Cash Labor Ag Expenses and USDA Funding for Dairy Disasters
**Total cash labor expenses for U.S. agriculture are forecast to be $43.35 billion for 2023, based on new data from USDA’s Economic Research Service.
This would be an increase of $0.78 billion, or 1.8%, over 2022, but it would remain below the high set in 2017.
For every $100 spent on production expenses, almost $10 goes toward labor.
Total labor expenses include contract and hired labor payments but exclude non-cash employee compensation.
**New funding announced from the USDA will help dairy producers affected by natural disasters.
The Milk Loss Program administered by the Farm Service Agency will compensate eligible dairy farms and processors for milk dumped due to qualifying disaster events from 2020 to 2022.
Eligible disasters include droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, derechos, excessive heat, winter storms and smoke exposure.
The National Milk Producers Federation applauded the announcement.
**Since 2000, the demand for strawberries and blueberries in the U.S. has increased.
Organic strawberry production has been increasing at a faster pace than conventional.
In California, which grows over 75% of the domestic organic production, organic strawberry acreage tripled from 2008 to 2019.
While the U.S. exports SOME fresh blueberries, it’s become a net importer … up from 44 million pounds in 2000–2002 to 450 million in 2018–2020.