Labor Series 2017

H-2A struggles to keep up with grower demand

H-2A, the country’s agricultural guest-worker program, continues to grow. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the number of H-2A workers jumped from 77,246 to 165,741 between 2011 and 2016. Since 2001, there’s been... more »

Growers share pros and cons of H-2A program

Short on labor and thinking about hiring H-2A workers? The federal guest-worker program, which more farm employers are using these days, has its pros and cons. A couple of Michigan growers shared their experiences with... more »

Fruit Growers News survey: grower labor supply

Fruit Growers News asked readers four questions in January, seeking information on their labor supply. A sampling of the results is below. Did you have enough labor in 2016? No: 53 percent Yes: 47 percent... more »

Surprises, gifts one way to retain farmworkers

Harvesting vegetables and fruit is a difficult profession, requiring commitment and a unique set of skills. When farm employers find the right workers, they need to let them know their work is appreciated, said Steve... more »

Labor-retention strategies to help with labor costs

Philip Martin, a professor emeritus of agricultural and resource economics with the University of California, Davis, gives farm employers four broad strategies to deal with increasing labor costs: satisfy, stretch, substitute and supplement. Satisfy workers... more »

States find ways to deal with labor shortages

It’s hard to know the exact number of seasonal specialty crop workers in the United States, but Frank Gasperini thinks 1.5 million is a good estimate. Seasonal worker shortages have been an issue in the... more »


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