The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will be sending surveys to farmers soon to conduct its biannual Agricultural Labor Survey. The survey will be conducted during the second half of April.
The survey will collect information about hired labor from more than 360 Wisconsin farmers and ranchers.
“The beginning of the year is the time when agricultural producers plan out the rest of their growing seasons and it is a great time to assess on-farm labor needs,” said Greg Bussler, NASS Wisconsin State Statistician. “The data that farm operators provide through NASS’s Agricultural Labor Survey help federal policymakers 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 average hours worked, base wage rate, and wage rates paid for the weeks of January 7-13 and April 8-14. For their convenience, survey participants have the option to respond online.
“By asking about two separate time periods each of the two times we collect data during the year, we are able to publish quarterly data and capture seasonal variation,” said Bussler. “This approach reduces the number of times we survey farm businesses 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 May 17 Farm Labor report. All previous Farm Labor publications are available online at www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/Reports_by_Release_Day/index.php.
For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Wisconsin Field Office at (800) 789-9277.