Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Farmers scrambling to find harvest labor
San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate.com ^ | Sunday, May 27, 2012 | Stacy Finz

Posted on 05/27/2012 1:02:28 PM PDT by thecodont

Skip Foppiano of Morada Produce is praying for cool weather. The San Joaquin County grower and packer is thick into cherry harvest season and is short on labor - 20 to 30 percent fewer pickers than he had last year.

If it gets too hot, his smaller-than-usual workforce won't have time to get all the cherries off the trees before they rot. Farmers across California are experiencing the same problem: Seasonal workers who have been coming for decades to help with the harvest, planting and pruning have dropped off in recent years. With immigration crackdowns, an aging Mexican population, drug wars at the border and a weakened job market in the United States, the flow of migrants has stopped and may actually have reversed, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research firm that has been studying the trend.

"We're scrambling," Foppiano said, adding that he's also experiencing a labor shortage in Fresno, where he owns additional cherry orchards. "It's a hard time. And I'm hearing lots of other growers complaining about it."

[...]

California has yet to calculate its losses, but Bryan Little, director of labor affairs for the state's Farm Bureau Federation, said some asparagus growers have already had to disc up their fields because there weren't enough pickers.

"You would think with the unemployment rate being what it is, people here would take these jobs," Little said. "But Americans have self-selected away from this kind of work. It's not because the pay is low. It's because the work is hard.

"I thought we might have five to 10 years to fix this labor shortage problem," he said. "Now, we might not."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/26/BUAK1OLQ31.DTL&ao=2#ixzz1w6O8hkvj

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Mexico; US: California
KEYWORDS: agriculture; california; economy; farmlabor; illegalimmigrants; mexico
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-53 next last

1 posted on 05/27/2012 1:02:33 PM PDT by thecodont
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: thecodont

End unemployment and other government handouts and they will have plenty of labor.


2 posted on 05/27/2012 1:06:04 PM PDT by Maryland Man
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

Free market solution.

Labor is a commodity and is subject to the laws of supply and demand.


3 posted on 05/27/2012 1:06:27 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

Half the homes in the United States are receiving government aid of some kind...


4 posted on 05/27/2012 1:06:36 PM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont
There was a time when Americans would pick up and go to where the jobs are. No more, apparently. But when food prices go up and fresh veggies are scarce, they will only whine and demand an increase in food stamps.
5 posted on 05/27/2012 1:07:55 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont
If you build a society in which people can live comfortably and have a lot of goodies without actually working hard, then you will have a society in which no one is willing to work hard.

Duh.

If we want workers, we have to change society so that those people who do not work will end up with miserable (yes: miserable) lives.

We insist on being nice. We just don't want anyone to suffer. We want everyone to be "equal" -- and then we look around and wonder why so many people just don't see any reason to make much of a contribution to society. Why make an effort? What's the point??

In case it's not clear: higher wages for farm workers MIGHT attract some more labor, but that misses the point. Some people just don't care about the wages. They enjoy the fact that they don't need to work. An incentive to work isn't going to change them. A disincentive for sitting on their ass -- that would change them real quick.

6 posted on 05/27/2012 1:09:46 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Like Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin has become simply a stick with which to beat Whites.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

MECHANIZE!

Put up a DARPA type contest fund to the school or company that can come up with a mechanical cherry harvester.

Same for Tomatoes (Should be easy, designs were nearly ready when Kali. pulled funding).

Or bring back the chain gangs.

Either way, eliminate “migrant labor” and the reliance on illegals.


7 posted on 05/27/2012 1:11:20 PM PDT by Loyal Sedition
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hinckley buzzard

What agGreat job for America’s unemployed yutes.... Oh wait, that would mean actually working. Never mind. My Bad.


8 posted on 05/27/2012 1:11:43 PM PDT by Autonomous User ( I guess a liberal and an out-of-work bum look a lot a like, daddy.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

Are there no prisons? Are there no union work houses?


9 posted on 05/27/2012 1:12:11 PM PDT by windcliff
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

“There won’t be enough farm labor in Wahington!”

The media follows up onm it’s earlier Big Lie:

“There won’t be enough farm labor in Georgia!”

Of course they’ll never report that everything worked out in Washington just like they never reported that everything worked out in Georgia.

It’s not their job to inform, the big money is in hysteria and manipulation- that’s what their audience: advertisers- pay for.


10 posted on 05/27/2012 1:13:21 PM PDT by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Loyal Sedition

I suspect he’s looking for the easy route. Never mind the fact that the state is overrun with illegals, he needs to import some more “guest workers”.


11 posted on 05/27/2012 1:14:50 PM PDT by cripplecreek (What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: thecodont
asparagus growers have already had to disc up their fields because there weren't enough pickers.

yeah, because they are all driving garbage trucks, roofers,repairing roads,working in supermarkets,lawn care business owners,cab drivers,gas stations attendants/repair,..and if you check, in larger municipalities as school maintenance/janitorial services, casino employees....so stick your asparagus stalks...

12 posted on 05/27/2012 1:25:50 PM PDT by Doogle (((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated)))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOPJ

Please don’t throw that comment around so frivolously. My military retirement and my Dad’s Social Security, which he paid for, is a part of the percentage.


13 posted on 05/27/2012 1:28:43 PM PDT by Mathews (Ecclesiastes 10:2 (NIV))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

I am sure San Joaquin County has a welfare office and issues food stamps...there is a ready pool of labor....and they do not have to travel like Okies did...should be right around a country corner...

I don’t even mind if they continue to collect food stamps, wages being what they are and farm work being temporary...but it gets done, this way...


14 posted on 05/27/2012 1:31:26 PM PDT by Adder (Da bro has GOT to go!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

Get rid of the labor laws that don’t allow kids to work!
Santa Rosa, California, early 1960”s, the fall school opening was delayed because the prune orchards were harvested by high school kids!


15 posted on 05/27/2012 1:32:34 PM PDT by WestwardHo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

there are a lot of unemployed Americans out there, you might have to pay them at least minimumwage though.


16 posted on 05/27/2012 1:39:35 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

If your business expanded due to illegal labor being used, then your business should contract for the same.

Anyone on govenment welfare should be first in line to help.


17 posted on 05/27/2012 1:41:32 PM PDT by ConservativeMind ("Humane" = "Don't pen up pets or eat meat, but allow infanticide, abortion, and euthanasia.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

That’s what teenagers are for.


18 posted on 05/27/2012 1:44:54 PM PDT by donna (The fruits of Feminism: Angry fathers, bitter mothers, fat kids and political correctness.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

AS many have noted in here send some of the able bodied ones currently getting welfare and already in Calif

BUT one thing these lying Libs NEVER mentione there is an UNLIMITED visa for agri workers, as many as one needs. NO limit
so all this whining is just that
whining


19 posted on 05/27/2012 1:44:59 PM PDT by RWGinger (Simpl)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

Maybe asparagus shouldn’t be grown in America then. Let Mexico do it and we’ll import it. Because it is NOT worth the long -term costs of illegal alien anchor babies and the billions of dollars in welfare, food stamps, education, incarceration and health care they consume every year.


20 posted on 05/27/2012 1:52:15 PM PDT by montag813
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont
Can't find help? easy fix, You want welfare pick fruit no picky no checkie. Unemployment office same deal,jail time off to prisoners who work the fields every 2 days of work = 1 day off sentence.
21 posted on 05/27/2012 1:56:55 PM PDT by bikerman (Obama lied,economy died.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mathews
I don't believe any of us resent paying for our military OR returning the money people put into Social Security.

Let me explain. I spoke to a crook years ago - and asked him about why he would steal from the companies he worked for... his answer was classic. He asked me if I would steal a loaf of bread to feed my starving children if that was the only way I could save their lives. I laughed at him. Then asked him, 'you're in trouble for stealing bread to feed your children?". He glared at me. I said, "you're in trouble for stealing a bunch of high end cars"... and he said, 'it's the same'.

Well, it's not the same.

And government checks going to legitimate places is not the same as us supporting half the inner cities with permanent disability checks for folks whose disability is they like playing baby ( this is a true story - you might be able to google it) with a girlfriend who also is 'disabled' because she likes to treat her 40 year old boyfriend like he's a baby... It's sexual kink stuff - but the rest of us will be supporting them for life - and they make more than many people who worked their whole lives at lower pay.

Helping kids go to college morphed into private schools 'teaching' beauty classes that no one has to attend - everyone gets a check - and when the bill comes due - liberal elites act like we want to stop helping kids go to college.

Scammers know how to milk the system. It's not the same as stealing bread to feed starving children - it's stealing high end cars to feed a drug habits and large lifestyles. That's what many of us object to... and it's not just the money - it's what that kind of money does to corrupt people ... to create dependent people who lack any self respect. If the money made these people better, happier, or something positive - it would be some justification... but it doesn't. It causes harm. Undermines things that are healthy...

22 posted on 05/27/2012 1:59:33 PM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: thecodont
I notice there's no mention of new regulations that will keep family members who are under a given age working on the family farm.

Look at California, who shuts off water to some of the most productive land in the country unless they're trying to cause the price of food to go up? They want the crops to go unharvested to less will be grown next year, it drives up food prices which just cries out for Federal regulation of food distribution to ensure "fairness". Besides, why let food go to where people are buying it rather than where the Fascist Democrats want it to go?

23 posted on 05/27/2012 2:16:51 PM PDT by Rashputin (Only Newt can defeat both the Fascist democrats and the Vichy GOP)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: montag813

“Maybe asparagus shouldn’t be grown in America”

It won’t be grown in America, unfortunately.

Mexican asperagus was in the store two months before the US asparagus for 99 cents per pound. No one was buying because it’s from Mexico. Now the US aperagus is out for $1.99/lb. No one is buying because it’s “too expensive”.


24 posted on 05/27/2012 2:19:12 PM PDT by Selene
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Mathews
Forgot - another ‘public’ person collecting disability is the man who says he serviced Obama while working as a male prostitute.

Yep, he's disabled, and you're supporting him... how do you like them apples? If you listen to his tapes - he sounds convincing... the ‘disabled’ part comes in the last tape... I think he was traumatized by his lifestyle - even though he brags about it... anyhow, it's on your dime.

25 posted on 05/27/2012 2:19:32 PM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: windcliff

My teenagers have already started baling hay this summer. (Anyone here have a clue what that is like?) So far they have started at $10 an hour and worked so hard the two boys have recently been paid $13 an hour. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t 50% of black teens unemployed. If it’s good enough for my boys, it’s good enough for everyone. Pay a decent wage, and they will come.


26 posted on 05/27/2012 2:38:14 PM PDT by HMS Surprise (Chris Christie can still go to hell.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: ClearCase_guy

Getting farm labor has always been hard, I don’t know how many times we have hired guys who quit in less than a week because the work is too hard.

I am a woman and I have done all that hard work that they couldn’t do so I know we’re not asking that much and we have always offered a fair wage.

The only people around here who choose full time farm jobs over welfare and food stamps and a little seasonal work are the older guys from the 1986 amnesty.


27 posted on 05/27/2012 2:46:37 PM PDT by tiki
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

Liberal morons. They’re giving the illegals direct welfare payments, food stamps, subsidized housing, free medical care, and free education. Why on earth would they pick cherries in the hot sun?


28 posted on 05/27/2012 2:57:59 PM PDT by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GOPJ

permanent disability checks for folks whose disability is they like playing baby ( this is a true story - you might be able to google it) with a girlfriend who also is ‘disabled’ because she likes to treat her 40 year old boyfriend like he’s a baby...


I remember reading somewhere that the guy threatened suicide if they cut out his benefits. Based on this, the problem seems self correcting.


29 posted on 05/27/2012 3:02:08 PM PDT by Rides_A_Red_Horse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Loyal Sedition
Mechanical harvesters exist already for cherries, tomatoes, walnuts, pecans, carrots, grapes, blueberries, cranberries, partially so for lettuce but the machines aren't cheap.
30 posted on 05/27/2012 3:06:08 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

send in the National Guard and conscript the unemployed and pay them minimum wage. Anyone who fails to perform loses the job and unemployment benefits - what a great idea elpadre!!!!


31 posted on 05/27/2012 3:09:23 PM PDT by elpadre (AfganistaMr Obama said the goal was to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-hereQaeda" and its allies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

Perfect opportunity for agricultural labor unions to deliver on their promises by recruiting eager hands from California’s unemployed.


32 posted on 05/27/2012 3:17:06 PM PDT by jody2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HMS Surprise

I do. Back in my day, we were paid 10 cents a bale. It’s hard work, but rewarding physically and mentally. You know you earned it!!


33 posted on 05/27/2012 3:18:46 PM PDT by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Loyal Sedition
Same for Tomatoes (Should be easy, designs were nearly ready when Kali. pulled funding).

I don't know what all types of 'maters they can use this on, but they've been using these around here for canning tomatoes for a few years now. They still hand-pick a couple of times before they use this thing. But they need way less than half of the workers they used to need

Photobucket

34 posted on 05/27/2012 3:18:46 PM PDT by digger48
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

Scandinavian, British, Irish, German, other European backpackers help pick the crops in Australia. And there are plenty of poor Americans who’d be willing to if they weren’t threatened by ‘immigrants’ that those jobs ‘belong’ to them.


35 posted on 05/27/2012 3:20:50 PM PDT by OldNewYork
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

said some asparagus growers have already had to disc up their fields because there weren’t enough pickers.

That’s an odd thing to do. Doesn’t asparagus have to produce ferns to chlorophyll the (rhizomatic?) roots for next years’ crop?

Do they mean they’re switching from asparagus to some other crop? Even odder as it takes 2-3 years to get asparagus crowns producing a harvestable crop.


36 posted on 05/27/2012 3:32:16 PM PDT by txhurl (AB would vote for Scott Walker.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

I know how farm labor works. They have usually have a labor manager (Spanish speaking from Mexico) and jobs are filled by word of mouth - who they know and who the other workers know. So it is an inbred, foreign and usually, illegal, workforce. They don’t worry much about legal workplace practices for the illegals, either. It’s called building your house on sand.

We have a local farmer who has his house built on local people who he trains. He’s got a lot of help this summer because jobs are not as plentiful for young people and he has the local network to draw them in.


37 posted on 05/27/2012 3:36:14 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont
"You would think with the unemployment rate being what it is, people here would take these jobs," Little said. "But Americans have self-selected away from this kind of work. It's not because the pay is low. It's because the work is hard.

I bet Fly By Night Lawn and Landscaping compaines have no immigrant legal or otherise labor shortages nor a lot of factories for that matter.

38 posted on 05/27/2012 3:54:00 PM PDT by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: count-your-change
When I was in High school (early 70’s), I would “shake” cherries in the summer. They had mechanical harvesters for that years ago. Worked from 6:00 in the evening to 6:00 in the morning. Also did plumbs and crab apples once.
Michigan had a butt load of asparagus until the government made a deal with south america to buy theirs to get them to quit growing dope.

M.R.

39 posted on 05/27/2012 3:57:07 PM PDT by Vanderkasperski (M.R Institute for the Mentally and Socially Maladjusted. Please don't beat the noob..:-))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: count-your-change
Mechanical harvesters exist already for cherries, tomatoes, walnuts, pecans, carrots, grapes, blueberries, cranberries, partially so for lettuce but the machines aren't cheap.

Unions forced factories to innovate with machinery OR move overseas. The same is happening with farming... when that's complete, dependent liberals will complain there are no jobs...

40 posted on 05/27/2012 3:57:28 PM PDT by GOPJ ( "A Dog In Every Pot" - freeper ETL)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: Doogle

You hit the nail square on the head. Exactly what I was going to post.

They are taking all the other jobs here in California, and have been for a number of years.


41 posted on 05/27/2012 4:02:46 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: tiki

Ditto.. farming work can leave you exhausted at the end of the day. When I was 16, I worked irrigation systems on the cornfields of a friend of the family in the summer of 1973.. it kicked my a**, but I found getting out there and working the fields to be rewarding nonetheless. It`s something every teen should experience.


42 posted on 05/27/2012 4:15:46 PM PDT by ScottinVA (Buying Drain-O requires photo I.D... yet voting doesn't???)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Maryland Man
End unemployment and other government handouts and they will have plenty of labor.

Worth repeating.

43 posted on 05/27/2012 4:32:46 PM PDT by A message
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: GOPJ

Yes, when labor was cheap there wasn’t much incentive to mechanize. There will be fewer but higher paid workers. Now the challenge is to reduce the waste left by machines.

“...no jobs” Yep. A high wage doesn’t mean much to the unemployed.


44 posted on 05/27/2012 5:10:56 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

Hey, government subsidized dip chits, pay a decent wage and they will come.


45 posted on 05/27/2012 5:13:09 PM PDT by Sea Parrot (I'll be a nice to you as you'll let me be, or as mean as you make me be.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

Chain

Gangs

Now


46 posted on 05/27/2012 5:15:43 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Vanderkasperski

Years ago I saw some of finest citrus in the world left to rot in the groves because it wasn’t the “right” size or some other regulation.

The way farming is distorted by government policy is just insane.


47 posted on 05/27/2012 5:18:49 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: WestwardHo

“Get rid of the labor laws that don’t allow kids to work!”

That’s what I was thinking too.


48 posted on 05/27/2012 5:19:56 PM PDT by 21twelve
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: thecodont

tell the lazy welfare rats to get of their fat azz and get to work... or lose the welfare!!!
49 posted on 05/27/2012 6:24:14 PM PDT by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Loyal Sedition
I used to work for the United Farm WSorkers (yes, Cesar Chavez' Union: and even years ago, we knew very well that UC Davis had developed prototype mechanized harvest equipment for every commercially-grown crop in Califrnia. Years ago.

Most of it was not being utilized, and still isn't. because it was very expensive, and labor was too cheap for the machinery to be cost-effective.

But now?

Bring on the machines. Seriously, it's time for a farm machinery revolution.

50 posted on 05/27/2012 7:04:09 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("You can observe a lot just by watchin'." - Yogi Berra)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-53 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson