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American farmers say they are facing a severe worker shortage | KTIC Radio

American farmers say they are facing a severe worker shortage

American farmers say they are facing a severe worker shortage

More than half of U.S. farm workers are undocumented immigrants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Yet, that pool of workers is shrinking.

 A recent Pew Research report found that more Mexican immigrants are now leaving the U.S.than coming into the country, citing tougher enforcement of immigration laws and the slow economic recovery here in the U.S. (The report accounted for both documented and undocumented immigrants).
With fewer workers, farm owners say costs are rising and they often must leave unpicked fruit to rot in the fields. Many producers are even opting to leave the U.S. for countries with lower costs and fewer regulations, said Tom Nassif, CEO of Western Growers, a trade organization that represents farm owners both in the U.S. and abroad.

“We’re pretty much begging for workers. It’s very bleak,” he said.

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