Hired workers at farms and ranches down 1 percent

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The National Agricultural Statistics Service report shows hired workers on farms and ranches decreased by 1 percent from the same time last year. Farm operators paid hired workers an average hourly wage of $11.15, up a slight 2 cents from the previous year. Farms and ranches hired 1,141,000 workers nationally at the time of the report, Oct. 9-15.

The number of hired workers in California, the Southern Plains, the Corn Belt and the Pacific regions decreased the most from 2010. Wet conditions and cooler weather delayed crop development in California and the Corn Belt limited demand for labor in crop fields. Drought conditions in Oklahoma and Texas culled livestock herds and required fewer employees.

North and Southeast areas with ideal growing conditions hired additional laborers to meet planting and harvest demands.

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