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Row Crop Agriculture

Row crop agriculture is an important part of the state's economy. However, intensive methods of farming can introduce harmful fertilizers and pesticides to our water supply.

Image of Fertilizers applied to row crops can enter the aquifer.Zoom+ Fertilizers applied to row crops can enter the aquifer. © Wes Skiles

Row-crop agriculture is a $5.5 billion dollar business in Florida. Yet, row-crop agriculture can have a detrimental impact on both quality and quantity of Florida's groundwater. Every year, millions of tons of fertilizers and pesticides are applied to fields to improve crop yields, kill insects and prevent disease. Unfortunately, some of these pesticides and fertilizers leach directly underground or enter the aquifer through sinkholes and surface rivers. Like chemicals used in residential landscaping, agricultural fertilizers and pesticides can pollute our drinking water and harm sensitive biological communities at the springs. Row-crop agriculture is also Florida's second largest consumer of groundwater, accounting for significant percentage of the more than 1.5 billion gallons withdrawn from the aquifer for agriculture each day.

 

Good Neighbors

Image of Don Bennink is helping both his business and the aquifer by using "high absorption" grasses like Tifton-85 to take up nutrients from the soil and protect the groundwater.

Read Stories about people working to protect springs. Go »

 

How You Can Help

Image of At the Citrus Country Extension demonstration garden, signs explain to visitors the principles and practices of a "spring friendly" yard while volunteers help with maintenance and getting the word out.

Steps you can take to help protect our springs. Go »

 

Learn About The Aquifer

Image of spring_flow

View an interactive presentation to learn more about our aquifer and human impacts on Florida's springs. Go »

 
 
 
My FloridaFlorida Department of Environmental Protection