Farmers face labor shortages in the fields

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Experts say the shortages are due to the recession, more security and drug violence on the border, as well as a plunging fertility rate in Mexico.

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- With the harvest in full swing throughout the West Coast, farmers in California and other states say they can't find enough people to pick high value crops such as grapes, peppers, apples and pears.

In some cases, workers have walked off fields in the middle of harvest, lured by offers of better pay or easier work elsewhere.

The shortage and competition for workers mean labor expenses have climbed, harvests are getting delayed and less fruit and vegetable products are being picked, prompting some growers to say their income is suffering.

But farmworkers have seen their pay jump several dollars over the minimum wage.


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