The number of farm workers is lower, but wages are higher - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

The number of farm workers is lower, but wages are higher

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –The federal government says the number of farm workers is down slightly this year, but their wages are up.

The U.S.D.A. says farm operators are paying an average of 10 dollars and 82 cents per hour.

The Southeast region average is just below ten dollars an hour, but that is an increase of nearly 70 cents an hour over last year.

Farmer Jimmy Webb says better efficiency helps keep down the need for more labor.  "Yeah,  technology. Equipment size. In the late 90's I changed from six row equipment to 12 row equipment, which a lot of producers have. And I was able to double the acreage I work with the same labor because we cover more ground," said Webb.

The U.S.D.A. says labor is only 8 percent of the expenditures for Georgia farmers. The highest cost to run a farm they say is feed, 28 percent.

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