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Farmers fear short supply of pickers

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Friday, May 18, 2012

Pacific Northwest fruit farmers worry there won't be enough laborers to harvest this season's crop.

A near record 20.3-million-box Pacific Northwest cherry crop is forecast, pears may also be close to their record at 20.9 million boxes and there's talk of a 120-million-box Washington apple crop. That number seems unthinkable given 108.3 million boxes in 2008 and record 109.3 million in 2010.

"I think people are desperate for labor," said Dan Fazio, director of the Washington Farm Labor Association in Olympia.

"The situation in Mexico is terrible. It's tough getting across the border. So people who want to come up and work and go back home are unable to," Fazio said.

Read more at Capital Press Oregon.
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