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Agricultural Cost Share Program
The Suwannee River Water Management District (District) offers incentive-based programs to help the agriculture community in their efforts to be good stewards of our regional water resources. The District partners with many agencies, organizations and interest groups to provide financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers.

Agricultural Assistance Team

Technician Sampling Wastewater The District's "Ag Team" is available to help agricultural operations needing assistance with compliance questions, best management practices (BMPs), cost share and other matters. The Ag Team works to help producers implement practices through cost-share projects to help achieve total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) and Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) established by Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP).

Best Management Practices

Best management practices (BMPs) are practical, cost-effective actions that agricultural producers can take to benefit water quality and water conservation while maintaining or even enhancing agricultural production. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) develops and adopts BMPs for different types of agricultural operations.

Cost-Share Programs


The District is committed to the protection of our water resources and ecology of North Florida. The intent of the District's agricultural cost-share programs is to offer funding assistance to agricultural producers through an application and ranking process, to implement projects that increase irrigation efficiency and water conservation, and assist with nutrient management technology.

Cost share assistance can be 75% or greater of the project costs or have a maximum limit.

The District has partnered with FDEP and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) to assist producers with implementing water and nutrient conservation practices. Cost-share items include:

  • Irrigation Efficiencies and Management
  • Dairy Waster Improvements
  • Nutrient Application Management (Fertigation)

Cost-share for implementing BMPs may be available from one or more of the following partners:

  • Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Precision Agriculture Cost-Share Program

The District has received a $2 million grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to implement a Precision Agriculture Cost-Share Program. On October 10, 2017, the SRWMD Governing Board authorized staff to initiate this program. The first application period will continue until October 31, 2017. At which time, all complete applications will be evaluated and ranked based on the following criteria:
  1. Location within the Suwannee BMAP
  2. Location within the Santa Fe BMAP
  3. Environmental impact of cost-share items requested

A second application period will follow if funds remain beginning November 1, 2017, continuing until November 30, 2017.
Cost-share items include:

Participation in this project will be capped at $100,000/producer with the limitations listed below.

Veris Mapping-
Veris mapping is intended to allow producers to create management zones based on the soil variation across their field. Cost-share is limited to 75% of cost up to $10/acre for a one-time mapping

Aerial Imagery-
Aerial Imagery is intended to allow producers to pinpoint areas of difficulty within their management zones. This allows growers to tailor nutrient approaches to specific areas, rather than broad application. Cost-share is limited to Cost-share is limited to 75% of cost up to $5/acre/images, 5 images/field/year.

Grid Soil Sampling-
Grid sampling can be straight grids or scientifically delineated zones. It is intended to allow growers to manage nutrients in as small a unit as 2.5 acres by taking a soil sample in each 2.5-acre grid. This assists growers with advancing one of the “Four R’s” which would be getting the needed nutrient in the right place. Cost-share is limited to 75% up to $7/acre/year. Straight grids shall be no larger than 10 acres and no smaller than 2.5 acres. If cost-sharing this item, the applicant must variable rate at least once in the season.

Tissue Sampling-
Tissue sampling is another tool intended to allow growers to manage nutrients. This assists growers with advancing one of the “Four R’s” which would be getting the needed nutrient in the right place. Cost-share is limited to 75% up to $20/sample, 1 sample/5 acres. These samples must be geo-referenced.

Variable Rate Nutrient Application-
Variable rate nutrient application is intended to assist growers with applying nutrients at a variable rate increasing plant efficiency in the field. This allows growers that do not want to invest in variable rate application equipment and/or do not have time to apply the nutrient themselves to make use of variable rate application. Cost-share is limited to 75% up to $7/acre/application, 2 applications/year.

Side Dressing Equipment (Liquid or Dry)-
Side dressing equipment is intended to assist growers with applying nutrients at optimum placement in their crop row. This results in less nutrients total being applied. Cost-share is limited to 75% up to $50,000, one implement/producer.

Variable Rate Irrigation-
Variable rate irrigation allows producers to not only tailor irrigation to a field, but to individual zones within that field. This results in a more efficient use of water. Cost-share is limited to 75% up to $50,000/system.

The application is available here.


Permits

Water Use Permits (WUPs) are required for some agricultural water withdrawals or diversions. Visit our Water Use Permit page for more information.

Persons may qualify for a General Water Use Permit by Rule if certain criteria are met such as: if the average daily use is less than 100,000 gallons per day, maximum daily capacity is less than 1,000,000 gallons per day, water is withdrawn from a single well less than 8 inches in diameter, and the water is not transported across water management district boundaries. (See Chapter 40B-2.041, F.A.C. for all criteria.)

Environmental Resource Permits (ERPs) are required for poultry operations, culverts, construction of barns and sheds, and other agriculture and forestry activities. Visit our Environmental Resource Permit page for more information.

Ag Team Contact Information

Phone 386.362.1001 or 800.226.1066 (FL only) or email .