Sugarcane Burn Getting Started

Sugarcane is burned annually as part of the management for this crop.


Muck soil – highly decomposed soils with 50% or more organic matter. Photo credit: Tatiana Sanchez, UF/IFAS Extension.

The Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) is a unique and fascinating place to visit, if you have an interest in agriculture. Although most of the EAA is in Palm Beach County, this area extends to Martin, Hendry, Glades counties with about 1,160 square miles of highly productive land. This agricultural oasis located south and southeast of Lake Okeechobee was originally part of the natural Everglades system but has been drained and made suitable for agricultural production on organic muck soil.

The main crops grown in the EAA, for which Florida is the top (or major) producer include sugar cane, rice, sweet corn, lettuce, cabbage, green beans, celery, and radish. Altogether, these crops generate more than $11 billion in sales and support more than 118,000 jobs in Palm Beach County alone.

While most of the country is coverd with snow, the EAA is one of the most important sources of fresh vegetables available to all American families. Producers are aware of this responsibility and because of the fragility of the organic soils present in the EAA, they are committed to environmental stewardship (organic soils in the EAA subside between 1 to 1.2 inches per year). The adoption of Best Management Practices and precision agriculture has aided tremendously in our producers’ efforts to reduce phosphorous, and protect natural resources.

Raddish harvester lifting up fresh produce at the EAA. Photo credit: Tatiana Sanchez, UF/IFAS Extension.

Green Bean Harvest

Green bean combine.


Caladiums grown on muck soil in Highlands County, which is technically not in the EAA.

Rice Headed Out

Rice is often used as a rotation crop with sugar cane in the EAA.

Young Sweet Corn in the EAA. Sweet corn is grown in the winter months in South Florida.


Irrigation set up for leafy green production in the EAA

Irrigation set up for leafy green production in the EAA. Photo credit: Tatiana Sanchez, UF/IFAS Extension.

EEA Farmers 2018 Pre-Harvest Celebration

U.S. Geological Service – Florida Everglades