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With students back in school, farmers face new labour shortages

Reference: CBC News

P.E.I. farmers are concerned about how they are going to bring the harvest in.

This has been a particularly difficult year for recruiting farm labour. A doubling of the provincial bursary for students helped over the summer, says the P.E.I. Agriculture Sector Council, attracting about 300 students.

"Back in the start of summer we had a lot of students that were filling a lot of those labour roles," said executive director Laurie Loane, speaking with Island Morning's Laura Chapin.

"We are now into September, students are returning to other provinces to go back to school, so we're now facing another labour shortage."

Loane said she is hearing a lot of complaints from farmers about CERB, which they say is keeping people who might otherwise work at home. She said a wage top-up of $2 to $4 an hour from government could make farm work more attractive.

"Farmers want to try to pay as much as they possibly can, but it's difficult when some of our commodity groups haven't seen an increase in their price in quite some time," said Loane... Read More