The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), will not be collecting data for the Agricultural Labor Survey in October 2020.
In a notice published in the Federal Register, USDA Farm Production and Conservation Under Secretary William Northey announced that the division would not be collecting data during October 2020 or publishing the biannual Farm Labor report in November. The USDA cited other data availability as the reason for collecting and publishing the labor report. The agency stated that similar data can be sourced from the Agricultural Resources Management Survey (ARMS), Census of Agriculture (COA), American Community Survey (ACS), Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW), National Economic Accounts, and the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS).
According to its governmental website, NASS is responsible for reporting on American agriculture and providing objective statistics on a “preannounced schedule that is fair and impartial to all market participants.” Some of the data that NASS collects includes crop and livestock production and prices, farm finances, chemical use and farmer demographic changes.
For the Agricultural Labor Survey, NASS looks at the U.S. agriculture industry’s number of agricultural workers, hours worked and wage rates. The number of agricultural workers and hours worked have traditionally been used to determine agricultural productivity in the United States.