The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service will conduct its biannual Agricultural Labor Survey during the second half of October.
The survey will collect information about hired labor from more than 600 Minnesota farmers and ranchers.
“Labor data are critical to farming operations and data about the use of hired workers helps administer farm labor programs,” says Dan Lofthus, NASS Minnesota state statistician. “The data that farm operators provide through NASS’s Agricultural Labor Survey allow federal policymakers to base farm labor policies on accurate information.”
USDA and the U.S. Department of Labor use statistics gathered in the Agricultural Labor Survey to establish minimum wage rates for agricultural workers, administer farm labor recruitment and placement service programs, and assist legislators in determining labor policies.
In the survey, NASS asks participants to answer a variety of questions about hired farm labor on their operations, including total number of hired farm workers, the total hours worked, base wage rate, and total gross wages paid for the weeks of July 7-13 and October 6-12. For their convenience, survey participants have the option to respond online.
“By asking about two separate time periods during each of the two times we collect data during the year, we are able to publish quarterly data and capture seasonal variation,” Lofthus says. “This approach reduces the number of times we ask farm operations to respond to surveys while ensuring that accurate and timely data are available for anyone conducting research or analyses.”
NASS will compile, analyze and publish survey results in the Nov. 21 Farm Labor report. This, and all NASS reports, are available online at nass.usda.gov.
For more information, call the Minnesota Field Office at 651-728-3113.