culture has consistently been a strong part of Florida’s economy, even in what are perceived as urban counties. Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties rank #1 and #2 in the state respectively in the value of the agricultural products they produce each year.
When the economic impact of tourism, development and agriculture are reviewed over many years, agriculture tends to be the stabilizing component of the economy.
Southeast Florida is unlike any other growing area in the nation due to a 12-month growing season and ample local market potential. More than 2SO different and unique crops grow in Southeast Florida. These crops supply the entire east coast of the United States with winter vegetables, contributing to the food security of the nation. Many tropical and ethnic crops are also grown and marketed to the diverse population of the region.
Farmers are actively adapting Best Management Practices that efficiently utilize nutrient application (right time, right place) and conserve water resources. They are also evaluating alternative methods to utilize and retain water when it’s not harmful to cur- rent or projected growing practices.
The agriculture community is committed to sustainability, and the economic viability of regional agriculture will allow farmers to re- main on the land to grow food, fuel and fiber for area residents as well as the nation. Consideration of agricultural impacts is vital to any regional action plan which should include action plans to address flooding, salt-water intrusion, exotic pests and disease introduction and crop changes due to climate change.