The Devil’s In The Details

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Thankfully, today’s tools — no matter the size, format, and use — usually come with the added value of an intuitive nature. I’m all for plug-and-play implements, especially if the device or devices help streamline my busy schedule. I think most can agree on that sentiment. But more often than I’d like to admit, I’m reaching back into the recycle bin or disheveled product box to pull out the discarded instructions. “Ah-ha! So that doo-hickey goes there.” Or: “Oh, I needed to press that in order to activate it.” And so on and so on …
It’s easy to have a preconceived notion about how something works or should work, until it actually doesn’t deliver when you need it most.

Practice Makes Perfect

The continuously expanding regulatory pressures keep mounting for Florida growers. EPA’s proposed numeric nutrient standards for the state’s waterways are now a reality. How much of an impact they will have on ag is still yet to be seen. There is still a little more than a year before they go into effect. That should be enough time to figure it out, right?
 
About a year ago, Florida Grower asked its eNews readers if they employed best management practices (BMPs) on their farm. Almost 88% of respondents said they did. The number of respondents wasn’t overwhelming, but those who did participate gave positive feedback. That’s good news since BMP compliance will be key in helping transition amid the potential challenges brought forth by the new water rule. With that in mind, for those not so familiar with the acronyms BMPs and GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) and the meanings behind them — whether by choice or happenstance — should do so and strive to make them part of your operation’s makeup. See page 14 to learn how BMPs can pay off for your business.

Figuring Food Safety

As of presstime, the Food Safety Modernization Act was newly signed into law by President Obama. There was much feedback from readers when the legislation was first passed back and forth by the Senate and House. Reading the comments on GrowingProduce.com, it’s clear opposition to the bill is quite strong. Why shouldn’t it be? It’s dubbed as the first major food safety shakeup since the 1930s. Not to mention, several of its highlights are confusing.
 
Now the fun begins with rulemaking and other hammering out of fine details. So, now what? Prepare to scour the document? Get out the magnifying glass, the pages are aplenty and the print is small. Stay tuned for next month’s issue as Florida Grower, along with sister magazines American Vegetable Grower and American Fruit Grower attempt to break down the food safety overhaul in digestible bites and make some sense of what you should prepare for.
 
The more changes — good and bad — come our way, the more we need to read between the lines. That may require more time invested, but it’s the fastest way to get up to speed. Happy reading.
Paul Rusnak is managing editor of Florida Grower and managing online editor for Growing Produce, a Meister Media Worldwide brand.

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