Are the farmers themselves ready to pay more money or are their margins already too low? Some are but even then, few want to do this back breaking work. Either way, it's a pity so see good food go to waste while crops are dying elsewhere in the US.
"This year is the worst it's been, ever," said Craig Underwood, who farms everything from strawberries to lemons to peppers, carrots, and turnips in Ventura County.
Some crops aren't get picked this season due to a lack of workers.
"We just left them in the field," he said.
The Western Growers Association told CNBC its members are reporting a 20 percent drop in laborers this year. Stronger border controls are keeping workers from crossing into the U.S. illegally, and the current guest worker program is not providing enough bodies.