Oct 4, 2011
Farm labor shortages damage Georgia’s economy

Georgia’s economy is projected to shrink by $391 million and lose 3,260 jobs as a result of farm labor shortages this year, according to a report released Tuesday by the state’s agricultural industry.

The study also says many fruit and vegetable growers are preparing to harvest fewer acres or mechanically harvest more than they have in the past because of the labor gap.

The report does not cite the reasons for the shortage in laborers in Georgia’s $68.8 billion agricultural industry, the state’s largest. But many farmers complained this year that Georgia’s new immigration enforcement law — House Bill 87 — has scared away the migrant Hispanic workers they depend on, putting their crops at risk. Atlanta Journal Constitution

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