Ag Secretary on H-2A Pt 1

Ag Secretary on H-2A Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With Today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. As the coronavirus continues to impact the way we all go about our business, both personally and professionally, the job of American farmers and ranchers pushes on through the uncertainty.

In a recent version of Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue’s podcast, “The Sonnyside of the Farm,” he recognized every worker along the food supply chain, from the farmers and ranchers, to the processors, to the truck drivers, to the retailers.

But, there was one group in particular …

PERDUE … “You know, one of the groups we may not have mentioned actually, while we mentioned farmers and ranchers, there are a lot of employees there that need to be on the job and it may have been overlooked but it’s still a critical part of the U.S. food supply chain is access to a stable and legal agricultural workforce.”

The workers, Perdue says are critical to the process …

PERDUE … “You know, these crops won’t get planted, they won’t get picked, they won’t get harvested if you can’t get it out of the field.”

And most of our farmers and ranchers, Perdue says need some help …

PERDUE … “And agriculture, as many of you know, depends on H-2A labor in the fields and it’s important not to confuse that with illegal immigration and taking jobs away from Americans.”

Perdue says these workers fill a critical void …

PERDUE … “These are jobs that are contributing to the American economy by doing many of the jobs that Americans just want to do anymore, and this is one of them.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the Ag Secretary’s praise of ag labor and the system that’s made them “essential” to our success.

Check out “The Sonnyside of the Farm” podcast by going to


BL: Welcome back to another “Fruit Bites” brought to you by Valent U.S.A. With us as always is Valent’s Allison Walston. And this week Allison, we’re talking about the current status of apples and cherries in the PNW?

AW: People are reporting that cherries might have what’s called a flash bloom. The bloom happens over a very short time period because temperatures are warm.

BL: So, why is a flash bloom concerning?

AW: The flowers dry out too quickly and the bees don’t have enough time to pollinate to make cherries. Applying ethylene blockers to extend the pollination window of the flower is helpful in these types of springs.

BL: And, what’s going on with apples?

AW: Early powdery mildew applications are going out. This is helpful to have preventative applications, so the new flush of leaves isn’t infected. Having all that extra inoculum in a few months can damage the apples by causing russeting. Prebloom sprays can really help to decrease the pest pressure so you’re not having to catch up later in the season.

BL: Well, we’ll see, thanks Allison. Join us again next time for Fruit Bites, brought to you by Valent. Until then, I’m Bob Larson.

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