Posted 3/14/2019 07:20 (#7379437 - in reply to #7379348) Subject: RE: Pioneer chooses migrants over USA for detassling
TMX864 - 3/13/2019 18:19 These h2a crews can get done in two passes what it takes kids 3-5 passes. The difference in quality and timeliness and amount of quality acres covered in a day is pretty remarkable. You just cant say the same about the kids, feels like everything is a struggle with them.
I hate to say it but I agree with this mostly. Last year I had 3 "kids" (17 through 18) show up late 1.5 hours and what appeared to be high/on drugs. I had a 13 year old I was trying to help out with a job so when he gets older he had some work experience. I caught him sleeping on the job. Like literally laying down taking a nap in the field while I was working in the row over (you can't see through the grape vines because of the foliage).
Anyways, the migrants don't always do a great job either. I've had a few I had to send home because they would walk off and do something. The language barrier is always hard. We use manual labor for tucking and canopy work in the vineyard. It all depends on the day what crew you get. Because I get picky about how people work here they are now asking $18/hr. Keep in mind I work right along side them and I hate dilly dallying around so they have to work at my pace or faster to stay here. I have yet to find a crew that I can trust to work at a decent pace and do the job right so it always feels like "baby sitting".
We have been quickly adding mechanization to our operations. We started with nutrient application, then foliar applications (bigger tractors, sprayers, etc.) Now we went to mechanical harvesting and soon to doing mechanical prepruning. Anyways, point being is if there is a labor shortage or the cost of labor exceeds machinery guys will start looking to do it mechanically. You can price yourself out of a job.