Commercial “hand harvesting” of fruit, nut, and vegetable crops is hard, tedious, and time-consuming work.
Not many American workers relish the idea of working the fields and orchards to perform such demanding physical labor.
At least 20 – 25 percent of the United States’ vegetable acreage and 40 – 45 percent of the fruit acreage is totally dependent on hand harvesting.
These crops represent about 30 percent of the U.S. fruit, nut, and vegetable acreage and have an annual value of over $13 billion. The amount of labor needed for harvesting is often well over 50 percent of the total annual farm labor requirement.