Harvests at Risk With Squeezed Labor: Bloomberg

Governments’ go-to method for stopping the spread of COVID-19 is imposing travel limits on infected countries. Such limits could threaten food production in the United States, Europe and elsewhere. “American produce growers preparing to harvest crops are warning of a devastating impact on fruit and vegetables after the U.S. Embassy in Mexico announced a halt to visa interviews for seasonal farm workers,” explains Mike Dorning for Bloomberg. “Slaughterhouses also may face labor shortages.” Overseas workers represent about one third of seasonal farming jobs in Australia. Dorner describes an interconnected world of global agriculture and a vulnerable supply chain. Workers also have reason to worry about the United States and Europe as hotspots for anti-immigrant sentiments as well as COVID-19 and may fear arrests and infections as well as border closures or quarantines when they try to return home. – YaleGlobal

Harvests at Risk With Squeezed Labor: Bloomberg

Agriculture officials fear that COVID-19 border restrictions may limit entry of temporary migrant labor needed for harvests and slaughter operations
Mike Dorning, Edward Ludlow and Ainslie Chandler
Friday, March 27, 2020

Read the article from Bloomberg about how border restrictions may disrupt harvests and slaughter operations.

Mike Dorning is deputy editor who covers the White House. Joseph Richter, Nick Wadhams, Jen Skerritt and Megan Durisin provided assistance.

US H2A Temporary Agriculture Visas by State With Top Crop, 2018:  Arizona, cattle	7497; Kentucky, livestock 7604,  New York, dairy	7634 Louisiana, sugar cane	10079 California, dairy	18908 N Carolina, poultry	21794 Washington, apples 24862 Florida, citrus 30462 Georgia, poultry 32364, Others	81558
Threat to global food supply: The United States is the world’s largest food exporter, and harvests depend on migrant labor - the country issued a total of 242,762 H2A visas in 2018 (Source: Visa totals, USDA; crops, Farm Flavor and individual states)

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