With the ongoing labor shortage, custom harvesters depend on the federal H-2A visa program to bring in workers from foreign countries to assist with the harvest. Rana Zeller, who is a custom harvester from Herington, Kansas, says changes to the H-2A program are a concern. “Across the board, there is an average of 70 cents per hour raise plus all of their expenses,” said Zeller. “Take that times 1,500 hours more or less a season when you have ten guys on your crew, that’s a lot of money. Some guys are looking at retiring because it is an issue.” Zeller is a member of the U.S. Custom Harvesters board and will be in Washington, D.C. this upcoming week to work on labor issues. RRFN’s coverage of the USCHI Annual Meeting is sponsored by U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc. and AgCountry Farm Credit Services.
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