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Agriculture big business in N.Y.

September 5, 2012
Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

ALBANY - New York State continues to be a leading agricultural state with 36,300 farms producing $4.7 billion in products annually, according to a report released recently by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. New York ranks among the largest producers in the nation for some goods, including ranking second in wine production.

"While farming in New York is mainly a small, family business, its economic impact is widespread," DiNapoli said. "Farming supports thousands of New Yorkers in a variety of industries and services, such as food processing, trucking and tourism. Farms also protect open space and improve public health by meeting the rising demand for nutritious, locally grown food. We need to do all we can to make sure New York farmers can successfully continue their way of life."

The report was announced at the New York State Fair, a showcase for New York's agricultural community since 1841.

Most of the state's regions contribute significantly to New York's agricultural production, with the Finger Lakes region leading the way with 30 percent of statewide agricultural sales. The North County accounts for 14 percent while Central New York produces 12 percent.

Milk remains New York's largest farm product, accounting for almost half of the state's agricultural sales in 2010. New York was the nation's fourth-largest milk producer and ranked first in the production of cottage cheese and sour cream. Further, New York is well on its way to being a national leader in the production of Greek-style yogurt.

New York was the second-largest producer of wine in the nation behind California, producing 36 million gallons of wine in 2010. The volume of wine grape production, which accounted for about 35 percent of the state's grape production, rose by 17 percent in 2010.

New York had 374 wineries in 2012, more than triple the number in 2000, according to the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. Three-quarters of the wineries were located in three areas: the Finger Lakes and surrounding counties; Long Island; and the Hudson Valley.

DiNapoli's report provides details on New York's agricultural sector, including:

Apples are New York's largest fruit crop with the state ranking second nationally in apple production;

Yogurt production reached 553.67 million pounds in 2011, more than double the amount produced in 2008;

New York was the second-largest producer of maple syrup and cabbage in the United States in 2010;

The average New York farm is smaller than 200 acres, less than half the national average; and

Suffolk County on Long Island is New York's top producer of floriculture, pumpkins and sod.

For a copy of the report, visit



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