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NASS Survey to Assess Number of Ag Workers, Wage Rates

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct its biannual Agricultural Labor Survey during the second half of April. The survey will collect information about hired labor from more than 400 Kentucky farmers.

“We conduct an agricultural labor survey twice each year in April and October,” said David Knopf, director of the NASS Eastern Mountain Regional Office in Kentucky. “It provides the basis for employment and wage estimates for all farm workers directly hired by U.S. farm

s. The data from this survey help federal policymakers base labor policies on accurate information.”

How Survey Data is Used

  • The Department of Labor uses the results of this survey to set the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR).

  • USDA and the Department of Labor use the data to estimate the demand for, and availability of seasonal agricultural workers.

  • Agencies responsible for administering farm labor recruitment and placement programs use the statistics in their planning and evaluation.

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 8-14 and April 9-15. For their convenience, survey participants have the option to respond online.

“Each survey asks about two separate time periods during the year, so we’re able to publish quarterly data and capture seasonal variation,” Knopf said. “This reduces the number of times we ask farmers to respond to surveys while ensuring accurate and timely data are available for anyone conducting research or analyses.”

NASS will compile, analyze, and publish survey results in the Farm Labor report due out May 18. All previous Farm Labor publications are available online at

For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Kentucky Field Office at (800) 928-5277, or visit


NASS provides accurate, timely, and useful statistics in service to U.S. agriculture. We invite you to provide occasional feedback on our products and services. Sign up at and look for “NASS Data User Community.”

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

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