“You talk with one grower and they’re OK with their labor. The next one, you see beads of sweat popping out of his head as he worries about it. It’s all over the board.”
Carlton said Florida and other states are experiencing the effects of a very tight labor market as the gradual reduction in the size of the work force continues.
He said the states of the U.S. economy and an improving Mexican economy further irritate an already delicate situation.
In late February, Carlton said he hasn’t heard from growers who are literally at the point where they won’t be able to finish their harvests. Labor may be tight and their operations may experience some small shortages, but the labor situation isn’t making them fall behind on production, he said.
Carlton said he doesn’t foresee any improvement in the tight workforce anytime soon.
“We have rolled along in agriculture a long time with a very comfortable labor situation. We aren’t comfortable anymore.”
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