2022 SPECIALTY CROP AUTOMATION REPORT
The H-2A program has proven especially beneficial in providing a stable workforce to growers who have struggled with labor availability on a seasonal basis. Meanwhile, workers are incentivized to take up an H-2A contract as it guarantees a minimum wage and number of hours worked for a specific period. 42 The results of the 2022 survey support the findings that growers are increasingly relying on H-2A labor to support their farming operations (see Figure 16). Grower respondents that use H-2A to some extent in their operations indicated that the average share of H-2A workers on their farms increased from 43 percent to more than 60 percent between 2020 and 2022. This is an increase of more than 15 percent in just two years.
The survey also found that between 2020 and 2022, 80 percent of grower respondents who rely on H-2A labor for their operations increased their share of workers sourced through the program. The share of the remaining 20 percent of respondents was stable over the period. Most growers using the H-2A labor are strongly reliant on seasonal immigrant workers to cultivate and harvest crops, with 50 percent of grower respondents relying on H-2A labor for more than 70 percent of their workforce. Most grower respondents list a lack of domestic labor and inconsistency of domestic labor as key reasons for relying on the H-2A program. Some growers indicate that they would like to expand their H-2A workforce but are constrained by insufficient funds or housing availability.
H-2A LABOR IS INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT TO FARM OPERATIONS, ACCORDING TO THE SURVEY RESULTS Survey Results
increase in the average share of H-2A labor in the farm from 2020 to 2022 of growers have a majority H-2A labor share of 70% or more in their farm operations 15% 80% 50%
of growers increased their share of H-2A la- bor between 2020 and 2022: the remaining 20% indicated a stable H-2A share
Source: Roland Berger Figure 16: Survey results highlighting the increasing importance of H-2A
42 Examining the growth in seasonal agricultural H-2A labor | USDA
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