Technology that automates weeding, harvesting or other farm work is not taking jobs away from humans. Rather, it’s helping bridge the gap between work that needs to be done and a labor force that isn’t sufficient, a panel of ag technology leaders said during the Agri-Pulse Summit in Sacramento Monday.
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.
Agricultural labor problems “don’t fade away” as the share of employment goes down, and a shrinking sector will require even more effort to protect workers, according to UC Davis Agricultural Economist Philip Martin, who has written a new book on the topic.
WASHINGTON, July 12, 2017 – Witnesses and lawmakers at a House Agriculture Committee hearing today showed broad support for immigration reform and mechanization research to address labor shortages faced by specialty crop producers.