West Coast Port Negotiations and Growers Automation Spending Up
**West Coast Longshoremen and terminal operators started negotiations on a new labor contract over a year ago, on May 10, 2022.
Since then, talks have continued without resolution, and port workers have been without a contract for 10 months.
U.S. Meat Export Federation President Dan Halstrom says this situation is definitely impacting U.S. red meat exports with periodic work stoppages.
He says this will reduce the number of ships available for exports from the West Coast.
**For the first time in several weeks, the nation's average gas price increased, rising four cents from a week ago to $3.51 per gallon.
That’s down 14.9 cents from a month ago and 95.6 cents per gallon lower than a year ago.
The average diesel price fell four cents and now stands at $3.97 per gallon, $1.59 lower than one year ago.
With continued discussion over the U.S. hitting its debt limit, oil prices have seen additional volatility.
**Growers now spend an average of $500,000 a year on automation in response to the persistent ag labor shortage.
Western Growers discovered the data in its Specialty Crop Automation Report, which tracks and measures industry progress in harvest automation across the fresh produce industry.
It’s also part of the Western Growers Global Harvest Automation Initiative, which aims to accelerate ag automation by 50% in ten years.