The farming industry in the United States has fallen on difficult times. A number of different factors are working against farmers, including an uncertain job market, and rough weather conditions. The changing political climate has led to a loss of farm workers in a time where they are desperately needed. The future of farming in the United States today seems somewhat uncertain.
Types of Farm Labor
Managing and maintaining farms requires a substantial amount of manpower. Producing crops need a number of people to water, plant, and maintain them properly. Many of the people that work in the agricultural industry work as pickers, after the crops are grown, pickers are there to harvest them. Depending upon the farm, some pickers are paid according to the amount of crops that they pick at a time, and other pickers are paid according to an hourly rate. Following the crop harvest, sorters and graders work to ensure quality control. A loss of labor at this juncture can have far-reaching consequences. Farmers work within tight margins, and everything from chemicals to stone coated steel roofing is just another expense.
Problems With Labor
In states like California, some farms have had such an inadequate number of employees that their crops are going to waste altogether. The increased crop loss is only going to hurt the agricultural industry further and make solving many of their underlying problems that much more difficult. As is the case with all labor shortages, when job applicants are scarce, employers must be willing to increase the potential wages of their job applicants. Farmers are responding accordingly, and it remains to be seen whether or not their efforts to offer potential workers higher hourly rates will make a difference in the short-term.
Pervasive heat and dry summers are having a negative impact on crop yields everywhere. Farmers rely on favorable weather conditions, and there’s only so much they can do in the event of a serious drought. Food will most likely become more expensive in response to the droughts. The agricultural industry will suffer financially as a result of the droughts, and their financial problems will only make it more difficult for them to support their employees. In conjunction with droughts, harsh winters and heavy rains can sometimes be just as damaging to crops. Smart farmers will invest in sturdy barn frames and roofing from a metal roof outlet to protect harvests and existing produce.
The circumstances surrounding farm labor may need to change in order to encourage more job applicants. Unfortunately, droughts are much more difficult to predict. The agricultural industry may have to adjust to new weather conditions. Farmers have a great deal of work ahead of them.