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Number of NY farms fell but their income rose since 2007

The number of farms in Western New York fell by 1,104 from 2007 to 2017, the biggest decrease among the state's 10 regions, according to a state Comptroller's Office report.

The largest decline occurred in Chautauqua County, according to a Profile of Agriculture in New York State.

The state's number of farms and farm acreage declined by 8% and 4%, respectively, but net farm income grew by more than 20%. The number of organic farms increased by over 60%. The state's more than 33,400 farms generated $5.7 billion in revenue in 2017.

“Farms generate billions of dollars in sales, provide jobs and enhance our quality of life. But farmers face challenges including fluctuating milk prices, threats from a changing climate and disrupted trade relations," said Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

Wyoming County ranked first in the state for total sales, with 729 farms generating $307.5 million.

New York ranked third nationally for milk sales. With 624,000 milk cows, the state leads the nation in the production of cottage cheese, sour cream and yogurt.

Farms cover nearly 23% of New York State’s total land area, with 96% of those family owned, according to the report.

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