The Canada East Equipment Dealer Assn.’s Aug. 1 CEEDA newsletter reports that Canada’s farmers inability to find people to work in the field is costing them big time.

Data from a new report by the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council (CAHRC) shows that farmer’s across Canadian ag industry lost $2.9 billion in sales due to unfilled vacancies. The amount is an increase of $1.5 billion since 2014.

The Labour Market Forecast to 2029 also shows 46% of producers who reported vacancies either delayed or outright quashed the thought of expanding their operation, which in return, many reported extreme stress for themselves and their workers. According to a news release, nearly 90% of producers with unfilled jobs identified excessive stress and hours as a result of not being able to find the workers they required.

Key findings from the report include total job vacancies in agriculture have declined to 16,500 from 26,400, largely as a result of the adoption of technology, and an increase in the number of international workers who fill jobs where no Canadians can be found.

Vacancy rates in agriculture remain higher than any other sector in the country at 5.4%, which is a decrease since 2014 when the rate was 7%. Currently the national average is 2.9%.

Read the full article here.