USDA TO SURVEY PRODUCERS ABOUT ON-FARM LABOR

March 24, 2015

(HARRISBURG, PA) ― During the second half of April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct its biannual Agricultural Labor Survey. The survey will collect information about hired labor from more than 1450 northeastern farmers and ranchers.

“The beginning of the growing season is usually the perfect time to look at farm labor,” said King Whetstone, Director of the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office. “The data that farm operators provide through NASS’s Agricultural Labor Survey allows northeastern state governments and federal policy-makers to establish labor policies based on accurate information and help ensure farmers can get sufficient hired labor for their operations.”

USDA and the Department of Labor will use statistics gathered in the Agricultural Labor Survey to help 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 average hours worked, and wage rates paid for the weeks of January 11-17 and April 12-18. For their convenience, survey participants have the option to respond online.

“Due to seasonal variation and despite collecting farm labor data twice a year, we publish data on a quarterly basis,” Whetstone said. “This approach helps us ensure that anyone using our data can perform more accurate analyses.”

NASS will compile, analyze and publish survey results in the Farm Labor report, to be released on May 21. All information NASS collects in this survey will be kept strictly confidential, as required by federal law. This and all other NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov. For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office
at 800-498-1518.

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