.g., buffer area) practices in agriculture compared with point sources where remediation technology is often more expensive. Nutrient remediation often comes at a cost

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Donald J. Merhaut, Lea Corkidi, Maren Mochizuki, Toan Khuong, Julie Newman, Ben Faber, Oleg Daugovish and Sonya Webb

, organochlorine, and organophosphorus pesticides) across the second-tier priority areas ( Table 1 ). Table 1. Percentage of acreage within the Calleguas Creek and Santa Clara watersheds where best management practices (BMPs) were implemented to mitigate benchmark

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F.T. Izuno, R.W. Rice and L.T. Capone

Situated at the northern end of the historical Florida Everglades is the 280,000-ha tract of land called the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). This land was diked, canalized, and drained in the early 1900s to encourage the production of primarily sugarcane, vegetables, sod, and rice on its Histosols. The phosphorus in drainage water from the EAA is believed to be causing undesirable changes to the ecosystem in areas subject to legislated environmental protection. Phosphorus (P) load reduction “Best Management Practices” (BMPs) are being developed and implemented in the EAA to reduce agricultural production impacts on the wetland areas. The BMPs can be categorized as fertilizer, water management, or particulate control related, and can be applied effectively across the EAA. Ten farms, representative of the EAA soils, rainfall, crops, farm size, geographic location, and water management practices, were used in the study. The farms were monitored under pre-BMP conditions for 1 to 3 years. By Jan. 1995, seven of the 10 farms were operating under project-designed BMP packages that included only the fertilizer and water management options. Depending on the method used for adjusting for hydrologic variability between years, calculated P load reductions ranged from 25% to 60% between 1994 and 1995.

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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.