Farmer John Peck has a moment with a two-month-old calf in his dairy barn.
Agriculture is one of the most dynamic and innovative economic sectors in New York state. All this week, the Innovation Trail team is reporting on some of the current challenges and opportunities facing upstate farmers.
One of those challenges is property taxes. Agriculture is a land-intensive industry, so rising property taxes can mean much higher costs for farmers. And taxes have been rising, thanks mostly to increases in the production value of farmland.
Since 2006, honey bees have been abandoning seemingly healthy hives in large numbers, raising alarm among beekeepers, farmers and researchers. But, the industries that are dependent on honey bees are finding ways to manage the losses.
New York is the second biggest apple producing state in the country. But, last year production dropped dramatically due to a warmer winter, early blooms, and harsh spring frosts. The total production from the state plummeted from 1.2 million pounds in 2011, to just 710,000 pounds in 2012. But, weather isn’t the only challenge growers are contending with.