H-2A Numbers Climb and USDA Forecasts Ag Trade Deficit
**American agricultural employers are filling more seasonal farm jobs with temporary foreign workers through the H-2A Visa Program.
The Department of Labor officially certified about 317,000 temporary jobs in 2021, more than six times the number in 2005.
The program has grown partly in response to domestic workers finding jobs outside of agriculture and a drop in the number of immigrants looking for farm jobs.
Six states accounted for about half of the H-2A jobs, California, Washington, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Louisiana.
**The recently-passed omnibus spending legislation contained the reauthorization of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act.
CropLife America says it will strengthen and improve the EPA’s pesticide registration process.
The increased funding coupled with a variety of process and technology improvements, will allow EPA to increase staffing and better meet pesticide registration timeframes to give farmers the tools they need to manage pests.
**USDA is forecasting an agricultural trade deficit in 2023, but while deficits have happened before, the agency has never forecast one in advance until this year.
The agency says ag exports are projected to reach $190 billion next year, but imports are expected to rise to $199 billion.
USDA chief economist, Seth Meyer says an ag trade deficit isn’t a major cause for concern.
Ag exports are forecast to set another record for 2022 at $196.4 billion.