CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Florida's tomato producers: Are they moving toward sustainability?

Department

Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

Publication Date

1-1-1994

Publication Title

Florida Scientist

ISSN or ISBN

0098-4590

Volume

57

Issue

4

First Page

161

Last Page

170

Abstract

Commercial tomato producers were surveyed throughout the state of Florida to determine the degree to which they have adopted production practices which minimize undesirable environmental impacts. The survey focused on water, pest and nutrient management practices. Environmentally sound production practices and changes in production practices that have occurred over the past decade are described. We examine the relationships between scale of production (size of production unit) and adoption of recommended practices and examine the degree to which scale serves as a predictor of adoption. The debate over the degree to which farmers are moving toward more environmentally sound systems of agricultural production is an important one. The debate is particularly important in Florida. Much of our agriculture is large scale and input intensive. Further, many major production areas, particularly for vegetable crops, occupy regions of the state which particularly sensitive natural ecosystems. The on-going controversy over natural resource use in the Everglades Agricultural Area provides a good example. Special care must be taken by growers in the EAA to prevent deterioration of the natural Everglades ecosystem. Excessive concentrations of nutrients or pesticides in the water system, for example, are issues of major concern.

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