Title: Agricultural Land Use in Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/WL00002960/00001
 Material Information
Title: Agricultural Land Use in Florida
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: Florida Water Resources Study Commission
 Subjects
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
 Notes
Abstract: Richard Hamann's Collection - Agricultural Land Use in Florida
General Note: Box 12, Folder 3 ( Florida Water Resources Study Commission - Reports of Major Committees - 1956 ), Item 19
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: WL00002960
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

Copy No.

FOR REVIEW ONLY NOT FOR RELEASE













Preliminary Report of the
Committee on Land Use

of the

FLORIDA WATER RESOURCES STUDY COMMISSION


August, 1956


Committee members:


Lacy G. Thomas, Chairman
Olin C. Lewis
William A. Hunt
Marshall 0. Watkins
W. K. McPherson
Fred Lawrence
William More
T. E. Hancock
Harry F. Brubaker
Rush Choate
J. M. Myers
C. R. Walker


Florida Farm Bureau
U. S. Soil Conservation Service
Fla. Assn. of Soil Cons. District Suprvs.
Agriculture Extension Service
Agriculture Experiment Station, U. of Fla.
Agriculture Extension Service
Central & Southern Fla. Flood Control Dist.
Fla. Sec., A. S. A. E.
Dept. of Geography, F.S.U.
Dept. of Agriculture Engrg., U. of Fla.
Dept. of Agriculture Engrg., U. of Fla.
Florida Farm Bureau








AGRICULTURAL LAND USE IN FLORIDA


The pattern of beneficial use of water resources in Florida is

greatly influenced by the agricultural use of the land. We have already

seen that there are times when the rainfall is inadequate to meet the needs

of agricultural crops. When this occurs it is sometimes economical to in-

vest in supplemental irrigation equipment and to bear the expense of opera-

ting it. How important, though, is irrigation to Florida's agricultural

empire? A partial answer to this question may be obtained by examining

present land use and irrigation practices in the state. The water require-

ments for such practices are discussed in the section of this report describ-

ing water use in Florida. The importance of water to the other land uses is

indicated in this same section.

This state contains approximately 34,727,500 acres of land. The

Census of Agriculture for 1954 showed that only about 12 per cent of the

total land area was in crop land available for citrus, truck, field and mis-

cellaneous crops. Five and one-half per cent was in improved pastures while

62 per cent was in productive forest land, including unimproved pasture.

The role of farming to the state's economy is very important in spite of the

fact that under 48 per cent of the state land area was in farms and pastures,

of which less than one-fourth was in crop land.

It is significant, however, that the proportion of land in farms has

increased steadily during the past half century. Farm acreage apparently

increased at a rapid rate over the entire state except for sections in north-

east Florida. According to the Census of Agriculture only 24 per cent of the

land area was reported as land in farms in 1940 and in 1945 only 38 per cent.

However, the apparent rapid expansion in the area reported as farm land dur-

ing the last 16 years does not represent a comparable expansion in cultivation

and grazing in Florida. It represents only a limited expansion of agriculture


- 1 -


--- -





to additional land plus large areas of unfenced range lands which were fenced
and reported as farm land for the first time. There is every indication that
the trend will continue. According to a 1956 report to the Board of Control,
vegetable acreage is expected to increase by 95,000 acres, field crop acreage,
by 250,000 acres, and citrus acreage by 200,000 within the next 14 years.
The category which is expected to show the largest gain is the acreage in
improved pastures--from 1.9 million acres in 1956 to 5.5 million acres in

1970.
Table 1 shows the current land use picture in Florida, which infor-
mation was compiled from the most recent and best sources of information
available. Unfortunately, a further breakdown on the land use listed as
"other" could not be made because the necessary information was not available.
This 18,142,500 acres represent areas in municipal and industrial sites,
military reservations, public-owned lands and the like. Also, most of the
land listed under unimproved pasture, miscellaneous farm land and "other"
consists of commercial forest land.
Citrus Groves. The citrus industry in Florida has made giant strides
since 1920. The acreage planted to citrus of all kinds in that year was
84,100. This acreage increased by 315 per cent in the years from 1920 to

1933, when the total acreage was 265,400 acres. By the end of 1954 the total
grove acreage amounted to 564,900. Future plantings may bring the total
acreage to 765,000 by 1970.
According to the 1955 Annual Summary of the Florida Crop and Live-

stock Reporting Service, the value of citrus produced in Florida in the 1954-

55 season was $144,957,000 on the trees. When processed and marketed, the
crop value of citrus was in excess of $365,500,000 f.o.b. Florida. Computed
on the basis of the 1956 total acreage, the average gross value of citrus
crops on the trees was $256 per acre. This high value indicates the economic
desirability of practicing supplemental irrigation whenever required in most
citrus groves.
-2-








TABLE 1. LAND USE IN FLORIDA

(All figures are in 1,000 acres)

County Total1 Land2 Citrus3Truck4 Field5 Improved6 Unim-7 Misc? Other9
Area Area Crops Crops Pasture proved Farm-
__Pasture land


Alachua
Baker
Bay
Bradford
Brevard
Broward
Calhoun
Charlotte
Citrus
Clay
Collier
Columbia
Dade
DeSoto
Dixie
Duval
Escambia
Flagler
Franklin
Gadsden
Gilchrist
Glades
Gulf
Hamilton
Hardee
Hendry
Hernando
Highlands
Hillsborough
Holmes
Indian River
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette
Lake
Lee
Leon
Levy
Liberty


615.0 570.9 0.5 12.9
376.3 374.4 0.4
551.0 481.9 0.1
195.2 187.5 3.0
839.0 660.5 16.8 0.1
780.8 779.5 5.4 16.4
362.9 356.5 1.4
532.5 451.2 1.2 1.2
423.1 364.8 1.0 0.2
412.1 382.7 0.1 *
1,356.1 1,300.5 0.1 10.2
505.0 503.0 3.3
1,349.8 1,314.6 10.0 25.2
416.6 414.7 1U.1 0.8
453.8 440.3 0.5
537.6 497.3 0.3 0.4
491.5 420.5 0.4
322.6 309.1 0.4 1.1
361.6 348.2 *
334.7 325.1 1.4
222.7 217.0 6.6
574.7 477.4 2.1
369.9 356.5 *
329.6 329.0 1.7
403.2 403.2 14.8 5.3
761.0 759.7 0.8 5.5
325.1 312.3 5.5 0.7
716.2 666.2 16.9 1.8
679.7 665.6 31.4 17.9
309.8 309.1 2.1
350.7 327.0 21.5 0.4
606.7 602.9 5.1
389.8 382.7 3.0
352.6 347.5 1.7
744.3 637.4 85.4 6.8
643.2 503.0 1.8 5.2
445.5 438.4 0.8
727.7 705.9 0.2 6.2
540.8 536.3 *


58.0 79.6 152.4
5.3 4.3 51.0
8.2 5.1 14.7
5.5 13.1 30.4
3.7 62.6 278.2
29.8 49.5
25.6 13.3 33.2
3.9 16.1 314.0
4.0 10.8 127.9
1.1 17.7 122.7
1.6 14.7 394.2
64.9 34.0 106.1
38.3 26.5 76.7
4.0 34.7 364.0
7.3 7.7 143.5
1.7 17.3 50.0
28.7 10.9 52.9
3.9 4.3 153.1
0.3 1.2 14.8
51.6 20.8 30.6
25.7 21.0 34.4
3.3 67.2 71.6
1.0 2.1 29.3
51.0 14.6 37.9
9.3 39.7 312.5
37.1 50.7 452.8
2.6 16.6 84.0
5.4 43.2 410.7
21.1 67.8 527.1
51.6 18.9 55.7
19,2 19.5 127.3
154.8 59.9 101.8
71.8 23.9 54.3
31.9 16.8 35.9
2.5 29.1 86.0
11.9 20.2 173.2
55.6 18.8 31.0
36.5 35.0 199.3
4.6 3.3 30.2


-3-


41.1 226.4
3.9 309.5
1.2 452.6
7.8 127.7
66.2 232.9
28.8 649.6
2.4 280.6
44.0 70.8
12.1 208.8
9.3 231.8
0.9 878.8
7.2 287.5
20.9 1,117.0
0.1 *
1.8 279.5
4.8 422.8
5.7 321.9
4.4 141.9
0.1 331.8
6.1 214.6
6.5 122.8
150.7 182.5
0.4 323.7
4.9 218.9
21.6 *
100.1 112.7
4.3 198.6
57.1 131,1
0.3 *
5.9 174.9
39.8 99.3
12.8 268.5
6.8 222.9
5.4 255.8
63.4 364.2
7.6 283.1
4.5 327.7
17.5 411.2
0.8 497.4


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softwam

"galla






Rot":


453.1 449.3
502.4 448.6
1,057.3 1,034.9
372.4 357.8
907.5 636.2
429.4 416.0
634.9 604.2
492 499.2 49.2
641.9 586.2
938.9 848M0
1,649.9 1,265.9
494.1 480.6
197.8 169.0
1,310.7 1,191.0
562.6 513.9
422.4 389.8
400.6 376.3
737.3 655.4
396.8 375.0
225.3 205.4
367.4 359.0
439.7 433.3
673.3 660.5
156.8 153.6
772.5 713.6
406.4 393.0
726.4 669.4
391.0 382.1

W,478.4 34,727.5


*
8.0
14.0
0.5
0.1

0.1
0.4
83.0
5.9
2.8
22.8
18.0
124.1
6.0
0.4
26.6

1.8
10.0
1.0
*
*
*
14.2


564.9

564.9


4.0
4.6
18.3
2.7
*
0.2
0.2
0.5
11.2
0.4
75.5
2.9
0.1
2.4
1.3
4.5
8.8
0.9
1.3
7.8
9.9
8.3
0.2
1.5
0.7
*
0.4
2.5

321.0


74.1
10.5
34.2
1.7
0.4
1.2
21.5
4.1
12.2
1.6
33.7
5.2
0.7
45.9
5.7
12.8
18.9
44.9
10.4
0.9
5.5
117.4
7.4
9.0
1.0
10.2
37.9
26.4


26.5
34.7
123.3
15.9
*
7.4
12.9
70.2
43.4
32.3
76.2
55.3
6.8
114.0
19.4
8.8
47.0
11.1
21.4
14.5
49.3
68.2
7.2
9.8
19.3
5.0
15.0
15.0


1,469.9 1,922.7 10,585.6


76.2
232.1
390.5
145.8
*
41.6
43.9
388.1
199.3
678.7
161.8
198.7
18.0
808.4
240.5
111.0
206.0
41.4
158.8
101.8
123.9
61.3
387.0
58.7
132.1
7.4
64.6
93.1


indicates meglIgMibe acreagA
1 & 2 iromB arM Utfl gf| $ g5 gs Ug, U. 3. Dep. ot Coamrc ,
bnreM of the oCnsu, 190 se ros r a r apealu e.
3 IM of a4 irtMeeS o at A t rM ees of all gs div ide by 63 (4a mae
mauber 6f tes per acre).
4 vegetables harvested for sale.
5 excludes vegetables but includes grains, legumes, hay, potats, cotten,
tobacco, augreue, and fruit other than citrus.
6 Cropland used ky7 for paasture plus improved pasture.
7 Wdleand pastured plus other pasture less improved pasture. j n -ia
8 Other laMt in fans including cropland not harvested and not pasi & ed V
9 AiyWWe r 10 1id e4disr-:t O esatd. ft is 3 thwO a8.
9HS* da a u is al~g r la l 55 skdatI mu. f.

1 .r -- r -l .-*
.......i -.; ,, .... .. .;


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.Mtec.*
BI.

AM


7.0 261.5
19.4 139.3
39.8 4.4.8
34.3 186.9
0.1 6S.6
3.4 362.2
3.5 522.1
35.9 *
85.1 152,0
129.1 *
96.6 819.3
85.0 110.7
9.4 116.0
96.2 *
11.8 229.2
5.1 247.2
69.0 *
4.9 552.2
3.2 178.1
36.8 33.6
16.5 152.9
12.3 165.8
13.7 245.0
71.0 3.6
32.9 513.4
0.8 369.6
4.9 54.6 .
12.0 233.1

1,78.9 180,14.5


-- --


Otha.1







Vegetables and Other Crops. Florida acreage planted to vegetables

was almost 100,000 acres in 1920 and doubled by 1940, from which it rose to
321,000 acres in 1956'. It is likely that Florida will continue to operate
as the winter vegetable garden for the United States. The Florida State Mar-
keting Bureau reports that the state f.o.b. sales for vegetables (less
potatoes) during the 1954-55 season was $169,150,000. These operations also

give a high gross return per acre and again demonstrate the desirability of
supplemental irrigation practices whenever they may be needed.
General Field Crops. General field crops are still important in

certain sections of the state. As indicated by Table 1, approximately 1.5
million acres were devoted to field crops in 1954 for a farm value of

$91,982,000. Extensive supplemental irrigation practices cannot be expected
on the acreage included in this category except for tobacco and other high
unit value crops.
Pasture Land. The Florida State Marketing Bureau reports gross sales

of $83,943,000 from all cattle and dairy products during the 1954-55 season.
Referring to Table 1, it may be seen that this income was obtained primarily
from the use of about 1.9 million acres of improved pasture land, plus about
10.6 million acres of unimproved pasture. It is in this general area that
the Board of Control report points out the largest change. That report indi-
cates that by 1970 livestock will probably move up to the most important farm
category in the state. The increase in acreage of improved pasture will
undoubtedly increase the demand for supplemental irrigation water in areas
where such water may be obtained at low cost.
Supnlemental Irrization Practices
At first glance, it would appear that Florida's abundant water

resources would be sufficient for any land use operation. Other sections of
this report have shown, however, that the supply of water from rainfall is
sporadic, and that there are periods during the growing seasons when it is


-5-







essential to supply supplemental irrigation water to obtain maximum crop
yields. The data shown in Table 2 indicate the extent to which this fact
has already become recognized.

In 1956, there were about 16,000 irrigation systems in operation in

the state. The number and type of system is shown by county in Table 2.

Sprinkler, perforated pipe, and furrow irrigation systems comprise the greater

number of types employed. Individual systems were used to supply supplemental

irrigation water to areas ranging from about one to several hundred acres,
with an average area served per system of 46 acres.


TABLE 2. Number and Type of
Perfor-
County Sprinkler ated
Pipe

Alachua 80 0
Baker 7 0
Bay 3 0
Bradford 13 0
Brevard *
Broward 60 1
Calhoun 4 0
Charlotte 2 13
Citrus .1 4
Clay 8 0
Collier 2 0
Columbia 51 0
Dade 500 50
DeSoto 25 50
Dixie 4 0
Duval 10 0
Escambia 2 0
Flagler 18 0
Franklin 0 0
Gadsden 340 0
Gilchrist 2 0
Glades 0 0
Gulf 1 0
Hamilton 180 0
Hardee 200 300
Hendry 2 1
Hernando 0 5
Highlands 90 179
Hillsborough 50 1,000
Holmes 2 0
Indian River 10 65


Irrigation Systems Used in Florida 1956


Under-
ground
tile

0
0
0
0
*
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
5
0
0


Furrow


0
0
0
2
*
210
0
158
0
9
0
0
0
171
0
0
0
40
1
10
0
0
0
0
700
116
1
6
100
0
275
o
















275


Over-
head
Skinner

0
0
0
0

0
4
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
0
3
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
300
0
0


Other


0
0
0
0

10
0
0
0
0
108
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
27
0
0
0
0
0
0
45
0
0


Total
Number

80
7
3
15
281
8
175
5
17
110
-51
550
250
4
13
2
58
1
350
2
27
1
180
1,200
119
6
275
1,500
2
350


- 6 -


------ -- --- --- -- ~-ill





Perfor- Under- Over-
County Sprinkler ated ground Furrow head Other Total
pipe tile Skinner Number
Jackson 12 0 0 0 0 1 13
Jefferson *
Lafayette 105 0 0 0 0 0 105
Lake 20 444 0 6 0 10 480
Lee 10 0 100 290 0 0 400
Leon 6 0 0 0 0 0 6
Levy 7 0 0 0 0 0 7
Liberty 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Madison 32 0 0 0 0 0 32
Manatee 50 400 10 0 0 540 1,000
Marion 65 20 0 0 0 0 85
Martin 15 20 5 20 8 15 83
Monroe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Nassau 7 0 0 3 0 0 10
Okaloosa 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Okeechobee 0 0 0 24 0 0 24
Orange 350 1,450 0 25 0 0 1,825
Osceola 3 20 1 1 1 4 30
Palm Beach 175 10 1 244 30 290 750
Pasco 4 30 2 5 6 3 50
Pinellas 450 385 2 10 12 41 900
Polk 25 1,913 25 50 12 100 2,125
Putnam *
St. Johns 0 0 0 195 0 0 195
St. Lucie 20 18 2 1,160 0 0 1,200
Santa Rosa 4 0 0 0 0 0 4
Sarasota 60 20 5 149 4 15 253
Seminole *
Sumter 80 120 0 0 350 0 550
Suwannee 116 0 0 0 0 0 116
Taylor 12 0 0 0 0 0 12
Union 5 0 0 0 0 3 8
Volusia 15 12 3 30 10 0 70
Wakulla 0. 0 0 0 0 0 0
Walton 2 0 0 0 0 0 2
Washington 1 0 0 0 0 0 1

TOTALS 3,318 6,530 164 4,011 743 1,212 15,978

Source: Survey of County Agents made by T. C. Skinner, Florida Agricultural
Extension Service, 1956.
no report received.


The source of irrigation water for the systems was from both surface ;
and ground water supplies. Table 3 shows that 69 per cent of the systems used
wells as a source of supply, as compared with 28 per cent from the surface


-7-


L







sources. Although no breakdown is available, it is likely that systems

supplied from wells were used to irrigate areas of much smaller average
acreage than those which use surface waters as a source of supply.


TABLE 3. Sources of Supply


County

Alachua
Baker
Bay
Bradford
Brevard
Broward
Calhoun
Charlotte
Citrus
Clay
Collier
Columbia
Dade
DeSoto
Dixie
Duval
Escambia
Flagler
Franklin
Gadsden
Gilchrist
Glades
Gulf
Hamilton
Hardee
Hendry
Hernando
Highlands
Hillsborough
Holmes
Indian River
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette
Lake
Lee
Leon
Levy
Liberty
Madison
Manatee
Marion
Martin
Monroe
Nassau


Wells

72
2
1
11
*
80
6
167
1
17
110
51
400
250
4
10
2
58
1
10
0
2
0
75
1,150
54
4
125
900
0
190
9
*
90
240
375
3
7
0
26
1,000
71
13
0
8


of Water for Irrigation Systems in

Farm.ponds,
streams and Ditches Other
.lakes & canals
8 0 0
5 0 0
2 0 0
4 0 0
*
0 190 11
2 0 0
8 0 0
4 0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0
0 100 50
0 0 0
0 0 0
0 0 3
0 0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0
340 0 0
2 0 0
6 19 0
1 0 0
100 0 5
50 0 0
40 25 0
2 0 0
125 25 0
250 300 50
2 0 0
20 140 0
4 0 0
*
15 0 0
240 0 0
0 25 0
3 0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0
6 0 0
0 0 0
12 2 0
0 35 35
0 0 0
2 0 0


Florida 1956

Total number
of systems
80
7
3
15
281
8
175
5
17
110
51
550
250
4
13
2
58
1
350
2
27
1
180
1,200
119
6
275
1,500
2
350
13

105
480
400
6
7
0
32
1,000
85
83
\ 0
10


-5-







County

Okaloosa
Okeechobee
Orange
Osceola
Palm Beach
Pasco
Pinellas
Polk
Putnam
St. Johns
St. Lucie
Santa Rosa
Sarasota
Seminole
Sumter
Suwannee
Taylor
Union
Volusia
Wakulla
Walton
Washington

TOTALS


Source: Survey of County Agents made
Extension Service, 1956.

* no report received.


Wells

0
24
510
25
125
40
800
1,800

1,
3
230
*
400
74
9
3
52
0
0
0

11,025


Farm ponds,
streams and
lakes

0
0
235
5
0
10
70
200
*
0
0
1
8
*
150
42
3
5
18
0
2
1

2,003


Ditches
& canals

0
0
1,080
0
625
0
30
25
*
0
0
15
*
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
02,696

2,696


by T. C. Skinner, Florida Agricultural


From these data, we have seen that the practice of supplemental

irrigation has already become a common occurrence in Florida. It is evident
that in future years when periods of rainfall deficit occur during the grow-
ing season, these existing irrigation systems will continue to be used. Such
periods are experienced even in years of normal or above normal rainfall.
Other systems will also be installed where agricultural crops of high unit
value are grown and where it may be shown that supplemental irrigation prac-
tices are economically feasible. Continued growth of the acreage irrigated
will create additional demands upon the state's water resources as the
agricultural potential of Florida becomes more fully realized.


-9-


Other


0
0
0
0
0
0
0
100
*
0
0
0
0
*
0
0
0
0
0
0
025
0

254


Total number
of systems '

0
24
1,825
30
750
50
900
2,125
*

1.,2
4
253
*
550
116
12
8
70
0
2
1

15,978


--- ----------


--




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