The USDA has just released its 2017 Agriculture Census… an-depth look at agriculture in New York State The USDA surveys farmers every five years and then takes more than a year to compile the data, which was just released on Friday. The most startling statistic is we now have about 2,100 fewer farms here in New York than we did as recently as 2012. That marks the largest drop in more than two decades and is triple the national average of a three-percent loss. New York also saw a nearly 20-percent decline in the number of dairy farms. The loss of those farms coincides with a nine-percent increase in labor costs, while some other production costs, like feed, gasoline and chemicals, declined. The average net farm income of $42,875 per farm is slightly below the national average. There was some positive news… New York saw a 35% increase in organic farms, and the total number of vegetable farms in the state is up two-percent. Fruit farms rose eight-percent. New York had a 15% jump in maple operations. Other figures show that 98% of farms in New York are family owned. There was 6,866,171 acres in production, down from 7,183,576 in 2012
Average farm size is 205 acres, and the average age of a farmer is about 56.