Farm Bureau finds flaws in H-2A proposal |

Farm Bureau finds flaws in H-2A proposal

The Labor Department has published a proposed rule that would revise the methodologies used to determine the Adverse Effect Wage Rate for agricultural workers, but the American Farm Bureau Federation has raised questions about whether the proposal will be effective.

Rather than a single rate for all H-2A workers within a region, the Labor Department has proposed AEWRs by agricultural occupation.

The proposal reflects the department’s concern that the current AEWR methodology for field and livestock workers (combined) may have an adverse effect on the wages of workers in higher-paid agricultural occupations, such as farmworker supervisors and construction laborers on farms, the American Farm Bureau Foundation said.

But Veronica Nigh, a Farm Bureau economist, wrote in a Market Intel analysis released today that “due to thin data for many occupations it appears as if the proposal will make estimating wage expenditures more difficult, more variable and more expensive”

Nigh wrote that the window to submit written comments on the proposed rule closes Sept. 24.

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