Santa Barbara
76° F
Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy
Santa Maria
73° F
Clear
Clear
San Luis Obispo
76° F
Clear
Clear
Ventura
71° F
Clear
Clear

Farm labor shortage could be worse this year

By Tracy Lehr, KEYT - KCOY - KKFX Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
Published On: Mar 12 2013 04:45:12 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 12 2013 10:43:49 PM CDT

Farmers worry they won't have enough workers to pick berries

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. -

The Ventura County Farm Bureau is bracing for another labor shortage.

The Bureau's John Krist said farms experienced a 20 to 25 percent shortage last year and this spring could be worse. 

Ventura County is known for growing labor-intesive crops such as strawberries. Farm officials said acreage has increased along with the demand for seasonal workers.  Farms also compete with construction for workers. 

The shortage is likely to cause delays in harvesting fruit and annual maintenance.

Phil McGrath said the shortage has not affected his organic farm. He said it's the large farms that are getting used to labor shortages.

McGrath said the problem puts the spotlight on immigration reform.  Many farm workers are undocumented.  Some farmers would like to see an agriculture guest worker program that would allow temporary workers to be in the United States legally.

Comments

The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus