Seasonal field labor is particularly important to both vegetable and citrus growers
who depend on these workers to transplant, stake, tie, prune and finally harvest
the season’s crop. The availability of farmworkers in southwest Florida is critical
from December to March when the citrus harvest is in full swing and vegetable growers
are occupied with a full slate of growing and harvest activities. The
National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) has found that migrant farmworkers
comprise 67 percent of total farm work force in Florida. Below are documents that
will provide a better understanding of the regulations that affect farm workers
and demographics of the farm workers in Florida.
Fritz Roka, Michael Olexa, Katherine Smallwood, Leo Polopolus, and Carol Fountain.
This handbook is intended to provide a convenient reference to the major provisions
of the several state and federal regulations that affect farm employers and employees.
It reflects state and federal laws as of July 1, 2009, only as they apply to farmworkers
and not to workers considered non-agricultural. Its purpose is simply to focus employers
and employees on the fundamental provisions of the laws which govern their relationships.
F. M. Roka. University of Florida, IFAS, FE 792, February 2009.
Piece rates are a common method of payment for farm workers who harvest fresh fruit
and vegetable crops. A piece rate directly affects both production costs and farm
worker hourly earnings. The purpose of this paper is to explain how a piece rate
payment system works and further explain its implications on production costs and
farm worker earnings. Various points are illustrated through citrus and tomato harvesting
F.M. Roka & D. Cook, September 30, 1998.
A long term goal among community leaders in southwest Florida is to improve the
quality and quantity of farmworker housing. A reliable statistical description of
the farmworker population could help draft future housing plans and guide the delivery
of health, educational, and other public services. This paper reports the findings
of that study effort. The study objectives were to collect data on the size and
demographic features of the seasonal farmworker population in southwest Florida.
Unlike the previous studies, this effort attempts to base farmworker population
estimates more closely around the agricultural production activities.
F.M. Roka & R. Emerson, University of Florida, IFAS, April 1999, Citrus and Vegetable
Magazine (April):10-12, Immokalee Report.
During the 1997/98 production season, data were collected on a sample of seasonal
farm workers harvesting oranges and tomatoes in southwest Florida. From these data,
one can calculate average worker productivity, effective hourly wage and daily harvest
income. This document summarizes the harvest performance of crews from which data
were obtained. This summary provides some evidence of average hourly and daily earnings.
The interpretation of the data is limited, however, to only field workers harvesting
during a peak production period in southwest Florida (January 1998).
F.M. Roka, University of Florida, IFAS, February 1999, Immokalee Report.
This article outlines some important demographic questions that focus on maintaining
an adequate supply of seasonal farmworkers for the citrus and fresh vegetable industries.
In addition, some of the available information is presented and the objectives of
an upcoming labor survey for southwest Florida are discussed.