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April 2021, Volume 27, Number 2

Florida, Southeast

Florida and Texas did not prioritize farm workers for Covid, drawing criticism from NGOs seeking federal and state support to educate farm workers about the vaccine and to transport farm workers to vaccine sites. NGOs cite the essential status of farm workers, their often-crowded housing, and the fact that many are unauthorized as reasons for special efforts to vaccinate farm workers. Vaccine sites do not check immigration status.

Georgia. Overplanting of pine trees reduced the prices received by southeastern tree farmers despite rising lumber prices during the pandemic. Lumber prices reached a record $1,000 per thousand board feet in spring 2021, but grower prices fell to $25 a ton, which tree growers say is too low to make a profit. Pine trees mature in 25 years.

North Carolina. The North Carolina Growers Association estimated that the 10,000 H-2A workers it brings into the state each year are a quarter of the state?s seasonal farm workers.

Many people who live on the Outer Banks, coastal islands subject to flooding, oppose property tax increases to pay for barriers that would protection them from hurricanes and storms. The Cape Hatteras National Seashore that encompasses much of the Outer Banks is expected to shrink as the low-lying islands are washed away. Sand on seashores is replenished by dredging sand offshore and sending it to land via pipelines, a costly process that requires raising local property taxes.

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