Alabama, Georgia Farmers Plant Less, Fearing Migrant Labor Shortages

Last fall, Alabama passed a draconian anti-immigrant law that sent migrants, legal and otherwise, fleeing.  Road stops, reports from schools and landlords — anything to make life uncomfortable.  Even then there was opposition to the bill but as planting season begins the toll is becoming apparent.

Some Alabama farmers say they are planting less produce rather than risk having tomatoes and other crops rot in the fields a second straight year because of labor shortages linked to the state’s crackdown on illegal immigration.

Keith Dickie said he and other growers in the heart of Alabama’s tomato country didn’t have any choice but to reduce acreage amid fears there won’t be enough workers to pick the delicate fruit.

Alabama Migrants

…Georgia has a similar law on the books, and farmers there have had similar concerns about finding a work force to pick crops like Vidalia onions. Some farmers there have also said they were scaling back their acreage, fearing they wouldn’t find the workers to pick the crops.

In the foot-shooting contest, who will win?  Unlikely to be those who actually deserve the prize, the legislators who promoted the bill.  More likely the farmers who need the dependable, cheerful labor from folks willing the take the risks of seasonal labor to provide for their familes…

Rare January Tornadoes In Alabama

From Jeff Masters at

The calendar says it’s the coldest month of winter, but today’s weather is more typical of March, as a vigorous spring-like storm system has spawned a rare and deadly January tornado outbreak. Twenty tornadoes were reported in Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee last night and this morning, killing at least two, injuring 100, and causing major damage.

…during the 61-year period 1950 – 2010, 1223 January tornadoes occurred–an average of twenty per year. There have been two Januarys with no reported tornadoes–2003 and 1986. Thus far in 2012, there have been 44 preliminary tornado reports, so we are already at double the historical January average, with a week still to go in the month.

In my opinion this is God talking to the good people of Alabama:  Wake up!  Wake way up!  The pot is boiling and you gotta turn the heat down!