Ag News: California Labor Shortage
**According to a new survey, California growers continue to face labor shortages.
Conducted by the California Farm Bureau Federation, the survey of 1,071 farmers and ranchers found 56% of farmers had been unable to hire all the employees they needed at some point during the previous five years, but 70% in the past two years.
Thepacker.com reports the survey found 86% of farmers said they’d raised wages in efforts to meet needs, while 61% hired a farm labor contractor to recruit.
**Certification tightening could hamper exports of U.S. beef variety meat to Egypt.
All U.S. beef entering Egypt must be halal-certified, but, effective May 1, the number of companies approved for certification will shrink from six to just one.
U.S. Meat Export Federation’s Paul Clayton says this could disrupt exports to Egypt, but they are working with USDA to keep product moving as smoothly as possible.
Egypt is the second-largest market for U.S. beef variety meat, behind Mexico, and the largest destination for beef livers.
**For the 11 consecutive twice monthly auction, the Global Dairy Trade event reached plus territory, but just barely.
Milkbusiness.com reports aggregate dairy price was up just 0.4%, and individual commodities were a mix of gains and losses. Volume was also low, with just 15,375 metric tons of dairy products changing hands.
On the bright side, U.S. prices for butter, cheddar and skim milk powder all remain competitive with world prices.