Farm industry warns coronavirus visa restrictions for workers will lead to food production shortages

(USA Features) The agriculture industry is warning that visa restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak on farm workers could lead to food shortages as production slips.

“If the policy holds, we will have some very serious shortages of labor,” David Puglia, president of the Western Growers Association, which represents farmers in Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico, told the Washington Examiner.

He added that the severity of the shortages would depend on the region and the commodity.

Asked if the labor problem could lead to shortages of food on store shelves, he said, “That’s possible.”

“It would be very difficult at this late stage to close all of those labor gaps because this is all happening unplanned. We can’t flip things around that quickly,” he added.

Last week the Department of Homeland Security stopped processing new applications under the H-2A program, which provides visas for temporary farm workers.

Returning workers can get their visas renewed if they received that last authorization within the past year.

“More than 77,000 H-2A visas were certified in March and April last year, about one-third of all recipients, according to the Labor Department,” the Washington Examiner reported.

“We’ve had a chronic labor shortage for over a decade,” Puglia said. “That has increased reliance on the H-2A visa program.”

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1 thought on “Farm industry warns coronavirus visa restrictions for workers will lead to food production shortages”

  1. We have had a very large Family Farm since the 1840s. The need for foreign labor is Bull Carp.. Pay American workers sufficiently and many are happy to work the fields.. 20-30% of our Fellow Americans are currently out of work.. While you cannot pick some city dweller to do the work as they cannot physically or mentally handle it.. For anyone to suggest there are not more than enough healthy young Americans who can and will do the work .. they are lying . Pay them fairly and they will work.. You have to combine them with older more experienced supervisors and fire the slackers .. Which is true for any industry. No taxes of any kind on any Farm Labor will encourage them, letting them keep every penny they earn.. (That should be the Policy for any worker until they reach 50% over the national average income of $40k so for the first $80k of income and then tax on only that which exceeds) That alone is like doubling their wages while keeping costs down.. It is the large Corporate Farm Combines who pay slave wages, overlook terrible living conditions so their Investors and Management can buy Bigger Yachts, Cocaine and Hookers.. Wake up Americans.. Fight Back

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