Labor Issues in the Specialty Crop Industry

Abbey Taylor Labor, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Zhengfei Guan Florida is a large supplier of fruits and vegetables in the United States. Major fruits and vegetables produced in Florida include citrus, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, cantaloupes, watermelons, etc. The production and harvest of these crops are labor intensive. For example, University of Florida researchers estimate that harvesting 1 acre of oranges requires 50 hours. More than …

Improving Mechanical Harvesting of Fresh-Market Blueberries

Abbey Taylor Berries, Labor, Technology, Top Posts, VSCNews magazine

By Fumiomi Takeda The growth of the blueberry industry in the past three decades has been remarkably robust. For the blueberry industry to remain competitive and sustainable, growers are seeking solutions to ever-increasing problems with labor shortages and rising labor costs for harvesting blueberries by hand. More growers are now using over-the-row (OTR) mechanical harvesters to pick blueberries for the …

uf study

UF Researcher to Study Migration Trends, Health of Emerging Farm Workers

Dan Cooper Industry News Release, Labor

As the University of Florida IFAS Extension director for Hendry County, Gene McAvoy has seen firsthand a sea change in the types of workers now coming to the United States to work on farms. “It used to be 95 percent or more of the workers were from Mexico,” McAvoy said. “Now, it’s about 50 percent from Haiti and the Caribbean. …

public

Election Day Commentary: Career Politicians or Dedicated Public Servants?

Dan Cooper Agri-business, Fruit, Labor, Tomatoes, Trade, Vegetables, Watermelon

By Gary Cooper, Founder/President AgNet Media Sometimes the timing of events can really make us think. Over the weekend, our nation lost one of its greatest public servants. Senator John McCain was nothing less than a statesman his entire adult life. Not once in all the recent news media coverage did I see him referred to as a “career politician.” …

Immigration Reform Impacting Agriculture

Abbey Taylor Business, Labor, Legislative, Top Posts

By Tacy Callies and Ernie Neff At the recent general session of Citrus Expo, AgSafe President and CEO Amy Wolfe discussed emerging issues in ag labor and food safety. One of the topics she covered was the federal Ag and Legal Workforce Act that was introduced in Congress on July 18. The new bill is an effort to combine the …

Yoho Introduces an Ag-Only Guest Worker Bill

Abbey Taylor Labor, Legislative, Top Posts

In the midst of a farm bill being finalized, labor is still top of mind for U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho. In mid-July, he visited AgNet Media to discuss imperative agricultural legislation. There is currently a bill for agricultural labor, Rep. Goodlatte’s AG Act. Yoho says it’s a good bill and he could support it. However, he is pushing for his …

Florida Farmers Advocate for Ag

Abbey Taylor Farm Bill, Labor, Legislative, NAFTA, Top Posts

This past week, Florida Farm Bureau Federation (FFBF) held its annual Field to the Hill fly-in event, where Florida farmers had the opportunity to fly to Washington, D.C., and speak to their legislators about issues they are facing in the Florida agricultural industry. AgNet Media’s Abbey Taylor was able to tag along with the Farm Bureau members and witness firsthand …

Challenges Remain for Legal Agricultural Workforce

Abbey Taylor Labor, Legislative, Top Posts

By Brian German The United States continues to have challenges related to establishing a secure, legal agricultural workforce. Many growers and industry groups are calling for significant change to current immigration policies and ag worker programs. For Chalmers Carr, owner of Titan Farms in Ridge Springs, South Carolina, the H-2A program has been fairly helpful to his operation. “After being …