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Farm Labor & Rural Migration News Blogs

Alternatives to Hand Labor in Apples

February 24, 2021

Apples originated in Central Asia. China is the world’s major apple producer, accounting for 39 million of the 86 million tons of apples produced in 2018, when the US produced five million tons of apples, Poland four million, Turkey 3.5 million, and Iran 2.5 million. Apples play an important role in mythology and religion as a forbidden fruit, as with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

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California Farm Employment: 2019 versus 2020

February 24, 2021

What happened to farm employment and farm workers during the covid pandemic of 2020? California has comprehensive data on farm employment, but two major data sources present different pictures.

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US Imports of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable

February 24, 2021

The US imports almost two-thirds of its fresh fruit and one-third of its fresh vegetables. The share of imports is rising for many fruits and vegetables due to higher US incomes that support a year-round demand for fresh produce and freer trade with countries that export fresh fruits and vegetables.

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H-2 Guest Workers and Florida Sugar

February 24, 2021

Florida agriculture is unlike agriculture elsewhere because most of the state’s fruits and vegetables are harvested during the winter months, when crop production in other states is low but fruit and vegetable imports from countries with warmer weather are high. As a result, Florida agriculture is more protectionist than US agriculture, which tends to embrace free trade because US agriculture is a net exporter of farm commodities.

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The H-2A Program and AEWRs

February 24, 2021

US farm employers may be certified by the US Department of Labor (DOL) to recruit and employ foreign workers to fill seasonal US jobs if they satisfy two conditions. First, they must try and fail to find local workers, and second, they must ensure that the presence of the migrant guest workers will not adversely affect similar local workers.

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Immigration’s Economic Effects

January 12, 2021

International labor migration involves people moving across national borders, leaving one country to work in another. There are many reasons for migration, and a major reason is economic, to earn higher wages and enjoy more opportunities for upward mobility.

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The H-2A Program in 2020 and AEWRs

January 12, 2021

The H-2A program is in the spotlight for several reasons. First, the number of jobs certified and H-2A visas issued reached record highs in FY20 despite high US unemployment rates. DOL certified over 275,400 jobs to be filled with H-2A workers in FY20, and DOS issued over 213,300 H-2A visas. Between 75 and 80 percent of DOL certifications result in H-2A visas.

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HDR 2020: The Age of Humans

January 12, 2021

The UN’s Development Program has since 1990 issued an annual Human Development Report that explores a particular socioeconomic topic. The purpose of the HDR is to raise “awareness about human development around the world.”

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Covid in Rural America: 2020

January 12, 2021

The US had 46 million rural or nonmetro residents in July 2019, unchanged from 2010. All US population growth between 2010 and 2019 was in urban or metro areas. The 16 percent rural poverty rate in 2018 was higher than the 13 percent urban poverty rate.

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FAO: Ag employs 27% of world’s workers, generates 4% of GDP

January 12, 2021

Agriculture employed a quarter of the world’s workers in 2019. The share of the world’s workers employed in agriculture fell from 1.1 billion or 40 percent of 2.6 billion workers in 2000 to 884 million or 27 percent of 3.3 billion workers in 2019.

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