A shortage of available truckers is threatening this year’s harvest, according to John Larrea, who directs government affairs for the California League of Food Processors.

“Without drivers, we’re not going to be able to get anything to the ports,” said Larrea during a meeting of the State Ag Board this week.

He said agricultural haulers have been reporting shortages of up to 30% since February for long-term seasonal drivers for both fresh and processed produce. Some haulers have warned it could reach 60% in June.

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Larrea has been working with growers and haulers to secure federal and state waivers on truck weight limits, which would maximize the drivers who are available. He hoped to bump the cap from 80,000 to 88,000—the same as last year’s waivers for the pandemic. The board agreed and pledged to send this recommendation directly to Gov. Gavin Newsom.