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April 2016, Volume 22, Number 2

Rural America

California: Water, $15
Above-average temperatures in the Pacific Ocean known as El Nino brought more rain and snow than usual to northern California in 2015-16, so that the

Meat and Migrants
Cargill Meat Solutions in Fort Morgan, Colorado fired 150 Somali workers for abandoning their jobs in December 2015 to protest a rumor that there

Labor, H-1B
The US added 2.7 million jobs in 2015, down from three million in 2014 but bringing employment to 150 million for the first time in US history; 86

Farm Workers

California: Wages
AB 2757 would remove an exemption for agriculture by 2021 that requires overtime after 10 hours a day or 60 a week, different than the standard eight

Florida: FFP, H-2A
FFP. The Fair Food Program released its annual report for 2014-15 early in 2016. Buyers paid a total of $4.1 million in premiums in 2014-15, up from

Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
Arizona. The Wall Street Journal on February 9, 2016 profiled Rob Knorr of RK Farms, who reduced acreage of jalapeno peppers and developed a

UFW, Unions, DOL
The United Farm Workers of America in March 2016 endorsed Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, citing her support for the

CES: Farm Labor
California collects employment and earnings information each month from farm employers in a procedure analogous to the BLS Current Employment


DAPA, Politics, Economics
On November 20, 2014, President Obama issued an executive order creating the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents

DHS: Central Americans
DHS has a $41 billion budget for FY16, and President Obama proposed the same level of funding for DHS in FY17. The Customs and Border Protection

Wages; H-2A; H-2B
Is there a shortage of seasonal crop workers? Wages do not suggest a shortage. The average hourly earnings of US field workers were $11.43 (USDA

Canada, Mexico, Haiti-DR
Mexico. Mexico received $24.4 billion in remittances in 2014. The Mexican peso has been losing value, reaching $1 to 19 pesos in spring 2016 as a

Europe and Asia
EU. The European migration crisis turned into three challenges in 2016: slowing the influx, dealing with threats of terrorism, and integrating Arab,

Global Migration
The UN released new estimates of international migration. ( The UN estimated that


California Agriculture
California agriculture had sales of $54 billion in 2014, up from $51 billion in 2013. Iowa had $31 billion in farm sales and Nebraska and Texas

Trade: TTIP, Water
TTP. The Trans-Pacific Partnership was formally signed by negotiators February 4, 2016. Congress is expected to vote on TTP before the end of 2016.

Wine, Food
California had 555,000 bearing acres of wine grapes in 2015, when there were over 3.9 million tons of grapes crushed. Average yields were seven tons

Climate, Africa, Billionaires
The year 2015 was the hottest on record, in part because an El Nino weather pattern, one of the largest in a century, is releasing an immense amount

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