Sustainable practices, from the soil to the skies above
Florida Crystals® is proud to claim some of the most sustainable farm operations in the world. Through practices like crop rotation, Precision Agriculture and using barn owls to naturally control pests in our fields, we’re able to provide you with the delicious sugar you demand, while protecting the environment for this generation and the next.
The secret to truly sustainable sugar? Technology.
At Florida Crystals, we go to great lengths to make our farms both high-tech and low-impact. That means using everything at our disposal to be more efficient and eco-friendly every step of the way. And while our main focus is on what grows in the ground, it’s satellites orbiting miles above that provide the data we need for our Precision Agriculture approach. These satellites guide our tractors, monitor crop growth patterns, predict weather and monitor soil moisture. All of which allows us to use fewer resources to achieve better results, both in terms of quality and quantity of the sugarcane each farm yields.
Here on the ground, rotating our farms with rice plantings in the summer is an excellent way to replenish the soil, eliminate weeds and pests, and provide much-needed food to our community. Our rice farms are flooded for 80 days of their 120-day growing cycle, saturating the soil and helping to reduce phosphorous levels within it by up to 45%.
And in the air between the satellites and the soil, an innovative barn owl program created by Dr. Richard Raid of the University of Florida and supported by Florida Crystals has helped us reduce pests naturally. The habitats we’ve constructed on our farms now provide homes for more than 1,000 barn owls. These wise, hungry predators can eat up to 3,000 rodents a year per family, sustaining themselves and protecting our prized sugarcane in the process. It’s a truly symbiotic relationship, and one we cherish.