The intersection of increasing labor shortages, higher pay for agricultural workers, and new attention to employee safety is highlighting efforts to bring labor-saving technologies to specialty crop fields.
New faces will head key departments as the Biden administration takes office Jan. 20, and their actions on regulations affecting agriculture and rural America may differ sharply from the last four years.
A recent State Department move is expected to speed approval of farmworkers seeking to enter the country, but observers of the process are still keeping a watchful eye on many parts of the H-2A program.
The State Department agreed to accelerate approvals of H-2A farm workers by waiving interviews for many applicants, a move welcomed by agricultural groups who feared that embassy cutbacks amid the COVID-19 pandemic would leave farms without needed labor.
Mexico is withdrawing its objection to a labor provision in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that threatened to derail the USMCA approval process, which is expected to take a major step forward this week in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Mexico is now protesting a provision tucked into the recently revised U.S. version of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that calls for the U.S. to install five new attaches in Mexico to monitor the country’s labor reform efforts.