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Economic impact of changing agriculture across New York

New York State farms brought in $5.7 billion in revenue, according to a recently released report from the state comptroller’s office for 2017.

Dairy is what leads the way for state farms.  A new report says there was $2.5 billion in milk sales in 2017.

“Dairy is our largest individual sector in New York State. We’re very good at making milk,” Richard Ball, the NYS Agriculture Commissioner, said.

Ball says today’s dairy farmer has to be aware of different factors outside of his control, like the value of the dollar against foreign currency.

“I think that today’s dairy farmer is pretty sophisticated. They’re learning to grapple with these things. They’re learning about who their customer is.”

While farm revenue went up from 2007, the number of farms and acreage went down.

“I think two or three generations ago everybody’s parents or grandparents had a farm, had a background on a farm. There’s two sides to that coin. I mean it’s an opportunity. It is a real challenge.”

Ball says new and emerging sectors of farming are growing, like hemp and hops. He says many restaurants are becoming “billboards” for the locally grown movement.

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