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Farmers Plant Different Crops

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Some farmers are having a hard time picking their crops. There are not enough workers to help them with the harvest.

One farmer used to grow peaches, but will soon switch to growing almonds. Peaches require more labor to harvest. They are fragile, and must be picked by hand. Machines would damage the ripe peaches. Then the farmer could not sell them. He is using a bulldozer to remove his peach trees. Then he will plant almond trees in their place.

Almonds are harvested differently. It does not take as many workers to pick them because a machine shakes the almond trees. The almonds fall on the ground and then are gathered up. The farmer does not have to hire many workers to pick the almonds off the trees.

Some farmers think there are two reasons why there is a shortage of farm workers. One reason is that there are a lot of construction jobs in the area. These jobs pay higher wages. Many workers are taking construction jobs instead of picking fruit.

Another reason is that it has become more difficult to cross the border from Mexico into California. Many farm workers come from Mexico. Fewer are able to cross the border in order to work on the fruit farms.

One solution might be to allow Mexican workers to work here as guests. That would help them to provide for their family and help farmers harvest their crops.

Farmers say that unless things change, more produce will come from other countries. This is because labor is cheaper in other nations than it is in the United States.

(This was adapted from an original story provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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