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April 22, 2006

Farmers Say They've Got Fruit but No Labor

There is an article about the shortage of agricultural workers in the Los Angeles Times;

In Washington state, migrants increasingly pass up apple orchards for better-paying jobs. By Miguel Bustillo, Times Staff Writer, April 17, 2006.

YAKIMA, Wash. — While much of the country frets about too many illegal immigrants, farmers in this famed apple-growing region east of the Cascade Range complain they can no longer find enough.

During the last two years, Yakima-area apple growers were so short of the migrant field hands they rely on to prune and pick their prized crop that a few brought in workers from Thailand.
Others said they never did find enough workers and watched in anguish as precious fruit was left dangling on trees.

This summer, with farmers expecting a bountiful apple crop, they also predict that the worker shortage will worsen, threatening a hand-harvesting industry valued at more than $1.5 billion in Washington state. In the last big-crop year, growers employed an estimated 42,300 seasonal apple workers, according to state officials.

At http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-yakima17apr17,0,5058139.story?track=tottext

Posted by VisaLawyer at April 22, 2006 09:16 AM


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