Fruit and Vegetable Growers Asked To Complete Labor Survey
Thursday, August 4th, 2011
Georgia fruit and vegetable producers are encouraged to participate in a survey being conducted by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development that will measure the economic impact labor used in Georgia's fresh produce industry has on the state's economy and the impact Georgia's new immigration law had on the 2011 spring/summer harvest and rural economies.
The Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) led a coalition of Georgia ag organizations, including Georgia Farm Bureau, to commission the CAED to conduct the survey and analyze the survey data. The goal of the study is to quantify the produce industry's losses and its impact on rural economies to educate lawmakers considering future immigration legislation and support efforts to improve the national guest-worker program, GFVGA Executive Director Charles Hall said.
"We know our growers had a need for labor during the spring crop. We're just trying to quantify what happened and how the labor shortage affected the harvest of the spring crop and affected rural communities," Hall said. "We've estimated we had $200 to $300 million in lost crops, but we want to know for sure."
CAED Economists Dr. John McKissick and Sharon Kane will conduct the study, which will be completed on or before Oct. 1.
"We've heard reports from Georgia farmers that House Bill 87 has created a labor shortage and negatively impacted their harvests," GFB President Zippy Duvall said. "Georgia Farm Bureau supports this study, because in order for Georgia agriculture to be effective in finding a solution to the labor problem we're facing, we need objective, quantifiable numbers that show the economic impact the labor shortage has had on agriculture and the economies of rural Georgia."
For more information or to complete the survey, visit: http://gfvga.org/2011/08/2011-springsummer-harvest-survey-4/
Completed surveys may be mailed to GFVGA, P.O. Box 2945, LaGrange, Ga. 30241 or faxed to (706) 883-8215.
Completing the contact information the survey asks is voluntary but growers are asked to at least provide a phone number in case a question arises concerning provided data. All survey information will be maintained as strictly confidential. No farm will be identified in the study. Call (706) 845-8200 for more information about the survey.