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Where Are We On Labor?
by Greg Martin, click here for bio
Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: June 26, 12
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Where Are We On Labor? I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.
Cherry harvest is moving into full swing and one big question on ag producers minds is whether or not there will be enough labor to get the job done. Mike Gempler, Executive Director of the Washington Growers League says it is still a bit too early to know.
GEMPLER: We don’t have a real good handle on exactly what’s going to happen throughout the season. So far I haven’t heard about any serious labor shortages here in Washington State. I know that we’ve had labor shortages in California and that’s a bad sign.
Gempler says that the cherry crop is estimated to be 30% larger this year.
GEMPLER: And our apple crop instead of being 105-million like last year will very possibly be 125-million or larger this year which would be an all-time record. We have seen some of our fellow growers in places like Michigan and other places in the midwest get pretty much totally frozen out. So it’s a tremendous opportunity for Washington and Oregon growers.
He says it would be a real shame if there were not enough workers to get the crop off the trees and into the market. A recent study showed a reversal in immigration from Mexico.
GEMPLER: Clearly there are still a lot of people in Mexico who need jobs and for whom jobs in the United States are an opportunity so there’s going to continue to be people from Mexico wanting to work in the U.S. But the Mexican economy in come areas has improved and there are more opportunities for people in Mexico.
That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.
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