NY comptroller reports agriculture economy grew to $37.6 billion in 2012, farm number down

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

New York's comptroller says agriculture contributed $37.6 billion to the state's economy in 2012, an increase of more than 22 percent over five years, while the number of farms declined slightly.

The comptroller's office says the state ranks in the top 10 nationally in dairy production, as well as wine, apples and maple syrup.

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The 2012 report shows the vast majority of farms — 98 percent — were family-owned.

More than half had sales below $10,000.

They were operated by 56,000 New Yorkers, employing 61,000 laborers.

Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says Tuesday it makes economic sense for the state to retain and promote agriculture to feed New Yorkers, keep the economy diversified and preserve land.