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Demand for farm labor in the coastal fruit and salad bowl states relative to midland states: four decades of experience

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  • Huffman, Wallace E.

Abstract

This paper provides an updated assessment of the changing demand for farm labor, including its components and relative use, as reflected in the capital-labor ratios for California and Florida, which are major coastal producers of fresh fruits and vegetables, and of Iowa and Texas, which are two major midland agricultural states. Iowa is known for the production of the field crops of corn and soybeans. Texas is a large state with diverse climates and agriculture, which produces wheat and cotton and significant fresh fruit and vegetables. In order to get a good overview of long-term trends, much of our analysis spans more than four decades; i.e., we take this long-term perspective so as to be able to see the “forest†and not be obscured by all of the “trees†that are in noise data. In particular, this paper spans fifteen additional years of data relative to the data in my paper of one year ago (Huffman 2006)—extending the data forward over 2000 to 2004, which is the most recent data available from the USDA-ERS, and also extending backwards by an additional decade, 1960-1969. Our ability to summarize and analyze trends in US farm labor by state have depended heavily upon data collected by the USDA, but the USDA has withdrawn its funding for its data on self-employed and unpaid family labor by state. Without this information, we will be missing one of the important components of the total farm labor and farm input picture.

Suggested Citation

  • Huffman, Wallace E., 2007. "Demand for farm labor in the coastal fruit and salad bowl states relative to midland states: four decades of experience," ISU General Staff Papers 200706250700001182, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genstf:200706250700001182
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    1. George J. Borjas, 2007. "Mexican Immigration to the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number borj06-1.
    2. Wallace E. Huffman & Robert E. Evenson, 2006. "Do Formula or Competitive Grant Funds Have Greater Impacts on State Agricultural Productivity?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(4), pages 783-798.
    3. Wallace E. Huffman, 2005. "Trends, Adjustments, and Demographics, and Income of Agricultural Workers," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 27(3), pages 351-360.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xiaodong Du & David A. Hennessy & William M. Edwards, 2007. "Determinants of Iowa Cropland Cash Rental Rates: Testing Ricardian Rent Theory," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 07-wp454, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    2. Zahniser, Steven & Hertz, Thomas & Rimmer, Maureen T. & Dixon, Peter B., 2012. "The Potential Impact of Changes in Immigration Policy on U.S. Agriculture and the Market for Hired Farm Labor: A Simulation Analysis," Economic Research Report 262231, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. 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.

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