With Migrant Workers in Short Supply, a Farmer Looks to Machines

James Rajotte for The New York Times

Jim Bittner of Singer Farms in Appleton, N.Y., cut down 25 acres of cherry trees, some of them 30 years old, because he was not sure of finding enough migrant workers to harvest the crop. There will be no harvest from the cleared fields until at least 2011.

“We always assumed we could find the labor we would need,” said Mr. Bittner, who has managed Singer Farms since 1991. “We’re not making that assumption anymore.”

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