Labor shortage

Washington apple crop
7:59 am
Wed October 3, 2012

In Washington State, Picker Shortage Threatens Apple Boom

Amilia Magno, 23, of Pasco, Wash., carries a heavy load of buckeye gala apples in Broetje Orchards near Prescott, Wash.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 2:57 pm

In western Michigan, there aren't enough apples to pick because bad weather decimated 85 to 90 percent of the crop. But Washington state has the opposite problem — there's an abundance of apples, but not enough pickers.

This should be the happiest, busiest time of year in Washington apple orchards. But now — just as the peak of apple harvest is coming on — Broetje Orchards manager Roger Bairstow is wincing.

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Business and labor
7:18 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Northwest farmers, shop-keeps wait anxiously for cherry workers

The first cherries of the season are coming off the trees in Northwest orchard country, but will there be enough workers to pick them? Photo by Anna King

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 2:51 pm

PASCO, Wash. – With lingering high unemployment and the endless talk of the down economy -– it’s hard to believe that there are some industries putting help-wanted signs out by the dozens. But that’s the case in Northwest orchard country where there appears to be a dwindling supply of migrant workers for cherry picking. Cherry season started this past week, and farmers and shop-keeps alike are anxiously waiting for more workers to arrive.

If you want to talk to cherry workers before they disappear into the jungle-dense canopies of trees, then you have to get up early.

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Agriculture
4:10 pm
Mon October 17, 2011

Worker shortage may force apple growers to leave some fruit behind

Apples going in want of pickers in Washington state.
Andrea Parrish Flickr

Across the Northwest, apple growers are having a hard time bringing in their harvest because of a worker shortage. The result may mean certain lower-priced varieties of apples don’t get picked at all.

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