As labor shortages plague the heartland, changes to the H-2A visa program becomes a high priority for Congress this fall. According to a recent study: the number of guest worker applications is up 11% in 2019.

Employers want a new program to be more efficient, raise the cap of the number of workers, and slower wage growth.

In 2016, 69% of farm workers were from Mexico, 25% in the U.S. or Puerto Rico, and 6% from Central America. Half were legally authorized workers. Ag sectors with the greatest labor needs include the tobacco, fruit, and vegetable sectors.