Agriculture

Livestock & Forage Crops

With the continuation of urbanization encroaching on the agricultural lands of Manatee County it is becoming increasingly important to promote a clear understanding of the economic importance of agriculture in Manatee County.  Agriculture production is second only to tourism in its economic impact on Manatee County. The annual impact of agriculture to the county’s economy is estimated at over $500 million.  This ranks Manatee County in the top Ten Florida Counties for agricultural sales.  Some of the main agricultural industries in Manatee County continue to be vegetable crop production, citrus production, livestock and forage production, ornamental horticulture, the commercial fishing industry, and forest products.

 

Areas of Expertise and Service to Manatee County:

 

  • Animal Science
  • Agronomy
  • Fertilization and herbicide use and application
  • Irrigation
  • Insect and disease control
  • State regulations
  • Nuisance animals
  • County Fair livestock programs

 

Click to view the Livestock & Forage Crops page on the University of Florida IFAS Manatee County Extension Web site.

 

For more information, please contact:

Small Farms & Vegetable Crops

Small Farms

Small farms represent over 90% of all farms in Florida, based on the USDA definition of a small farm as one with up to $250,000 in sales. These farms make about 15% of all farm product sales in Florida. Input from counties throughout Florida indicated the need for small farm educational programs to be developed. Small farmers and allied organizations have identified critical issues facing small farms.

 

Areas of Expertise and Service to Manatee County:

 

  • Access to profitable markets 
  • Business skills development
  • Accessible technical information
  • Alternative crops and enterprises
Vegetable Crops

 

Vegetable production and marketing in Manatee County is a $290 million dollar industry encompassing approximately 30,000 acres and including a variety of crops. The largest acreages are devoted to tomatoes, snap beans, watermelons, cucumbers and potatoes. Other crops include peppers, cantaloupe, squash, oriental vegetables and other minor and specialty crops.

 

The Manatee County Extension Service, with access to the many resources of the University of Florida, provides assistance to the vegetable industry in many different subject areas.

 

Areas of Expertise and Service to Manatee County:

 

  • General vegetable production
  • Vegetable fertilization
  • Vegetable irrigation management
  • Pest management
  • Pesticide licensing information

 

Click to view the Small Farms & Vegetable Crops page on the University of Florida IFAS Manatee County Extension Web site.

 

For more information, please contact:

 

Ervin Shannon, Agriculture Program Assistant
(941) 722-4524 ext. 228

 

or

 

Ornamental Plants & Nursery Production

Nurseries in Manatee County grow woody ornamentals, foliage, floral crops and sod with a value of $60 million dollars per year.

 

Areas of Expertise and Service to Manatee County:

 

  • Nursery production and management
  • Integrated pest management- biological control
  • Aquatic and other native plants
  • 4-H/Youth horticulture

 

Click to view the Ornamental Plants & Nursery Production page on the University of Florida IFAS Manatee County Extension Web site.

 

For more information, please contact: