Vegetable Crop Outlook 2012

Vegetable Crop Outlook 2012 ctd.

Keith Masser

Keith Masser
Sterman-Masser Potato Farms, 
Sacramento, PA

Q1. Spring floods, summer droughts, and fall floods as well as twice the normal annual rainfall pretty much sum it up. Half  of the rainfall occurred during the harvest season with about 40 inches of rain coming down in that period of time. We also had seven weeks without rain in late June and August with record heat. The heat was not good.

Q2. The prospects for 2012 are about the same as 2011. 
We are hoping the weather cooperates better and that La Niña takes her effects somewhere else.

Q3.  If E-Verify passes in its current form, it will negatively impact many agricultural operations. We have a Hispanic workforce that comprises 25% of our company’s employees. We have taken every step necessary to make sure all employee documents are in order and have had a recent successful I-9 audit. E-Verify will restrict the available workers from some ag jobs that most people just don’t want to do.

Q4.  I guess some of the regulations that are being imposed in the Chesapeake Bay as well as weather have caused problems and will be the biggest overriding issues. The executive order to clean up the bay in an unreasonable time frame has been hard.

Q5.  We are working with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau and the National Potato Council toward legislation to get these things corrected.

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