Good Fruit Grower

May 1

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Page 8 of 47 Good Fruit Grower MAY 1, 2015 9 FLOW direction Fruit, vegetable, and horticultural farmers in the United States have enjoyed an extended period of farm labor abundance with stable or decreasing wages, thanks to an elastic supply of labor from rural Mexico, the paper says. Implications "Findings from our data from rural Mexico point to a declining long-term trend in the farm labor supply there. At the same time, an increasing demand for farm workers in Mexico may be creating unprecedented labor competition for U.S. farmers." U.S. growers have been paying ever-higher wages to attract workers. "Farm wages in the United States are rising," Charlton said, "but not fast enough." The paper suggests U.S. farmers can react by shifting away from labor-intensive horticultural production, increasing mechanization, or seeking migrant workers from other countries. Mexico, however, has provided a convenient and large pool of farm workers for many years. Their study data suggest that the decrease in migra- tion to U.S. farm jobs is the consequence of long-term structural changes in the supply of Mexican labor rather than a temporary response to the U.S. recession. "U.S. agriculture appears to be doubly adversely affected by the decline in the supply of immigrant labor and the shift in the immigrant labor supply away from farm work," they say. • "More people are returning to Mexico than are coming here." —Diane Charlton PHOTO COURTESY OF DIANE CHARLTON Fortunately, so are our crop insurance agents. Like everyone else at Northwest Farm Credit Services, our crop insurance agents live and breathe agriculture. They're immersed in it every day. That's a tremendous advantage when you consider the nature of complex, ever-changing insurance programs. Fact is, risks abound – from adverse weather to a drop in market prices – and you need an insurance partner with expertise, knowledge and commitment, every step of the way. Give us a call today. Your only risk is waiting. nor | 800.743.2125 THE ARE GREAT PERILS Trudi Kochendorfer Insurance Agent This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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