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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Immigration Problems

From Hot Air we have an article on the fact that reduced immigration from Mexico to the US (legal and illegal) is impacting farm production.
The American Farm Bureau Federation projects $5 billion to $9 billion in annual produce-industry losses because of the labor shortages, which have become commonplace for farmers such as [Maureen] Torrey [Torrey Farms Inc. of Elba, N.Y.], who said there were 10 applicants for every job five years ago.

“In the last year that wasn’t the case,” she said. “We hired anybody that showed up for field work. It’ll be interesting to see how many people we have knocking on the door this year.”
Not all farm production is equally labor intensive.  Hired labor is 48% of the total production cost for fruit, and only 35% for veggies and 5% for corn.

So, farmers want increased immigration and that immigration to come from South of the Border.  The Mexican Drug Cartels want to use the immigrants (are the really migrants?) as mules, carrying drugs and use brutality to achieve their goals.  Am I the only one (well, maybe Marisa DeFranco) who sees a morally unacceptable situation here?

Regards  —  Cliff


Anonymous said...

Rather curious timing on this conclusion. It seems to presuppose that only Mexicans are equipped and inclined to do farm labor, and that their labor efforts are the difference between crop failure and success.

I wonder how much they paid into Obama's reelection campaign in return for some "special favors" from the USDA.

I grew up in an agriculture setting, living on apple and pear ranches until I joined the AF. Much of the labor involved in growing apples and pears was provided by orchard owners and their family...supplemented by a "hired hand" or two. Picking the fruit was generally accomplished by local help supplemented by whole extended families who followed the harvest from the valleys of CA into WA state.

My uncle not only had orchards, but raised about 100,000 turkeys each year and farmed 125 acres for asparagus and hay. He had about 10 permanent employees, 6 of which were Mexican but lived on the ranch, year round.

It isn't an immigration problem, it is an American attitude problem about work itself. This attitude issue has been further complicated and abetted by government interference in how farming and ranching are done. My father and uncle would be in prison today for allowing me to operate the equipment I did at the age of about 10. I picked apples from the top rung of an 20 foot wooden picking ladder....and I learned at an early age how to move the ladder around the trees, often on a slope...and how to set the single tongue to compensate for slope and other factors...the Labor department and OSHA would have a heart attack.

The incorporation of agriculture coupled with the mania for "technical" jobs has been an underlying factor in the disappearance of the "family farm." It costs too much to do the things that are necessary to bring an agricultural product to market.....and that is a direct result of government meddling...often at the behest of giant "corporate farmers."

THAT is the reason for failing American agriculture......not the reduction in the number of Mexicans coming north.

Jack Mitchell said...

I sorta agree with Neal. Surely the "folksy, family" parts of farming have been cast aside by regulations and corporatization.

But, I blame the lawyers. It likely all started when a cousin fell out of a tree amd his college edumakated brother needed some work.

Legislation and regulation piled on in the fallout. Afterall, we typically elect lawyers to our legislatures.

It's lazy to simply blame "big gub'mint." They are us and we is them.