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Organic farming in New York keeps growing

Staff Writer |
New York's organic farming has grown over the past several years, led by milk sales, with agricultural land federally certified organic expanding to 934 operating farms last year.

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The report from the state comptroller's office shows sales of organic farm products rose from 2008 to 2014 statewide by 56 percent to $164 million. Sales jumped another 35 percent last year to $221 million, according to another federal report.

"Organic farming is not a fad, but a robust sector of our economy," Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. Over the same period, the number of certified organic farms nationally declined slightly to 14,100.

U.S. Department of Agriculture survey data showed $94 million of organic milk produced at 402 farms in New York, ranking second nationally in 2014.

New York sales of organic crops at nearly $53 million were led by vegetables and melons, followed by apples, strawberries and blueberries. Its $2.7 million of organic maple syrup ranked third behind Vermont and Maine.

Organic farming remains a small portion of New York's overall agriculture, which recorded more than $5.4 billion in 2012 sales and occupies 7.2 million acres, almost one-quarter of the state.

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