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Florida PYs 2020-2023 Published Approved

Wagner-Peyser Act

Located in:

e. 2. An assessment of the agricultural activity in the State means: 1) Identifying the top five labor-intensive crops, the months of heavy activity, and the geographic area of prime activity; 2) Summarize the agricultural employers’ needs in the State (i.e. are they predominantly hiring local or foreign workers, are they expressing that there is a scarcity in the agricultural workforce); and 3) Identifying any economic, natural, or other factors that are affecting agriculture in the State or any projected factors that will affect agriculture in the State

Current Narrative:

The following breakdown illustrates Florida’s top major labor-intensive crop activity during the 2017-2018 season, per data gathered internally from local career centers and from external partner agencies.

Figure 7.01
Florida’s Top Major Labor-Intensive Crop Activity

CropUsual Harvesting BeginsUsual Harvesting Most ActivePRIMARY GEOGRAPHICAL AREA OF ACTIVITYLABOR POOL
OrangesMid-SeptemberSeptember - JunePolk, Highlands, DeSoto, Hendry, Hardee, Collier, Manatee, Lake, St. Lucie, Martin, Hillsborough, Pasco, Osceola, Indian River, Lee, Charlotte, Glades, Orange, Okeechobee35,000
GrapefruitSeptemberSeptember - JuneIndian River, St. Lucie, Polk, Hendry, Highlands, Osceola, Charlotte, Collier, Lake, Okeechobee3,500
Specialty CitrusJuneJune - AprilPolk, Lake, Highlands, Hendry, Charlotte, Hardee, St. Lucie, Collier, DeSoto, Indian River, Hillsborough, Lee800
TomatoesMid-OctoberNovember - JuneManatee, Collier, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Hendry, Gadsden, Hamilton, Jackson8,500
BlueberriesMarchMarch - MayPolk, Alachua, Hardee, Hamilton, Levy9,500
StrawberriesMid-DecemberFebruary - MarchHillsborough, Manatee, Hardee, Miami-Dade11,500
Snap BeansMid-OctoberNovember - AprilMiami-Dade, Palm Beach, Suwannee, Hendry, Alachua, Jackson5,000
Bell PeppersMid-OctoberNovember - MayPalm Beach, Collier, Hillsborough, Manatee5,000
SugarcaneNovemberNovember - FebruaryPalm Beach, Hendry, Glades, Martin3,500
WatermelonsAprilMay - JuneHendry, Levy, Gilchrist, Highlands, Collier, Suwannee, DeSoto, Alachua, Manatee, Marion, Hardee, Jackson, Sumter, Lake, Gadsden, Washington4,000
Sweet CornMid-SeptemberNovember - JunePalm Beach, Miami-Dade, Hendry, Suwannee, Hamilton3,100
PotatoesMid-DecemberFebruary - MaySt. Johns, Putnam, Flagler, Okeechobee, Suwannee2,500
SquashSeptemberNovember - MayMiami-Dade, Collier, Lee, Hillsborough, Gadsden, Jackson, Suwannee2,500
CabbageMid-OctoberJanuary - AprilFlagler, St. Johns, Palm Beach, Manatee, Putnam1,500
CucumbersMid-SeptemberNovember - AprilManatee, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, Collier, Hardee, Hendry, Miami-Dade, Levy1,500
TomatillosAprilApril - July & September -
Collier (November - March), Manatee, Gadsden, Jackson500
EggplantsAprilApril - July & September -
Collier (November - March), Manatee, Gadsden, Jackson500

Results of the annual Commercial Citrus Inventory show total citrus acreage is 480,121 acres, down four percent from the last survey and the lowest in a series which began in 1966. The gross loss of 31,365 acres is the largest loss recorded in a single season since the beginning one-year interval surveys in 2009. New plantings at 10,090 acres is less than each of the last two seasons. 

According to the 2014 Census of Agriculture, Florida has the second-largest nursery industry in the country, after California.

An estimated 100,000 Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers (MSFWs) are employed in plant nurseries and ferneries throughout the state. An estimated 2,000 or more MSFWs are employed in sod farming for commercial sale. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ 2016 Florida Agriculture by the Numbers, the state’s expanded wholesale value of floriculture crops increased $107 million over 2014 totals, surpassing the $1 billion mark for the first time in 10 years. Total greenhouse and nursery cash value sales of $1,039,411.