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Photo: <a href="">Henry M. Diaz</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Henry M. Diaz, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Small farms continue to struggle in New York

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New York has lost 2 percent of its farms since 2007, 814 in all. That's according to the first glimpse of new agricultural census data released Thursday.

Small farms continue to struggle the most.

New York had 35,538 farms in 2012, when the US Department of Agriculture conducted its census, which it does every five years.

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Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

New York's USDA statistician Blair Smith says small farms accounted for most of the 800 farms lost since 2007. "Most of that decline was in the small size group of $50,000 in sales," Smith says. "The other three groups of larger farms actually increased."

The amount of land in production did grow by just under 10,000 acres. Smith says it's those large farms again. "When you look at it by acreage also, it's the same thing," Smith says. "The largest size group of a thousand acres or more went up. All of the other size groups of acreage went down."

The average age of a farmer went up from 56 to 57 years old. New York added 270 more young farmers – under 34 years old – since 2007.

This released of data is just the first snapshot from the census of agriculture. More specific numbers will come out this spring.

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