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Publication #FE122

Handbook of Florida Agricultural Laws: Index1

Michael T. Olexa and Vanessa Fernandez2

Preface

This handbook is designed to provide an accurate, current, and authoritative summary of the principal Florida laws that directly or indirectly relate to agriculture. It provides a basic overview of the many rights and responsibilities that farmers and farm land owners have under Florida laws. Many readers may value this handbook because it informs them about these rights and responsibilities, and it provides them with good contacts for more detailed information. However, the reader should be aware that because the laws, administrative rulings, and court decisions on which this handbook is based are subject to constant revision, portions of this handbook could become outdated at any time. Many details of cited laws are also left out due to space limitations.

This handbook is distributed with the understanding that the authors are not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice. It is not all-inclusive in providing information to achieve compliance with laws and regulations governing the practice of agriculture. For these reasons, the use of these materials by any person constitutes an agreement to hold harmless the authors, UF/IFAS, the Center for Agricultural and Natura Resource Law, and the University of Florida for any liability claims, damages, or expenses that may be incurred by any person as a result of reference to or reliance on the information contained in this handbook.

A Brief Note on Florida Laws and Rulemaking

The Florida laws described in this handbook were passed by the state legislature and have become valid state laws. The appropriate state agency then wrote specific rules based on each law. These rules are what the state agencies use to enforce the law. For most laws in this handbook, that agency is the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS). Florida legislated laws, also called statutes, are organized into chapters. A chapter is divided even further into specific statutes. For example, Chapter 601 (Florida Citrus Code) contains dozens of sections covering topics ranging from marketing, inspection standards, and processing to prohibitions on the use of certain chemicals for citrus fruit. Other chapters may deal with a narrower subject and have far fewer sections. As noted above, the specific rules for each of these sections are written by a designated state agency, and generally go into greater detail. You can view the Florida Statutes online at http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/.

Introduction

This handbook can be used to learn which Florida laws apply to a particular agricultural project or subject, and to find the name, address, and telephone number of a state office that can provide more specific information or services. Created for readers with no prior experience in the law, the handbook is designed as a necessary first step in recognizing which agricultural activities merit special attention because of their implications to agriculture. The handbook also provides an introduction to the crucial agencies and statutes which govern agricultural law.

The online handbook is divided into a Table of Contents, Index, and six fact sheets. The Table of Contents gives general and specific areas of Florida laws related to agriculture and the number of the fact sheet where that topic can be found. The six fact sheets are as follows: FE114, General Agriculture-Related Laws; FE115, Animal Husbandry; FE116, Crops and Products; FE117, Related Non-Crop or Product Agricultural Topics; FE118, Environmental and Conservation Regulations; and FE119, Taxation and Property Rights Related to Agricultural Land. The user can find the specific laws by using either the Table of Contents (FE113) or the Index (FE122).

Below is an example of using the handbook if your area of interest is farming exotic animals such as ostriches.

To use the Table of Contents to find the topic:

  1. Find "Animal Husbandry" in the Table of Contents (FE113).

  2. Within the Animal Husbandry area locate "Livestock—Exotic Animals" and follow the link to FE115 (Animal Husbandry).

  3. In FE115, read the "General Descriptions" and "Related References, Details, and Exceptions" columns for both laws under "Livestock—Exotic Animals" to determine if the information answers the questions or if more information is needed.

  4. If the user wants more information regarding the general farming or inspection and slaughter of an exotic animal (e.g., ostriches), locate the appropriate state office telephone number and address. The primary contact agency information is listed at the end of the fact sheet, along with abbreviation information.

To use the Index to find the topic:

  1. Look up "ostriches" in the Index (FE122). The index leads the reader to the location for information about the culture and inspection/slaughter of ostriches.

  2. Follow steps 3 and 4 above to find the contact information.

Division of the Tables

The table in each fact sheet has five columns of information. The first column, "Statute / Law (description)," either provides the law's name or a general description when no name is available. The second column, "Florida Statute Number", lists either a chapter number (when an entire chapter relates to a particular topic), a range of sections, or a single specific section. At times, a single chapter number may have many more laws than a range. For example, sections 593.101 to 593.117 cover a narrower field, the control of cotton boll weevil, than does the larger Chapter 601 on citrus fruit. The chapter and section number in all columns are presented without the typical abbreviations or symbols.

Columns 3 and 4 provide brief descriptions and related references, details, and exceptions. This information is highly condensed. As such, not all information is provided. The authors have attempted to include the most relevant aspects of each listed law. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the offices noted in the final column, "Primary Contact Agencies." As noted above, the primary contact information is listed at the end of the fact sheet. The reader will find that the state and federal agencies are unquestionably the best targets for specific questions, as they are in close touch with both the formal and practical considerations of the areas that they regulate.

This publication can be improved with your ideas and suggestions. Comments regarding any areas which may have been omitted, but deserve inclusion, are particularly valuable. Reader feedback is a necessary ingredient to complete any successful future editions. Please send your comments or suggestions to:

Michael T. Olexa
Director, Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Law
UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department
PO Box 110240
Gainesville, FL 32611-0240

Acknowledgment

The authors are indebted to the personnel of both state and federal agencies who gave of their time and advice in the preparation of this handbook. The authors are also indebted to the James S. and Dorothy F. Wershow Endowment for funding assistance in the development of this handbook and Nick Place, Ph.D., dean and professor, Office of Dean for Extension and Florida Cooperative Extension Service.

Tables

Table 1. 

Index for Florida agricultural laws

Index Subject

UF/IFAS Fact Sheet Number

A

Activities, Farm and Forestry (including exclusions)

FE118

Advertising, Poultry

FE115

Agriculture Lands and Environmental and Conservation Regulations

FE118

Agricultural Lands Classification

FE119

Agriculture Laws, General

FE114

Agriculture License Plates

FE114

Agriculture Worker Safety Act

FE117

Animal Disease Inspection

FE115

Animal Transportation

FE115

Animals and Animal Products, Inspections, and Labeling

FE115

Animals and Livestock

FE115

 

Aggravated Abuse of Cattle

FE115

 

Aggravated Abuse of Horses

FE115

 

Disease, Inspection, Control, and Eradication

FE115

 

General Humane Treatment

FE115

 

Permitted Means of Killing

FE115

 

Registered Breed Horses, Treatment and Sales

FE115

Anti-Disparagement, Perishable Foods

FE114

Anti-Siphon Law, Irrigation Systems

FE117

Anti-Siphon Requirements for Irrigation

FE117

Awards for Race Horses

FE115

B

Beef, Branding, Marking, and Stamping

FE115

Bees, Florida Honey Certification and Honeybee Law

FE116

Bees, Restrictions in Boll Weevil Quarantine Areas

FE116

Bert J. Harris, Private Property Protection Act

FE119

Bison, Commercial Farming

FE115

Boll Weevil Eradication Law, Florida

FE116

Brucella Vaccinations, Calves

FE115

C

Calves, Prohibited Killings

FE115

Camps, Migrant Labor

FE117

Cattle

FE115

 

Aggravated Abuse

FE115

 

Marking, Branding, and Stamping

FE115

Cattle-Dipping Vats, Release of Liability at State Level

FE118

Child Labor Law

FE117

Citrus Code, Florida

FE116

Commercial Farming of Exotic Animals (bison, emu, ostrich, and rhea)

FE115

Commercial Feed Law

FE117

Condemnation of Eggs

FE115

Conservation Laws, Water and Soils

FE118

Controlled Substances, Race Horses

FE115

Cotton / Fiber Production

FE116

Criminalization, Abusing or Killing Registered Breed Horses

FE115

Crops and Products

FE116

Cruelty to Animals

FE115

D

Dairy Industry

FE115

Disease, Animal

FE115

Disparagement, Perishable Food Products

FE114

Division of Forestry

FE116

Dredge and Fill Permits (exclusions for agricultural lands)

FE118

E

Easements, Conservation

FE118

Emus, Commercial Farming

FE115

Endangered and Threatened Species Act of 1977

FE118

Environmental Dispute Resolution Act

FE119

Environmental Standards (exclusions for agricultural lands)

FE118

Equine Activities

FE115

Exotic Animals, Farming

FE115

F

Farm Labor Laws

FE117

 

Child Labor Law

FE117

 

Government Committee on Migrant Labor

FE117

 

Labor Registration Law

FE117

 

Migrant Labor Housing

FE117

Farmland, Environmental Laws

FE118

Feed Garbage for Swine

FE115

Fertilizers

FE117

Flora, Preservation of Native Flora

FE118

Florida Acts

 
 

Agriculture Worker Safety Act

FE117

 

Aquaculture Policy Act

FE116

 

Endangered and Threatened Species Act

FE118

 

Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act

FE119

 

Right to Farm Act

FE114

 

Tropical Fruit Policy Act

FE116

Florida Tropical or Subtropical Fruit and Vegetable Sales Law

FE116

Florida Commercial Feed Law

FE117

Florida Community Forest Law

FE116

Florida Pesticide Law

FE117

Food Products, Anti-Disparagement Law

FE114

 

FE116

Forestry / Silviculture

FE116

 

Community Forest Law

FE116

 

Forest Protection Laws

FE116

 

General Forestry Laws

FE116

Fruits, Tropical and Subtropical

FE116

G

Garbage, Feeding Swine

FE115

General Law, Permitting Water Consumptive Uses

FE118

H

Honeybee Certification and Honeybee Law

FE116

Horses, Sports Animals

FE115

 

Aggravated Abuses or Killings

FE115

 

Awards Distributions

FE115

 

Controlled Substances

FE115

 

Equine Activities

FE115

 

Food, Horse Meat

FE115

 

Liability Limitations

FE115

 

Sales, Shows, and Exhibitions

FE115

Humane Treatment, Animals and Livestock

FE115

I

Inspecting and Marking Livestock

FE115

Inspection of Dairy Products

FE115

Inspection of Eggs and Poultry Products

FE115

Inspection and Labeling of Livestock

FE115

Inspection of Livestock for Disease

FE115

Inspection of Nontraditional Livestock

FE115

J

K

Killing Calves (less than four weeks old)

FE115

Killing or Abuse of Registered Breed Horses

FE115

L

Labeling Acts

FE114

 

FE115

Laws

 
 

Activities on Farmland

FE118

 

Boll Weevil Eradication Law

FE116

 

Commercial Farming of Exotic Animals (bison, emu, ostrich, and rhea)

FE115

 

Commercial Feed Law

FE117

 

Cruelty

FE115

 

Dairy

FE115

 

Disease, Inspection, Control, and Eradication

FE115

 

Disparagement of Food Products

FE114

 

Feeding Swine with Garbage

FE115

 

Fertilizers

FE117

 

Horses

FE115

 

Inspection of Eggs and Poultry

FE115

 

Labor

FE117

 

Livestock and Cattle

FE115

 

Nursery Plants

FE116

 

Pesticides

FE117

 

Sports Animals

FE115

 

Transportation of Livestock

FE115

 

Tropical or Subtropical Fruit and Vegetable Sales Law

FE116

 

Waste Management

FE118

 

Water

FE118

License Plates, Agricultural

FE114

M

Meat, Poultry

FE115

Migrant Labor

FE117

N

Native Flora

FE118

Non-Point Source Pollution

FE118

Nursery and Plant Industry

FE116

O

Ostriches, Commercial Farming

FE115

P

Permitting

 
 

Dredge and Fill

FE118

 

Water

FE118

Pesticides and Pesticide Laws

FE118

Perishable Food Product, Anti-Disparagement

FE114

Plates, Agricultural Licenses

FE114

Poultry

FE115

 

Disease Control

FE115

 

Eggs

FE115

 

Meat

FE115

Preservation of Native Flora

FE118

Private Property Protection Act, Bert J. Harris, Jr.

FE119

Produce Labeling Act of 1979

FE114

Production, Citrus

FE116

Prohibitions, Animal Cruelty

FE115

Property Owner's Liability for Cattle-Dipping Vats

FE118

Property Rights

FE119

Protection, Forests

FE116

Q

R

Requirements for Irrigation Systems

FE117

 

FE118

Residential Migrant Housing

FE117

Resolutions, Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act

FE119

Rheas, Commercial Farming

FE115

S

Safety, Workers

FE117

Seed Law

FE117

Silviculture

FE116

Solid Waste Management

FE118

Standards and Shipping, Poultry

FE115

Storage Tank Systems

FE118

Substances, Controlled, Race Horses

FE115

Surface Waters

FE118

Swine, Feed

FE115

Systems, Irrigation

FE117

 

FE118

T

Taxation and Property Rights Law

FE119

Transportation, Livestock

FE115

Tropical and Subtropical Fruit and Vegetables

 
 

Inspection Laws

FE116

 

Tropical and Subtropical Fruit and Vegetable Sales Law

FE116

Tropical Fruit Policy Act

FE116

U

V

Vaccinations

 
 

Brucella Vaccinations, Calves

FE115

 

General, Livestock

FE115

Vats, Cattle-Dipping (liability limitations)

FE118

Vegetables

FE116

W

Water, Uses and Storage

FE118

 

Non-Point Sources

FE118

 

Permitting Consumptive Uses

FE118

 

Storage of Surface Water

FE118

Wells

FE118

Worker Safety

FE117

X

Y

Z

Footnotes

1.

This document is FE113, one of a series of the Food and Resource Economics Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1999. Revised April 2004, December 2007, June 2014, and August 2018. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

2.

Michael T. Olexa, Professor, Department of Food and Resource Economics, and director, Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Law, and member of The Florida Bar; and Vanessa Fernandez, Student, University of Florida Levin College of Law; UF/IFAS Extension Gainesville, FL 32611.

This publication is designed to provide accurate, current, and authoritative information on the subject. However, since the laws, administrative rulings, and court decisions on which it is based are subject to constant revision, portions of this publication could become outdated at any time. This publication is distributed with the understanding that the authors are not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice, and the information contained herein should not be regarded, or relied upon, as a substitute for professional advice. For these reasons, the utilization of these materials by any person constitutes an agreement to hold harmless the authors, UF/IFAS, and the University of Florida for any liability, claims, damages, or expenses that may be incurred by any person as a result of reference to or reliance on the information contained in this document.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.