Georgia ag labor worries subside, for now - The Packer

Georgia ag labor worries subside, for now

09/02/2011 09:08:00 AM
Dan Gailbraith

“How can they know the cost if they don’t know how many there are?”

According to a 2010 report from the Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Center, Georgia is No. 7 in the U.S. in terms of illegal immigrants with an estimated 425,000.

Illegal immigrants make up 6.5% of the state’s total labor force, the report said.

Charles Hall, executive director of the Georgia Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, said in late August that he still wasn’t sure how the fall deal would shape up because of the effect of the labor situation.

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Barbara G.    
Washington state  |  September, 02, 2011 at 07:53 PM

I don't understand why the farmers don't modernize their businesses by buying equipment that is on the market to harvest the vegetables. They wouldn't need 50 illegal migrant workers to do the job. One harvester I saw on YouTube can harvest whole rows of blueberries using about three workers riding on the machine and putting boxes under the hopper where the berries were falling out. A lot of the harvesters can be used for more than one crop. I am not a farmer but I believe a lot of their problems concerning help during harvest would be eliminated if they would go this route. As a consumer I would much prefer to have my vegies picked by a machine as a person. I looked over a lot of the equipment offered for sale by US companies on the internet and I was surprised at how much there was on the market that could do all of the jobs the illegal migrants do. And what my and many other consumers complaint is that when the migrants are done with the field work for the winter they stay here in the US for our tax dollars to support with food stamps, medical and the numerous other benefits.

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