Labor Shortages for Fruit

Labor Shortages for Fruit

Labor Shortages for Fruit. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

Last weekend my wife and I took a short Sunday drive and I was surprised to see several signs posted around the area advertising for pickers. Initial reports early in the growing season was that there should be enough labor to get through but that is not the case and Bruce Grim, Executive Director of the Washington State Horticultural Association says there are concerns.

GRIM: I had a conference call this morning with some of the mid-Columbia growers down in the Hood River area, we had conference call back on Monday with the WAGMA folks and they’re definitely concerns about labor and I think coupled with it have been the fact that we have lost several days to rain; several picking days, harvest days to rain and that is also a concern because you really don’t ever get those back on the other end.

The weather at this time of the year is very unpredictable.

GRIM: We know from the last couple of years we’ve had some anomalous weather events in October and November that have been a concern for us so I think there is a lot of the crop left to come in. I’ve heard numbers from different organizations indicating that about only, roughly 40 % of the apple crop is picked at this point so we have a long ways to go with this crop and again it’s very much later. Pear harvest in the upper Wenatchee River valley is winding down but still going on. This is very late in the year for that to take place.

Even some Golden apples are still being picked in some places so only time will tell.

That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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