AG BMP LAB PROGRAM
Donald Grimsley, Team Leader
What is the South Dade Soil & Water Conservation District’s Agricultural BMP Lab Program?
Water Quality/Quantity Best Management Practices
Reflects the hard work of representatives of the industry; federal, state, and local government; and other stakeholders. In general, agricultural lands maintain valuable water recharge areas and preserve open spaces. The BMPs in this manual address water quality and quantity impacts from production activities and help maintain the environmental advantages of keeping the land in agriculture.
While best management practices have been in place for many years in our state, their role in environmental protection was formally established in 1999 with the passage of the Florida Watershed Restoration Act. This legislation provides the framework for implementing Florida’s Total Maximum Daily Load program, which sets water quality targets for impaired waters. It also identifies best management practices implementation as the means for agriculture to help meet those targets.
As Florida’s population continues to increase, there are more impacts to and competition for Florida’s limited water resources. All Floridians must take part in conserving and protecting these resources. This manual represents the industry’s commitment to do just that.
Call us to hear more on the benefits of a AG BMP LAB PROGAM to your agricultural production site!
Serving Miami-Dade County Nursery Growers
What Are the Benefits of BMPs and Submitting a Notice of Intent?
- Growers who submit a notice of intent and implement appropriate BMP’s are exempt from Water Management water use restrictions.
- As provided by statutory rule, a waiver of state imposed liability for cleaning up contaminated surface or ground water.
- Protection from duplicate regulations at the local level.
- Eligibility for USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and possibly other cost-share funds for retrofitting or implementing water conserving irrigation systems.
- Most importantly, demonstrating that the nursery industry can exercise its ability to determine what are the “best” cultural practices and voluntarily use these practices rather than be confronted with mandatory regulations.
The BMPs were designed for growers by growers in a proactive effort to improve water quality. Most growers do not realize that they are already practicing a great deal of the criteria listed in the BMP manual.
Those participants who sign up early on to be evaluated by our nursery lab team will not only be presumed compliant for subsequent state water quality/quantity standards but will also be at the top of the list to receive future cost-share benefits geared to the agriculture industry as they become available.
Benefits to Agriculture from participation in program:
- FREE evaluation of existing irrigation systems
- Savings on pumping costs
- Savings on fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticide costs by maximizing applications
- Improved production
- Assistance with nutrient management concerns
- Funding to implement desired changes in management priorities
- Funding to make structural improvements
Call Don today for a free site visit and evaluation.
Telephone: (305) 281-3956 or (305) 242-1288