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Woman packing plums into boxes in a packing house
The Cost of Doing Business in California Agriculture

While everyone is a little bit tired of hearing about inflation, our products are far from immune from the cost increases seen in other parts of the economy. Cartons and other packing materials have gone up in excess of 15%, chemicals and fertilizer in the field have increased substantially with some products more than doubling, and labor has become in short supply and more expensive. Farmers in California are not only looking at regular per hour wage increases, but have also completely lost agriculture overtime exemption (only one of two states in that situation). The latter not only makes activities…

Photo of CFO Sarah McClarty wearing a blue and white checkered shirt in a peach orchard with text that reads: one year later, an open letter from Sarah McClarty at HMC Farms
One Year Later: An open letter from Sarah McClarty

One Year Later: An Open Letter from Sarah McClarty, HMC Farms Twelve months ago, I wrote an open letter to give an update on how HMC Farms was dealing with the pandemic. I was asked to write a follow-up piece once everything “settled back down” in a few weeks, which became a few months… fast forward to a full year removed from that letter, and things are still far from settled. Something people often do not understand is that there is no rest in agriculture. Beyond farming being an all-consuming way of life, there is no pause button. If you…