Farming is still big business in New York State. That’s the upshot of a report just released by the NYS Comptroller.
Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli says that agriculture contributed $37.6 billion to the state's economy in 2012, an increase of more than 22 percent over a five year period.
DiNapoli says it’s not just the traditional grain and vegetable crops that are contributing to that bottom line.
"You're seeing the incredible growth of the wine industry, Upstate NY, on Long Island, the emergence of breweries, the craft beer industry is really taking hold."
He says the state ranks in the top 10 nationwide for milk and other dairy production, as well as wine, apples maple syrup and other products.
DiNapoli says many of the farms in New York are smaller, family owned farms, and he says that's a challenge since a number of young people are opting not to continue with their family farm operations.
DiNapoli does tell WXXI News that farmers in Albany for a conference recently told him they do need help from the state, particularly with improvements to the state's infrastructure.
"If you have a problem with inadequate roads or transportation to get your products to market, that's another kind of challenge where they would like to see the state do a little more."
In terms of agriculture related sales, the comptroller's report lists Wyoming County as the top county in the state, with Genesee, Wayne, Livingston and Ontario also among the top 10 counties for sales of farm products.