Backlog in Southern California ports creates setbacks for local agri industry

Los Angeles and Long Beach ports have a backup of cargo ships that extends all the way to San Diego. As this is exacerbated by a shortage of truck drivers and warehouse workers, there are reports of a lack of goods on the shelves affecting different sectors.

In Monterey County, the agriculture industry is seeing some of these impacts. Overall, the impact of delayed shipments is relatively minor. Other factors loom larger for the industry. Adding another layer of uncertainty are issues like water supply, labor shortages and inflation. Some smaller growers have decided to lease out their land instead of growing produce themselves.

Chris Christian, senior vice president at the California Strawberry Commission, says strawberry farmers are seeing delays and price increases in supplies like drip tape (for irrigation) and mulch film, which prevents moisture loss, due to the port issues. But she does not expect to see acres in strawberry production decrease next year. Still, exporting goods could become an issue.


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