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Reliance on foreign guest workers, rising minimum wages, and corporate social responsibility are three trends emerging within the Florida agricultural economy, particularly among labor-intensive specialty crop farms. These trends are creating higher costs and pushing employers into new management relationships with their farmworkers. On one hand, higher costs compromise the competitive position of agricultural operations. On the other hand, new management strategies could increase overall worker productivity, offset some administrative costs associated with labor management, and create new avenues of market access for their products. The success to which agricultural employers adjust to these trends with cost effective management strategies likely will determine their long-term economic success.


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