Farm Labor Rates for the Northern Plains

Farm Labor Rates for the Northern Plains November 15, 2018

In a report released Nov. 15, USDA examined salaries for ag laborers for two reference weeks in July and October 2017 and 2018.

In the Northern Plains Region (Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota) there were 42,000 workers hired directly by farm operators on farms and ranches during the week of July 8-14, 2018, up 17% from the July 2017 reference week, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Workers numbered 40,000 during the week of October 7-13, 2018, unchanged from the October 2017 reference week.

Farm operators in the Northern Plains Region paid their hired workers an average wage of $15.14 per hour during the July 2018 reference week, up 9% from the July 2017 reference week. Field workers received an average of $15.12 per hour, up $1.29. Livestock workers earned $13.80 per hour, up 91 cents. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate at $14.40, was up $1.00 from the 2017 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 44.0 hours during the July 2018 reference week, compared with 44.4 hours worked during the July 2017 reference week.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $15.49 per hour during the October
2018 reference week, up 7% from the October 2017 reference week. Field workers received an average of $15.93 per hour, up $1.00. Livestock workers earned $13.55 per hour compared with $12.76 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $14.80, was up 80 cents from the October 2017 reference week. Hired laborers worked an average of 47.4 hours during the October 2018 reference week, compared with 45.8 hours worked during the October 2017 reference week.

View the national USDA report to see national averages.

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