The U.S. Labor Department is making it difficult for farmers employing seasonal agricultural workers to comply with a new quarterly reporting requirement, a Utah State University official says.

The farmers have only until Jan. 16 to file the first of the new quarterly reports required by the Labor Department, said Larry Bond, USU Extension farm management specialist. But the forms have just recently arrived in Utah."The Department's lateness in printing and distributing the forms will make it difficult for farmers to complete and file them on time," Bond said. "However, all employers of seasonal agricultural workers are encouraged to file the reports as close to Jan. 16 as possible."

The reports are designed to help the federal government keep track of seasonal farm workers and determine the need for admitting them into the United States, Bond said.

Employers must report on workers who are involved in seasonal agricultural services planting, cultivating or harvesting fruits, vegetables or other perishable commodities and who has been granted legal resident status.

In addition to the report, employers must maintain records containing the worker's INS alien registration number, social security number, local address, permanent address, crops worked, tasks performed and hours worked each day.