New COVID travel ban could affect farmworkers

A new COVID travel ban could make it harder for some farmers to hire guest workers this harvest.

The White House issued new bans for South Africa, Europe, the U.K. and Brazil, citing new variants of COVID. Some farmers recruit seasonal workers from those countries to run combines and drive trucks from spring through fall.

U.S. Custom Harvesters Inc. says that this makes the pool of workers much smaller. The group says that it comes as a blow after learning of the changes to the H-2A visa program that should make it easier to hire guest workers.