Unlike the national census conducted every 10 years, the USDA surveys farms every 5 years. The latest report follows what we've been hearing for several years, farmers are battling to keep the cows fed. And numbers show an alarming number are giving up the fight.

The latest numbers from the 2017 survey are just now being released, and as crunched by the New York Farm Bureau reveal:

  • New York has 33,438 farms, 2,100 fewer than in 2012. It's largest decline in more than 20 years and triple the national average.
  • Dairy Farms had the biggest drop with nearly 20-percent closing the milking parlor.
  • Average net farm income, $42,875.

WOW, even for the farmers who persevere through low milk prices and higher labor costs, they end up with a mere 42k for working 7 days a week.

New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher says there are some positive ag numbers.

  • 35% increase in organic farms
  • Vegetable farms up 2% with 3,544 farms
  • Fruit farms up eight-percent to 3,083 farms.
  • 15% increase in maple operations to 1,662 farms

Other number-crunching shows, 98% of New York farms to be family owned. The average farm is 205 acres and the average farmer is 55.8 years old.

If you're interested you can crunch your own numbers from the census, including a breakdown by New York counties at this USDA webpage. Read more about Farm Burea's take on the census date at their website.