The workplace is generally outdoors, working in fields or in shade houses, or in greenhouses. Weather conditions can be challenging and plants must be protected from damage during inclement weather. The seasonal nature of the work means long and irregular work hours are usually required, particularly in spring and summer. Things can be hectic at times and dealing with customers may be stressful.
Strenuous physical labor is usually part of the job and some heavy lifting is involved. Workers must bend and crouch and do heavy field work. Very large greenhouse operations and tree farms are often highly mechanized. In some workplaces a variety of farm equipment is used and workers must operate a wide range of machinery: harvesting machines, tractors, fertilizer spreaders, and assembly-line equipment. Exposure to pesticides can be a health risk and workers must adhere to safety regulations.
Seasonal and migrant workers who move from location to location have unsettled lifestyles and may experience extended unemployment, which creates financial stress. Competition in this field is increasing due to increased global demand and factors such as trade agreements with countries in Central America and China.