April 2022 FloridAgriculture eNewsletter
Florida Farm Bureau served as the leading voice for Florida agriculture during this year’s legislative session. The Florida Legislature passed the following top priorities this session:
Senate Bill 1000 – Nutrient Application Rates was sponsored by Rep. Lawrence McClure and Sen. Ben Albritton. Senate Bill 1000 provides “Rate Tailoring” for the citrus industry wherein the farmer will depend on a Certified Professional to advise written nutrient rates that may be outside of the current Best Management Practices (BMPs) recommendations but in fact are site-specific BMPs that will provide for the nutrient needs of the crop while complying with state water quality standards. If signed by the Governor, the bill becomes effective July 1, 2022.
House Bill 909 – Pollution Control Standards and Liability was sponsored by Rep. Bobby Payne and Sen. Ben Albritton. House Bill 909 prevents local governments from forcing unnecessary additional site assessments simply because agricultural chemicals have been applied on the property. The bill clarifies the role of the DEP Secretary to establish normal and customary standards for a site assessment, and does not preempt the enforcement of local government through a community pollution control program. If signed by the Governor, the bill becomes effective July 1, 2022.
Appropriations included funding for the following programming: FDACS received funding in the amounts of $19,098,850 to enhance the Fresh from Florida initiative and $300,000,000 for the Rural and Family Lands Program. UF/IFAS received funding in the amounts of $8,763,753 for nutrient application research, $2,217,876 for quantifying ecosystems services with artificial intelligence and $3,615,000 for the general UF/IFAS workload.
FFB’s watch list included two bills: Senate Bill 1078 – Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) provided legislation to revise the qualification standards for a SWCD board, and sets meeting standards which must be met, or the board will be dissolved. This legislation was passed and is now pending the Governor’s signature. Senate Bill 1186 – Agritourism ensures buildings used in agritourism activities do not jeopardize the agricultural classification of a bonafide farm or ranch. This legislation was passed and is now pending the Governor’s signature.