The Department of Labor will no longer require agricultural producers to place advertisements for H-2A jobs in print newspapers, in a move designed to boost recruiting for workers and save employers money.
A sweeping proposed overhaul of the H-2A farm labor program would have varying impacts on worker wages, while cutting farmers’ transportation expenses and reducing the number of applications farms have to file to import employees.
The Labor Department is proposing to overhaul wage requirements and streamline the application certification process for the H-2A farmworker visa program, which is under heavy demand by growers searching for new sources of labor.
The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to withdraw proposals under review at the Office of Management and Budget to lower the minimum age of farmworkers and certified applicators who handle pesticides.
House Republican leaders are promising to put a bill on the floor this month to address farmer's demand for more workers but the fractious immigration debate in June suggests that passing an ag labor measure won't be easy.
The Senate has unanimously passed a bill to reauthorize the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act, which allows the Environmental Protection Agency to charge fees for pesticide registration that fund about one-third of the operations of the Office of Pesticide Programs.