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Survey: Majority of California farmers unable to hire enough workers

Fifty-six percent of the state's farmers have been unable to hire all the workers they need to tend their crops over the past five years, according to a survey released Tuesday by the California Farm Bureau Federation.

The survey of 1,071 farmers and ranchers, conducted in collaboration with UC Davis, also found the hiring troubles have intensified over the past two years. At least 70% who responded with hiring difficulties said the situation worsened in 2017 and 2018.

The survey found 86% of the state's farmers said they had raised wages in an attempt to recruit more workers. Sixty-one percent reported they had hired a farm labor contractor to find more employees. More than half reported they have started using machines in the fields, while 56% of those respondents said it was because of employee shortages.

Bill Swindell

Business, Beer and Wine, The Press Democrat  

In the North Coast, we are surrounded by hundreds of wineries along with some of the best breweries, cidermakers and distillers. These industries produce an abundance of drinks as well as good stories – and those are what I’m interested in writing. I also keep my eye on our growing cannabis industry and other agricultural crops, which have provided the backbone for our food-and-wine culture for generations.

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