The Huters have been using machines to harvest all but a few of their grapes for more than a decade. They farm a 10-acre piece of north-south rows that isn’t suited to mechanical harvesting. They normally have available 12 men and women cutting canes and operating the harvesting equipment.

“As harvest draws closer, we will decide if we need to find a contractor for the 10 acres or go with our own crew,” E.G. says. “The industry, as a whole, is struggling to get enough labor for harvest; hand picking takes up a lot of profit, it’s a killer. We’re never going back to hand picking our grapes.”

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