Labor remains a top concern for the tree fruit industry.  The American Fruit Growers held its annual State of the Industry survey, and on the farm labor was a big topic in the survey, and one-third of the respondents say it’s not an issue for them, at least not yet.  For the remaining two-thirds of the survey responders, available labor is a huge challenge.

A California apple grower told Growing Produce, “In California, we’re limited to a 40-hour workweek.  They’re also considering reducing it to four days a week and raising the minimum wage to $15.50 an hour.”  A citrus grower from Florida said it’s “virtually impossible” to find excellent farm labor.

Just two in 10 survey responders currently use the H-2A program that authorizes lawful admission into the U.S. for temporary, non-immigrant workers to do agricultural labor or provide seasonal services.

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