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H-2A hikes putting specialty crop production at risk


A dramatic increase in labor costs has changed what specialty crops are being grown in one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the country. 

Great Lakes Ag Labor Services General Manager Sarah Black tells Brownfield continued increases in H-2A guest worker wages have been too much for many growers to absorb.

“This year we’ve seen some of our vegetable guys, some of our diverse farms, stop growing vegetables because the margin is so tight and they can’t absorb a 10 to 20 percent increase on their labor costs when their margin is pennies on the crops they grow.”

Michigan Asparagus Marketing Advisory Board executive director Jamie Clover Adams says those increases, along with the additional costs farmers pay to participate, are not sustainable.

H-2A hikes putting specialty crop production at risk