The Georgia Agribusiness Council says nearly half of the farmers it surveyed do not have enough workers to harvest their crops. The culprit? HB87. Even though it does not yet go into effect until July 1, farmers are experiencing severe labor shortages that they are unable to fill. Workers that have been available to them in the past are now leaving the state.
Agriculture experts seem to agree that migrant workers have skills and specific experience that are hard to replace even if local workers were available. Most of the time they are not because farm workers often move from place to place, harvesting crops as they ripen across multiple states. This does not appeal to most native born workers.
The governor ordered his own report on labor shortages for farmers -- due tomorrow. We'll wait and see.