I recently traveled to the East Coast to visit relatives and participate in my consulting accountants round table. Along the way I visited Amish country in Pennsylvania where I discovered a different way of life. Granted it isn’t one I would choose but it did provide a glimpse into how farm life used to be. You truly can appreciate how mechanization has improved many parts of a farming operation.
In wine country we still are reliant on a large labor force to perform many manual tasks. The resistance to move from hand to mechanized processes is going to catch up with the industry. As labor costs continue to rise and the downward pressures on pricing occur wine profits will be squeezed. In order to compete in a global market we are going to have to invest in machinery that will automate many of the labor intensive tasks. I have heard that the latest harvesters and implements have proven to provide significant cost savings for many growers on the central coast. It would be wise for our local growers to begin to explore ways that this equipment could be put to use so that they can remain competitive.
Until next time…let the simpler times motivate you to embrace the possibilites for the future.