Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Agricultural Best Management Practices

Contact Us

For assistance with BMP enrollment or implementation:
(850) 617-1727

What Are Agricultural Best Management Practices?

Agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) are practical, cost-effective actions that agricultural producers can take to conserve water and reduce the amount of pesticides, fertilizers, animal waste and other pollutants entering our water resources. BMPs are designed to benefit water quality and water conservation while maintaining or even enhancing agricultural production.

Typical practices include: 

  • Nutrient management to determine nutrient needs and sources and manage nutrient applications (including manure) to minimize impacts to water resources. 
  • Irrigation management to address the method and scheduling of irrigation to reduce water and nutrient losses to the environment. 
  • Water resource protection using buffers, setbacks and swales to reduce or prevent the transport of sediments and nutrients from production areas to waterbodies. 

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) develops and adopts BMPs by rule for different types of agricultural operations.

Florida law provides for agricultural producers to reduce their impacts to water quality through the implementation of BMPs adopted by FDACS. In some cases, agricultural BMPs are required. 

Benefits of Participating in BMPs 

Implementing BMPs benefits both the farmer and the environment and demonstrates agriculture's commitment to water resource protection.

Implementing and maintaining verified FDACS-adopted BMPs provides a presumption of compliance with state water-quality standards for the pollutants addressed by the BMPs. Some BMPs can help you reduce costs and operate more efficiently while you help protect the environment.

Producers who implement FDACS-adopted BMPs might satisfy some water management district permitting requirements. Check with your water management district.

With some exceptions, the Florida Right to Farm Act prohibits local governments from regulating an agricultural activity that is addressed through rule-adopted BMPs that producers are implementing. 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) is developing Basin Management Action Plans to meet adopted water-quality targets called Total Maximum Daily Loads. Where FDEP adopts a Basin Action Management Plan that includes agriculture, producers must either implement FDACS-adopted BMPs or conduct monitoring (prescribed by FDEP or the water management district) to show they are not violating water-quality standards. This type of monitoring is very expensive.

BMP Rules, Manuals, Notice of Intent Forms and Brochures

BMP Rules, Manuals, Notice of Intent Forms and Brochures

Type of Operation

Rule

BMP Manual

Notice of Intent Form

BMP Brochure

Citrus

5M-16

Citrus BMP Manual [ Adobe PDF Document 1.88 MB ]

Citrus Notice of Intent Form [ Adobe PDF Document ]

Citrus BMP Brochure [ Adobe PDF Document 410.11 KB ]

Cow/Calf

5M-11, adopted 2009

Cow/Calf BMP Manual [ Adobe PDF Document 2.64 MB ]

Cow/Calf Notice of Intent Form [ Adobe PDF Document ]

Cow/Calf BMP Brochure [ Adobe PDF Document 392.08 KB ]

Dairy

5M-17

Dairy BMP Manual [ Adobe PDF Document 2.34 MB ]

Dairy Notice of Intent Form [ Adobe PDF Document 103.31 KB ]

N/A

Equine

5M-14

Equine BMP Manual [ Adobe PDF Document 1.79 MB ]

Equine Notice of Intent Form [ Adobe PDF Document ]

Equine BMP Brochure [ Adobe PDF Document 411.07 KB ]

Nurseries

5M-6

Nurseries BMP Manual [ Adobe PDF Document 1.67 MB ]

Nurseries Notice of Intent Form [ Adobe PDF Document ]

N/A

Poultry

5M-19

Poultry BMP Manual [ Adobe PDF Document 1.79 MB ]

Poultry Notice of Intent Form [ Adobe PDF Document 475.06 KB ]

N/A

Sod

5M-9

Sod BMP Manual [ Adobe PDF Document 1.82 MB ]

Sod Notice of Intent Form [ Adobe PDF Document ]

Sod BMP Brochure [ Adobe PDF Document 343.32 KB ]

Specialty Fruit and Nut Crops

5M-13, adopted 2011

Specialty Fruit and Nut Crops BMP Manual [ Adobe PDF Document 1.78 MB ]

Specialty Fruit and Nut Crops Notice of Intent Form [ Adobe PDF Document ]

Specialty Fruit and Nut Crops BMP Brochure [ Adobe PDF Document 386.73 KB ]

Vegetable and Agronomic Crops

5M-8

Vegetable and Agronomic Crops BMP Manual [ Adobe PDF Document 2.49 MB ]

Vegetable and Agronomic Crops Notice of Intent Form [ Adobe PDF Document ]

Vegetable and Agronomic Crops BMP Brochure [ Adobe PDF Document 806.22 KB ]

Wildlife (State Imperiled Species)

5M-18

Wildlife BMP Manual [ Adobe PDF Document 1.83 MB ]

Wildlife Notice of Intent Form [ Adobe PDF Document 98.06 KB ]

N/A

Other Rules and Documents Related to BMPs

  • Agriculture in the Lake Okeechobee Watershed: Rule 5M-3
  • Conservation Plans for Specified Agricultural Operations: Rule 5M-12Notice of Intent [ Adobe PDF Document ]
  • Aquaculture: Rule 5L-3
  • Silviculture: Rule 5I-6

How to Enroll in BMPs

  1. Schedule a meeting with an FDACS BMP coordinator, who will provide a free FDACS BMP manual and other BMP-related information. 
  2. Participate with the coordinator in a free assessment of your operation to determine which BMPs apply to you. 
  3. Fill out a BMP checklist and sign the Notice of Intent to implement the BMPs.
  4. Keep a copy of the checklist and signed Notice of Intent in your records.
  5. Implement and maintain the applicable BMPs and keep adequate records to maintain a presumption of compliance with state water-quality standards.

Use the interactive map below to find an FDACS BMP coordinator near you.

 

How to Prepare for a Site Assessment/Enrollment Visit

  1. Read the relevant BMP manual before scheduling a site assessment and jot down any questions you have about the BMPs, unfamiliar terms or other manual contents.
  2. Make sure there is someone available the day of the visit who is familiar with the nutrient and irrigation regimes of your operation.
  3. During the onsite visit, the FDACS representative will be interested in seeing production-related activities near water resources (such as wetlands, streams, sinkholes and springs), ponded or other poorly drained areas, and conveyances that discharge offsite. They will discuss with you what BMPs would apply to these areas. Having a preplanned route will make the assessment/enrollment process more efficient.
  4. Be ready to help the FDACS representative in confirming the parcels of land that you wish to enroll in the program, to ensure the accuracy of the information that will be submitted on the Notice of Intent.

Obtaining a Certificate of Enrollment

If you would like to receive a Certificate of Enrollment in BMPs, contact FDACS at (850) 617-1727 or .

Record Keeping

An important part of BMP implementation is documenting it through record keeping, as specified in FDACS rules and BMP manuals. This is sometimes the only way to confirm BMP implementation. BMP records should be accurate, clear and well organized. You may develop your own record-keeping forms or use the ones provided in the manual.

FDACS has an Implementation Assurance program to follow up with producers and help ensure that BMPs are being implemented properly. FDACS BMP implementation staff can assist producers with BMP implementation and record-keeping methods. 

BMP Enrollment Maps

View maps that show agricultural BMP enrollment acreage, statewide and by water management district. These maps are updated quarterly: March 31, June 30, September 30 and December 31. 

Cost-Share Programs

FDACS works with multiple partners, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service, FDEP, Florida's water management districts, and Florida's soil and water conservation districts, to provide funds that assist farmers in implementing Best Management Practices.

For more information on currently available FDACS cost-share, please contact us at .