Michigan asparagus harvest concludes early due to labor costs by FreshPlaza

Michigan asparagus harvest concludes early due to labor costs

A Michigan asparagus producer has indicated a decision to terminate the current season’s harvest approximately 10 days sooner than usual, attributing the decision primarily to labor expenses.
The producer, a fourth-generation farmer named Jordon Walsworth, communicated to Brownfield the diminishing yields as the season progresses, which has led to an earlier cessation of harvesting activities in recent years.

Walsworth highlighted the increasing financial burden of labor costs as a critical factor in this decision, noting the challenge of justifying continued harvest operations under these conditions.

Walsworth’s family, with over five decades of experience in asparagus cultivation, has ceased the renewal of asparagus fields two years prior, contemplating the viability of continuing such cultivation amidst escalating costs.

The farm’s participation in the H-2A program, essential for securing seasonal labor, has seen a significant rise in expenses over the last three years, pushing the farm towards considering a transition to row crops should the labor cost issue persist unresolved.

With an expected cessation of harvesting activities in less than three weeks, the situation underscores broader challenges faced by asparagus producers in Michigan, the leading asparagus producing state in the U.S.



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