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Harvesters struggle to recruit foreign crews during pandemic

Harvesters struggle to recruit foreign crews during pandemic

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) – With the start of the winter wheat harvest just weeks away, U.S. harvesters are struggling to get the foreign workers they usually rely on to run their combines.

Embassies have been shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic and governments have closed their borders. Overseas workers who already have visas cannot get on a flight, and those who can travel would be quarantined on arrival.

Harvesters are trying to hire American workers to fill the gap, but many lack the skills or desire to work in agriculture.

Up to half of the workers who harvest U.S. grain crops usually are seasonal foreign workers.

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