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 Aug 2020 from 2017 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 four 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 17 specialists in specific commodity areas. Check out the “Commercial Agriculture” page to get more information and enrollment form for the teams

According to the 2017 US Ag Census, there are 159,093 acres in farms, (a decrease from 2012) covering more than 27% of the county. Eight hundred and twenty-none (829) 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 2012 (829 vs 873). The average size farm is 192 acres, down 6% since 2012.

Wayne County farms sell more than $221 million in agriculture products each year. The leading products are: fruit and berries, dairy products, poultry, and vegetables. Wayne County remains the fifth largest ag producing county and the second largest crop producing county in the state, keeping this ranking for around 20 years.

Farm acreage had increased between 1997 and 2007, where acreage was 167,190 and 168,471, respectively, so total acreage for ag production does change between census' - and does not show a continual decline. 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 $205 million in 2012 to over $221 million in 2017.  An interesting piece of trivia:  28% of the farms have sales of less than $2,500 and 28% of the farms have sales of $100,000 or more.  The remaining 44% of farms have sales between $2,500 and $100,000 or more.

Wayne County ranks number one in the state for apple production (fruit, nuts and berries), and third across the nation. Wayne County also ranks in the top fifteen counties in NYS for vegetables, melons and potatoes (12th); all grains (11th); nursery, greenhouse, floriculture and sod (10th); hogs and pigs (3rd); Christmas trees and short rotation woody crops (2nd);  and poultry and eggs (2nd).

2017 Value of Selected Crops:

  • Fruit, Nuts and Berries—$110 million, 28% total state fruit,  nuts and berries sales and 50% of county total ag sales
  • Livestock and Products—$65.8 million
  • Milk from Cows—$29.6 million
  • Vegetables, melons and potatoes —$11.7 million
  • Grain—$23.4 million

For more specific information on agriculture in Wayne County, look in the NYS Ag Statistics web page OR USDA 2017 Agriculture Census Data. For the “2017 Census of Agriculture Fact Sheet” for Wayne County, click here.

2023 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!

Last updated March 1, 2023