Farmers in Michigan are feeling the economic toll of the pandemic. The agriculture sector in Michigan has been facing financial challenges for the last few yeas. Now new setbacks are presenting themselves like the lack of seasonal labor.
And the clock is ticking for some crops that are ready to harvest. However, the coronavirus outbreak is making it more difficult for immigrants to get their visas processed and get to work.
Michigan State Univeristy, Agriculture economist Trey Malone says it’s a pressing problem that highlights how essential immigrant labor is to the U.S. economy.
“I do think that the one big take away is some conversation on relaxing the regulations that currently exist in agriculture that might prevent this easy flow of labor,” Malone said.
The Michigan Farm Bureau says they’re in contact with the the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and the Dept. of Labor to make sure that the migrant workers Michigan usually depends on can get their visas processed in time.