Labor demands continue to tax the incomes of farmers and ranchers with rising wage rates and record use of the H-2A visa program.
The U.S. Farm Bureau Association says major reforms to the federal government’s guest worker program must be a top priority for Congress by the end of the year. AFBF and more than 350 other food and agriculture organizations that are part of the Ag Workforce Coalition sent a letter urging the Senate to pass legislation this year to address the nation’s agricultural workforce challenges. The House of Representatives passed a bill on farm labor reform, but according to the coalition, the legislation needs improvements.
The letter states, “The country cannot afford for the Senate to miss this opportunity to provide stability to farmers and ranchers.” A recent analysis by AFBF economists shows that in 2023, costs associated with farm labor will add to a growing list of factors weighing on the farm economy.