Ag Information for Hendry and Glades County
LABELLE, FLORIDA -- Gene McAvoy of the Hendry Agricultural Extension Office reports that the minimum wage will change for the State of Florida on January 1st! Florida's minimum wage will go to $6.67 an hour on January 1, 2007, a 27 cent an hour increase to match inflation as required by an initiative passed by the legislature. McAvoy tells employers to remember to check that your payroll programs are correctly calculating the new minimum wage and that you have changed your Worker Information - Terms and Conditions of Employment forms (WH-516) to show the new minimum wage of $6.67.
The Agency for Workforce Innovation has created a new poster that must be displayed after January 1 informing the workers of the new Florida minimum wage. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) poster with the $5.15 minimum wage STILL needs to be posted - and the rate not altered. This is a Federal rule - even though Floridas minimum wage is higher than the Federal law the FLSA poster must still be displayed.
New Sticker Requirements for Farm Labor Vehicles
This coming year new stickers will be required for Farm Labor vehicles that transport agricultural workers. The vehicles must have the new sticker on the left rear bumper or body by January 31, 2007. The stickers are issued for specific vehicles so if you have more than one van or bus make sure the sticker matches the vehicle you put it on. If you lose it or it gets stolen you must ask for a replacement by writing a note explaining the circumstances of why you need a replacement sticker and for which specific vehicle. It is recommended that you make a copy of the sticker before you apply it to the vehicle and then keep that copy with your tag registration.
Freeze Outlook for This Winter
The Southeast Climate Consortium has released an updated analysis of the risk of severe freezes in Florida during this winter. Being an El Niño year, that risk should be reduced. El Niño typically sets up a jet stream pattern with a strong subtropical jet flowing across the southern U.S. The position of this subtropical jet tends to "block" the intrusions of artic air masses that are needed for the severe freeze events. Keep in mind that severe freezes are unique weather events, and there's always a chance that they could occur in any phase of the Pacific Ocean.
Check on the link below on agricultural weather and the probability of the temperature in your county reaching: 32F or less, 28F or less, 25F or less, 22F or less, and 20F or less, during this winter. There is also information there on the probability of dates of first and last freezes. http://www.agclimate.org for climate information.