Jul 4, 2017Soaring labor costs confront produce growers
Anti-immigrant sentiment, a decline in illegal immigration and an aging population among existing migrant workers are all feeding into a growing labor crisis.
High-value fruit and vegetable production is moving out out of states like California, Arizona and Colorado and onto farms south of the border, according to two experts who work on agricultural labor issues.
Philip Martin, professor emeritus of ag economics at the University of California-Davis, and Guadalupe (Lupe) Sandoval, executive director of the California Farm Labor Contractors Association, say the shift is already happening and likely to intensify. Most of the recent agricultural expansion in Mexico has been financed by U.S. growers and shippers, who can produce four times the vine-ripened tomatoes there at a fraction of the cost. The two men made presentations recently on ag labor trends at the annual meeting of the Ag Relations Council.
To read more on the pair’s rundown of the situation, visit this link at the La Junta Tribune-Democrat.
Source: La Junta Tribune-Democrat