• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Historic note
 Front Cover
 Introduction
 Farm size and irrigation
 Florida's production agricultu...
 Florida's irrigated acreage
 Florida's irrigation water requirements...
 Irrigated crops in Florida
 Irrigation methods
 The role of water management districs...
 Reference
 Back Cover














Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Florida Cooperative Extension Service ; no. 196
Title: Irrigation in Florida agriculture in the '80s
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00025535/00001
 Material Information
Title: Irrigation in Florida agriculture in the '80s
Series Title: Bulletin Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Physical Description: 10 p. : col. ill., map ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Harrison, D. S ( Dalton Sidney ), 1920-
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla.
Publication Date: [1983?]
 Subjects
Subject: Irrigation -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Water in agriculture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 10.
Statement of Responsibility: D.S. Harrison ... et al..
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Bulletin (Florida Cooperative Extension Service)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00025535
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000405048
oclc - 10758947
notis - ACF1278

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Unnumbered ( 1 )
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Introduction
        Page 3
    Farm size and irrigation
        Page 3
    Florida's production agriculture
        Page 4
    Florida's irrigated acreage
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Florida's irrigation water requirements and water use
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Irrigated crops in Florida
        Page 8
    Irrigation methods
        Page 8
    The role of water management districs in irrigation
        Page 9
    Reference
        Page 10
    Back Cover
        Page 11
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida




I i"

Bulletin 196

Irrigation in

Florida Agriculture

in the '80s
D.S. Harrison, A.G. Smajstrla,
R.E. Choate, and G.W Isaacs

'-""''"--



EXPLANATION
Freshwater withdrawn in
million gallons per day.
S0.0-.005
.005-1
- 1-5
5-10
10-50
50-100
S100-200 Irrigation
* 200-400 (self-supplied).
Greater than 400 ,.0ad1

Florida Cooperative Extension Service I Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
University of Florida / John T Woeste, Dean

















































Funds for part of the cost of producing this bulletin were
obtained through a grant from the Florida Irrigation Society,
a non-profit industry organization "in the interest of sound irriga-
tion practices." 6500 Eloise Loop Road, Winter Haven, Florida
33880.








IRRIGATION IN FLORIDA AGRICULTURE IN THE '80s


D. S. Harrison, A. G. Smajstrla, R. E. Choate,
and G. W Isaacs*


Introduction

Supplemental irrigation is a necessary crop production practice for
most crops in Florida. Vegetables, sugar cane, tobacco, rice, ornamen-
tals, and sub-tropical fruits could not be grown economically without
supplemental irrigation. Other crops such as citrus, and pastures
grown on flatwoods soils in south Florida also require irrigation for
economical production. This bulletin documents the importance of
irrigation in Florida's agriculture. It gives the irrigated acreage, the
amount of water used, the major crops irrigated and methods used in
Florida. It also presents the value of Florida's production agriculture
and the relationship between farm size and irrigation.

Farm Size and Irrigation
In 1979 small farms and family farms comprised an estimated 90
to 94 percent of all farms in the U.S. (Fig. 1., Knutson, 1979). Some 55
to 65 percent of all farm sales were from small and family size farms.

100

% FARMS U.S.A.
80
68 % SALES

S 60 48-58

_J
-J
. 40

0 22-26 20-25
o 20. 15 20

4-8
2

SMALL FARMS FAMILY FARMS LARGER THAN INDUSTRIAL
FAMILY FARMS FARMS
FIG. I. DISTRIBUTION OF FARMS IN U.S., 1979.

*Professor, Associate Professor, Professor and Professor and Depart-
ment Chairman, respectively, Agricultural Engineering Depart-
ment, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611








IRRIGATION IN FLORIDA AGRICULTURE IN THE '80s


D. S. Harrison, A. G. Smajstrla, R. E. Choate,
and G. W Isaacs*


Introduction

Supplemental irrigation is a necessary crop production practice for
most crops in Florida. Vegetables, sugar cane, tobacco, rice, ornamen-
tals, and sub-tropical fruits could not be grown economically without
supplemental irrigation. Other crops such as citrus, and pastures
grown on flatwoods soils in south Florida also require irrigation for
economical production. This bulletin documents the importance of
irrigation in Florida's agriculture. It gives the irrigated acreage, the
amount of water used, the major crops irrigated and methods used in
Florida. It also presents the value of Florida's production agriculture
and the relationship between farm size and irrigation.

Farm Size and Irrigation
In 1979 small farms and family farms comprised an estimated 90
to 94 percent of all farms in the U.S. (Fig. 1., Knutson, 1979). Some 55
to 65 percent of all farm sales were from small and family size farms.

100

% FARMS U.S.A.
80
68 % SALES

S 60 48-58

_J
-J
. 40

0 22-26 20-25
o 20. 15 20

4-8
2

SMALL FARMS FAMILY FARMS LARGER THAN INDUSTRIAL
FAMILY FARMS FARMS
FIG. I. DISTRIBUTION OF FARMS IN U.S., 1979.

*Professor, Associate Professor, Professor and Professor and Depart-
ment Chairman, respectively, Agricultural Engineering Depart-
ment, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611







In 1978, there were 13,400 farms in Florida having 100 or more
acres each (Bureau of the Census, 1978). This was only 30 percent of
all farms (44,068) in Florida. There were 30,668 farms in Florida con-
taining 1 to 99 acres. Thus, small farms represent approximately 70
percent of all farms in Florida.
Only 11,657 (26 percent) of the farms in Florida were irrigated in
1978. Some 6,699 (57 percent) of these farmers irrigated less than
40 acres.

Florida's Production Agriculture
The "on-farm" cash receipts for Florida agricultural production in
1980 were 3.74 billion dollars (USDA, ERS, Statistical Data, 1979,
1980). This represents a 43 percent increase in three years over the
1977 value of 2.61 billion dollars. Should this trend continue, the gross
(on farm) receipts from Florida farm products could reach 6.4 billion
dollars by 1985 (Fig. 2).
The crops included in the analyses of farm cash receipts were (1)
fruits and nuts (mostly citrus), (2) livestock and livestock products,
(3) vegetables, (4) field crops (including sugarcane), and (5) green-
house and ornamental horticultural crops, plus other miscellaneous
crops. Forest products were not included.
Estimated acreages of some of the dominant Florida crops are: cit-
rus 845,000 acres; soybeans 500,000 acres; sugarcane 430,000
acres; corn -450,000 acres; and vegetables- 375,000 acres. It is also
estimated that there are over 925,000 acres of commercial ornamen-
tal turf grass (golf courses, municipal parks, etc.) in Florida, not in-
cluding home lawns (Busey, 1977).
The 1980 rankings, in on farm cash value of Florida production ag-
riculture crops are: citrus and other fruits and nuts $1.3 billion;
livestock and livestock products $955 million; vegetables $750
million; field crops (including sugarcane) $399 million; and green-
house, ornamental, and miscellaneous crops $339 million (Fig. 2).

Florida's Irrigated Acreage
The total U.S. irrigated agricultural land was recently estimated to
be 61.2 million acres (Fig. 3, Morey, 1981). Seventeen western states
account for two-thirds of this acreage. Florida's irrigated acreage was
estimated to be 2,344,000 acres. Florida ranks eighth in the nation in
total irrigated acreage (Fig. 3). Ten southeastern states account for 5
million irrigated acres, while Florida's irrigated acreage (2.3 million
acres) is almost half of the total irrigated in the ten southeastern
states.
The irrigated acreage reported in Fig. 3 does not include 925,000
acres (estimate) of irrigated commercial turf in Florida (golf courses,







In 1978, there were 13,400 farms in Florida having 100 or more
acres each (Bureau of the Census, 1978). This was only 30 percent of
all farms (44,068) in Florida. There were 30,668 farms in Florida con-
taining 1 to 99 acres. Thus, small farms represent approximately 70
percent of all farms in Florida.
Only 11,657 (26 percent) of the farms in Florida were irrigated in
1978. Some 6,699 (57 percent) of these farmers irrigated less than
40 acres.

Florida's Production Agriculture
The "on-farm" cash receipts for Florida agricultural production in
1980 were 3.74 billion dollars (USDA, ERS, Statistical Data, 1979,
1980). This represents a 43 percent increase in three years over the
1977 value of 2.61 billion dollars. Should this trend continue, the gross
(on farm) receipts from Florida farm products could reach 6.4 billion
dollars by 1985 (Fig. 2).
The crops included in the analyses of farm cash receipts were (1)
fruits and nuts (mostly citrus), (2) livestock and livestock products,
(3) vegetables, (4) field crops (including sugarcane), and (5) green-
house and ornamental horticultural crops, plus other miscellaneous
crops. Forest products were not included.
Estimated acreages of some of the dominant Florida crops are: cit-
rus 845,000 acres; soybeans 500,000 acres; sugarcane 430,000
acres; corn -450,000 acres; and vegetables- 375,000 acres. It is also
estimated that there are over 925,000 acres of commercial ornamen-
tal turf grass (golf courses, municipal parks, etc.) in Florida, not in-
cluding home lawns (Busey, 1977).
The 1980 rankings, in on farm cash value of Florida production ag-
riculture crops are: citrus and other fruits and nuts $1.3 billion;
livestock and livestock products $955 million; vegetables $750
million; field crops (including sugarcane) $399 million; and green-
house, ornamental, and miscellaneous crops $339 million (Fig. 2).

Florida's Irrigated Acreage
The total U.S. irrigated agricultural land was recently estimated to
be 61.2 million acres (Fig. 3, Morey, 1981). Seventeen western states
account for two-thirds of this acreage. Florida's irrigated acreage was
estimated to be 2,344,000 acres. Florida ranks eighth in the nation in
total irrigated acreage (Fig. 3). Ten southeastern states account for 5
million irrigated acres, while Florida's irrigated acreage (2.3 million
acres) is almost half of the total irrigated in the ten southeastern
states.
The irrigated acreage reported in Fig. 3 does not include 925,000
acres (estimate) of irrigated commercial turf in Florida (golf courses,










Adjusted Totals; 1980
M3.74 BILLION
1977
2.61 BILLION


LivestocK I-ruits d vegetaDies I-iela rops uter urops
& Products Nuts 8 Melons incl. Cane incl. Ornamental
Fig.2. FLORIDA ON FARM CASH RECIEPTS FOR 1977 AND 1980.


GRAVITY
IRRIGATED
SPRINKLER
IRRIGATED


I 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 45 60
MILLION ACRES
FIG. 3 HIGH TEN STATES IN IRRIGATED ACREAGE, U.S., 1981.


1250.



1000-








cemeteries and parks). Because the U.S. Census of Agriculture does
not include turf in the category of agricultural irrigation, we have not
included these in our totals.
If trends continue as they have in the past fourteen years, irrigated
cropland in Florida could reach 3 million acres by 1985. Irrigated
acreage in Florida showed a 70 percent increase for the fourteen-year
period 1964-1978 (Fig. 4, Bureau of the Census, 1978).
There are three main reasons for Florida's large irrigated acreage,
despite average annual rainfall of 55-60 inches: (1) the sandy soils
have very low water-holding capacities (0.5 to 1.0 inches per foot of
depth); (2) some 65-70 percent of the rain occurs in June-September,
months in which many of the winter fruits and vegetables are not
grown; and (3) rainfall is not uniformly distributed, even during the
high rainfall months.

Florida's Irrigation Water Requirements and Water Use
The greatest use of Florida's fresh water resources is irrigation of
agricultural crops. Some 41 percent of the state's total fresh water use
was for irrigation in 1980 (Fig. 5, Bureau of Geology, Fla. Dept. of Nat-
ural Resources, 1980). From these data irrigation water use was es-
timated to be 2,997 million gallons per day, or 41 percent of the state's
total fresh water use. Thermoelectric, public supply, industrial and
rural domestic uses account for the remaining 59 percent (Fig. 5).
Withdrawal of fresh water for irrigation purposes is almost evenly di-
vided between wells and surface sources.


2.5 FLORIDA
*(US) CENSUS DATA

. 2.0
_1


w 1.5


1.0
hO




1954 1959 1964 1969 1974 1978 1981
FIG. 4. IRRIGATION ACREAGE IN FLORIDA.











40 In 6r r
Ii

430
--
8591 1859
U-
o 20 1361 z
I-
z0
I 781
a. 10.7'%
266

RURAL INDUSTRIAL- PUB. SUPPLY THEIR. ELEC. IRRIGATION
FIG.5 WATER USE IN FLORIDA,1980.

As of 1980, the United States was withdrawing a record high total
of 450 billion gallons of water a day from surface- and ground-water
sources to meet the needs of public supply, industry, irrigation, rural,
and commercial users. This amounts to an average of about 2,000 gal-
lons per person per day, according to a recently published report of the
U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior.
Although the average use of freshwater in the U.S. is about 1,600
gallons per capital per day, the use varies greatly from state to state,
ranging from a high of 19,000 gallons per capital per day in Idaho to a
low of 180 gallons per capital per day in Rhode Island. High per capital
values are characteristic of thinly populated states having large
acreages of irrigated land.
California withdrew more water than any other state about 54
bgd (billion gallons per day), or more than twice as much as either
Florida or Texas, the next largest users. Four states California,
Florida, Texas and Idaho withdrew 25 percent of the water used in
the United States.
Irrigation ranks second in off-stream water withdrawals in the na-
tion 150 bgd or 170 million acre-feet per year and is by far the
greatest consumer of water (83 bgd or 93 million acre-feet per year).
The amount of water consumed by irrigation far exceeds the con-
sumption of all other categories combined: 7.1 bgd for public supplies;
10 bgd for self-supplied industry; and 3.9 bgd for rural uses.
Over 90 percent of the irrigation water was withdrawn in the west-
ern United States. In contrast, almost 90 percent of the industrial
water was withdrawn in the eastern United States.








Irrigated Crops in Florida
Four crops account for some 86 percent of the total irrigated acreage
in Florida (Fig. 6). These are citrus, pasture, sugarcane and vegetable
(truck) crops. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of Florida's citrus
is irrigated, while almost 90 percent of the vegetables, 22 percent of
the permanent improved pastures, and 100 percent of the sugarcane
acreage are irrigated (Fig. 6).
Approximately 72 percent of Florida's harvested cropland was ir-
rigated in 1978 (Bureau of the Census, 1978). Thus, a potential of ap-
proximately 5 million irrigable acres exists. The crops which show the
most promise for growth in irrigated acreages are: citrus; vegetables
(particularly watermelons and other high cash value vegetable crops);
sugarcane; corn; tree crops (especially pecans and peaches); sub-trop-
ical fruits; tobacco; peanuts; soybeans; and"pick-your-own" crops such
as grapes, blueberries, apples, nectarines, plums and fresh vegetables.
Irrigation Methods
There are three general methods used for supplemental irrigation
of Florida crops. These are: (1) seepage (controlled water tables with
lateral supply ditches; including furrow and crown flooding), (2)
sprinkler (center pivots, portable and traveling guns Eable tow and
hard hose unit, permanent set, solid set, side-roll), and (3) trickle (low
volume drip or spray jet emitters and line-source tubes).
Differences in irrigation methods used are due to soil, topography,
water supply and water table conditions, crops, and customs developed
for a specific crop and condition. Generally, seepage methods are used
3.0"

z

S20





1.0 925 000


0337000
S13310 337000

CITRUS TRUCK PASTURE SUGAR FOUR OTHER TURF EST ALL
CANE CROPS CROPS (NOT INCL) CROPS
I I(LESS TURF)
FIG.6. IRRIGATED CROPS IN FLORIDA.








Irrigated Crops in Florida
Four crops account for some 86 percent of the total irrigated acreage
in Florida (Fig. 6). These are citrus, pasture, sugarcane and vegetable
(truck) crops. It is estimated that nearly two-thirds of Florida's citrus
is irrigated, while almost 90 percent of the vegetables, 22 percent of
the permanent improved pastures, and 100 percent of the sugarcane
acreage are irrigated (Fig. 6).
Approximately 72 percent of Florida's harvested cropland was ir-
rigated in 1978 (Bureau of the Census, 1978). Thus, a potential of ap-
proximately 5 million irrigable acres exists. The crops which show the
most promise for growth in irrigated acreages are: citrus; vegetables
(particularly watermelons and other high cash value vegetable crops);
sugarcane; corn; tree crops (especially pecans and peaches); sub-trop-
ical fruits; tobacco; peanuts; soybeans; and"pick-your-own" crops such
as grapes, blueberries, apples, nectarines, plums and fresh vegetables.
Irrigation Methods
There are three general methods used for supplemental irrigation
of Florida crops. These are: (1) seepage (controlled water tables with
lateral supply ditches; including furrow and crown flooding), (2)
sprinkler (center pivots, portable and traveling guns Eable tow and
hard hose unit, permanent set, solid set, side-roll), and (3) trickle (low
volume drip or spray jet emitters and line-source tubes).
Differences in irrigation methods used are due to soil, topography,
water supply and water table conditions, crops, and customs developed
for a specific crop and condition. Generally, seepage methods are used
3.0"

z

S20





1.0 925 000


0337000
S13310 337000

CITRUS TRUCK PASTURE SUGAR FOUR OTHER TURF EST ALL
CANE CROPS CROPS (NOT INCL) CROPS
I I(LESS TURF)
FIG.6. IRRIGATED CROPS IN FLORIDA.










for sugarcane, vegetables, citrus and pastures on the Everglades muck
soils and sandy flatwoods (spodic) soils of the lower east and west
coasts.
Mechanized sprinkler systems (center pivot and traveling guns) are
mainly used on row crops (field, vegetable and pasture crops) in the
central, northern and northwest portions of the state.
Trickle systems are primarily used on orchard crops (citrus, pe-
cans, peaches, etc.). Other major uses include greenhouses, nurseries
and some vegetable crops. In the past eight years there has been a tre-
mendous increase in the use of trickle irrigation in Florida. This has
been due to energy and water savings, as well as some cold protection
achieved for citrus crops using under-tree spray jet systems. Practi-
cally all greenhouse operations utilize drip or other trickle systems.

The Role of Water Management Districts in Irrigation
Since Florida's legislature established five water management dis-
tricts in 1973, they have played a major role in Florida's irrigation. The
areas encompassed by the five districts are shown in Figure 7. Their

A LA B A M A


ST. JOHNS RIVER
WATER MANAGEMENT
























SOUTH FLORIDA
WATER MANAGEMENT
0 DISTRICT


FIG.7.
WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICTS OF FLORIDA


C---

I~-~XEEo(D~E BI1+IX
CIP~SI BI(ll~
rTiUD*C I*r r~LII ~t I*r I~L*IIL 0lrl* *D
rrr CYL'.r rnlio *D r*r ln*ol r*rarl* nr*l*








headquarters are: Northwest, Havana; Suwannee River, Live Oak;
St. Johns, Palatka; Southwest, Brooksville; and South Florida, West
Palm Beach.
Most water management districts require potential irrigators to
obtain two permits before irrigating one for authority to construct
a well or utilize a surface water source, and a consumptive use permit
to regulate the quantity of water consumed. These regulations apply
to all present and prospective uses of water for agricultural irrigation.
Municipal, industrial, public supply, thermoelectric and most other
uses are also regulated by the water management districts. Most
small domestic wells for home use are exempted from consumptive
use permits.

References
1. Busey, Philip. 1977. Turfgrasses for the 1980's. Fla. State Hort.
Soc. Proc. Vol. 90:111-114.
2. Bureau of the Census. 1978. 1978 Census of Agriculture, Volume
4, Irrigation. Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce.
3. Bureau of Geology, Florida Department of Natural Resources. Map
Series No. 103. 1980. Estimated Water Use in Florida, 1980.
4. Knutson, R.D. 1979. Extension Economics Report. Texas A&M
University.
5. Morey, R.W 1981. 1981 Irrigation Survey. Irrigation Journal
31(6):Survey Issue.
6. USDA, ERS. 1979, 1980. Statistical Bulletins 661 and 678, Eco-
nomic indicators of the farm sector.






















































This publication was promulgated at a cost of $2,750.56, or 39
cents per copy, to provide information about agricultural
irrigation in Florida. 5-7-83


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORI-
DA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES, K. R.
Tefertlller, director, In cooperation with the United States Department IFAS
of Agriculture, publishes this Information to further the purpose of the
May 8 and June 30, 1914 Acts of Congress; and Is authorized to pro-
vide research, educational Information and other services only to Indi-
viduals and Institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex or national ori-
gin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth publications) are
available free to Florida residents from County Extension Offices. Information on bulk
rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers Is available from C. M. Hinton, Publications
Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
32611. Before publicizing this publication, editors should contact this address to deter-
mine availability.




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