By JORDAN BRADLEY
Capital News Service
LANSING – A shortage of labor is forcing farmers face tough decisions about next year’s peach crops. Jamie Clover Adams, director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that some peach and asparagus farmers are resorting to ripping their crops out of the fields to replace them with crops that are easier to harvest, like cherries, which can be gathered by machine. “We’re seeing the number of peach trees go down,” Clover Adams said, “because there just isn’t enough labor.”
Arthur Lister of Lister Orchards in Ludington grows clingstone peaches, the variety used for processing. He has had a typical experience with his peaches this year: no labor to help harvest. “We have enough market uncertainty, like any business,” Lister said.