Ag Today November 2, 2017

California Farmers: Immigration Uncertainty Costing Millions In Lost Productivity


YOLO COUNTY (CBS13) — California is facing a farmworker shortage, and the blame is landing on the country’s changing immigration landscape.

Almost 70 percent of farmers around California are reporting labor shortages this year, according to a survey by the California Farm Bureau

Yolo County farmer Jim Durst says he blames his shortage on President Donald Trump.

“When people don’t feel safe, and they’ve created a level of hostility in our country, people go into hiding they become incognito,” said Jim Durst.

Durst has been farming for the last 30 years, and it’s the first time he’s experienced a major labor shortage.

“We always have a waiting list for people to come to work here, and like a week into our tomato harvest, that list went away,” Durst said.

Every summer, an average of 70 migrant farm workers flood into Durst’s farm. This year, Durst says that number dropped by more than 20 percent.

“We’re not able to harvest all the product that we have, we’re not able to meet our sales,” said Durst.

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