Labor A Major Issue For Grass Seed Growers
Posted in General by Curtis Williams
Of all the vagaries that present themselves in getting a grass seed crop to market, labor has become the number one issue this year. Bigger than moisture or pollination, Labor seems to be a make or break factor this year, as grass seed growers are going to have to pay $17-25.00 an hour for itinerant labor!
Of course you cannot have this discussion without bring in up Federal Immigration policy, but the H-2A program for temporary workers seems to be working for the first time in many years. Farmers pay for the round trip transportation to and from the workers home country and the farm, housing and good pay. When the job is done, the workers return to their homes. This year Washington farmers alone will bring in 15,000 H2A workers from Mexico and other countries.
Unfortunately, the sales prices for grass seed have never been correlated to a growers cost of production and this continues to cause angst within the Industry.
Note: Photo credit – Oregon State University