Agriculture in Palm Beach County
The agricultural Extension agents in Palm Beach County serve one of the largest agricultural counties in the U. S. in value of products sold, exceeding one billion dollars annually.
Agricultural agents introduce growers to new plant varieties and pest control techniques as well as new regulations or changes in regulations affecting production methods and worker safety. Information is provided on alternative agriculture interests such as vegetable gardening, tissue culture, and raising earthworms.
The nursery industry benefits from seminars on business management skills. The use of low energy landscape designs is encouraged and workshops are conducted on propagation, irrigation management, fertilization, and plant selection and care.
Practical skills training offered through the agricultural safety program have ranged from conversational Spanish for the farm manager to CPR, farm equipment operation, maintenance, and safety, land leveling, and sprayer calibration.
Extension agents assist government and private agencies in developing policies for land use, tax assessment, and water use and conservation. Governmental policy-makers are informed of the positive economic impact of agribusiness, as well as the industry's needs.
Scientists and farmers from around the world have toured the area to see the progressive production techniques used by agricultural producers in Palm Beach County.
With an estimated $1.41 billion in total agricultural sales for 2014-15, Palm Beach County leads the State of Florida, all counties east of the Mississippi River, and its one of the ten largest in the United States.
Palm Beach County leads the nation in the production of sugarcane, fresh sweet corn, and sweet bell peppers. It leads the State in the production of rice, lettuce, radishes, Chinese vegetables, specialty leaf, and celery.
Palm Beach County agricultural infrastructure includes:
- Three major sugar manufacturing mills
- One sugar refinery
- Nine fresh vegetable packinghouses
- 476 horticultural nurseries
- Major hydroponic tomato growing operation
- Rice processing and packaging mill
- Agricultural by-product electrical cogeneration plant
- Major sugar and molasses port shipping facility
- Equestrian racetrack training facility
- World-famous polo, dressage, and jumpers stadiums
- Largest county golf course revenue in the state at $664 million
- Largest county landscape and landscape maintenance annual revenue in the state at $450 million
- One of the largest county retail garden center annual sales in the state at $279 million
In 2014-15, the 460,445 acres dedicated to agriculture represent 36% of the total land mass in the county.
Palm Beach County is third in the state in nursery production.
It leads the state in agricultural wages and salary with over $316 million.