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Food - lockdowns are going to affect farmers if the lockdown continues

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I quit my last job on Jan 4th 2020. I was working on a farm for 11 yeas. I’m going to be straight forward About this. Ever since Donald Trump has been in office it’s been harder and harder to hire Mexican labor. Most that don’t have papers have been caught and sent back or has just gone back on their own. If they have papers they find jobs at restaurants and indoor places. Farm work is hard. Believe me I know first hand. This has been going on way before this virus sh#t. The farm I worked for even tried hiring Puerto Ricans. That was not a good idea at all. They sent HR people there to pick out and hire 60 at a time. Pay their plane fair hear, buy them cars. Give them houses to live in completely furnished with everything needed for life along with clothes. All they would do is drink,smoke pot never show up to work. When they did they were stoned or drunk. Drive the company cars to other states and just abandon them. Some would get off the plane here in Portland and just hop on another to a totally different state to never be seen again. And t isn’t like they don’t pay enough. Starting as a field worker is $2. Hour of current minimum just to find people. Tractor operators and lift drivers they pay $17.25+. A few of them I knew has also just quit to work in construction.

So yes there is a shortage of bodies in the farming business.
As i said above, BSDave, if our economy goes into the gutter and people are desperate for work and don't have any government handouts to rely on that situation can change. At the end of the day, the one industry all people will need to rely on more than any other is the food industry. And people tend to work very hard at jobs they actually need rather than ones they choose to do because they like it.

Something tells me many of the migrant workers I see working on my apartment complex (not one person on the crew was white, except for heavy equipment operators , engineers and developers) didn't dream of working 12+ hour days , 6 days a week in 90-100F humid gnarly Tennessee heat digging ditches, hauling heavy loads and building apartments for non-Hispanic people. There are only a few Hispanic people who even live in my complex. They do this work because it is the only opportunity they have. I saw some of these guys passed out laying on the concrete ground with a shirt over their head they were so heat exhausted literally just sleeping in the 95F heat . Never seen anything like it actually. I wonder if Tennessee has less regulations? Couldn't believe the slave like conditions I had to see these people work in.. It was pretty bad even by third world standards.

Not sure about the dilemma you are facing there, but in Tennessee there is a huge Hispanic community and many migrant workers. All landscapers, construction, agricultural work I have seen is being done by Hispanic workers. Many who cannot speak any English. Very few Hispanic people I met here who are legal residents and grew up here cannot speak English. Most Mexican Americans I know are fluent in both languages.
 
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OP
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Here a lot of hispanics doing manual labor work in "landscaping" maintenance jobs and ag work. A lot of that is Beaverton/Hillsboro/etc. - in part because a lot of the hispanic migrants settled into Hillsboro, in part because a lot of the farms are west of Beaverton/Hillsboro. When the harvests start, we will see more migrant labor come into the area, but in this area, except for fruit, berries and grapes, more and more of the harvesting is done by machines. It is California and Florida where manual labor is more prevalent.
 
OP
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Sad news.. But seems strange they couldn't have resorted to freezing or canning.. I would have loved to have bought some FLorida Zucchinis rather than the rotting low quality Mexican zucchinis I see in most of the grocery stores here in Tennessee. Even before the Pandemic, the quality of produce in Tennessee was some of the worst I have seen. A lot of stuff arrives from California or Mexico wilted, old and poorly handled, unlike what you would see living in the Pacific Northwest, where it just seems to get shipped right up the I-5 very quickly. And, since people are eating out less, they are probably doing much more cooking at home which saves a lot of people money. I feel this is more an issue with distribution rather than demand. I have no doubt people would have wanted to buy up a lot of this stuff if they had a way of transporting it and not relying on distributors to get to market.

That is a huge problem with our country is that everything has to go through appropriate distribution chains . THere is not a lot of farm to consumer or farm to market.

E.g., I can not get Teton Ranch sausages at Kroger (or anywhere , actually) here in Tennessee like I could in Washington, Colorado and even North Carolina (different distribution chain), simply because I am going through the Ohio distribution centers that don't carry that product. When I called Teton Ranch they said they cannot ship it to me because their distributors would be upset about it and they must only go through them and cannot sell directly to consumers.
 

Dungannon

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The farmers I know now, and the ones I grew up with, grew a variety of grains, lentils, soy beans, alfalfa, etc. They spent a lot of time before planting and harvest season getting their equipment ready. The big worry was really bad weather or equipment breaking down in the middle of planting or harvest. With factories closed, I suspect they're worried that the parts they need won't be available locally if they have a major breakdown.
 

Aero Denezol

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My theory is if America becomes a poorer and economically depressed country, you will see more native-born American (white, black, brown, etc) in the farms and fields and we may actually go back to our agrarian roots.
I've always said if you take any American living in the city and go back a couple of generations you'll find agrarian roots.

I wouldn't mind seeing this change. Hard work is a rite of passage. I worked a lot of difficult and dangerous jobs when I was younger and I'm very proud of that. Because of this experience I treat people with kindness and I appreciate what I have.

Hispanic migrant workers, those doing it to make a living that they depended on, worked many times harder than the non-hispanic workers, even those of us that grew up on the farm couldn't keep up with them. Their quality was much better too, because they wanted to be invited back.

I doubt that most people who have never grown up or worked on a farm today would be worth the trouble to get them out in the fields to work. It would take a major culture shift, lack of other work, and changes in labor laws.
I agree with this assessment 100%, having witnessed it firsthand in other industries.
 
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A LOT of our food is harvested manually by hand.

If the lockdowns continue, this will impact food harvests.

You may want to acquire more food preps than you normally do.
Labor shortages are the least of your problems. Be concerned about replacement parts for machines that plant, fertilize, harvest, transport, and process food; and that run industries that provide fuel and power for all of that. Be concerned about replacement parts for control systems that run every industry. How much of that is made in 3rd world shi+holes? Soon as those supply chains are broken, there will not be any food to harvest. ;)
 
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working 12+ hour days , 6 days a week in 90-100F humid gnarly Tennessee heat digging ditches, hauling heavy loads and building apartments for non-Hispanic people. There are only a few Hispanic people who even live in my complex. They do this work because it is the only opportunity they have. I saw some of these guys passed out laying on the concrete ground with a shirt over their head they were so heat exhausted literally just sleeping in the 95F heat . Never seen anything like it actually. I wonder if Tennessee has less regulations? Couldn't believe the slave like conditions I had to see these people work in.. It was pretty bad even by third world standards.
Those were standard working conditions up thru at least the 70s for first jobs, unskilled worker jobs, farm jobs, summer jobs, etc for non-immigrant native-born 'Muricans. Still are for some. Carpenters and trades people did well - made enough to raise a family and someday retire. Then what happened? I'm not sure, but all of a sudden, most of those jobs were done by immigrants. The net effect has not been positive for the country. ;)
 
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Lots of coulds, and the sheeple are so easilly herded by the fake news criminasl and the worst crime gang on earth the government.
 

SUPER X

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Back in the day There used to be folks with a pickup parked in a vacant lot on a street corner that would sale corn watermelons apples ect , fresh picked that morning .dirt cheap . Its probably illegal now. That was the way to go ,the vender would make a few bucks the neighborhood had fresh food and the farmer wasnt letting it waste . To much control starves people
 

Pete F

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Because of all of the importing and exporting, it is tough to tell how our food supply will fare. If borders are closed, no food in , but no food out. Can the US survive on what we grow and will we have to get used to not having fresh fruits and vegetables grown outside of the US during the winter months?

I am pretty sure that someone is working on solutions (US Dept of Ag). We can grow plenty of grains and export much of it. Just look at the ships pulling into Longview, WA loading up on grain. When we lived in Rainier up on the bluff, we could watch. One time there was so much dust coming out of one ship and it looked like it was on fire and sinking, we called the Longview Fire Dept to report it. Boy were we embarrassed when we were told that it was grain dust and the ship was getting lower in the water because of the load.:rolleyes:
 
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Ura-Ki

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Ever seen the port of Longview, and how much lumber gets loaded onto those lumber ships heading to Asia? Even more with our Canadian Neighbors up north on the Frazier River! Ever seen how much Grain gets shipped out of Portland to Asia? Yea, We could survive on what we produce here, the trick is actually producing it instead of giving farms hand outs to NOT grow, or to grow GMO Corn for other needs outside of food! The other trick is getting American Labor to harvest it!
 

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