Trucking Bills Step in Right Direction and H-2A Visa Numbers Grow
**Coastal winds in Monterey County create some challenging contradictions for a wine region trying to build its brand and attract more tourism.
Some winegrape growers say they fear winds that push the fog and help cool vineyards can also discourage winery construction and keep tourists away who may not want to sip fine wines in gusty settings.
The wine sector produces $1.4 billion in economic activity and provides over 10,000 jobs.
**Several industry trade groups say a number of trucking bills passed by the House Transportation Committee are a step in the right direction.
The bipartisan legislation would reduce the “empty miles” that trucks have to travel by allowing them to increase the weight they carry with an additional axle.
Supporters say increasing the amount of weight trucks can carry would lower greenhouse gas emissions, ease supply chain backlogs, and reduce the number of “empty miles.”
**According to numbers from the Labor Department, more than 378,000 workers were authorized for H-2A visas for temporary agriculture positions.
The number was less than a third of that as recently as 2012.
Jackson Takach, chief economist with Farmer Mac, says he expects that growth to continue as long as pressure remains on labor markets.
H-2A workers are most heavily utilized in states where fruits and vegetables require more manual labor.