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New Ag Census Numbers


New York State saw a nine-percent drop in the number of farms

The USDA released its 2022 Agriculture Census revealing a cause of concern for New York agriculture. While 98-percent of farms remain family owned in the state, the overall number of farms declined by nearly 2,800. That is about a nine-percent drop from the previous 2017 Agriculture Census and the steepest decline in the past three decades. The state also lost 364,000 acres of farmland over the past five years.

A significant portion of the decline is in dairy farming, the largest commodity value in New York State. New York saw a decrease of nearly 1,900 dairy farms, though the total number of dairy cows slightly increased. This reflects the market consolidation that has been happening in the industry. Others that also saw losses include vegetable, berry, and organic farms.

The census did reveal some bright spots, including an increase in the number of orchards as well as oyster producers. Market value also rose significantly, topping eight billion dollars. This is in large part due to temporary increases in major commodity prices during the pandemic, which have since fallen in the past year. USDA predicts farm income to be down another 25% in 2024. There is also a significant climb in farms using conservation practices like no-till and cover crops with an increase of about 200,000 acres statewide.

Another significant increase is farm costs. Every production expense saw a rise, from fertilizer and fuel to seed and lease prices. The biggest increase in production expenses is labor, which saw an astounding 41 percent jump in five years. This is not surprising with the surge in wage rates and overtime expenses on farms in New York. Employment increased slightly with about 1,000 new farmworkers in the state totaling 56,678 employees.

“The numbers do not come as a surprise but should be a renewed wakeup call for the state. As we continue to see the decline in the number of farm families, we must do all that we can to reduce regulatory costs and expand market opportunities. New York Fam Bureau has stressed that the costlier it is to do business in this state, the harder it is for farms to stay in business. The loss of farmland and food production has major impacts on the economy and quality of life for all New Yorkers. We must work together to reverse this trend, include passing a strong Farm Bill that supports New York’s diverse agriculture,” said David Fisher, New York Farm Bureau President.


Additional NYS numbers in the 2022 USDA Ag Census:

  • 30,650 farms in New York, down from 33,438 in 2017.
  • 6,502,286 acres in production, down from 6,866,171 in 2017.
  • Average farm size is 212 acres, up from 205 acres in 2017.
  • The average net farm income of $76,281 per farm is slightly below the national average.
  • 21,894 female producers and 35,664 male producers
  • The average producer age is 56.7 years old, up from 55.8.
  • 6,335 farmers under the age of 35, a drop from 6,718 producers in 2017.


For more information on the 2022 NY Ag Census, click here: USDA - National Agricultural Statistics Service - 2022 Census of Agriculture - Volume 1, Chapter 1: State Level Data

For more information on 2022 NY Ag. Census by County, click here:USDA - National Agricultural Statistics Service - 2022 Census of Agriculture - Volume 1, Chapter 2: County Level Data