SWFWMD Offers Mini-FARMS Cost-Share Program – 2 of 2

MiniFarmsThe Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has established a cost-share program to help producers enrolled in FDACS BMPs purchase on-site weather stations and temperature sensors.  Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Producers who own operations with less than 300 acres of production land may apply for one station and up to five temperature sensors for each operation.  Producers who own larger operations may apply for one station and up to five temperature sensors for each 300 acres of production land on the operation(s).  FDACS will provide 75 percent of the cost up to a $25,000 maximum per producer, with a $5,000 cap per station/sensors set (see table below).

300 acres or less production land

1 weather station and up to 5 temperature sensors

75% with $5,000 cap for each operation

$25,000 total maximum per producer

More than 300 acres of production land

1 weather station and up to 5 temperature sensors per 300 acres

75% with $5,000 cap for each 300 acres

The stations will be installed by a company that agrees to meet the approved specifications, at the on-site location(s) the farmer designates.

These weather stations will collect real-time information throughout the year on rainfall, air temperature, relative humidity, dew point, wind speed, and wind direction.  The information will be accessible to producers on their smartphones and computers, through a University of Florida Automated Weather Network (FAWN) website.

Why purchase a weather station?
The use of weather stations helps producers:

  • Better determine when to delay irrigation after rainfall and when to irrigate during frost/freeze events, which can reduce water use and save costs on pump operation.
  • Better determine when to use fungicide or pesticide sprays or foliar fertilizer applications, which can avoid waste and save related costs.
  • Enhance the potential for reducing the pumping of surface and ground water and the runoff and leaching of fertilizers and other farm chemicals into water resources.

For more information on this cost-share program, and assistance with applying, please contact:
Jessica McCoy Stempien, FDACS/OAWP, field staff in the SWFWMD
813-985-7481 x 2125      jessicalea.stempien@freshfromflorida.com

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