4R Farming

Florida Potatoes

Innovation and advanced practice adoption have been a key part of the success of this potato and green bean farm in Florida. The farm uses multiple in-season splits for fertilizer applications, tissue testing, and soil testing to monitor and adjust nutrient applications. They are also testing fertigation as a method for in-season nutrient applications.


Changing from basic 4R practices to more advanced 4R practices over time the farmer decreased cost per acre by $29.59.

Cost of 4R Practice Implementation for Florida Potatoes

Yield Range: 235 cwt

Practices Changed from Basic to Advanced

This farm has been implementing intermediate practices for over 15 years. Through this time, they have moved to advanced practices and continue to test more changes through relationships with university researchers.

  • Use multiple nutrient sources in blends rather than relying on single forms of nutrients. For example, applying both muriate of potash and potassium sulfate because one takes longer to release than the other.
  • Fine-tune application rates through split applications to reduce leaching and to provide nutrients in time with the crop’s needs.
  • Use a starter application at planting followed by a dry sidedress application after emergence, and then a liquid fertilizer later in the season.
  • Place fertilizer where the plant can use it best by applying starter fertilizer in the bed, the dry sidedress over the bed, and dribbling the liquid into the shoulders of the bed.
  • Plant a cover crop after every crop to prevent erosion and increase organic matter for the next crop.
  • Evaluate compiled soil data across all fields to determine trends in nutrient management over time.

New in 2017 and 2018

  • Precision banding of dry nutrient applications
  • Use of enhanced efficiency fertilizer products as coated nitrogen
  • Variable rate application of all nutrients
  • Tissue testing as needed

Environmental Metrics