Growers could face shortage of workers this year - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Growers could face shortage of workers this year

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Growers in Washington State could be facing a shortage of workers for the harvest this year.

The Washington Growers League says a lack of workers in California have some farmers in the Central Washington area nervous. The league says tougher immigration laws and fewer opportunities in the US are the likely causes for the downturn. However, they say growers are already preparing strategies to deal with the possible drop.

"Trying to get more efficient with their labor... There's a lot more sharing of labor, you know, where people will share crews and move them from around... Transporting... Once you have a crew, a good crew, you don't want to let them go," says Washington Growers League Executive Director Mike Gempler.

Gempler says the numbers of apples and cherries could reach record highs this year and they'll need all the workers they can get.