Rick Shade, the farmer, only has 25 of the 50 needed workers for the peak season, putting him in a bind at a critical time for his business.
Farm labor shortages, especially in California, the nation’s leading agricultural state, are widespread, according to news reports. In California, 55 percent of farmers said they didn’t have enough workers, a survey by the California Farm Bureau Federation in 2017 found.
Immigration policies, an aging population of current workers, and an apparent reluctance from Americans to take farm jobs are just some of the complications.
The slowdown in migrants crossing the border began in 2005 and continued through 2014, Los Angeles Times said. While labor shortage began with a tightening of the border under President Barack Obama, the latest push under President Trump is sparking fear in farm communities and creating chilling effect on recruiting farm labor.
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