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e. 2. An assessment of the agricultural activity in the State means: 1) Identifying the top five labor-intensive crops, the months of heavy activity, and the geographic area of prime activity; 2) Summarize the agricultural employers’ needs in the State (i.e. are they predominantly hiring local or foreign workers, are they expressing that there is a scarcity in the agricultural workforce); and 3) Identifying any economic, natural, or other factors that are affecting agriculture in the State or any projected factors that will affect agriculture in the State

Current Narrative:

The number of acres harvested for crops in Alabama, where historically MSFWs may be employed because of the crop’s need for hand harvesting, hand planting or both, have also declined; however, Alabama has shown a moderate increase in agricultural job orders due to the shortage of US workers available over the past two to three seasons. These crops and acreage are: Sweet Potatoes - 2,800 tons; Potatoes -1,300 tons; Tomatoes - 1,400 tons; Sweet Corn - 2,200 tons; Vegetables - 24,000 tons; Watermelons - 3,300 tons; and Peaches - 4,000 tons. Overall, total acreage for these labor-intensive vegetable crops has also decreased over the last few years as many growers have switched to crops such as peanuts and feed corn which are highly mechanized in their production, previously necessitating the need for fewer agricultural manual workers. As stated previously, the slight increase in agricultural job orders seem to be from a shortage of US workers available for farm work, most noticeably over the past two seasons as well.