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October 2020, Volume 26, Number 4

 Click here to download this issue as a PDF file

Rural America

California: Covid, Fires
Governor Gavin Newsom in summer 2020 highlighted Covid-19 cases in the eight-county San Joaquin Valley, where up to 20 percent of Covid tests are

Meat and Migrants
Over 10 percent of the 3,200 employees at the JBS Greeley, Colorado plant tested positive for Covid-19 in spring 2020. The United Food and Commercial

Labor: Covid, AB 5, H-1B
US employment fell by 22 million in March-April 2020, but increased by 11.4 million between May and September 2020; the unemployment rate fell from a

Farm Workers

California: Covid, Laws
Farm employers and workers struggled to minimize Covid-19 in summer 2020. Many employers tried to keep crews isolated from one another to limit the

Florida, Southeast
Florida produced 68 million boxes of oranges in 2019-20, including 38 million boxes of Valencia oranges, down slightly from 2018-19. Another 4.8

Midwest, Northeast, Northwest
Michigan. The state Department of Health and Human Services in August 2020 ordered newly arrived migrant and seasonal workers to have a negative

ALRB. The ALRB’s report for 2018-19 noted that the Board issued 11 decisions in the fiscal year, including three involving Gerawan, two involving


Trump, Biden
Candidate Trump pledged to reshape the US immigration system, and President Trump issued executive orders and took administrative actions to make

DHS: Border, Visas
CBP. The Customs and Border Protection agency detained 40,786 foreigners just inside the Mexico-US border in July 2020, more than double the 17,086

H-2A; H-2B
DOL certified 12,750 farm employers to fill 252,700 farm jobs with H-2A workers during the first 10.5 months of FY20, pointing to more H-2A employers

Canada, Mexico
The US government, citing national security, imposed a 10 percent tariff on Canadian aluminum imports in August 2020 despite the new USMCA that went

Europe, Asia
The European Commission in September 2020 released a draft pact on migration and asylum that was akin to a three-floor house. The EU proposed to use

Global: Covid, Migration
Most governments reacted to Covid-19 by closing their borders to non-essential travel in a bid to slow the spread of the virus. Proponents of


Food Spending: 2019
The US Bureau of Labor Statistic's Consumer Expenditure Survey reported a total of 132 million US "consumer units" or households in

California Agriculture
California tree nut farmers harvested record crops in 2020, including three billion pounds of almonds, a billion pounds of pistachios, and 780,000

US Ag, Dairy
Net farm income, which averaged $90 billion a year between 2000 and 2019 and peaked at $138 billion in 2013, is projected to be $103 billion in 2020.

Wine, Food
California has too much wine, due in part to a record 4.3 million ton harvest in 2018 and a drop in demand for wine in 2019, when 3.9 million tons

Climate: US, Amazon
The Government Accountability Office released a report in July 2020 that found the Trump Administration reduced the social cost of carbon to future

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