It may surprise you to learn that bamboo is poised to become a major component in America’s – and Florida’s – agricultural scene.
What makes bamboo an ideal commercial crop for Florida growers? For one thing, high demand. The U.S. is the world’s top importer of bamboo products, and the fast-growing woody plant can be processed into a great number of commercial and industrial goods. Bamboo can be used in the manufacturing of textiles, paper pulp, building materials, furniture, biocomposites and much more. The tender young shoots are even valued as a nutritious, gluten free food source.
Bamboo is a regenerating perennial grass that is resistant to extreme weather, making it easy to grow in a wide variety of climates. It is the strongest and fastest growing woody plant on Earth. Bamboo is an excellent choice for reforestation because it produces more oxygen than an equivalent stand of trees, and it is more efficient at sequestering carbon which enhances Carbon Credit values. This incredibly versatile plant also protects watersheds with its anti-erosion properties while its roots purify the soil and its canopy protects against ultraviolet radiation.
Florida growers would be wise to take notice of this high-yield renewable resource and invest in the disease-free, patent pending, USDA inspected bamboo now available from Florida Grown Specialties. Growers can start to see a return on their investment in just three to five years, and once established, a bamboo farm can be harvested almost continuously for about 50 to 60 years. The bamboo market is quickly developing to meet demand in the American market. With so many applications for its use, bamboo is primed to take a place of prominence in Florida agriculture. Florida Grown Specialties is dedicated to helping Florida’s farmers adopt this very versatile and highly sustainable new crop.
BIO: Phillip Rucks, founder of Phillip Rucks Citrus Nursery, is a native of Polk County, Florida, and a graduate of Frostproof High School. Phillip graduated from Florida Southern College in Lakeland and has over 30 years of experience managing and developing three modern, high-tech citrus nurseries. Florida Grown Specialties is a subsidiary of the nursery that grows bamboo as a commercial crop and sets the standards in farming of bamboo shoots and culms to be developed into diversified markets for decades to come.