Agriculture still big business in New York state

Aug 28, 2012

Farms still drive New York state's economy, according to a report from the New York State Comptroller's office, which outlines just how important agriculture is to the state's economy.

There are more than 36,000 farms across New York state, and the business they do is substantial according to Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

"People don't realize that agriculture is big business in New York, some $4.7 billion of economic output," said DiNapoli, while visiting the New York State Fair.

The biggest region for agriculture -- the Finger Lakes -- accounts for a third of statewide agricultural sales.  The North Country pitches in 14 percent, and central New York, 12 percent.  The biggest farm product in terms of sales remains milk, with the new focus on Greek style yogurt driving that.

"We see a great increase in the production of yogurt in our state, and if you go to the store you see the variety of products now of Greek style yogurt, and New York taking advantage of that opportunity there's great growth potential there," said DiNapoli.

The comptroller's report also shows that the state is the second-largest wine producer in the nation after California, turning out 36 million gallons of wine.  New York also comes in second nationwide in the production of apples, maple syrup and cabbage.