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DiNapoli: Despite challenges, agriculture among most resilient state industries during the pandemic


Wed, Aug 24th 2022 01:10 pm

Submitted by the Office of New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli

Agriculture in New York state paid close to $1 billion in wages and produced roughly $3.3 billion in gross domestic product in 2021, according to a report by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The sector has proved to be among the most resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic, losing just 1% of jobs in 2020 compared to the statewide annual employment loss of 8.7%. Both employment and wages in the farming sector grew in 2021 to reach new highs of 23,868 employees and $970.2 million in wages.

“Agriculture supports jobs and communities throughout New York,” DiNapoli said. “In addition to the growth in employment and wages in the sector, local farms contributed to the food security in their communities during the COVID pandemic, as disrupted supply chains left shelves empty in many places. Agriculture, particularly the family farm, is vital to New York’s health and economy. Many of our farms face significant challenges to their bottom line, making it important for the state to ensure that this sector continues to thrive.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, milk is the state’s largest agricultural commodity, ranking fifth nationally in sales. New York is also among the top producers of many other products, including other dairy products, apples, maple syrup, wine and grapes, and roughly 9% of the state’s agricultural receipts come from crops grown for animal feed. According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, there are over 33,000 farms in New York, with nearly 23% of the total land area in agricultural use.

DiNapoli’s report noted much of the income earned on farms recirculates back into the farmer’s community. In addition to local taxes and the wages paid for farm workers, this includes supporting a variety of local businesses and services, making farming an engine of their local economies.

The report includes a breakdown on:

√ Employment, total wages paid, and average annual pay of farm employees;

√ The sector’s effect on state jobs, workers, and communities.


Economic and Policy Insights

Related Reports:

A Profile of Agriculture in New York State, Office of the State Comptroller (2019)

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