Labor Crunch

Labor Crunch

Labor may continue to be an obstacle to producers this year, as supply chains are thrown into panic mode and the labor market is stress tested in a variety of industries.  The pandemic has created disruptions on the front end of the hemp growing season to be sure, but harvest time may present further challenges.  Much of the cannabinoid hemp crop is still hand harvested, only a small portion is machine harvested at this point.  Machine harvest is the standard in hempseed and fiber production but is still the exception for cannabinoids.


There are reports of extremely high rates of infection in the agricultural work force.  Meat packing plants took center stage during the early days of sheltering in place, with one Smithfield plant in South Dakota logging 640 cases, making Sioux Falls a global pandemic hotspot.  The plant has a global workforce, from Africa, Asia, Latin America and…

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