No Labor Shortages Yet in Raisin Vineyards
Sun-dried grapes will soon be raisins.

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

According to Glen Goto, Chief Executive Officer for the Fresno-based Raisin Bargaining Association, there has been no reported labor shortage in raisin vineyards so far this season.

“The season started earlier, which may have spread the labor out, or growers are using less labor to harvest their vineyards, which means the labor will be working for more hours in those vineyards,” Goto said.

Tray counts are often noted on the end posts.
So far this season’s cost per tray is 30 cents, which is where it ended up at the end of last season. “We are seeing a little price inflation, which means growers are paying more per tray,” said Goto.

Goto noted that after Sept. 1, the harvest will be going strong, and that’s when labor shortages may start to be noticed.

Hand harvested raisins must be on the trays by Sept. 20 to qualify for raisin rain insurance. For machine-harvested raisins, they must be on the continuous tray by Sept. 25.

The raisin-type variety grape forecast is 2.40 million tons, up 25.5 percent from the 2012 final production. Based on the objective measurement survey, bunches per vine totaled a record 47.7 compared to 29.1 in 2012. This could be a record harvest year.

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