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A DDRESSING A GRICULTURAL N UTRIENT D ISCHARGES TO THE L OWER S T. J OHNS R IVER Terry Pride, FDACS Derek Busby, SJRWMD February 27, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "A DDRESSING A GRICULTURAL N UTRIENT D ISCHARGES TO THE L OWER S T. J OHNS R IVER Terry Pride, FDACS Derek Busby, SJRWMD February 27, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 A DDRESSING A GRICULTURAL N UTRIENT D ISCHARGES TO THE L OWER S T. J OHNS R IVER Terry Pride, FDACS Derek Busby, SJRWMD February 27, 2014

2 P ERSPECTIVE – BMAP S WITHIN THE SJRWMD Adopted and Pending BMAPs in the SJRWMD Region  Upper Ocklawaha  Orange Creek  Long Branch  Lower St. Johns Main Stem  Lower St. Johns Tributaries I  Lake Jesup  Lower St. Johns Tributaries II  Lake Harney, Lake Monroe, Middle St. Johns River, Smith Canal  Banana River  North Indian River Lagoon  Central Indian River Lagoon  Wekiwa Springs and Wekiva River  Silver Springs  Rainbow Springs/River  Two FDACS field staff and two contracted staff cover the St. Johns River Water Management District region.  As of December 31, 2013, enrollment within the SJRWMD was more than 636,000 acres, including about 506,400 acres of cow/calf, 66,000 acres of citrus, and 36,000 acres of row crops.

3 A GRICULTURAL L AND U SE IN THE LSJR B ASIN

4 The Legislature provided for agricultural operations to implement BMPs as the preferred means to help meet TMDLs and otherwise protect water quality [s (7) and (12), F.S.]. A GRICULTURE ’ S R OLE IN W ATER Q UALITY P ROTECTION Agricultural operations within BMAP areas have two options: Enroll in and implement FDACS BMPs. OR Follow an FDEP- or WMD-prescribed water quality monitoring plan at the producer’s own expense (complicated and costly). Failure to do either could bring enforcement action by FDEP or the applicable WMD.

5 FDACS BMP Programs Focus is on Commercial Agricultural Operations Citrus: Statewide manual adopted January 2013 (consolidated four regional programs and incorporated rest of state). Vegetable/Row Crop: Adopted 2005, under revision. Container Nursery: Adopted 2006, under revision. Sod: Adopted Cow/Calf: Adopted Specialty Fruit/Nut: Adopted Equine: Adopted Forestry: Long-standing program under the Florida Forest Service. Aquaculture: Division of Aquaculture Certification Program.

6 A GRICULTURAL B EST M ANAGEMENT P RACTICES (BMP S ) BMPs are practical measures that reduce the amount of fertilizers, pesticides, animal waste, and other pollutants entering our water resources. FDEP, WMDs, agriculture industry, university scientists, and others are involved in their development. BMPs must be economically and technically feasible for the producer to implement. When funding is available, FDACS, SJRWMD, NRCS, and FDEP provide cost-share for some BMPs. Prime example is the Tri-County Agricultural Area (TCAA) Water Management Partnership - More on this later.

7 T YPES AND C ATEGORIES OF BMP S BMP Types: Management BMPs - Such as nutrient and irrigation management, comprise the majority of practices and often are not readily observable. Generally affordable. Structural BMPs - Involve the installation of structures or changes to the land. These BMPs include water control structures, fencing, and tailwater recovery systems, among others. Sometimes require cost share to be economically feasible. Key BMP Categories: Nutrient Management Irrigation Management Sedimentation and Erosion Control Water Resources Protection

8 A GRICULTURAL BMP E NROLLMENT IN THE LSJR B ASIN

9 A GRICULTURAL BMP E NROLLMENT IN THE LSJR B ASIN L AND U SE C ATEGORY E STIMATED A CREAGE E NROLLED A CREAGE R EMAINING A CREAGE P ASTURE 55,547 33,35022,197 R OW /F IELD /M IXED C ROPS 42,546 24,53518,011 S OD F ARMS 4,678 2,7621,916 N URSERIES, T REE C ROPS, F ERNS, V INEYARDS, C ITRUS 3, ,258 H ORSE F ARMS 3, ,108 D AIRIES 1,070 0 L IVESTOCK F EEDING, SPECIALTY N ON -F ORESTRY T OTALS 111,281 61,02450,257 F ORESTRY 86,146 Within the TCAA, an area of concern, enrollment is 39,875 acres, or 70% of the TCAA acreage.

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13 T RI -C OUNTY A GRICULTURAL A REA (TCAA) W ATER M ANAGEMENT P ARTNERSHIP Informal Partnership Formed in 2011 Objective: To contribute to the improved health of the LSJR through on-farm and regional water management projects and practices that reduce the movement of nutrients to the river, improve water conservation, and result in more efficient farm management while maintaining the long-term viability of agriculture in the TCAA. Provides funding, technical support, and educational opportunities to growers to refine farming methods and implement water management projects and practices that help meet the Partnership objective. Intended to be perpetual, to foster ongoing collaboration among agencies and growers, using whatever resources are available.

14 TCAA W ATER M ANAGEMENT P ARTNERSHIP Coordinated by FDACS, participants include:  TCAA growers  FDACS  FDEP  SJRWMD  USDA NRCS  UF-IFAS  St. Johns County  Floridan Resource Conservation and Development Council  Florida Farm Bureau  Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association

15 TCAA W ATER M ANAGEMENT P ARTNERSHIP Funding to date: Cost-Share Funding to Date SJRWMD $2.25 million, with $750,000 of that dedicated to the purchase of fertilizer banding equipment. FDACS$350,000 for equipment and projects. FDEP $400,000 for water quality monitoring on four projects (start date upcoming). $1.9 million for additional banding equipment purchases and irrigation/ water management projects. NRCS $467,790 total program funds obligated for the TCAA since Extensive technical support provided by UF-IFAS research and Extension staff.

16 TCAA W ATER M ANAGEMENT P ARTNERSHIP Funding to date: Projects and Practices Current Projects/Practices - Purchase of thirteen fertilizer banding machines approved, eleven purchased. Eleven irrigation projects approved; most completed and the rest under way: Subsurface drip irrigation on potatoes Surface drip irrigation on potatoes Irridrain on potatoes and sod Overhead irrigation on sod, cabbage, and potatoes Potential future project types: Tailwater recovery Regional water reuse Regional wet detention Demonstration days and other educational efforts stem from funded projects.

17 TCAA W ATER M ANAGEMENT P ARTNERSHIP Fertilizer Banding Equipment

18 TCAA W ATER M ANAGEMENT P ARTNERSHIP Installation of Subsurface Drip Tape Photos by Lincoln Zotarelli, UF-IFAS

19 TCAA W ATER M ANAGEMENT P ARTNERSHIP Overhead Irrigation on Sod with Fertigation Installation of Irridrain System

20 BMP C OMPLIANCE A SSISTANCE  In September 2013, FDACS did a broad mail-out (about 2,400 letters) to landowners who have property of 10 acres or more with a county agricultural tax classification, and to nurseries of all sizes.  Response was good, with more than 1,600 contacts via phone, postcard, or .  A large number of these properties are non-commercial agriculture of smaller acreages, largely planted pines with no fertilization or other active management.

21 BMP C OMPLIANCE A SSISTANCE  Commercial operations responding to the letter are being enrolled in FDACS BMPs (both forestry and non-forestry).  The Florida Forest Service enrolled approximately 57,172 acres from September through December 2013, as a result of the mail-out.  The FDACS Office of Agricultural Water Policy enrolled approximately 7,627 acres in BMP programs during that time as a result of the mail-out.  Follow-up activities will intensify during the next 3-6 months.  FDACS also is increasing efforts to conduct follow-up visits.

22 BMP C OMPLIANCE A SSISTANCE  Land owners who did not respond to the FDACS letter have received a “compliance assistance” letter from FDEP, urging them to contact FDACS to determine whether they need to enroll in BMPs.  For those who still do not respond after repeated attempts, FDEP will take enforcement action, with the ultimate goal of having them implement BMPs, or conduct water quality monitoring to demonstrate compliance with state water quality standards.  The overall response, though, indicates that most folks are ready and willing to cooperate.

23 Thank You!


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