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The U.S. Produce Industry and Labor: Facing the Future in a Global Economy

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  • Calvin, Linda
  • Martin, Philip

Abstract

Fruit and vegetable production is a labor-intensive process, and over half of the hired workers employed by growers are believed to be unauthorized immigrants. Reforms to immigration laws, if they reduce the labor supply, may increase the cost of farm labor. The authors of this report assess how particular fruit and vegetable commodities might adjust if labor rates increased. Analysis of case studies suggests a range of possible adjustment scenarios, including increased mechanization for some crops, reduced U.S. output for a few crops, and increased use of labor aids to improve labor productivity for others.

Suggested Citation

  • Calvin, Linda & Martin, Philip, 2010. "The U.S. Produce Industry and Labor: Facing the Future in a Global Economy," Economic Research Report 262245, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:262245
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.262245
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cook, Roberta L. & Calvin, Linda, 2005. "Greenhouse Tomatoes Change the Dynamics of the North American Fresh Tomato Industry," Economic Research Report 7244, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Calvin, Linda & Cook, Roberta L. & Denbaly, Mark & Dimitri, Carolyn & Glaser, Lewrene K. & Handy, Charles R. & Jekanowski, Mark D. & Kaufman, Phillip R. & Krissoff, Barry & Thompson, Gary D. & Thornsb, 2001. "U.S. Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Marketing: Emerging Trade Practices, Trends, and Issues," Agricultural Economic Reports 33915, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Huffman, Wallace, 2007. "Demand for Farm Labor in the Coastal Fruit and Salad Bowl States Relative to Midland States: Four Decades of Experience," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12827, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Philip L. Martin, 2013. "Migration and US agricultural competitiveness," Migration Letters, Transnational Press London, UK, vol. 10(2), pages 159-179, May.
    2. Amy M. G. Kandilov & Ivan T. Kandilov, 2020. "The minimum wage and seasonal employment: Evidence from the US agricultural sector," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 612-627, September.

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