crops rotting in the fields
"Crops Rotting in the Fields" articles
For years, the media has been printing propaganda by farmers and growers warning about a veritable food Armageddon if they don't get all the cheap labor they want. The articles are just a scare tactic used because growers want a cheap, pliable labor force rather than employing legal workers at a good wage under good conditions. The self-styled reporters who write these articles invariably fail to ask growers any questions that might reveal that they're just engaging in scare tactics.
Chart showing overall farm income from 2000 to 2011 (estimated) from ers.usda.gov/Features/FarmIncome. That income has risen despite illegal immigration being at a low ebb. Click for a larger version.
...California Farmer reported in 1963 that if the flow of braceros stopped, tomato growers and canners "agree the State will never [again be able to plant] the 100,000 to 175,000 acres planted when there was a guaranteed supplemental labor force in the form of the braceros..."
Reality, however, never confirmed these dire predictions. In 1960 some 45,000 farm workers (mostly braceros) had harvested 2.2 million tons of processing tomatoes. By 1999, it took only 5,000 workers to operate machinery that harvested some 12 million tons. Thanks to these efficiency gains from mechanization, the real price of processing tomatoes declined 54 percent while per capita consumption rose 23 percent...