Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211

advertisements
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

Agricultural News


New CoBank Study Outlines Labor Shortage, Wage Inflation Issues Adding to Ag Industry's Struggles

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 11:56:17 CDT

New CoBank Study Outlines Labor Shortage, Wage Inflation Issues Adding to Ag Industry's Struggles As the U.S. economy continues to grow and unemployment dwindles, labor scarcity and wage inflation threaten the rural economy and put additional stress on profitability of the agriculture industry at a time of depressed commodity prices. Manual laborers are chasing higher wages offered in industries like transportation, construction, hospitality and mining, forcing agriculture employers to increase wages at a faster rate to compete, according to a new study from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange Division.



“Wages have historically been higher in these other industries compared to most farm labor,” said Ben Laine, a senior economist with CoBank. “The difference now is that these jobs are much more widely available and are more in line with the background of workers coming from Mexico.”



The scarcity of farm labor is also exacerbated by the shrinking number of migrant workers from Mexico. In addition to immigration controls like tightening borders and increased immigration enforcement, birthrates in Mexico are falling and populations are moving toward urban areas, leaving fewer people with agricultural backgrounds who would be interested in U.S. farm work.



The CoBank study, “Help Wanted,” is broken into two sections, “Wage Inflation and Worker Scarcity,” and “U.S. Agribusiness Experience Hiring Headaches.”



The study explains how inflated wages result from scarce labor conditions and features direct accounts from a wide cross section of agricultural operations detailing the workforce challenges they are currently experiencing. Included are accounts from a poultry processer in North Carolina, a pork producer from Minnesota, a feedyard owner in Texas, custom harvesting operations in Florida and California and dairy producers in New York and Washington.



“Labor accounts for a significant share of overall operational costs for many types of farms, particularly specialty crops and dairies,” said Laine. “In 2016, labor costs on all farms made up about 10 percent of gross income while in the specialty crop sector, that share was closer to 27 percent.”



Without a clear solution to the labor shortage in sight, these challenges are likely to persist in the years ahead. “Ultimately, the risk to the agriculture sector or any domestic industry is that wages will increase to the point where it becomes more cost effective for the U.S. to import commodities rather than import the labor to produce them domestically,” said Laine.



The study, “Help Wanted,” is available at CoBank.com.



Source - CoBank




   

 

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI

 


Top Agricultural News

  • Friday Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Fri, 21 Sep 2018 15:12:49 CDT
  • Estimates Found Lowballed as USDA Reports Highest On Feed Placements in 12 Years, Up 6 Points  Fri, 21 Sep 2018 15:08:09 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 p.m. Friday, September 21, 2018  Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:32:44 CDT
  • NCBA Seeking Cowboy Poets - Contest Winner to Perform Live at Annual Convention in New Orleans  Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:26:30 CDT
  • Steers and Heifer Trade $5-10 Higher at Superior Livestock's Sept. 20th Video Auction - See Results  Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:14:54 CDT
  • Friday Afternoon Market Wrap-Up with Carson Horn   Fri, 21 Sep 2018 14:06:03 CDT
  • Costco's Plans to Enter into Poultry Production Signals Future Changes in the Meat Sector to Come  Fri, 21 Sep 2018 10:33:12 CDT
  • Kim Sloan Pearson of Gore, Okla. Recognized by ODAFF as a Significant Woman in Agriculture  Fri, 21 Sep 2018 10:30:32 CDT

  • More Headlines...

       

    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Livestock Exchange Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit P&K Equipment Tulsa Farm Show Stillwater Milling KIS FUTURES, INC. Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    Find more about Weather in Oklahoma City, OK

       
       
    © 2008-2018 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.