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Rural Migration Blog

February 2020

Unions: 10 percent of US workers are union members

Some 10.3 percent of US employees, 14.6 million of 142 million, were members of unions in 2019, down from almost 18 million union members in 1983. Some 16.4 million workers were represented by unions in 2019, meaning that almost two million workers covered by collective bargaining agreements did not join the union that negotiated the agreement under which they work.

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California’s Crop Land

Only eight percent of California’s almost 100 million acres of land are used to produce most of the state’s crop output. A quarter of California’s acres are used for farming, but half of these 24 million farm acres are pasture and rangeland, and another 2.2 million acres are woodland, farmsteads, ponds, and roads.

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California wine: the 2020 outlook

Too much wine is chasing too few US consumers, resulting in some California wine grapes left on the vine in 2019. A record California wine grape harvest of 4.5 million tons in 2018 was followed by a 4.1 million ton harvest in 2019, reducing prices paid to growers.

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Mexico: Protected Agriculture and Farm Labor

Mexico is a world leader in protected agriculture, structures that fully or partially protect plants from excessive rain and sun during their growth. There are three major types of protective structures for crops: high-tech greenhouses, low-tech structures that use metal hoops covered with plastic to enclose and protect plants, and open-sided shade houses that protect plants from rain and sun. Medium-tech protective structures are a mix of hoop and shade structures.

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