John Carney writes in CNBC on the Phony Farm Labor Crisis that predictions of crops-rotting-in-the-fields doom for farmers because of a purported illegal alien shortage didn't quite come true:
Let’s start with California. The San Francisco Chronicle had warned:
Farmers across California are experiencing the same problem: Seasonal workers who have been coming for decades to help with the harvest, planting and pruning have dropped off in recent years. With immigration crackdowns, an aging Mexican population, drug wars at the border and a weakened job market in the United States, the flow of migrants has stopped and may actually have reversed, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research firm that has been studying the trend.
So what happened?
Farm profits, what the Ag Department calls “net cash income,” in California rose from $11.1 billion in 2010 to $16.1 in 2011, an eye-popping 45 percent growth.