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USDA to Gather Minnesota Data about Farm Labor
Minnesota Ag Connection - 03/22/2023

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 350 Minnesota farmers. NASS will publish the data May 24 in the Farm Labor report available on the NASS website at nass.usda.gov/Publications. Survey recipients who do not respond by April 19 may be contacted by NASS to arrange an interview.

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, total hours worked, and total wages paid for the weeks of Jan. 8-14 and April 9-15, 2023. Survey recipients can respond online at agcounts.usda.gov or by mail.

“Agricultural labor data are critical for producers when hiring workers and estimating expenses,” said Dan Lofthus, Minnesota state statistician. “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 survey data to estimate the demand for and availability of seasonal agricultural workers, establish minimum wage rates for agricultural workers and administer farm labor recruitment and placement service programs.

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

Producers are encouraged to visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oWSOjGTQzU&feature=youtu.be for further information on and assistance completing this survey. For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Minnesota Field Office at 651-728-3113.

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