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Florida Citrus and the Environment

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Florida Citrus Groves are very friendly to the Environment....

Florida Citrus Growers are good neighbors and good stewards of the land. They are keenly aware that they must carefully balance the needs of the environment and the needs of citrus growing. This delicate balance starts in the basic design of the groves, and then to the use of the latest technology and the most progressive management practices. All these factors enable Florida Citrus Growers to be sustainable. Growers carefully manage the water resources through state-of-the-art low volume computerized irrigation systems, spraying water directly to the root zone.

Citrus Groves also help our water supply in other ways. Consider what happens when it rains on a grove -- the water seeps down into the ground, which recharges the aquifer. In addition, on-site water retention areas, in the flatwood groves, hold excess stormwater and reduce nutrient runoff, another way that water quality is enhanced. Modern grove design leaves large tracts of land undeveloped. These areas provide excellent wildlife habitat, as well as a natural buffer, between farm lands and urban development. A recent University of Florida study reported more than 159 native species of wildlife were observed within grove eco-systems. And the Florida Panther Habitat Protection plan indicates that over half the endangered panthers are utilizing privately owned property.

Another positive impact that citrus groves have on the environment is the amount of carbon dioxide that citrus trees take in and oxygen that they return to the air. A University of Florida study found that for every acre of mature citrus trees, 16.7 tons of oxygen are produced per year, from 23.3 tons of carbon dioxide. Multiply that by 860,000 acres of citrus trees, you can see that the citrus industry makes a major contribution to air quality in Florida.

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Sustainable Agriculture

- With the world population growing exponentially, the only way the Farmer will be able to feed the world is with the use of good crop protection chemicals. With insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides, the American Farmer is the most land efficient farmer in the world. Farmers can grow three to four times as much safe food on an acre of land as he could just 75 years ago. If the Farmer were to lose all of our crop protection chemicals, the world would have to increase the amount of land farmed by four times. That means clearing up more land, including wetlands and rain forests. With ever growing populations to feed, we must continue to farm efficiently to produce an abundant amount of safe food for everyone. - Chet Townsend

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This page was last updated on January 10, 2017