rrmOr att acK
.,'.A "j .. Sibight, w"o inaigi"i." .-.. -. ... i"
growers already have cut acres of citrus and 500 acres of to.
pping by using'new matoes in Ruskin, said that the dma.
t .. t t pi
-'.;.o. T vn, l, ,, ', -,.." ....... Hilisborough County.Jarrner Don *:
... 0.: ..... -,:,Siight. whio manage"'o-bout 1,200
; growers.alreaoy nave cut;, acres of cH us and 500 acres of to-
: 'nuhilino h usinm new mates in Ruskin, said that the ma-. ;
pU ... y .., ... .-Jfority.,of. farmers have already, re,,
Irii gatiOn practices. duiced; their:. water pumping by: -
-. ,.. .-,;, -/ ..., adopting new irrigation practices. ..
SB'PAUL POWER JR.- .,' Sleight said that further limits: .
:* Tribune Staff Writer l: threatened to drive up cpsts, deval
..., .. ... v. ... ue farmers' land as much as $2,00 .
CLEARWATER A coalition of :an cre and make Florida produce,
Florida farm groups n Friday. pro-.. less competitive.in world markets,
Tested pending water restrictions,.- particularly at a time when Interna-
..contendlng that.:tle bnservatorn. -tlonal trade is Inressling, ...
.rules, ill- dry. up their profits by:. "It you dn nt *ave awater.per'P- "
S.needlessly Increasing production mit. what you have is.a cow pasture;.
.costsand idling land. I ..;. at the top,'and what is that' going to
', "The're is no water-icriss that. be worth?," Sleight asked.: ,;:
jstfies thes egregous, ruleCs said;: rteight said the tomato acreage'
Tampa attorney Doug Manson, who.% grown in the Ruskin-Palmetto area'
filed a challenge to a new water. one of the meat productive win-
i, mnagen~l at pl n that is coming uni ter farming areas in the. Unied
; .der increasing. fire. "*Farmers.have States.;-. ha. already fallen In. re-
already spent hundreds of millions cent. years .from .4i,000 to 12.000
of dollars so.they don't waste.wa-* acres due to competitive pressures
Stern : ... "...... such. as Mexican imports.:. *..;..
The faMi.colltion Includes'the :Florida is preparing to. arvest
Florida Fritt& Vegetable Assocla- its second-largest orange crop ever'
tiU, the Florida Tomato Exchedge, this year. Consequently, Sleight said
a'adu Fkida.Gtrus-Matueal --.,..:; further cirus expansion, snd li-
SThe coalition's protest drew, a .creased agricultural water use,' In
sharp rebuke. from the Southwest :.:the area is unlikely, 'given market
SFlorida Water Management District,: prices. .. .. :.. ::; .
Which oere ov esa16-county. area "They have people growing to-
and has been wrestling for years to matioes In Bi a, California, so we
find ways to protect water resourc- should be able to do it In Florida,"
es as Coastal development skyrock- which typically has more than 50;
ets. .. Inches'of rain a year; Sleight added. .
."The fact, that there Is:opposl-; .;,.The new rules being considered
tlion from agricultural groups was by the water agency are arriving at
-expected, based on their pst behav-*..a time when some farmers have
lor," said Mark Farrell of the water had too much -water. In.' recent
agency.;.,'. '- -:.:...: -.. weeks: Strawberry planting near
.'"They don't like government or Plant City -ha -beeni slowed an id, .
a. anypagency having anything to do .some citrus growers In Hardee .
with their business," said Farrell.., County.report problems with fungal
"But-they have shown by their past diseases, .. i -. .-.:, ` :
behavior that they aren'ti'nterested'.; -'Farrell said farmers are not. bei .
i, n.the needs of the environment":. ng asked to adapt any more than
The administrative hearing ,on' :urban residents who are often re,
: the coalition's challenge is tentatlve-., stricted on what days they can wa-
ly set for November. .. `,::ter their lawns. ,.* :. : .
.'' I ... ,
67_ 003AI~ a-