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Farmers spent almost $13 billion on hired and contract labor in 1987, accounting for about 12 percent of total U.S. farm production expenses. Contract labor accounted for 15 percent of all labor expenses, up from 10 percent in 1974. Only 46 percent of all U.S. farms had farm labor expenses, but they produced 84 percent of the total value of sales of farm products. Labor use, as measured by expenses for hired and contract labor, varied significantly across farms by the type, size, and geographic location of the farm. California had the greatest number of high-labor-expense counties and accounted for 24 percent of total U.S. farm labor expenses.


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