Environmentally protective agricultural practices


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Environmentally protective agricultural practices a spatial analysis of the cattle and calf industry of Florida
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xi, 157 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Clare, Darryl Keith, 1951-
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Geography thesis, Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Geography -- UF
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1996.
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 128-137).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Darryl Keith Clare.
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University of Florida
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oclc - 35771596
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Copyright 1996





My graduate education began with meeting Dean Roderick

McDavis. He saw something in me that took a few years to

evolve. Dean McDavis, has helped and directed me in ways I

have yet to ascertain. This doctoral portion of my educational

process would not have been possible without the support,

knowledge, guidance, honesty, and regard of Dr. Caviedes, my

committee chair. The academicians that follow, not at all fall

into a subordinate standing. They are the components that

brought me to this point in my educational voyage; Dr. H.T.

Odum for introducing me to a systems approach, an important

tool used to explain complex interactions, Dr. Joann Mossa has

shown that hard work is the way to excellence and at the very

same time, life can be "normal", Dr. Timothy Fik for sharing

his enthusiasm for knowledge, Dr. Marilyn "Micki" Swisher for

demonstrating that the path to success is navigated by

reaching for what seems to be impossible, Dr. Weismantel for

being an essence of encouragement applied at the right time to

succeed in this process.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.............................. .... ....... iii

LIST OF TABLES........................................... vii

LIST OF FIGURES ........................................ .... ix

ABSTRACT.................................................... x

AGRICULTURE ............................................ 1
Introduction ......................................... 1
Intent and Objectives ................................ 6
Objective 1 ........................................ 6
Objective 2 ........................................ 6
Objective 3 ........................................ 6
Objective 4 ........................................ 7

The Accepted Government Definition of
Sustainability ................................... 13
Adoption of Environmentally Protective
Agricultural Practices ............................ 15
Land for Urban Use Versus Land for
Agricultural Use .................................. 19

LOCATION OF THE COW-CALF INDUSTRY....................... 23
Population and Markets ............................... 31
Land Tenure Patterns ................................. 36
Land Uses in Florida ................................. 37
Urban Expansion and Shrinking of
Crop/Pasture Lands ................................. 41
Land Conversion ...................................... 47
Florida Grazing Lands ................................ 47

The Place of Cattle Ranching in Florida .............. 48
Florida Cattle Ranching Development .................. 49
Effects of Agricultural Development and
Technological Change .............................. 52

CHAPTER 4 METHODS ........................................ 56
Population and Sample Selection ..................... 56
Survey Instrument ................................... 58
Survey Application ................... ................. 60
Population Distribution ............................ 61
Determination of the Sample Size ................ 62
Data Collection and Processing ...................... 64
Regional Analysis ................................... 65
Statistical Procedures Used ......................... 66
Methodology to Examine the Changes in
Agricultural Land Use ............................. 66
Methodology to Examine the
Rural Land to Urban Land Use Coefficients .......... 70
Change in Range Land Use .......................... 70
Herd-size Index ..................................... 71
The Location Quotient ............................... 72

CHAPTER 5 RESULTS ......................................... 74
Geographic Distribution of Samples .................. 74
Significance Testing ............................... 77
Survey Results ....................................... 78
Herd Size ......................................... 80
Demographic Profile of Ranchers .................... 82
Water and Nutrient Management and Concerns ......... 89
Management of Nutrients .......................... 91
Pasture Renovation and Protection of
Endangered Plant Species ......................... 96
Pesticide Management and Weed Control .............. 97
The Future of Florida Ranching .................... 100
Changes of Agricultural Land Use into
Urban Land Use .................................... 103
Results of the Pasture Land Use Analysis ......... 106
Herdsize Change Indices .......................... 109
Application of the Location Quotient to Pasture
Acreage ........................................ 113

CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS .................................... 119

REFERENCES ................................................. 128

APPENDIX I THE SURVEY INSTRUMENT.......................... 138


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH...................................... 157


Table page

3.1. Distribution of Vegetable Crops Throughout
the State of Florida .............................. 26
3.2. Water Use for Agricultural Purposes................ 32
3.3. Population of Florida:
Urban Versus Rural Populations.................... 35
3.4. Cash Receipts of Farm Income........................ 36
3.5. Florida Agricultural Land Use........................ 38
3.6. Acreage and Crops in 1990............................ 42
4.1. Kruskal-Wallis Test Results......................... 69
5.1. Cattle Operation Type by Region..................... 79
5.2. Herd Size by Region................................. 80
5.3. Ranch Acreage by Region............................. 81
5.4. Total Ranch Acreage in Southern and Northern
Regions of Florida ................................ 81
5.5. Rancher Mean Age and Age Range...................... 82
5.6. Educational Level by Region......................... 83
5.7. Number of Years in Ranching......................... 84
5.8. Gender of Ranch Operator by Region.................. 85
5.9. Trade Association Membership by Region.............. 85
5.10. Sources of Information Availabe to
Florida Ranchers ................................. 87
5.11. Soil Types Present on Ranches....................... 88
5.12. Pasture Type by Region.............................. 89
5.13. Drinking Water Sources by Region.................... 90
5.14. Ranch Water Source Metering......................... 90
5.15. Soil Testing by Region.............................. 91
5.16. Frequency with which Fertilizing
Records are Kept .................................. 93
5.17. Nitrogen Application Rates by Region................. 94
5.18. P205 Application Rates by Region .................... 95
5.19. K20 Application Rates by Region ................. 95
5.20. Use of Mechanical Procedures of
Pasture Renovation by Region...................... 96
5.21. Florida Ranchers Who Burn
Their Pastures by Region.......................... 97

5.22. Herbicide Application by Region..................... 98
5.23. Ranchers Who Apply Pesticides or Herbicides ........ 99
5.24. Pesticide Application and
Health Protection Usage ........................... 99
5.25. Overview of Florida Rancher
Concerns by Importance ........................... 100
5.26. Florida Rancher Concerns About Profitability....... 102
5.27. Importance of Factors to Ranchers by Region........ 103
5.28. Population Changes in MSA and Non-MSA Counties..... 105
5.29. The Urban Land Use Coefficients.................... 106
5.30. Pasture and Range Land Acreage by Region........... 107
5.31. Pasture and Range Land Coefficients by Region...... 108
5.32. Herdsize Change compared Using Proportional
Index ........................................... 111
5.33. Location Quotient of Four Selected Counties......... 113
5.34. The Location Quotients of Pasture
Land by County and Region ........................ 116



Figure page

3.1. Hardiness Zones.................................... 24
3.2. Mean Average Annual Precipitation.................. 28
3.3. Florida Transportation Routes in 1990.............. 34
3.4. Metropolitan Statistical Areas...................... 44
4.1. Counties Selected for the 1990
Cow/Calf Survey by Region........................ 57
5.1. Florida Cattle Location by Herdsize in 1987....... 110
5.2. Herdsize by County in 1990....................... 110
5.3. Location Quotient for State and
County Pasture Land in 1987..................... 115
5.4. Location Quotient for State and
County Pasture Land in 1990...................... 116

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy




August, 1996

Chairperson: Dr. Cesar Caviedes
Major Department: Geography

The Florida livestock cow and calf producers are

reviewed in terms of its environmentally protective practices.

Utilizing a Florida cattle rancher survey conducted in 1993,

cattle ranching is perceived as an agricultural practice that

is capable of safeguarding Florida's natural environment and

face the future in a satisfactory manner.

Florida ranchers were asked how important political and

economic factors are to the future of Florida ranching. Their

responses revealed that Florida ranchers are well informed of

the external forces that affect their industry. Results

indicate that cattle ranchers in Florida believe they are

using many cow/calf production practices which are

environmentally benevolent. The data also indicate that they

are concerned about the potential impacts of environmental

issues and government regulation on both individual ranch

profitability and the future of ranching in the state.

Unfortunately, results also show that most ranchers are

probably not monitoring their ranch operations effectively to

prove that their operations are environmentally sound.

Nevertheless, fierce competition for land resources

exists throughout Florida and affects cattle ranching.

Urbanization is expanding the MSA areas in a manner that will

make it necessary to impose legislation to control land

consumption. Also other forms of agricultural exploitation are

encroaching on the land formerly utilized by cattle ranching.

Both herd size and surface covered with natural or improved

pastures are changing and this change is more dramatic in

southern counties than in northern counties.




Cattle production in Florida is essentially a cow/calf

operation; its amplitude is indicated by the number of

breeding cows, often called brood cows (1,083,000 in 1990),

and the acreage of pasture (over 11 million acres in 1990

reported by The United States Department of Agriculture,

1990). The cow/calf operation produces calves to be sent to

finishing yards in the western part of the United States.

These calves are later sold to stock yards for butchering and

dressing. Florida provides the largest brood cow population in

the country while supplying a significant number of calves for


Maintenance and management of range land in Florida are

vital for wildlife and water recharge. Because pastures and

other forages occupy so much land in Florida, this study will

look into the theoretical and practical association between

the cow/calf industry and patterns of land use in the state.

The study infers that Florida cattle ranchers use management

practices that incorporate an understanding of ecological


principles to protect the use of watersheds and wildlife

habitat and that, therefore, the Florida cattle industry is

conceptually a "sustainable" agricultural practice.'

This study will also examine how cattle ranchers use and

manage their land. Wise use and management of these lands can

go far toward meeting the goal of sustainable resource use.

Contributions to this body of knowledge are therefore

important both from a conceptual and from an applied


The concept of sustainable agriculture requires a

thorough understanding of the food, fiber, and fuel production

processes, including their impact on and interactions with

natural ecosystems and their social implications. There is a

need for a comprehensive study of agricultural production

systems in the state, in general, and livestock production

systems specifically. This project explores the principles of

ecological management of livestock production systems and

other systems, such as natural forests and natural preserves,

to help determine the degree to which Florida ranchers

understand and use sustainable agricultural technology.

Some contend that any conversion of natural land to

pasture and range leads to ecosystem deterioration and loss of

biodiversity to a significant degree. They assume that high-

1 The terms sustainable and sustainability will adopt different
connotations in the course of this dissertation. The quantitatively
appropriate phrase, "environmentally protective" is mostly applicable.

intensity, confinement systems inevitably produce large scale

resource degradation. These systems, however, have

traditionally not applied to the Florida cattle industry.

Other authors hold the view that only traditional systems, in

which livestock, crop, and forage production are highly

integrated, can be considered sustainable (Swisher et al.,

1994; Maikhuri, 1992). To some, "sustainability" means a

change from present agricultural methods to the implementation

of completely organic, low input, low impact agriculture.

All the data concerned with the adoption of

environmentally protective agricultural practices comes from a

survey of cattle and calf producers conducted in Florida in

1993. The data assembled in the survey suggest that Florida

cattle ranching could be considered a sustainable agricultural

activity from a qualitative and conceptual perspective. The

data also demonstrate that ranchers are aware of the

environment and take responsibility for its conservation.

Three critical environmental concerns for Florida ranching are

nutrient management, pest management, and water conservation.

Data for all three areas of concern were collected.

Furthermore, economic forces dictate that both the biological

and economic productivity of farms and ranches must be

maintained and that environmental impacts must be minimized to

assure social compatibility (Lightfoot and Nobel, 1993).

The concern for environmental problems and the need for

wise resource management and land utilization created an

interest in developing sustainable agricultural production

systems from a conceptual viewpoint. The preoccupation with

maintaining farming systems that are environmentally sound has

gone so far that "sustainability" is one of the goals targeted

in the 1990 United States Farm Bill. The United States

Department of Agriculture expressed this concern and defined

the involvement of the federal government in sustainable

agriculture. However, it was the environmental movement that

forced the agricultural community and society in general to

look at the application of a viable "sustainable agricultural

methodology." The United States Department of Agriculture has

stated that an agricultural system that meets needed economic

and production levels and, simultaneously works in harmony

with the present existing ecosystems is a "sustainable

agricultural methodology."2

The term "sustainable agriculture" as it pertains to

Florida cattle ranching implies using ranching practices that

2 The definition of sustainablity used in this study comes from
the 1990 Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act, Subtitle A
Title XVI. It is defined as follows:
Sustainable agriculture is an integrated system of plant and animal
production having a site specific application that will, over the long
term, satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance environmental
quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural
economy depends; make the most efficient use of non-renewable
resources and of farm/ranch resources and integrate, where
appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the
economic viability of farm/ranch operations; and enhance the quality
of life for farmers/ranch operation; and enhance the quality of life
for farmers and society as a whole.

will help meet the state's agricultural economic needs while

protecting delicate natural ecosystems and maintaining the

state's natural resource base (De Haven et al., 1991).

"Absolute sustainability" may never be achieved. However, it

is necessary that farmers, ranchers, and others seek and

utilize agricultural practices that approach acceptable levels

of sustainability (Swisher et al., 1995).

Too often, the impression is given that all livestock

production occurs in intensive confinement systems.

Insufficient studies have been conducted on the degree to

which ranchers who use pasture based systems, such as those

in Florida, are environmentally protective. Inconclusive

results, based on the characteristics of production systems

that are not typical of cattle production in Florida, have

unsupported conclusions about the negative effects of

Florida livestock systems. This study of Florida ranching

activities also incorporates a geographical perspective. A

location coefficient is used to explain the relationships

between land resources, cattle ranching, and population.

Some historical background is also necessary to place

"sustainability" in an accurate time framework that allows

the assessment of environmental change and provides a

starting point for the measurement of the transformation of

agricultural enterprises.

Intent and Objectives

This dissertation concentrates on four research


Objective 1

The first objective is to present a demographic profile

of cattle ranchers and a picture of the basic characteristics

of cattle ranches and their operators, to understand their

role and place in Florida's agriculture.

Objective 2

The second objective is to describe changes in the

practices used in cattle ranching between 1983 and 1990.

This includes assessing the degree to which cattle ranchers

use practices that are environmentally protective. It is

assumed that major changes are occurring within this activity.

Objective 3

The third objective is to examine the opinions of cattle

ranchers and to determine the degree of connection of cattle

ranchers with the scientific community, to understand the

external forces that control cattle ranching as an economic

activity. Factors that affect the profitability of cow/calf

production such as taxes, regulations, and record keeping are

assessed. One goal is to characterize the perceptions of

cattle ranchers towards government and to reveal their

attitudes regarding the adoption of environmentally protective

agricultural practices.

Objective 4

The fourth objective focuses on the location of cow/calf

production in the state and the ways these enterprises relate

to other uses of land. Particularly important in this fourth

objective is the growing pressures placed on ranching land by

use for human habitation. Many areas of Florida are

experiencing rapid population expansion and agricultural

shifts. With the prospect of declining environmental amenities

and economic utility derived from the natural resource base,

Florida will have to make some very tough decisions in future

years. This dissertation presents a geographic framework of

this competition for land and discusses the rate of land use

conversion by using land use coefficients and location

quotients. Evidence suggests that differential land conversion

occurs as a result of growth in urban areas and in the areas

used for cattle ranching. If a pattern of land consumption is

established, future land conversion can be predicted, and

better judgments can be made about attempting to restrict land

use change.



Florida's population increased from 9,746,925

inhabitants to approximately 12,937,922 between 1987 and 1990.

During the same period, the value of Florida's agricultural

products also increased. Despite periodic freeze damage to

citrus and other crops (Weischet and Caviedes, 1987), the

value of cash receipts from all farm commodities produced in

Florida rose by 23 percent between 1984 and 1988 to over $5.8

billion (Jackson et al., 1995). During this period, cash

receipts of all agricultural products in the U.S. grew by only

6 percent. By 1988, Florida was eighth in the U.S. for cash

receipts of agricultural commodities. Both the area in

agricultural production and the area devoted to urban

development have grown. This growth has an economic and an

environmental price tag.

This chapter reviews the trends in cattle and calf

production in the state and describes the environmental

concerns associated with ranching. To the average American,

who is at least several generations off the farm, mental

recollection of a farm most often includes livestock.

Today this image is mostly a sentimental image because

farms have typically specialized into either crops or

livestock. For example, in Florida farm numbers have decreased

at a rate of nearly 140 farms per year since the early 1960s.

The number of farms with cattle declined by 260 farms in 1980,

nearly twice the 1960 rate (U.S. Department of Agriculture,

1993). The most significant change is that the farms remaining

are fewer, larger, and mostly crop-only operations. Economic

and social changes over the past century have greatly affected

the presence of livestock in agrosystems. Economies of scale

and the associated transportation costs were the foremost

reason for concentrating the livestock finishing industry in

the central region of the United States. Meat-packing plants

were built alongside the rail centers in Kansas City and

Chicago to ease access for the incoming cattle and the

outgoing carcasses. The livestock finishing industry is still

largely controlled by these strong economic influences. Feed

lots have dominated southwest Kansas and the southern High

Plains. The largest packing plants are now located near the

feed lots, to allow shipping of boxed beef rather than live

cattle. The economy of packing and delivering the highest

quality, most uniform, and cheapest meat products to consumers

has thus changed the distribution of livestock across the

country. Calves are raised in Florida and other regions of the

South and are then shipped to midwestern regions for


Social factors have further separated livestock from the

other farm endeavors. With the arrival of larger tractors and

tools supporting the work demands of larger farms and fields,

mechanization of the entire farm has been an appealing notion

to the agriculturalist. Depending on the type of operation,

livestock require care throughout the year. Although cattle

has remained a part of the romantic image of western

agriculture, they no longer fit the mold of a contemporary

farm. There are also other social factors that have

discouraged meat consumption. Health concerns about animal

fats, animal rights concerns, and animal welfare issues,

whether perceived or real, have had a negative impact on the

livestock industry.

Although agroecosystems are possible without livestock,

domesticated animals have long been perceived as consumers in

the agroecosystem (Joandet and Cartwright, 1975). Ruminants

have the most potential to diversify and re-diversify the

agroecosystem because they use forage based rations. Livestock

production that is concentrated on the use of high quality

feed grains is not a Florida process. Yet, switching from

grain based to forage based rations has widespread

implications for both the livestock industry and the farm

(Wedin et al., 1975). Even the recent attention to organic

farming methods has aroused criticism in that it would require

too many head of cattle (Bender, 1988). The enhanced use of

livestock to enrich the perspective agroecosystem thus seems

confined by rigid economic and social constraints.

Consensus has developed in support of the use of modern

technologies to raise productivity on farms. However, the

newly introduced technologies should not degrade the natural

resource underpinnings. These technologies should offer

benefits to all segments of society now and into the future

(Brklacich et al., 1991; O'Connell, 1991; Trenbath et al.,

1990; Douglass, 1984; Fox, 1991; Miller, 1992; Carter, 1992).

Perhaps the considerable interest in environmentally

protective systems is due to the fact that the United States

Department of Agriculture (USDA) has sponsored research on low

input sustainable agriculture (LISA). Farmers and researchers

are interested in responding to an observed desire of

consumers for healthier food and more environmentally sound

production practices. Being sensitive to market demands is

just good business sense. The research establishment that

supports lower input technologies, marketable alternative

crops, and processes has added sustainable agriculture to its

research agenda.

Whatever reasoning is behind the appeal of sustainable

agriculture, one can not help but foresee a profound

revolution about to overtake American agriculture. The basis

for assuming that some of our present livestock production and

resource management practices are not at all sustainable will

be examined further. However, the extent of any assumed

"revolution" in agriculture will depend on what one clearly

understands by "sustainability."

Economic, social, political, and ideological influences

continuously constrain or divert people and institutions from

acting on what are fitting obligations. Gordon Douglass (1984)

has discerned three different uses of the term "sustainable

agriculture" in recent literature:

1) as a long-term food sufficiency, either domestic or


2) as an agricultural system that preserves and

conserves renewable and nonrenewable resources; or

3) as a set of agricultural procedures that encourage

certain values and strengthen the vitality of local


With these connotations in mind, the evolution of an

ecological consciousness that we call "sustainability" is

outlined further below.

The Accepted Government Definition of Sustainability

The 1990 Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act

provides a working definition of "sustainable agriculture" as

mentioned earlier. It is clear that the United States

government assumption is that sustainable production systems

are integrated systems that are site-specific and that will

satisfy human food and fiber needs over the long term.

The 1990 United States Farm Bill goes on to say that

these systems should enhance the quality of the natural

resource base. They should make the most efficient use of both

nonrenewable and on-farm resources and should sustain the

economic viability of the farm or ranch while enhancing the

quality of life for both farmers and society as a whole.

In Florida, studies that evaluate agriculture's adoption

of sustainable practices have been performed. Studies

conducted in 1982 by the Florida Cooperative Extension Service

concerning beef forage practices and the 1986 Florida

Cooperative Extension Service research focusing on beef-forage

practices in South Central Florida address some environmental

issues involved in cattle and calf production (Swisher, 1993).

Most importantly, these surveys provide information about

ranchers' fertilization practices, suggesting that ranchers

use low nitrogen and phosphorus application rates, reducing

their potential for nutrient discharge into surface and ground

water supplies. These studies, however, do not address water

or crop pest management practices among Florida ranchers.

University of Florida researchers conducted a study of

management practices, particularly water and nutrient

management practices, among fern producers a subset of the

ornamental industry, (Swisher,1993).l

In 1992 the University of Florida completed a study

centering on the Suwannee River Basin, and particularly on

dairy farmers' attitudes towards water quality (Taylor, 1992).

Some argue that the generalized concept of "sustainability"

also involves social equity issues such as accessibility of

technology and information. This has been the case for the

small or resource-poor farmers (Conway, 1987; Lele, 1991;

Smith, 1980; Swisher, 1993). Also stated is the need to manage

SThis researcher goes on to identify other research projects:

A 1988 study by Ridgley (1992) addresses growers adoption of
integrated pest management practices for soybean production. The
results of this study provide detailed information about pest
management practices among soybean growers. However, soybean
acreage is small in Florida and this study does not provide
insights in to nutrient or water management. A very detailed
study of citrus production practices was conducted in 1989
(Taylor, 1992). This study provides a wealth of information and
addresses water, nutrient, and pest management practices. Also
of interest is a study of integrated pest management practices
among organic vegetable producers (Swisher, and Monaghan, 1995).

resources wisely to assure equity and provide future

generations with better options (Howarth and Norgaard, 1990).

Adoption of Environmentally Protective

Agricultural Practices

The question of the social consequences of technological

change -- for example, who wins and who loses -- has haunted

much of the academic and political debate over science and

technology. A generally optimistic attitude towards

technological change prevailed during the fifties and sixties.

This optimism was based on the linear diffusionist model of

science and on the belief that the diffusion of science and

technology into a social system would invariably produce

progress. Post-classical diffusion formulations in the

eighties shifted substantial focus from adoption to the

diffusion interests of propagators in order to explain uneven

effects and consequences of technological change. Given the

reduced degree of political support for the linear

diffusionist model that science had enjoyed, technological

innovations have remained relatively slow in adoption.

Many authors, this researcher included, argue that

sociological attributes, such as age, gender, and educational

level (Lockeretz, 1991), including social status, membership

in organizations, and contact with extension and other

institutions serve best to predict adoption behavior. Even the

influence of such physical skills as mechanical dexterity on

adoption behavior has been hypothesized (Reynolds and Dillman,

1991). Some researchers emphasize the influence of commitment

to sustainable techniques on adoption behavior (Buttler et

al., 1991, Lynne et al, 1988; Nassauer and Westmacott, 1986).

There are five groups (farmers and other potential

adopters of new technologies) that are distinguished by their

abilities to accept "new" techniques. The groups are:

innovators, early adopters, adopters, late adopters and

laggards (Swisher, 1993). These groups are described primarily

based on their individual characteristics. Innovators, for

example, are typically characterized as younger, with higher

educational levels, and having more intensive and more

frequent contact with sources of information in both the

public and private sector.

None of these constructs considers the importance of

regulations, scarcity of inputs, and farmer awareness of

public opinion in farm decision-making, therefore creating an

incomplete representation of the situation. Although some

attention is now paid to exogenous factors (Green, 1986),

traditional models of predicting utilization of sustainable

agricultural technology continue to frequently assume that

farmers freely choose to adopt or reject a particular practice

or technology. Yet, the farmers' decision-making power is

increasingly constrained by exogenous factors. Regulatory

agencies, such as the Water Management Districts in Florida,

may, for example, dictate that farmers reduce input use.

Farmers fear the legal consequences of surface and groundwater

contamination from nutrient application. Yet, studies on the

role of ranchers' perception of regulation and public opinion

are absent from the literature.

The degree to which livestock production systems,

particularly cattle production systems, are sustainable or can

be made sustainable has been controversial. Several arguments

are offered that basically assume that modern livestock

production systems are, by their nature, inherently not

sustainable over the medium to long term (Swisher, 1993).

Expansion of ranching and the accompanying conversion of

natural ecosystems to pasture and other forage lands, has been

blamed for extensive environmental degradation and loss of

biodiversity. Menke and Bradford (1992) indicate that nearly

50 percent of the earth's land area is in rangeland. Nations

and Nigh (1978) were some of the earliest and most vocal

critics of the role of ranching in tropical ecosystem

destruction. They and others (Gradwohl and Greenberg, 1988;

Buschbacher, 1986) have argued that ranching is a leading

cause of forest destruction because it requires small

investment in capital and labor and has been subsidized by tax

incentives in many states (Abt et al., 1990). While some argue

that more intensive management of rangelands would reduce

these kinds of destruction, Menke and Bradford (1992: 141)

point out that "the greatest aspects on biodiversity usually

occur on sites with the highest productivity." Intensive

livestock production systems, based on confinement, obviously

reduce the amount of destruction of habitat that non-

intensive, open range systems incur. Other critics, however,

argue that these systems have many undesirable impacts.

Extensive research in Florida and elsewhere has been

conducted to prevent nutrient movement into ground and surface

water supplies (Sutton et al., 1993; VanHorn et al., 1991;

Gallaher et al., 1994). Although high capacity confinement

systems obviously offer the greatest potential for liberating

excess nutrients into water supplies, even livestock grazing

systems are under scrutiny by EPA, primarily where access to

sensitive places such as stream banks, wetlands, estuaries,

ponds, lake shores and riparian zones by livestock can result

in excess nutrient loading of water resources. These

facilities are not part of the Florida livestock operation.

Another argument against modern livestock production systems

focuses on their role in society as a whole (Conway, 1987;

Edwards, 1987; Youngberg, 1984). For example, livestock

production is criticized by some for using food grains that

could be used to feed people.

Environmentally protective2 practices in livestock

production, particularly cattle ranching, are clearly

important to the general sustainability of agricultural

production in Florida. Both the extent of land use for beef

production and the economic importance of this activity

justify examining how well Florida's ranches meet the criteria

for sustainability. The next section deals with land use,

another component of sustainable agriculture which is

frequently overlooked when evaluating the farmer's efforts to

sustain agricultural activities. How is land use changing from

intensive agricultural to urban uses? How are these changes

measured and what is the cost associated with these changes?

Land for Urban Use Versus Land for Agricultural Use

Human settlement greatly affects the demand for

agriculturally productive land. If recent migrants were only

involved in agricultural activities, the land resources would

be consumed in crop and/or livestock production activities.

However, this is not the case in Florida. Land in Florida is

SThis dissertation assumes a thesis that defends the use of
environmentally protective practices because the theory of
sustainability has economic aspects, cultural implications and personal
preferences that are not quantitative, and therefore are qualitative in

proportionately involved in urbanization and agricultural

production and as a result quotients and coefficient measures

are employed to examine settlement patterns.

Florida has been experiencing dramatic economic and

demographic change in this century. The average land/resident

ratio is greater than in other parts of the country (Florida

Statistical Abstract, 1991). Population and industrial growth

have also had more subtle impact on Florida land. In many

areas, rural land has increasingly gone into the hands of

nonresident, often urban, owners (Bureau of Economic and

Business Research, 1989). The latter, who may have inherited

the property or purchased it for recreation or as an

investment, are often unwilling or unable to manage the land

to its fullest potential. The management behavior of non-

industrial private forest owners, for example, has frequently

been identified as one of the greatest uncertainties for long-

term forest management in Florida. The ownership problem is

compounded by widespread division of land into smaller parcels

(which created dis-economies of scale for almost any

productive use) and by the interspersion of urban and rural

land uses, to the detriment of both (Reynolds and Dollman,


Shifts in land use in Florida have produced significant

environmental changes as well. Clearing bottom land hardwood

forests and groves to make way for truck crops has all but

eliminated vast areas of wildlife habitat in several southern

river systems (U.S. Forestry Service, 1980). Of the 2.4

million acres of forested wetlands originally located in the

wetlands, nearly all cleared land has become cropland.

Expansion of pasture onto forest is generally accompanied by

an increase in soil erosion (Pritchard, 1966). Erosion not

only threatens future soil productivity but contributes to

water pollution and to silt buildup in watercourses and

reservoirs. Competition for Florida land has also led to

competition for Florida water (Southeast Water Resources,

1979). Average rainfall is relatively high in Florida compared

to the West and parts of the Midwest. Yet the seasonal

distribution of rainfall in the state in not optimal for crop

production, and Florida farmers have learned that they can

increase yields by irrigating. Intensified use of water in

Florida has, thus far, had two side effects.

First, in several local areas pumping of groundwater by

agricultural irrigators, but mostly by urban users, has

lowered the water pressure within underground aquifers

especially in the southeastern part of the state. This has

resulted in the drying of wells, in some local areas, and has

allowed saltwater to infiltrate into well fields,

contaminating the water supply in a number of communities.

Second, there is growing interest in the ownership of water

rights. In Florida, where historically there has been ample

water for all, water users are becoming aware that they must

establish some controls on water if they are to protect

themselves from future shortages. The competition for

settlement land use with other uses will be decided in part by

the automatic operation of land and product markets. All of

these factors are likely to continue to exert their influences

in the years to come. It has been argued that the current

lavish use of land in Florida for settlement activities

(urbanization) is a consequence of the fact that the urban

value of land is high relative to its value in other uses. But

if urban and other residential uses of land begin to reduce

significantly the agricultural land base, prices of crops and

timber will rise. With higher product prices, agricultural and

forestry users of land will be able to pay more to rent or buy





The agriculture of the state has developed successfully

in the face of many unfavorable factors (United States

Department of Agriculture, 1990). Under good management, a

large volume of crop and livestock production is achieved.

Much of Florida has a subtropical climate with warm

humid summers and receives and average of 60 to 70 percent of

the maximum sunshine. Nonetheless, while it is particularly

advantageous to the production of citrus fruits and winter

vegetables, it also increases the hazards of plant diseases

and insects. Variations of temperature within the state are

distinct and are important to agriculture. In terms of average

planting dates the state is divided into seven zones. The map

of what is called "hardiness zones" (Figure 3.1) divides the

state into seven temperature regions of mean annual minimum

temperature zones revealing that much of the Southeast United

States and, including, Florida is cooler in the winter than

previously reported.

Hardiness Zone Map
Zone 8a 10 to 15 degrees
Zone 8b 15 to 20 degrees
Zone 9a 20 to 25 degrees
Zone 9b 25 to 30 degrees 9b
Zone 10a 30 to 35 degrees l10b
Zone 10b 35 to 40 degrees
Zone 11 above 40 degrees 10a


Figure 3.1 Hardiness zones. Source: The United States
Weather Bureau, 1990.

The growing season tends to shorten as one goes inland

from the coast toward the middle of the state. Cold waves are

of short duration, rarely lasting more than three days. Though

temperatures of 15 degrees to 20 degrees may be reached in the

extreme north of the state, temperatures of 32 degrees or

higher prevail in the southern part of the state. Half the

land area of the state has a growing season that ranges from

240 to 310 days. The rest, excluding only the Lower Keys, has

a growing season that ranges from 310 to 365 days.

Temperatures are especially important because their

differences are reflected in the distribution of citrus and

vegetable production (Table 3.1). Winter vegetables tend to be

concentrated in southern Florida, whereas spring and fall

vegetables are found in central and northern Florida. The

major citrus producing areas are located south of the line

that marks a normal annual temperature of 70 degrees (Jackson

et al, 1995). Winter minimum temperatures offer a pattern that

will assist in identifying the subtle variations in

temperature throughout the state of Florida (Waylen, Chen and

Gerber, 1986). The daily minimum temperature is the lowest

temperature recorded for each day, it usually occurs at night

or very early in the morning. This measure is important due to

the fact that very low temperatures over a long period (a few

hours in the case of citrus farming) are a danger to crops and

plants by creating frost conditions. Frost is defined as the

condition when the temperature reaches 32 degrees Fahrenheit

or less. The monthly minimum temperature is an average of the

daily minimum temperatures of each month. January is usually

the coldest month of the year where most absolute minimum

temperatures occur.

Table 3.1 Distribution of vegetable crops throughout the
State of Florida (Modified from Marcus and Fernald,

1. West
Escambia County: potatoes | Holmes, Jackson,
Washington Counties: butter beans, field peas,
watermelons I Gadsen County: pole beans, squash,
sweet corn, tomatoes.
2. North
Stake, Brooker, Lake Butler: lima beans, snap peas,
cucumbers, peppers, squash, strawberries. Hastings:
cabbage, potatoes I Gainesville: Alachua area: bush
beans, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, squash.
3. North Central
Oxford, Pedro: tomatoes, watermelons I Sanford,
Oviedo, Zellwood: cabbage, carrots, celery, sweet
corn, cucumbers, escarole, greens, lettuce, peppers,
radishes, spinach.
4. West Central
Plant City, Balms: bush and pole peas, lima beans,
cucumbers, eggplants, field peas, greens, squash,
strawberries, cabbage, watermelon I Palmetto, Ruskin:
cauliflower, squash, strawberries, cabbage,
watermelon I Sarasota: cabbage, celery, sweet corn,
escarole, lettuce, radishes.
5. East Central
Fort Pierce: tomatoes, watermelon.
6. South West
Fort Meyers, Immokalee: sweet corn, cucumbers,
eggplant, peppers, potatoes, squash, tomatoes,
7. Everglades
bush beans, cabbage, celery, Chinese cabbage, sweet
corn, escarole, greens, lettuce, potatoes, radishes.
8. Southeast
Martin County: field peas, greens, cabbage,
watermelons, tomatoes I Pompano Beach: cabbage,
celery, sweet corn, radishes, egg plant, squash,
tomatoes I Homestead: cauliflower, squash,
strawberries, cabbage, watermelon, cucumbers,

Florida receives substantial precipitation (National

Weather Service, 1990). Average rainfall totals vary from 40

inches in the Florida Keys to 55 to 65 inches on the mainland

(Figure 3.2). The areas of highest rainfall are the extreme

western counties and the interior southern peninsula, where

annual totals range from 55 to 65 inches. Rainfall

distribution through the year is uneven. In an average year

the summer "rainy" season, extending from about June through

September or early October, produces about 60 percent of the

annual rainfall in the central and southern peninsula. The

four months of the "rainy" season produces about 55 percent of

the average of the northern peninsula and about 45 percent of

the average in the western counties. On the central and

northern peninsula, rainfall diminishes in September and is

low in November. December through March is followed by marked

dry periods in April and May (Winsberg, 1990). In the western

counties, October and early November are the year's driest

period. Rainfall usually increases again during February and

March. Late April, May, and June are frequently dry,

especially in the western counties.

Approximately two-thirds of the land area of the state

has poor to very poor natural surface drainage (Marcus and

Fernald, 1975). Runoff patterns are not well defined in the

poorly drained areas. Excess water moves slowly through broad

sloughs into shallow lakes or sluggish streams and finally

into the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic Ocean.

S 845 62

Annual Average Precipitation 5 0
The State of Florida, 1990

Figure 3.2 Mean average annual precipitation.
Source: United States Weather Bureau, 1990.

Drainage, water control, or both, are needed for crop

production and, in some areas, are desirable or necessary for

pasture production. Without control measures, large areas of

lower lying lands are subject to constant flooding and cannot

be used as grazing land.

Throughout the state, drainage is an important part of

water control. This is due mainly to the uneven seasonal

distribution of rainfall. In wet seasons, it is crucial to

remove water, while irrigation may be required during the dry

seasons. Water control is therefore related to the

inconvenience of removing excess water at certain times of the

year and adding water in times of need. Drainage improvements

that do not follow sound agricultural engineering principles

may unduly lower the water table of adjoining sandy land or

expose muck soils to a high rate of oxidation (Mellinger,


Irregularity of rainfall, the sandy character of the

soils, the high value of some farm products, and the increase

in intensity of farming have led to an increasing use of

irrigation on agricultural lands in Florida. According to the

United States Census of Agriculture Report in 1990, 1,910,505

acres of land on Florida farms were irrigated in 1990.

Agriculture used 3,806,000,000 gallons of water per day

throughout the state during the same year. However, there are

no records of how much water is used by the Florida cattle


Most irrigation systems are single farm installations

that draw water from wells, lakes, springs and streams. Groves

are mainly irrigated by portable perforated pipe sprinklers,

fixed or moveable overhead nozzle-sprinklers, or by portable

pipes. Flood irrigation from ditch or trench is more common on

vegetable lands, although sprinkler and other systems are also

used (Haan, 1977).

The largest acreages of irrigated cropland are located

in central and southern Florida counties. There were very few

counties with sizable acreage of irrigated pastures during the

time of this research project. The 246,000 acres of irrigated

agricultural land were found in Osceola, St. Lucie, Martin,

Palm Beach, Highlands, Glades, Collier, and Hendry counties

(Table 3.2).

Parasites, weeds, insects, nematodes, and diseases

affect the character of agriculture through their negative

effects on yields and costs. Insects, if not controlled, may

destroy a feed crop or reduce yields below an acceptable

profit level during some seasons. The cost of controlling

insects, parasites, or diseases may discourage the production

of a particular crop or class of livestock. The development of

new strains or varieties of feed crops with higher yields or

greater disease resistance may result in an increase in

acreage of this crop in new areas or retention in previous

areas (Baker and Cook, 1982).

Population and Markets

Florida's rapid population growth has also contributed

to an increased competition for land and water resources. The

1995 estimate was 13,846,500, an increase of 908,600 people

over the Census count of 1990 or a 6.56 percent increase in

five years (Table 3.3).

Florida's population of Florida is unevenly distributed

over the state. Five of the 67 Florida counties --Broward,

Dade, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and Hillsborough-- contained over

50 percent of the state's population according to the 1990

Census. In a regional breakdown, 37 percent of the population

was in 10 the counties of south Florida, 18 percent in 21

counties of northeast Florida, and 10 percent in the 16

counties of northwest Florida. While the location of the milk

and egg production is highly dependent on urban population

conglomentations the production areas for citrus, livestock

and vegetables are affected more by physical factors.

Florida enjoys good transportation facilities. Federal

and state highways extend to all sections of the state. Most

farms are located on or near all-weather roads.

Table 3.2 Water use for Agricultural Purposes
(Source: US Department of Interior, 1990).

Product Acres Total Ground Surface
Total 1,910,505 2,978.5 1,646.31 1,332.20
Vegetable crops 342,750 496.35 396.43 99.92
Carrots 20,200 18.42 7.34 11.08
Cucumbers 24,548 46.89 46.86 0.03
Peppers 23,092 39.62 39.51 0.11
Potatoes 27,441 37.97 37.97 0.00
Tomatoes 58,154 135.57 132.58 2.99
Sweet corn 65,360 74.32 26.35 47.97
Other Veg. 113,120 122.00 84.28 37.72
Fruit crops 693,317 1,142.20 650.72 491.48
Citrus 610,720 1,009.6 523.68 485.91
Watermelons 47,125 51.44 47.15 4.29
Other fruit 25,340 58.61 58.25 0.36
Field crops 485,597 610.31 72.60 537.71
Field corn 42,629 52.39 34.56 17.83
Peanuts 18,586 11.80 8.90 2.90
Soybeans 9,835 7.36 6.01 1.35
Sugar cane 379,250 505.41 0.00 505.41
Tobacco 6,674 7.03 6.89 0.14
Wheat 10,533 5.03 3.51 1.52
Ornamentals 388,841 663.26 468.29 194.97
Ferns 6,682 32.29 27.46 4.83
Flowers 11,124 58.63 47.07 11.56
Woody ornam. 17,918 99.56 81.22 18.34
Improved Pas. 246,438 222.57 163.62 58.95
Sod & Turf 279,080 250.21 148.92 101.29

Railroad service includes three important rail lines the

Seaboard Coastline, the Florida East Coast Railway, and the

Southern Railway. Jacksonville is the major rail gateway for

the state of Florida. Good rail facilities connect Florida

with the North and West but in many areas of the state the

short local lines have been abandoned. Florida is also

served by several ports, Tampa, Jacksonville, Port Everglades,

Palm Beach, Miami, and Pensacola. These sea ports handle most

of the sea going traffic.

When examining the location of the cow/calf industry in

Florida, an approach would be to consider the origins of the

raw materials, fertilizers, mechanical devices, etc.) that

this cattle industry needed and the destination of the feeder

calves, using the transportation system as the key to analyze

ranch location (Figure 3.3). Taking the annual average of cash

receipts in 1987 as a base period equal to 100 index points,

the production index rose from 109.6 in 1988 to 116.9 in 1989

(Dunkle, 1994). During the same time, the annual index of cash

receipts for livestock production fell from 98.2 in 1987 to

96.8 in 1988 and rose to 97.1 in 1989.

Florida Transportation Reutes

Major and Minor Routes Examined

- Per_Lo_.Pond
-- Cono novw'gobl
- CanoLoth,,
- Connector
- CountyJland
- Interstate
- Liht.duty
- Roilrood
- $fwmd
- Solt boundL
- Stotebound_W
- Sttedivided
- StoteRoute
- Stot.escondaoy
- Tollrd
- US Route


0 50 100

Figure 3.3 Florida transportation routes. Source: Florida
Division of Transportation Planning, 1990.


Table 3.3 Population of

Florida: urban versus rural

Years Total Urban Rural


(June 1)
(June 1)
(June 1)
(June 1)
(June 1)
(June 1)
(June 1)
(June 1)
(April 15)
(January 1)
(April 1)
(April 1)
(April 1)
(April 1)
(April 1)
(April 1)






(United States Bureau of Census, 1990)

The volume of agricultural products shipped out of the state

by water is not large, but many agricultural supplies are

shipped into the state by this means. Agricultural production

in Florida has grown rapidly during the last eight years

(Table 3.4).

Table 3.4 Cash Receipts of Farm Income

Activity 1987 1988 1989

Crops $4,207,000 $4,688,000 $4,982,000

Cattle $388,000 $372,000 $377,000

(United States Department of Agriculture, 1990)

Land Tenure Patterns

Between 1920 and 1965, agriculture in the state

exhibited two conflicting trends. From 1935 to 1964, there was

a reduction of 44 percent in the number of farms, but acres of

land in farms increased 2.5 times. Average farm sizes

increased from 83 acres to 380 acres. The average value of

land and buildings was $4,407 in 1935 and $109,732 in 1964

(Florida Statistical Abstract, 1987, 1991 and 1995). In 1982

the average farm size was 353 acres and in 1987 it was down to

306 acres. The average value of land and buildings was

$552,586 in 1982 and $543,830 in 1987 (Florida Statistical

Abstract, 1987).

As the number of farms dropped there was a definite

shift in the tenure pattern. The number of tenants decreased

from 28 percent in 1935 to 6 percent in 1964 (Florida

Statistical Abstract, 1967). The importance of full owners

increased although there was a decrease in the absolute number

of owners. The decrease in tenants in the state was associated

with the decline in acres in cotton and the increase in acres

in citrus and specialized truck crops.

Land Uses in Florida

According to the Census, the acreage designated as "land

in farms" consists of agricultural lands, land used for crops

and pasture or grazing, and considerable areas of land not

actually under cultivation or used for pasture or grazing.

Woodland and wasteland owned or rented by farm operators is

included in land in farms unless it is being held for a non-

agricultural purpose.

Only 44 percent of Florida's land area of 34,721,280

acres was in farms in 1964, but 70.3 percent of Florida's

acreage was in farms by 1988. In 14 of the state's 67

counties, less than 15 percent of the total land area was in

farms, 19 counties had 20 to 39.9 percent, 16 counties 40 to

59.9 percent, and 18 counties 60 percent or more (Florida

Statistical Abstract, 1990). About one half the counties with

less than 40 percent of the land area in farms was located in

northeast Florida and one fifth in south Florida. Counties

with the highest percentage of the total land area in farms

were located in central and southern Florida (Table 3.5).

Table 3.5 Florida Agricultural Land Use.

Land Use Percent of Total Acres

Cropland 36 3,875,787.72

Other Land 5 538,303.85

Pasture and Range 41 4,414,091.56

Woodland 18 1,937,893.86

Total 100 10,766,076.99

(United States Bureau of Census, 1990)

Land not in farms is the difference between the total

area of a given county in Florida and acres in farms. Thirty-

one percent of the land not in farms was swamp land and other

poorly drained land. Most of this land use lies in the

Everglades National Park Area.

Cropland is the sum of harvested cropland, cropland used

only for pasture, and cropland not harvested and not pastured.

Florida had 6,875,105 acres of cropland in 1910. This was 20

percent of the total land area in the state (US Agricultural

Census, 1980). Considerable variation of farmland under crops

existed from one county to another because of physical

features. The proportion of farmland under crops varied from 2

percent in Franklin County to 92 percent in Dade County. Palm

Beach and Dade counties on the Gold coast had the highest

percentage of farmland in crops. Counties where citrus is

grown had a fairly high percentage of farmland in crops and

were located in north and west Florida (Weischet and Caviedes,

1987). Land in farms amounted to 10,766,077 acres in 1992. In

1987 land in farms totaled 11,194,090 acres.

Pastured woodland includes all woodlands used for

grazing. Woodland not pastured refers to all woodland not used

for pasture or grazing, including land placed in the soil bank

and planted in trees.

In 1990, land in farms included 12,869,518 acres in

woodland, of which 57 percent was pastured woodland and 61

percent woodland that was not pastured. Pastured woodland

accounted for 32 percent of the total land in farms in 1967;

in 1990 it had, increased by 25 percent. Pastured woodland is

widely distributed over the state. The counties with the

highest percentage of land in farms have the lowest percentage

of land in pastured woodland.

Woodland not pastured accounted for less than 10 percent

of the total land in farms in half the counties. Woodland not

pastured is distributed differently. The counties in which

woodland not pastured was a sizable percentage of all land in

farms were mainly in north and west Florida.

Improved pasture refers to all land other than woodland

and crop land that was used only for pasture or grazing. It

includes non-crop, open or brush pasture, and cut over or

deforested land that has been improved and is used for

pasture. Of the land in farms, 5,386,176 acres were classified

as other pasture (not crop land or woodland) in 1992 (Florida

Statistical Abstract, 1991). This was 28 percent of the land

in farms. Counties with the highest percentage of farm land in

other pasture were those north and west of Lake Okeechobee.

The area of other pasture in counties of North and West

Florida was less than 18 percent of the total land area in


"Other land" refers to all land not included in the

preceding land use classifications, such as house lots, lanes,

roads, ditches, land area of ponds, and wasteland. Other land

amounted to 1,008,269 acres or 7.5 percent of the total land

in farms in 1980 (Florida Statistical Abstract, 1991).

The 1980 United States Census of Agriculture recognized

eight major types of farming in Florida, (1) cash grain, (2)

other field crops, (3) vegetable, (4) fruit and nut, (5)

poultry, (6) dairy, (7) other livestock, and (8)

horticultural. This classification is based on the source of

cash income from farming in 1980. For a farm to be classified

as a given type, it was necessary that it derives 50 percent

or more of the value of farm products sold from the source

indicated in the description. For example, a farm was

classified as a vegetable farm if 50 percent or more of the

cash income from the sale of farm products was derived from

tomatoes (United States Census of Agriculture, 1980). Part-

time, residential, and very small farms were not classified by

type. They were called miscellaneous or unclassified farms.

The largest number of commercial farms were classified

as fruit and nut operation. This was followed by other

livestock, and vegetable (Table 3.6). Slightly over half the

farms in the state were unclassified (personal interview

University of Florida Extension agent, 1993). The location of

farms of specific types or combination of types gives rise to

certain types of farming areas.

Lands without direct agricultural use is land in

forests, marshes, and cut-over lands, and often is not

included as a part of the land in farms in this study.

Further, commercial farming occupies only a small part of many

counties. For these reasons, distinct types of farming do not

stand out in Florida as elsewhere in the United States.

Urban Expansion and Shrinking of

Crop/Pasture Lands

Most major expansions of land use for crops or

urbanization in Florida have a pronounced impact on acreage

in pasture. In some parts of the state, large portions of

current pasture land could probably be converted into crop

land or into residential land as often occurs in the

southeastern region of the state (West Miami,

Table 3.6 Acreage and crops in 1990.

Crop Acres Under Percent of All

Selected Crop Land Under Crops

Corn for Grain 89,000 1.30

Hay-All Types 690,000 10.04

Land in Orchards 1,935,000 28.15

Peanuts 77,000 1.12

Sugar Cane for Sugar 1,432,000 20.84

Vegetables 2,650,000 38.56

Total 6,873,000 100.00

(Source: Florida Statistical Abstract, 1991)

and Ft. Lauderdale for example). The unremitting increase in

urban and built-up land, especially in southern Florida,

compound this impact because urbanized land would come

directly from pasture and from crop land, in which case

pasture would tend to be converted to cropland to replace

lost cropland (Asher, 1978). Although deprived of much of

its land base, the Florida cattle industry might survive,

partly on the basis of intensive fertilized pasture, partly

on rough lands not suitable for crops, and partly through

increased grazing of forest land.

Areas of Florida experiencing rapid population

expansion continue to face the prospect of declining

environmental quality and economic utility derived from the

natural resource base. Paradoxically, in our increasingly

insouciant, service-based economy, the quality and quantity

of environmental goods are the principal factors causing

population growth. Approximately 1.5 million acres of land

were converted into urban uses in Florida from the mid-1970s

to the mid-1980s (Florida Statistical Abstract, 1987, 1990).

During that time, the population increased by more than

three million people. The amount of land converted to urban

uses varied from .347 acres per person in MSA counties in

the Central and South to 2.026 acres per person in the non-

MSA counties in the North (Figure 3.4). Urban growth in

Florida results in higher rates of conversion of land to

urban uses than in other areas of the United States.

Florida's intense rate of population growth may have

serious implications for the quality of life in some areas

of the state. As the so-called "bi-coastal economy" develops

the coastal areas of the state are among the most heavily

affected (i.e., Dade and Sarasota counties), but similar

impacts are being felt in certain areas of the "sun belt"

and in many other areas having superior environmental

attributes (Colorado mountain areas, etc.). One particularly

important impact on the natural resource base is the

conversion of formerly in extensively used land,

(agriculture, forestry, and wetlands) into urban uses. These

changes are perceived as resulting in a dwindling of

aesthetic and ecological values.

Metropolitan Statisical Areas, 1990

1. Brad.nlon NSA 15. Panama City USA
2. D.ytona Beach MSA 18. Pensacoa MSA
3. P. auderdale USA 17. Sarasota MSA
4, Ft. Meyera MSA 18. Tallaha.see USA
5. Ft. Pierce MSA 19. Tampa MSA
6. Ft. Wliton Beach MSA 20. West P.lm Beach MSA
7. Cainesville MSA
8. Jacksonvill. MSA
9. Lakeland MSA
10. Melbourne Titusvllle MSA
11. Mluni Hiaeh MSA
12. Naple. MSA
13. Ocah MSA
14. Orlendo USA ,*. ~ au- -1

Figure 3.4 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

In today's market economy the emphasis is on private

property rights and generally flexible land use controls. As

a result, the amount of land converted from extensive uses

to urban uses in different areas increases directly with

population growth. Florida's comprehensive Growth Management

Act of 1985 addresses the issue of more environmentally

responsible growth. It promotes the concept of an ideal

urban form, which may be described briefly as a more compact

development pattern with less urban sprawl (Audirac, 1989).

It is assumed that this compact urban growth pattern will

result in fewer acres of farmland, wetland, and other

extensively used land being transformed into urban uses.

Land Conversion

There is a high rate of conversion of land from rural

to urban and from natural lands to pasture use in Florida.

Only about 2 to 3 percent of the total land area of the

United States is accounted for by urban development, and

only a minute fraction of a percent are converted to urban

uses each year (Frey 1986). However, the amount of land in

urban areas in Florida is expanding more rapidly. Urban land

is a relatively small part of the total land area, less than

10 percent, but still high compared to many states. Land in

urban areas in Florida increased from 513,000 acres in 1945

to 2,867,000 acres in 1982.

The environmental impact of land use changes is also

important. Competition between mining, forestry, various

agricultural uses and wetland uses often involves larger

acreage and, occasionally, has potential for environmental

impact as the conversion of land uses takes place. In fact,

the changes of these natural land uses to urban land uses

are related to, and perhaps driven by, urban population

growth. It is clear that the hypothesis of the conversion of

wetland to farmland is often an intermediate step in the

process of urbanization, and that such a step is encouraged

by regulation and institutional control.

Cropland acreage in Florida increased by 1.3 million

acres from 1945 to 1982 (Florida Agricultural Census, 1945).

Land in pasture and range grew by about 2.2 million acres,

while land in special uses rose by 4.8 million acres during

the same period. Special uses include urban use, parks,

wildlife refuges, roads, highways, airports, and defense

areas. Increases in land devoted to these uses was made at

the expense of forest land and "other" uses.

Special use areas include areas such as marshes,

swamps, and bare rock. For Florida, most of the land listed

in public data resources as "other land" is likely to be

wetlands. In general, as the demand for agricultural land,

urban, and other land uses increase land is converted from

extensive uses to more intensive uses. Development has moved

further south in the state as well. Additional land has been

converted to cropland and pasture and these agricultural

lands are more vulnerable to urban conversion than wetlands

in the same areas. Population in Florida has doubled every

20 years, increasing from about one million people in 1920

to about 13 million in 1990 (Bureau of Economic and Business

Research, 1989). With such population growth, large

extensions of land are needed for homes, schools, shopping

centers, transportation networks, and commercial and

industrial uses. As the demand for high value uses

increases, land is bid away from more extensive uses, such

as cropland, pasture, land and other "undeveloped uses".

Those who wish to develop land for urban uses generally find

it relatively easy to bid land away from extensive uses

because of the higher capitalized net returns (economic

rent) in the more intensive urban uses.

Florida Grazing Lands

Clearly, pasture is an important category of land use

in Florida. Land used exclusively or primarily for grazing

(pasture and rangeland) amounted to 4,871,727 acres in 1987

and 4,551,334 acres in 1990 (Florida Statistical Abstract,

1987). This is 14 percent of the state's total land base in

1987, and 13 percent in 1990. There is also a large but

difficult to measure area of forest land that is grazed,

often on a somewhat casual basis.

Most grazing in Florida is by the beef cow/calf

industry. Smaller grazing demands are made by milk cows and

sheep throughout the state. The bulk of the state's grazing

land is in the southern reaches of the state on range land

that has never been cultivated for other crops.

Land use in Florida has changed over time, with

particularly dramatic shifts occurring since the early

1940s. The most recent directions of land use change are

those that have been taking place since 1980. Cropland has

experienced a pronounced net increase, much of it due to

increases in the cultivation of ornamentals and truck crops.

Forest land and grazing land have decreased, while developed

land and land set aside for wild life and rural parks have

grown. The residual category "other lands", has tended to

decrease in recent years, as lands previously so classified

have been drained or cleared for agricultural use,

urbanized, or set aside as parks or wildlife reserves.

The Place of Cattle Ranching in Florida

The need for a comprehensive understanding of

agricultural production systems in general, and livestock

production systems specifically, has been realized in Florida

where agriculture has been characterized by diversity and

continuous growth. There is also a need to explore the social

structure that affects the motivations, methods of production,

and goals of cattle ranchers in Florida through understanding

the history and geographic distribution of cattle ranching

throughout the state.

Florida Cattle Ranching Development

The second highest cattle to people ratios in the South

during the 1860s were found in Florida. By 1860, the three

Florida counties of Manatee, Brevard, and Hillsborough had

cattle to people ratios of 37 to one, 31 to one and 13 to one,

respectively (United States Bureau of Census, 1860). With such

high number of cattle, south Florida was the site of

commercial cattle ranching, focused on Cuban markets.

There are few records describing the sandy pinewood

forest cover that dominated the Florida landscape. These

barren lands supported little more than strewn pine trees,

dwarf palmettos and wiregrass (Gilliard, 1855). Though

pinewood land was worthless by agricultural standards of the

time, it was unsurpassed as grazing country. Thanks to the

mild winters, grass grew well and cattle were well supplied

with feed at all seasons of the year. As a result, the

majority of the population in the southern portion of the

Florida peninsula was cattle ranchers, grazing their stock on

the expanses of pinewood ranges.

South Florida's promising cattle trade with Cuba rested

on the shoulders of the Florida "scrub" steer. The scrub steer

traced its ancestry to the Iberian cattle, which were

introduced by the Spanish colonialists who settled Florida

before 1820, and mixed with the British stock bought in by

southern ranchers from the Southeastern States who settled in

Florida after 1821. Left to fend for themselves in the Florida

pinewood, scrub cattle evolved into hardy animals, which

survived on native grasses, endured the extreme heat, and

developed an immunity to endemic stock diseases. Though small

and lean the scrub steer was hardy. A mature animal weighed

only 500 pounds, yielding perhaps 250 pounds of beef (Rouse,

1977). Tough by modern standards, scrub beef had a flavor

resembling that of venison, Florida steers proved popular in

Cuba (Kennedy, 1942).

After the Civil War, the open range cattle industry

dominated south Florida's economy. The focus of the cattle

trade at that time shifted from Tampa to Punta Gorda in

southwest Florida. Between 1870 and 1880, south Florida

exported over 165,000 beef cattle, which were valued at more

than $2,400,000 (Mealor, 1972).

Cuba served as the major market for Florida beef until

the early twentieth century, when Venezuelan beef supplanted

Florida steers in the Havana stockyards. Losing their Cuban

trade, Florida cattle ranchers turned to the North American

market. Finding little demand for their small steers outside

Florida, ranchers began the long and costly process of

improving their beef cattle. They eliminated endemic stock

diseases, bought registered bulls, purchased grazing lands,

erected fences, planted artificial pastures, and produced

larger and better quality steers that permitted them to

capture a significant share of the American beef market

(Mealor, 1972).

Despite the growth of the improved cattle industry,

traditional cattle ranching survived well into the 1940s. In

the years after World War II, open range cattle ranching gave

way to commercial farming and urban development in much of

south Florida. Truck farmers and citrus growers acquired great

tracts of pinewood range land for their fields and orchards.

In turn, urban areas impinged on the open range, as thousands

of retired Northerners settled in housing developments and

trailer parks.

Open range cattle ranching was simply not compatible

with agribusiness and urban life, as they trampled vegetable

fields and invaded citrus groves, strayed onto public highways

and streets, and even collided with cars and trucks (Mealor,

1972). Complaints about traffic accidents and stray cattle

prompted the Florida legislature to pass a law in 1949,

requiring all stock owners to fence in their cattle. Owners,

who negligently allowed their stock to wander onto public

highways and streets could be fined or imprisoned. This law

effectively ended over a century of open range cattle herding

in the State of Florida (Florida Cattleman and Livestock

Journal, 1949)

Effects of Agricultural Development and

Technological Change

Fertilizers and pesticides currently account for a

greater share of input costs for most major crops than they

did in 1965. This is primarily the result of high yield

fertilizer applications and continuous cropping, which has

created favorable pest habitats in certain crops. The national

average cost of fertilizers and pesticides for corn production

in 1986 was about 55 percent of variable costs and 34 percent

of total costs (Bureau of Economic and Business Research,

1989). For soybeans, the figures were 49 and 25 percent and

for wheat, 40 and 23 percent. By increasing use of these

costly agricultural input items, farming has become dependent

on industry. Today, an agricultural enterprise will use

resources that optimized production in order to in optimize


However, the Florida livestock industry does not require

the same inputs as general farming. The average Florida cattle

rancher is not investing in a series of costly agricultural

inputs. Nonetheless, cattle production in 1992 was 54

percent above the total level of production of the 1950

agricultural census period. In 1950 Florida produced

1,054,899 head of cattle, and in 1992, 1,940,000 head of

cattle (Florida Agricultural Census, 1992). Interestingly,

Dade, Palm Beach, Hamilton, Liberty and Putnam counties lost

between 3 and 11 percent of their cattle production during the

same forty-year period.

Increases of 95 to 99 percent in beef production were

experienced in Hardee, Manatee, Hendry, and Glades counties,

illustrating a shift in the location of cattle ranching in

Florida. The shift is toward the southern counties, but away

from the areas of intense urbanization in the southeast of the

state. The average rate of increase over the same period was

6.3 percent per year for all crops and 1.08 percent per year

for livestock. Agriculture brings over $6 billion per year to

Florida's economy in total sales and accounts for one in five

jobs in the state. Cattle production is a very important part

of Florida agriculture.

Permanent pastures and other forages such as hay or

seasonal pastures remain the largest single use of land in

Florida. About 11,194,090 acres were occupied by these forage

crops at the time of the 1987 agricultural census (Florida

Statistical Abstract, 1991). The kind and combination of

approaches used by farmers in any specific area result from

the interaction of many factors. The most important of these

factors are soils, topography, climate, market prices, labor

cost, availability and transportation facilities, and just the

farmer's personal judgment. Some of them, such as soils, and

climate, place definite limitations on agricultural

activities. Introduction of new techniques and changes in

economic factors, such as price relationships, have caused

great changes in the agriculture of an area in a relatively

short period. An example of this phenomenon is the southward

migration of the citrus industry due to the increase of

devastating freezes in the northern reaches of Florida

(Miller, 1992). Other factors that affect the farmer's

decision-making process are land use regulations, land use

limitations, resource scarcity, and competition for water and


The mismanagement of inputs, through ignorance or

shortsightedness, carries an expensive environmental cost.

Every human civilization appears to have experienced one or

more of the following problems: water-logged soil, increased

salt concentration in drinking water, soil erosion,

contaminated aquifers, shrinking lakes, and degraded aquatic

habitats. The question to be answered here is: where in the

state are these problems developing into potential hazards?

When these problems become extreme, the agricultural

foundation of a society may be destroyed. Anthropologists,

agriculturists, economic ecologists and historians believe

that the failure of large scale agricultural systems have

caused the collapse of several ancient civilizations

(Pointing, 1991). Maintaining a viable agricultural industry

in the state is important for the state's economic health and

expected development. Agriculture must do its part to protect

Florida's delicate natural ecosystem and to maintain the

state's natural resources.



This chapter describes the methods and approaches used

to prove the hypothesis that cattle ranchers use production

practices that are environmentally protective. The ranchers'

ability to adopt "current" environmentally protective

agricultural technology will also be examined. Several methods

are used to evaluate the degree to which cattle ranches in

Florida are using environmentally protective agricultural

practices, including improved water, as well as nutrient and

pest management. The chapter is organized as follows:

1. Population description and sample selection;

2. The survey instrument;

3. Data collection;

4. Statistical analysis.

Population and Sample Selection

Personal interviews were conducted with beef producers

in ten Florida counties in the period February to August

1993. Two counties in each of Florida's five Extension

Districts were selected for data collection. The selected

counties (10 in total) had the highest acreage in pasture in

each Extension District (Figure 4.1).

Counties In Survey by Region Flor"do Loyer
Date: 1993 [- ct..

SNoth.rn Co.unti

m-T South.rn Counlti

4I m0 50 loI0

Figure 4.1 Counties selected for the 1993

cow/calf survey by

County Extension mailing lists obtained from the

extension agents' personal contacts with the ranchers were

used as the basis for selecting the sample of cow/calf

producers. These lists, while not all inclusive, are a

better source than the Florida Cattlemen's Association

membership list inasmuch as there may exist some

relationship between such factors as farm size or operator

characteristics that correlate to membership within the

Florida Cattlemen's Association. A total of 1,036 beef

producers were included in these lists. Our sample was

restricted to beef producers with 50 or more head of cattle.

Survey Instrument

The survey instrument used to gather the data in this

study was administered through face-to-face interviews with

the cattle ranchers at their business or place of residence.

The survey instrument was designed with the help of Dr. K.

M. Portier of the University of Florida Statistics

Department The survey was expected to be conducted by

personal interview, and because of this fact allowances were

made for about a 5 percent rejection rate. Scalar questions

primarily elicit responses on a four-point scale. The

questions in the instrument reflect the production practices

that are appropriate for the cattle industry and consisted

of 84 closed form questions. Originally, the questionnaire was

formulated as part of a state wide survey to determine the

sustainability of several segments of Florida agriculture.

The questionnaire was examined for content and relevance

by members of the Animal Science Department, County Extension

Directors from several counties, cattle ranchers, and Dr.

Marilyn Swisher, the lead research person. Participants

involved in the preliminary survey instrument test provided

information that helped to shape the final questionnaire, but

their responses were not included in the data analyzed

(Appendix A). The survey instrument was divided into three

main subject areas. The first section deals primarily with

demographic profiles and general information about the cattle

ranchers, and is further divided into two subsections:

1.1 operation characteristics, annual production,

acreage devoted to cattle production; and

1.2 demographic information about the cattle rancher;

age, sex, educational level, experience in the

cattle business, and sources of information.

The second section addresses management practices and

changes in cattle ranching practices since 1983. The

questions included are grouped in six subsections


2.1 major soil type and pasture type (improved or

unimproved) and the amount of each type of


2.2 water management concerns: whether or not the

rancher is using irrigation to water livestock or

irrigate their pasture, source of drinking water

(well or standing), monitoring of water use (yes

or no);

2.3 nutrient management: use of soil testing to

determine fertilizer application rate, factors that

determine when and how much fertilizer is used, and

use of legumes;

2.4 pest management: factors influencing management

decisions, how pesticides are applied (if any), how

and what protective gear is employed for employee


2.5 crop land use if any; previous land use, and, if

possible, the intensity of land use;

2.6 renovation practices;

The third section reflects the opinions of the cattle

rancher regarding these issues:

3.1 the importance of government regulations, and

3.2 factors that affect the profitability of the ranch

such as taxes, regulations, record keeping, and

animal welfare issues.

Survey Application

All producers participated directly in personal

interviews with the author to reduce experimental errors

that result from multiple interviewers. All interviews with

the cattle producers took place within a six-month period to

reduce biases due to uncertain regulating processes, taxing

schedules, changes in environmental conservation and/or

preservation efforts, or other factors that can vary with

time. In addition, it should be pointed out that the types

of questions asked are not time sensitive, like those of

many public opinion polls. That is, producers are unlikely

to change production practices in a short period of time and

personal characteristics are also not likely to change

rapidly. The interview process took place at the cattle

ranch, in the residence or the office, with the owner or

person in charge. While individual surveys are time

consuming but thorough, this method provided a ninety-nine

percent survey response rate.

Population Distribution

Like agriculture in the United States as a whole,

Florida agriculture is highly stratified by region. For

example, the 4.2 percent of largest ranches in the state

(owning over 500,000 head each) account for approximately 46

percent of all cattle that are raised in Florida. Because

production is concentrated on larger scale units located in

the southern part of the state, independent samples for

different regions were drawn (Swisher, 1993). The selection

of independent samples by region permitted analyses both,

within and between different regions. These analyses reveal

the relationships, if any, between location (region) and

associated socioeconomic characteristics of the ranch and

sustainable agricultural potential (Swisher, 1993).

Determination of the Sample Size

There are approximately 1,500 cattle ranchers in the

state of Florida. The size of the sample selected for this

study is important because taking a larger sample than is

required to achieve the desired results is inefficient and

costly. On the other hand if samples are too small the

results may be of no practical use. In order to determine

the sample size required for estimating the population mean

of Florida cow/calf producers. This study uses the

confidence interval as determined by Za. Increasing the

magnitude of Z produces a wider confidence interval. In this

study, Z = 1.96ax- and the confidence interval is 95 percent.

The entire area under the normal distribution curve of X-

beyond the confidence limits (a) are i 1.96ox", thus the

area within the confidence limits are 1 a.

The size of the sample is determined by the size of a

(standard deviation), the desired degree of precision (E), and

the desired interval width. This study uses a sample that is

capable of yielding a point estimate of u where E (precision

level) is 0.10. The confidence interval is 95 percent, and

there is a 5 percent chance of drawing a sample size (n) with

an estimate for g that is more than 0.10 units off the

acceptable (Cochrane, 1963). The standard deviation of the

study population of 1,500 Florida cattle ranchers is 0.4179.

The desired precision is E = 0.10 or 90 percent, and a

confidence level for the study is set at a = 0.05, or 95

percent. The formula used in this study is

n = (Zd2 a/E)2

n = [1.96(0.4179)/0.10]2

n = 67.08989 w 67

The resulting sample size was determined to be 127 beef

and/or livestock producers. There was some difficulty in

gathering data from the ranches of the southern region and

it was necessary to replace 52 percent of the ranchers

selected to compensate for those who had gone out of

business within the last year, for those who were reluctant

to give information, and for incorrect addresses. The final

sample size of 67 was within the accuracy range. The

expected error rate for a sample of this size is 0.10 with

95 percent confidence interval.

Data Collection and Processing

Following the determination of the sample size and

sample selection, data collection was conducted. This

process involved three steps:

(1) A form letter was sent to each cattle rancher by

the County Extension Director of the Florida

Cooperative Extention Service, explaining the

purpose of the study and urging the participation

in the survey.

(2) Appointments were scheduled by the author with the

help of the County Extension Office.

(3) Following the confirmation of several appointments

in a given county, the surveyor traveled to the

appointment place and conducted the surveys.

There were no distinguishing traits on any of the

surveys and each of them was differentiated only by county.

In this manner, each survey remained anonymous and the

geographic distribution of the data could be inferred. The

list of participants was destroyed after the surveys were

complete and the data deemed accurate.

Once data collection was completed, the data as entered

in a computerized data base and, reviewed for errors in

accuracy. The data were analyzed using SAS v6.04 (SAS

Institute, 1988). Information concerning the demographic

characteristics of the Florida cow/calf ranchers (Objective

1) is illustrated by means and frequencies. Objective 2 is

protrayed using the rate of change to ascertain the

application of sustainable cattle ranching practices.

Objective 3 is achieved by examining the perceptions of the

cattle rancher and their views of government regulations,

environmental and economic issues. Objective 4 is of

geographic nature, concerned with the location of

urbanization and cattle ranching operations, rates of

change, and the intensity of cattle ranching as both of

these land uses compete for land resources.

Regional Analysis

The data were analyzed by region: northern versus

southern. This was done because these two regions differ in

their herd sizes, ranch sizes, individual time spent on the


The distinction between a northern and a southern

region differs significantly from the Kruskal Wallis

statistical model which tests the hypothesis:

Ho: The medial scores for heard size data categorized

in the two groups are equal. i.e., M, = M2, with MI

representing the average herd size in the northern

region and M2 representing average herd size in the

southern region (Ha: M1 M2). The scores shown in

Table 4.1 demonstrate the results of the Kruskal-Wallis

test for differences and reveals clear regional


Statistical Procedures Used

The Kruskal-Wallis test of differences between two

population distributions was the statistical procedure used to

assess differences between northern and southern ranchers.

There was a measurable difference between the non-parametric

results. Chi-square tests were performed to identify

relationships among the survey variables.

Methodology to Examine the Changes in

Agricultural Land Use

The extension of land converted to urban uses as

related to population growth and agricultural activity was

estimated and the differences in urban land conversion by

geographic area were analyzed with the purpose of revealing

the intensity of urban growth in Florida.

To estimate urban land used for urban purposes, the

population data for areas experiencing urbanization are

calculated using urban and non-urban land use coefficients.

These coefficients provide a measure of the amount of land

converted to urban uses per person in MSA and non-MSA areas.

In the United States, about three-fourths of the

population reside in Metropolitan Statistical Areas (U.S.

Bureau of Census, 1990). A Metropolitan Statistical Area

(MSA) is a geographic area containing a large population

nucleus with adjacent communities that have a high degree of

economic and social integration with that nucleus (Bureau of

Economic and Business Research, 1989). Some MSAs comprise

more than one county, but the counties have close economic

and social ties to the major urban area.

In Florida, there are thirty-two counties that comprise

twenty MSAs. Over 90 percent of the Florida population is

located in counties that are part of MSAs. MSA counties

represent 54.4 percent of the total land area of the state

(Florida Statistical Abstract, 1991). More of the state's

population is located in the central and southern part than

in the northern part, although each region contains about 50

percent of the land area. Only about 22 percent of the

state's population live in the north, and in 1984 population

density in the north was about one-half of that in the

central and south.

In northern Florida, 70 percent of the land area is in

MSA counties. Over 60 percent of the population in the north

live in non-MSAs, while in southern Florida over 93 percent

are found in MSA counties. The value of transition land

(land changing to non-agricultural uses such as sites for

homes and businesses) is much higher in Central and South

Florida than in the north. At the end of the 1980s, the

value of transition land within five miles of a major town

averaged $3,600 per acre in the northwest and about $5,600

per acre in the northeast. In the central and southern

region, transition land values within 5 miles of a major

city averaged about $10,500 per acre in central Florida and

about $36,700 per acre in southeast Florida (Florida

Statistical Abstract, 1990).

Despite the widespread awareness of the changing nature

of land use in the state of Florida, remarkably little has

been published to illustrate the dramatic rate at which land

use is changing in the state. The land use coefficient

provides a relative measure of this change.

Table 4.1 Results of the Kruskal-Wallis test
the variable that addresses herd size.

applied to

Northern Counties
Herd Size Test Herd Size Test
1950 Rank 1990 Rank

Alachua 26,331 8 48,000 14
Leon 10,863 5 9,000 2
Sumter 12,616 6 55,000 16
Jackson 9,025 3 34,000 10
Levy 9,430 4 38,000 11

Totals 26 53

Southern Counties
Herd Size Test Herd Size Test
1950 Rank 1990 Rank

Hendry 4,727 1 11,7000 19
Okeechobee 42,589 12 16,8000 20
Collier 45,015 13 1,3000 7
Highlands 33,571 9 11,6000 18
Osceola 49,504 15 10,8000 17

Totals 50 80

Reject Ho:


Rural Land to Urban Land Use Coefficients

Urban land use and rural land use coefficients show the

extent of additional land converted to urban or rural land

use for each person added to the population.

The urban land use coefficient (Ur) is calculated as

Ur = (U2 U1)/(P2 P1)


U2 = the acres of urban land in 1980;
U1 = the acres of urban land in 1990;
P2 = the population in 1980; and
PI = the population in 1973.

The rural land use coefficient (R,) is calculated as
Rr = (R2 RI)/(P2 P1)


R2 = the acres of rural land in 1980;
Ri = the acres of rural land in 1990;
P2 = the population in 1980; and
Pi = the population in 1973.

Data for urban and rural land use coefficients are presented

in tables, and maps in the results of this dissertation

(Chapter 5).

Methodology to Examine the Changes in

Range Land Use

The methodology used to analyze pasture land conversion

in a given geographic area (state or county) is based on

coefficients that compare the state and county grazing land.

These coefficients provide a measure of the proportion of

the state or county acreage converted to grazing land.

Pasture land use and state or county area measurement

coefficients are employed to represent the quantity of land

converted to/or established in pasture for each acre removed

from the state and county land base. The pasture land use

coefficient for the state (P.) is calculated as

P, = (P2 PI)/(SI)


P2 = the acres of county pasture land in 1990;
P1 = the acres of county pasture land in 1987;
Si = the entire acreage of the state;

The pasture land use coefficient for the counties (Pc) is

calculated as

Pc = (P2 PI)/(C1)


P2 = the acres of county pasture land in 1990;
Pi = the acres of county pasture land in 1987;
C1 = the entire acreage of the county;

Herd-size Index

The herdsize index shows the fluctuation in the cattle

population between the years 1987 and 1990. The herd-size

index for a given county (Hi) is calculated as

Hi = (Hi- H2)/ H2


H1 = the herdsize of counties in 1987;
H2 = the herdsize of counties in 1990;

The Location Quotient

The location quotient is defined as a ratio of ratios.

The resulting index (quotient) shows whether a larger or

smaller amount of a given factor is present in a certain

area. By using the location quotient the data for the

counties is normalized and thus ready to be analyzed. The

location quotient used in this study is as follows:

county pasture acreage/ acreage of all county land LQ
state pasture acreage/ acreage of all state land

The location quotient expresses a ratio involving two

proportions. This index (LQ) shows the extent to which each

unit of a set of areal units departs from the overall

proportion. In this dissertation the location quotient

allows for the comparison of each county's share of pasture

land with the aggregate total for the state. A location

quotient of 1 means the acreage of pasture land in that

county is of exactly the same relative size for pasture as

is found across the counties of the entire state. A location

quotient greater than 1 indicates an overrepresented acreage

of pasture land. A location quotient less than 1 signifies

underrepresentation of acreage of pasture land. This

procedure is used in this dissertation to compare different

counties at different points in time: 1987 and 1990.



The Florida cow/calf industry's use of environmentally

protective practices and spatial distribution are the focal

points of this dissertation. Cattle is raised in virtually all

counties of Florida. Nevertheless, ranch and herd sizes vary

geographically from county to county. Therefore, a stratified

random sampling approach for this industry has been chosen to

insure suitable representation of north and south Florida


Geographic Distribution of Samples

Two counties from each of Florida's five Extension

Districts were selected for inclusion in the survey. These

comprise the two counties in the district with the largest

area in pasture according to the 1987 agricultural census.

This stratified random sample is, once again, representative

of the wide range of ecological and economic conditions


characteristic of the ranching activity in the state. North

Florida counties surveyed include Leon, Jackson, Levy, Alachua

and Sumter. South Florida counties include Hendry, Highlands,

Okeechobee, Osceola and Collier. Independent samples were

drawn for each county. Of the 127 completed questionnaires,

there was a response rate of 99 percent, meaning that 126

surveys were answered correctly and entirely. The sample did

not cover all counties in the state, and the results are not

applicable to all ranches in Florida. However, the geographic

distribution of the sample traversed the major physical

regions of the state and the selected counties had high

acreages in pasture indicating that they are representative of

cow/calf production in Florida. There are significant

differences between cattle production in north and south

Florida (see Chapter 4 concerning Kruskal-Wallis testing) and

there are several pasture types in Florida

1) Native pastures The natural vegetation found on

the unimproved pastures includes perennial grasses

on the low sandy soils or flat pine lands, wire

grasses, wild oats, and broom sedge.

2) Improved permanent pastures These are pastures

established through the destruction of some or all

native vegetation by burning, rotary cutting,

plowing, chopping and disking. Fertilizer is

applied and the land is seeded with carpet and

dallis, pangola, napier, bahia, bermuda or heat

tolerant St. Augustine grasses. In the winter

legumes may be planted.

3) Temporary pastures These pastures furnish feed

only for short periods of time and must be

established annually. Winter grazing pastures will

usually contain rye rust resistant varieties of

oats. Summer grazing crops will include cattail or

pearl millet, starr millet, alyse clover, and hairy

indigo (Cunha and Rhodes, 1966).

Farms in general are smaller in north Florida and cattle

ranches are no exception. Use of unimproved pastures and

native range is common in south Florida, whereas the northern

rancher is more inclined to work with improved pasture.

Therefore, the data is presented by northern and southern

regions. Native, unimproved pastures include grasses,

grasslike forbs, and shrubs that are edible by cattle and

wildlife (Mullahey and Tanner, 1992). The stocking rate of a

cow/calf producer is constrained by climate, forage value,

soils, and rancher practices. These variables all differ


Significance Testing

The X2 test is widely used as a goodness-of-fit test

(Burt and Barber, 1996). After the examination of the

distribution of each variable in the survey, the next step is

to investigate sets of relationships among two or more of

these variables. This researcher chooses to use a contingency

table form of analysis to test for variable independence.

The test used in this dissertation is

S Fi

The X2 test is a test of statistical significance. It is

designed to help determine whether a relationship exists

between two variables. This is accomplished by computing the

cell frequencies which could be expected if no relationship

were present between the variables given the existing for row

and column totals (marginals). The expected cell frequencies

are then compared to the actual values found in the table

according to the above formula where fi equals the observed

frequency in each cell, and Fi equals the expected frequency

calculated as

F, =

where ci is the frequency in a respective column marginal, ri

is the frequency in a respective row marginal, and N stands

for the total number of valid cases. The closer the set of Fi

frequencies (expected frequencies) is to fi (observed

frequencies) the more likely the distribution of the sample

reflects the probability distribution specified in the null

hypothesis. The farther apart the observed and expected

frequencies are, the less likely H, is true. The test

statistic is the sum of the relative squared differences.

The two cases tested are

Ho: The frequency distribution of the data reflects
no statistical independence.

H,: The frequency distribution reflects statistical
independence, reject Ho.

The decision rule used in this dissertation is if X2 > X2 (1

a), conclude H,.

Survey Results

The first section of the survey instrument concentrates

on demographic information about the cattle ranchers. Northern

ranches are more apt than southern ranches to have both cow-

calf and breeding stock (Table 5.1). In northern and western

Florida, diversified farming is practiced. Through

diversification, farmers are able to have several sources of

farm income and do not depend on one item.

Table 5.1 Cattle operation type by region.

Region Both Feed Cow/Calf Breeding
and Breed Stock

Northern 0 82.6 17.4

Southern 4.6 88.4 7.0
X2 = 7.68, Pr = 0.021

The northern ranchers' ability to diversify in cattle

production while having both cow/calf and breeding stock

operations allows him to sell both calves for fattening and

keep breeding stock. In view of the demand for low fat,

"healthy" beef products, some Florida ranchers consider

expansion of cow/calf production while others are considering

steer feeding (Personal interview with ranchers, 1993).

Herdsize of livestock ranching in the northern part of

the state is small compared with the large herdsize

characteristic of central and south Florida.

Herd Size

Only 66 percent of the south Florida sample had fewer

than 100 head of cattle, whereas 78 percent of the north

Florida herds had fewer than 100 head of cattle. The remainder

of the north Florida sample, 22 percent, all represented herds

of fewer than 2,500 animals.

Table 5.2 Herd size by region, 1983 and 1993.

Size Range Northern Northern Southern Southern
Percentage Percentage Percentage Percentage
1983 1993 1983 1993

< 100 41.2 47.8 38.9 37.2
101-250 35.3 30.4 30.6 27.9
251-500 5.9 4.3 15.7 18.6
501-1000 11.8 8.7 8.3 9.3
1001-2500 0 8.7 0 0
2501-5000 5.9 0 0 2.3
> 5000 0 0 5.6 4.7
For 1983 2 = 9.007 Pr = 0.061
For 1993 2 =3.101 Pr = 0.054

In south Florida, on the

counted between 251 and

sample were herds of more

other hand, 27 percent of all herds

2,500 head, and 7 percent of the

than 2,500 animals.

The ranches included in this survey comprised some

17,150 acres in North Florida and 164,547 acres in South

Florida. Table 5.3 shows the distribution of ranches by size

for each region. Ranch size was, as expected, smaller in north

Florida, where 61 percent of all ranches had fewer than 500

acres total, nine percent had from 501 to 1000 acres, and only

4 percent had from 1,001 to 5,000 acres. There were fewer

ranches in the smaller size category in South Florida. Only 34

percent of ranches had less than 500 total acres; 28 percent

had from 501 to 1000 acres, and 20 percent had from 1001 to

5,000 acres in south Florida.

Table 5.3 Ranch acreage


by region.

Northern Region
Percent in Each

Southern Region
Percent in Each

< 500 Acres 61 34
501-1,000 Acres 9 28
1,001-2,500 Acres 22 20
2,501-5,000 Acres 4 7
5,001-10,000 Acres 4 6
>10,000 Acres 0 5

2 = 23.744 Pr = 0.001

Some ranches, 7 percent, had over 2,500 acres. The differences

in average in the two area's ranching is clearly illustrated

in Table 5.4.

Table 5.4 The total ranch acreage in the southern and northern
regions of Florida.

Region Total Pasture Acreage

Northern 1,889.565

Southern 4,890.000

The total ranch acreage in the southern region of

Florida is 2.58 times larger than in the northern region of

the state. There is a tendency for the southern cattle

ranchers to work these ranches full-time as a consequence of

the size, costs involved, and a high demand for investment

returns on their cattle operation. In the north, ranching is

more intensive due to pasture types and higher stocking rates,

however, because of the smaller herdsize, it is less likely to

provide a living.

Demographic Profile of Ranchers

Demographic characteristics include the age of the

cattle rancher, the highest grade completed in school, and

years of experience in the cattle business.

Table 5.5 Rancher mean age and age range.

Age Range Percent in Each Age Mean
in Years Range Age
Northern 51
30-40 21.6
41-50 34.5
51-60 12.9
61-70 21.6
<71 8.7
Southern 57
30-40 9.1
41-50 27.3
51-60 20.5
61-70 18.1
<71 15.9
Mean Age State of Florida 54
X2=9.722 Pr=0.045

The mean age of the north Florida sample was 51 years. In

south Florida, the mean was 57 (Table 5.5). Cattle ranchers

are slightly older in the southern region and need to pass

their traditions and methods to the next generation at a

faster rate than in the north.

A possible explanation for the presence of older

ranchers in southern Florida could be found in the history of

cattle ranching. Ranches located in southern Florida had ready

access to the Cuban, Texan, and South American beef market

during the 19th century accounting for the formation of a

tradition of family involvement whereas those of the north

were isolated from these markets and have developed only


Table 5.6 Educational level by region.

Education Level Northern Rancher
Percent in Each
Less than High School 4.3

High School Diploma 52.2

Some College 30.4

Earn a College Degree 13.0


Southern Rancher
Percent in Each





Compared with traditional livestock systems,

environmentally protective farming systems usually require


augmented management skills and abilities along with greater

reliance on proficient and knowledgeable labor. There is a

pressing need for a greater knowledge base in the future to

address the demands of an environmentally protective


In the north, 52.2 percent of the surveyed ranchers

completed high school, while in the south 38.6 percent had a

high school diploma. However, while 43.4 percent of the

northern ranchers surveyed had attended college, while 52.0

percent of the ranchers surveyed in the south had attended or

graduated from college. Obviously, the southern rancher has

more land, and seems to be more educated.

Table 5.7 Number of years in ranching.

Years of Northern Rancher Southern Rancher
Experience Percent in Each Percent in Each
Category SCa.3tegEry
1-10 31.0 11.4
11-20 21.5 22.0
21-30 17.3 22.8
31-40 8.6 25.1
41-50 17.3 18.2
51-60 4.3 0.0
X2=22.221 Pr=0.001

An environmentally protective approach is not one that

simply rejects customary practices, but adopts innovative

practices offered by the scientific and technological

communities. In north Florida, 78.4 percent of the ranchers

surveyed had at least 40 years of experience. In south

Florida, 81.3 percent of the sample had at least 40 years of

experience. Thus, more southern ranches had been in the

business 40 or more years.

Cattle ranching is a male dominated occupation. In both

the southern and northern regions of the state most ranchers

are men (78.3 percent in the north, and 84.1 percent in the


Table 5.8 Gender of





ranch operator by region.

Northern Rancher Southern Rancher
Percent in Each Percent in Each
SCategory_ Cater__
78.3 84.1

21.7 15.9

100 100

A high percentage of all ranchers belonged to the

Florida Cattlemen's Association.

Table 5.9 Trade association membership by region.

Membership in Trade Associations Northern Southern
Percent Percent
Membership Membership
Florida Cattleman's Association 72.2 83.3
Florida Farm Bureau 68.2 78.6
Breed Association 40.9 25.2
Other Sources 14.3 9.5



In north Florida, 72.2 percent of all ranchers in the

sample subscribe to FCA and 40.9 percent belong to one or more

breed associations. In south Florida, as many as, 83.3 percent

belong to the FCA and 25.2 percent contribute to one or more

breed associations. Because of the cost associated with

membership, the southern rancher with his large herd size can

afford membership and reap the benefits of the useful

information offered by these organizations. Both northern and

southern ranchers have confidence in advice from the

University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural

Sciences. Over 50 percent of the state's ranchers rely on the

scientific community's recommendations (Table 5.10).

The Florida peninsula has a rolling landscape that is

characteristic of karst topography. Many soil types consist

of quartz sands. These sands predominate where Florida's

Central-Highland cattle ranches have been established. Table

5.11 shows that 31.8 percent of the surveyed ranchers in the

north are located in the deep sand central region of the

state. These sites of natural vegetation are dominated by

eastern gram grass, switch grass, maidencane, and longleaf

uniola (Mullahey and Tanner, 1992). The endangered plants

and animals on these sites include adder's tongue fern,

spleen wort, climbing dayflower, and culpet fern as well as

the Florida black bear and the Florida panther (Mullahey

and Tanner, 1992).

Table 5.10 Sources of information available to Florida

Level of UF or IFAS Consultant Vendor Rep.
Importance Employees
Pr > t 0.008 Pr > t 0.391 Pr > t 0.148
Percentage Percentage Percentage
North South North South North South

Important 18.2 25.6 4.5 12.2 9.1 12.2

Important 50.0 51.2 22.3 22.0 31.8 41.5

Not Very 9.1 15.3 22.7 24.4 35.4 34.1

Not At All 22.7 7.0 45.5 41.5 22.7 12.2

Other significant ranching areas

flatwood regions with 40.9 percent of

are located

the northern

and 55.8 percent of the southern ranches. Cattle ranching

dominates in the flatwood areas because the same land can

not easily be used for citrus groves. As a result of

periodic freezes, the citrus industry has moved further

south, where new technologies are used to plant on flatwood

soils. The southern flatwoods, in their natural state, are

usually strewn with pine trees, saw palmetto, gallberry, and


in the


Table 5.11 Soil types present on ranches.

Soil Type Northern Rancher Southern Rancher
Percent in Each Percent in Each
Category Category

Muck (Organic) 0.0 15.9

Flatwood 40.9 55.8

Deep Sand 31.8 18.2

Loam/Sandy Loam 52.2 38.6
2 = 32.655 Pr = 0.001

The endangered plants and animals of the southern

flatwoods area include the following plants: yellow

squirrel-banana, Florida bear grass, wiregrass, mock

pennyroyal, Edison's ascyrum, fall flowering ixia, Bartram's

ixia, mammals such as the Florida black bear, the fox

squirrel the Florida panther; such birds as the Florida

grasshopper sparrow, red-cocked woodpecker, bald eagle,

Florida sandhill crane, and the burrowing owl (Mullahey and

Tanner, 1992).

Differences in the importance of ranching as a primary

source of income and the tendency of south Florida's ranches

to be generally more dependent on ranching are well

illustrated in Table 5.12. In north Florida, land used for

permanent pasture constituted 74 percent of the total acreage

of the ranches in the sample.

Table 5.12 Pasture

Pasture Type

Improved Pasture

Permanent Pasture

Unimproved Pasture

Statistics for Ta

type by region.

Northern Rancher Southern Rancher
Percent in Each Percent in Each
Category Category
57 31

74 91

17 60

ble X2 = 30.265 Pr = 0.001

In south Florida, permanent pasture makes up 91 percent

of the total acreage on the ranches included in the sample. As

one would expect, unimproved pasture and native range were

much more prevalent in south Florida, accounting for 60

percent of all land on the ranches. In north Florida, by

contrast, unimproved pasture constitutes only 17 percent of

all land. Conversely, improved pasture comprises 31 percent of

the land included in the sample in south Florida ranches.

However, 57 percent of the north Florida sampled ranch land

was improved pasture.

Water and Nutrient Management Concerns

Florida ranchers use water primarily as drinking water

for cattle. Water constraints are among the issues legislative

policy makers are reviewing. Another concern is whether or not

the cattle industry is polluting the aquatic systems with

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