Everglades Ag Area Clean Water and Farmers Market Growth Slows
**Florida farmers in the Everglades Agricultural Area were praised last week for their accomplishments in protecting water quality at the South Florida Water Management district meeting.
According to the 2022 South Florida Environmental Report, farmers there have reduced the phosphorus content of water leaving their properties by 66% over the year ending April 30, 2021.
www.floridafarmbureau reports, for the past 26 years, farmers have prevented more than 4,000 metric tons of phosphorus from entering the Everglades.
**New data from USDA’s Economic Research Service shows the growth in the number of farmers markets is slowing.
According to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, from 1994 to 2019, the number of farmers markets rose from 1,755 to 8,771 in 2019, averaging growth of nearly 7% per year.
Expansion began to slow in 2011 before eventually falling below a 1% per year increase between 2016 and 2017.
Since then, growth has remained modest and stable.
**The USDA announced the availability of nearly $8 million to support the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program’s “Produce Prescription Program.”
The funding is part of USDA’s American Rescue Plan efforts and will be administered by its National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
The projects provide financial and non-financial incentives to income-eligible individuals and families to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to improve dietary health.