CDFA: California Agriculture in 2018
California’s farm sales were $50 billion in 2018, the same as in 2017. Iowa was the number two farm state with sales of $28 billion, followed by TX, NE, and MN. These top five farm states accounted for 37 percent of US farm sales of $373 billion.
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Mexico-US Agricultural Trade
Mexico-US trade totaled $671 billion in 2019, when the US exported goods and services worth $299 billion to Mexico and imported goods and services worth $372 billion from Mexico, that is, the US trade deficit with Mexico was $73 billion.
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US Farm Employment and Farm Workers
The average employment of hired workers in US agriculture is about 1.5 million, and there are 2.5 million individuals employed for wages on US farms sometime during a typical year. Farm employment is concentrated in three interrelated ways: by geography, commodity, and size of farm. The 10,000 largest fruit and berry, vegetable and melon, and horticultural specialty (FVH) farms in CA, WA, FL, and TX account for over half of US farm employment, including a third in CA.
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Covid-19 and Meatpacking
Meatpacking was considered an essential business during the coronavirus emergency, and most animal dis-assembly plants expected their employees to continue to work. Meatpacking plants, nursing homes, and prisons were three hotspots for US Covid-19 infections.
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Covid-19: Implications for Farm Workers
The Covid-19 virus that shut down large parts of the world and US economy in spring 2020 had both short- and long-term effects on farm workers. Farm and other food system workers were deemed essential and expected to continue to work during the pandemic. Foreign farm workers were also considered essential, and special arrangements were made to ensure that H-2A guest workers could obtain work visas and enter the US despite closed borders.
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