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AFBF: Labor Challenges Increase Farm Economy Pressures

Labor demands continue to tax the bottom lines of farmers and ranchers, with rising wage rates and record usage of the H-2A visa program.

The American Farm Bureau Federation says meaningful reforms to the federal government’s guest worker program must be a priority for Congress by the end of the year. AFBF and more than 350 other food and farm organizations that are part of the Ag Workforce Coalition sent a letter urging the Senate to pass legislation to address the nation’s agricultural workforce challenges this year.

The House of Representatives passed a farm labor reform bill, but the legislation needs improvements according to the coalition. The letter states, “The country cannot afford for the Senate to miss this opportunity to provide stability to both farmers and farmworkers.”

Recent analysis from AFBF economists indicates that costs associated with farm labor will add to the ever-expanding list of factors straining the farm economy in 2023.

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