Dairy cattle in the Cornell Dairy Research Center in Harford, NY (Cornell University Photography).
Image by Jason Koski

Dairy farming is an important part of our local agricultural economy.


Vegetable production is an important part of our local agricultural economy.

Image by Alice Henneman

Fruit production is an important part of our local agricultural economy.

Livestock production is an important part of our local agricultural economy.


Updated July 2014 from 2012 Ag Census Data

Wayne County is diverse in its agricultural base. The countryside is plentiful in orchards, vegetables, dairy farms, grain operations and nurseries. Cornell Cooperative Extension provides education for these ag businesses.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Wayne County supports three regional agriculture teams and provides support for the “backyard” grower through our Master Gardener Program. By providing local county dollars into the regional agriculture program, Wayne County farmers and agriservice have access to more than 16 specialists in specific commodity areas. Check out the “Commercial Agriculture” page to get more information and enrollment form for the teams

According to the 2012 US Ag Census, there are 179,109 acres in farms, (an increase from 2007) covering more than 42% of the county. Almost 900 farms dot the countryside growing everything from hay to wine grapes to the main crop of apples. There was a slight decrease in the number of farms since 2007 (873 vs 938) but still more farms since 1997 census when Wayne County had 840 farms. In general, over the last 25 years, the number of farms in Wayne County has remained somewhat constant.

Wayne County farms sell more than $205 million in agriculture products each year. The leading products are: fruit and berries, dairy products, poultry, and vegetables. Wayne County is the fifth largest ag producing county and the second largest crop producing county in the state.

Farm acreage has increased since 1997 and 2007, where acreage was 167,190 and 168,471, respectively. The value of agriculture products sold per farm has increased over time, and the number of farms that have increased their income has also increased. Even considering those who farm somewhat part-time, as they have less than $25,000 of gross income per year, total value of farm products have increased from $107 million in 1997 to over $205 million in 2012. There is also the trend that the numbers of farms are shifting from smaller, part time farms, to larger part time and full time farms. (The US Ag Census counts any “farm” as those with greater than $1,000 of gross income per year, which could mean just one steer being sold off farm!)

Wayne County ranks number one in the state for apple production, and third across the nation. Wayne County also ranks in the top ten in NYS for all grains (5th), vegetables and melons (9th), Christmas trees (10th), poultry and eggs (6th), hogs and pigs (2nd), and 5th for “colonies of bees”.

2012 Value of Selected Crops:

  • Fruit, Nuts and Berries—$78.86 million, 43% total sales
  • Livestock and Products—$8.3 million, 4.5%
  • Milk from Cows—$32.5 million, 15.0%, 18%
  • Vegetables—$15.1 million, 8.3%
  • Grain—$46.5 million, 25.6%, the largest increase in sales

For more specific information on agriculture in Wayne County, look in the NYS Ag Statistics web page OR USDA 2012 Agriculture Census Data. For the “2012 Census of Agriculture Fact Sheet” for Wayne County, click here.

2020 Ag Enrollment is now available! Enroll now by printing out these two pages and mailing in your form. More information about our regional agriculture teams is available on our Ag Specialist Page through the link above for "Commercial Agriculture". Sign up now to get all the specialist teams’ newsletter and educational activities announcement. CCE Wayne now has information for growers of all commodities:  dairy, livestock, field crops, vegetables, fruit and wine grapes, enroll now!


Beth Claypoole
Executive Director/Agricultural Issues Leader
315-331-8415 x102

Last updated May 1, 2020