SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

Local farms are having a hard time finding workers

The price of fruits and vegetables may increase.

Posted: Sep 11, 2019 6:30 PM

APPLEGATE, Ore --  Every Tuesday Barking Moon Farm sells its vegetables at the Ashland Farmers Market.

You would never guess by the buckets of fresh veggies that it is short staffed. "We've had significantly more trouble getting anyone to respond to job postings." said Josh Cohen. He is the owner of Barking Moon Farm.

He doesn't have enough workers to pick all the produce. "I think in part the work we do is challenging work." said Cohen. He's been a farmer for 15 years. He says this happens sometimes.

He told me years ago farmers lost workers, because of the construction boom. The pay was higher and now a new boom is impacting them. "A few years ago with the legalization of marijuana in our state." said Cohen. 

Hemp and cannabis are a higher value crop so companies can pay their laborers more. "The money is there." said Cohen. Cohen and other farmers that grow produce can't increase their prices. "So there is a part of me that wants to believe that it's in part due to the new boom of hemp in our area." said Cohen. 

He doesn't want to increase the price of his vegetables, but he also needs workers. So he is considering growing hemp to help bring in more money.

"I don't think we are looking ahead far enough to see how this is going to impact us. I think about it a lot." said Cohen. Other produce farmers might have to increase their prices. "It might even become prohibitive." said Cohen. Or switch to hemp or cannabis all together. "There's a part of me that is just seeing the amount of acreage in our county going into hemp production." said Cohen. 

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 176157

Reported Deaths: 2461
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah35145568
Washington23569229
Marion20282299
Clackamas15499204
Lane11722144
Jackson9984127
Umatilla798483
Deschutes721472
Linn418763
Yamhill412575
Klamath353759
Polk346452
Malheur343058
Josephine307862
Douglas305765
Benton275418
Jefferson207432
Coos198431
Columbia155426
Union141824
Lincoln130520
Wasco130228
Hood River113029
Morrow108115
Clatsop9008
Crook89119
Baker86114
Curry5999
Tillamook5833
Grant4204
Lake4147
Harney3136
Wallowa1575
Gilliam571
Sherman571
Wheeler261
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3723446

Reported Deaths: 61122
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122964123668
Riverside2976204547
San Bernardino2949734561
San Diego2753683674
Orange2691764900
Santa Clara1173172017
Kern1080131331
Sacramento1016651647
Fresno1007021646
Alameda855831477
Ventura803321002
San Joaquin717351334
Contra Costa67157782
Stanislaus605831032
Tulare49443831
Monterey43301364
San Mateo41226560
San Francisco36094529
Santa Barbara33926446
Solano32047239
Merced31289453
Sonoma29720311
Imperial27995719
Kings22781245
Placer21908283
San Luis Obispo20991257
Madera16289240
Santa Cruz15666204
Marin13868226
Yolo13572200
Shasta11747219
Butte11601196
El Dorado9797109
Napa971579
Sutter9299109
Yuba612744
San Benito598963
Lassen567924
Tehama544556
Nevada448975
Tuolumne408664
Mendocino399347
Humboldt363138
Amador362946
Lake341643
Glenn235825
Colusa220416
Calaveras206252
Siskiyou196521
Inyo141838
Del Norte12907
Mono12744
Plumas6936
Modoc4904
Mariposa4287
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned440
Medford
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 45°
$util.getURL($wxURL)
Medford
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 45°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 45°
Klamath Falls
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 40°
Sunny, warm, and breezy Wednesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events