That’s according to the State Comptroller, who this week issued a report that said Agriculture contributed $37.6 billion to New York’s economy in 2012, an increase of more than 22 percent from 2007.
According to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli’s report, the state also ranks in the top 10 nationwide for milk and other dairy production, as well as wine, apples, maple syrup and other products.
Milk is the state’s largest commodity, with $2.4 billion in sales, followed by grains, peas and beans at $856 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2012 census.
New York also ranked first nationwide in the production of yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream, and was the second-largest wine producer. The state also ranked second nationally in maple syrup production.
As of 2012, roughly 56,000 New Yorkers operated farms, with an additional 61,000 people hired as farm laborers. Both the total value of agricultural commodity sales and farm acreage increased from 2007 to 2012, while the number of New York farms and farmers declined modestly. With an average farmer’s age of 55 years old – reflecting the national average – fewer younger adults are entering the farming profession. In 2012, more than half of New York farms had sales below $10,000.