The increasing cost of production in California is pushing some farmers to try their luck in other states. Costs for labor, regulatory compliance, and fuel are all substantially cheaper in other areas of the country. President and CEO of both the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association and the Western Agricultural Processors Association, Roger Isom explained that California’s regulatory atmosphere is making other areas of the country more and more attractive for producers.
“I have an example on the cotton side where a gin worker in Arizona doing the exact same job for the exact same company, the workers’ comp rate is exactly half in Arizona. It costs twice as much to pay for workers’ comp for a worker here in California,” Isom noted. “On tree nuts, we’ve got guys planting almonds in Arizona this year to see if they can survive over there because they don’t have a fraction of the regulatory issues we have here.”
Listen to the radio report below.