John Harold, an Olathe Sweet Corn farmer in Colorado's Montrose County, thought hiring workers to pick corn this season would be a cakewalk. Given high unemployment rates, Harold decided to hire more local workers instead of hiring legal Mexican immigrants on federal H2A visas.
According to the Montrose Daily Press, however, the positions have been difficult to fill. "A lot of applications, a lot of people started, but a majority worked less than six hours," Harold told the paper.
For every three workers Harold hired, only one stayed on, reports the Denver Channel.
Harold typically employs three crews of about 50 people each -- 150 people total. As of Thursday, September 1, the local crew was down to just 39 workers, reports the Associated Press. "You have to understand there is a work ethic of migrant laborers that is just not found with local labor," he said.
The farmer is paying American workers $10.48 per hour, while Colorado's minimum wage is $7.36 per hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25.
WATCH Larry Kleinman discuss illegal farm workers: