NY Times rapporterer fra Colorado, der bonden John Harold mangler arbeidere til mais- og løkåkrene sine, med et sedvanlig principal-agent problem:
Six hours was enough, between the 6 a.m. start time and noon lunch break, for the first wave of local workers to quit. Some simply never came back and gave no reason. Twenty-five of them said specifically, according to farm records, that the work was too hard. On the Harold farm, pickers walk the rows alongside a huge harvest vehicle called a mule train, plucking ears of corn and handing them up to workers on the mule who box them and lift the crates, each weighing 45 to 50 pounds.
“Farmers have to bear almost all the labor market risk because they must prove no one really was available, qualified or willing to work,” said Dawn D. Thilmany, a professor of agricultural economics at Colorado State University. “But the only way to offer proof is to literally have a field left unharvested.”
Mr. Harold usually hires about 50 local workers for the season — regulars who have worked summers for years — and most returned this year, he said. Finding new employees was where he ran into trouble. He was able to recover after the season started, he said, by rushing in another group of H-2A workers from Mexico.