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Indiana PYs 2020-2023 Published Approved

Wagner-Peyser Act

Located in:

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 needs of farmworkers in Indiana have remained strong from year to year due to consistent crops, overall agricultural production, and planting and harvesting cycles. The top five labor intensive crops in Indiana are corn, tomatoes, melons, pumpkins, and apples.

The majority of the farm work activity in the state occurs in the northwest, central, and southern regions of the state with bursts of pockets near the following counties; Adams, Madison, Vigo, Sullivan, and Knox counties. Peak season in Indiana varies between March/April to mid-November.

Even though agriculture in Indiana contributes an estimated $31.2 billion to the economy, growers are still expressing a shortage of hiring local domestic workers and are moving towards hiring foreign workers. Last fiscal year (Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2019), the Indiana State Workforce Agency (SWA) processed 613 agricultural clearance orders. As the Combined Plan is implemented over the next four years, DWD will increase collaboration and communication with the ISDA to extend its outreach efforts and impact for MSFWs.

The agricultural economic factors are projected to be the same next year with effective net results.  The one factor that will shake up the farm industry is a new regulated agricultural commodity crop, hemp. This is still a fairly new commodity. Hemp can be planted, harvested, and maintained for fiber or oil processing.