There are agricultural cost share programs available for producers in the Suwannee Valley region. Agencies such as the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Suwannee River Water Management District (SRWMD) offer agricultural cost share opportunities to advance the use of best management practices for managing irrigation and nutrient inputs. There are also U.S. Department of Agriculture programs administered by the Natural Resource and Conservation Service to incentivize sustainable practices.
The SRWMD offers agricultural cost share for practices related to water conservation, precision agriculture, implementing sod-based rotations/silviculture, and improving dairy wastewater systems. Some common examples of cost share available through the SRWMD include the purchase stationary/portable fertigation tanks, soil moisture sensors, retrofitting irrigation equipment, and side dressing equipment.
Use Soil Moisture Sensors and Cost Share at Ronald Norris Farm:
The video below describes Columbia County grower Ronald Norris’ experience learning how to use soil moisture sensors through UF/IFAS extension and later pursuing cost share through the SRWMD. Ronald was provided a soil moisture sensor for one season and taught how to use the technology by his local extension office and Dr. Charles Barrett of the North Florida Research and Education Center – Suwannee Valley. The next season Ronald pursued cost share available through the SRWMD to purchase his own soil moisture sensor. He credits the soil moisture sensor for helping him save irrigation water and money as a result. Growers in the Suwannee Valley region interested in the use of soil moisture sensors can reach out to their local extension office for more information.
For more information on agricultural cost share available through the Suwannee River Water Management District: