J. Edward Taylor

California Farmers Have Raised Wages, But Still Unable to Find Enough Workers

May 02, 2019
Statewide Survey by Farm Bureau and UC Davis Finds Farmers Turning to Labor-Saving Crops

Despite raising wages and increasing benefits, California farmers are failing to find enough people to pick fruits and vegetables and harvest other crops, and they are offsetting this labor shortage by changing to less labor-intensive crops and adding automation. Moreover, farmers are calling on Congress to enact agricultural workforce reform that would allow immigrants to work as guest workers legally in order to help them grow food.

Farm Labor Supply from Mexico is Falling Fast

May 01, 2019

For decades, farmers in the United States have depended on people from foreign countries—mostly Mexico—to work in the fields. Only 2 percent of California’s farmworkers were born in the U.S. 

But Mexico is changing. Fertility rates are falling, rural education is rising, and fewer young people have the need or interest to come to America to pick crops. California’s farm-labor supply from Mexico has been decreasing for several years. New data from a long-term study by UC Davis researchers suggests that supply will soon disappear.