USDA to gather data about farm labor

Tuesday March 22, 2022

REGIONAL – USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct its biannual Agricultural Labor Survey in April. The survey will collect information about hired labor from more than 2,000 farmers and ranchers. NASS will publish survey results May 25 in the Farm Labor report available on the NASS website.

In the survey, NASS asks producers to answer a variety of questions about hired farm labor on their operations, including total number of hired farm workers, the total hours worked, and total wages paid for the weeks of Jan. 9-15 and April 10-16. Survey participants can respond online at or by mail.

“Agricultural labor data are critical in helping producers when hiring workers and estimating expenses,” said King Whetstone, director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Northeastern Regional Field Office. “The data that farm operators provide through NASS’s Agricultural Labor Survey also allow federal policymakers to base farm labor policies on accurate information.” 

USDA and the U.S. Department of Labor use the results of this survey to estimate the demand for and availability of seasonal agricultural workers, establish minimum wage rates for agricultural workers, administer farm labor recruitment and placement service programs, and assist legislators in determining labor policies. 

“By asking about two separate time periods each time we collect data during the year, we are able to publish biannual data and capture seasonal variation,” said Whetstone. “This approach reduces the number of times we survey farms, while ensuring that accurate and timely data are available.”

All previous Farm Labor publications are available on the NASS website at For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office at (800) 498-1518. Participants can visit for further instructions on completing the survey.

Producers responding online will now use NASS’s new Respondent Portal. On the portal, producers can complete their surveys, see previously reported data, access data visualizations and reports of interest, link to other USDA agencies, get a local weather update, and more.

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