NY ag revenue sees big increase

Posted 14 December 2015 at 12:00 am

File photo by Tom Rivers – Walter Zelazny & Sons farm in Medina was out harvesting corn on Nov. 14, 2014 in this field at the corner of Route 63 and Fletcher Chapel Road.

Press Release
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the growth of agricultural sales in New York outpaced the national average, with cash receipts up 36 percent across the state, more than the 32 percent gain nationally.

In 2014, farmers in New York State also set a new record for sales with $6.36 billion in cash receipts, up from $4.7 billion in 2010, representing a nearly $1.7 billion increase in gross income from sales of crops, livestock, and other products.

“New York State is home to thriving agricultural businesses known for their high-quality products and award-winning tastes,” Governor Cuomo said. “This administration’s continued commitment to cutting through the red tape, lowering costs and investing in this vital industry is paying dividends today. I congratulate all of New York’s farmers on another banner year.”

Since taking office, Cuomo has made the state’s agricultural economy a top priority, supporting agricultural research, promoting locally grown and produced foods, helping to market the booming craft beverage industry, and connecting our farmers and agri-businesses to new markets through farmers’ markets, Taste NY stores and increased procurement opportunities.

As a result, New York has seen a surge in average gross income and a significant increase in sales of many of the state’s top commodities.

Since 2010, the following commodities have shown the greatest increases:

Poultry and eggs up 63 percent to $206 million;
Peaches up 80 percent to $12.6 million;
Honey production up 59 percent to just under $9 million;
Cattle production up 132 percent to $415 million; and
Hay up 173 percent to $147 million.

The New York dairy industry also saw record high dairy prices in 2014, constituting approximately half of the state’s agricultural receipts.

The Governor’s Taste NY initiative continues to expand since its launch in 2013, helping to link our local producers and growers to consumers around the world through events, culinary tours and several Taste NY stores. This year, the state opened four Taste NY stores, including the first store outside New York State in Puerto Rico.

There are now 11 Taste NY stores along our highways and in our transportation hubs, enabling travelers to buy New York State’s homegrown and homemade products. The Taste NY Market at Todd Hill recently exceeded $1 million in sales.

The state also held three Taste NY Culinary Tours in 2015 that brought together more than 100 restaurateurs, many from downstate, to the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and Long Island regions to experience the quality and diversity of agricultural products specific to the region and encourage local sourcing.

Cuomo has pushed to help agricultural producers and growers tap into the New York City marketplace, and connect with schools. The recently announced Farm to School program will assist Pre-K-12 schools procure and serve healthy, locally grown foods on school menus, bolstering the demand for agricultural products.

In addition, partnerships across the state and in particular, downstate, are helping the industry bring its goods and products to the state’s growing number of farmers’ markets.

New York is also leading the growth of the rapidly expanding farm-based beverage industry. The overhaul of legislative and regulatory policies, coupled with substantial improvements to the state’s business climate, have stimulated record growth in craft producers, while increasing demand of agricultural producers.

Since 2011, the industry overall has grown 154 percent. New York now has more than more than 800 beer, wine, spirits, and cider businesses, contributing over $27 billion to New York’s economy annually.

“With the Governor’s commitment to growing the agricultural economy and New York State farmers’ increased innovation and resiliency, New York State has a winning combination,” said New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “There’s no doubt the agricultural economy is stronger now than ever. With record sales and a significant growth trend in sales of many key commodities, New York continues to be a leader in agriculture.”

According to a study conducted by Cornell Professor Todd Schmit, New York’s agricultural sector has a strong multiplier effect on the state’s economy. For every dollar spent in agricultural output, an additional $.43 is generated for non-agricultural industries. In addition, every new job created within agriculture leads to the creation of .80 non-agricultural jobs.

“The growth of agricultural sales demonstrates that farming in this state is an extremely important industry to New York’s rural economy,” said Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau president. “It could not have been possible without the hard work and commitment demonstrated on farms in every region to produce quality products that consumers want. The growth also demonstrates what is possible when the State improves the business climate for family farms and invests in industry promotion.”