An occupational injury surveillance project was conducted in 15 of Iowa's 99 counties. Trained abstractors reviewed the medical records of persons admitted for trauma to hospitals during 1983. Based on these chart reviews, subsequent mail-out questionnaires and phone contacts were made, and rate estimates for occupational injury hospitalization for farmers and non-farmers were generated. The 1980 U.S. census data for occupation and market area data for the sample hospitals were used for the rate calculations. Approximately 14.7% of hospitalizations for trauma in the sample area were for work-related injuries. Farmers were hospitalized for occupational injuries at a rate of 1,521/100,000 compared to non-farmers at a rate of 497/100,000. There were no significant differences in the mean number of days per hospitalization for farmers versus non-farmers, (7.4 days for farmers and 6.7 days for non-farmers). Based on the questionnaire data, farmers were much less likely to receive any form of remuneration for injury, (odds ratio = 0.26, p less than 5 x 10(-6]. Farmers also reported less time off from work, with a mean of 79 days compared to non-farmers with a mean of 289 days.