Dairy cattle at Lew-Lin farm, Dryden NY
Image by Sandy Repp

Dairy cattle grazing


Did you know that...

Agriculture in Cortland County is a $62.9 million dollar business.

There are 518 full and part-time farmers in the county who own 115,024 acres of land, or about 36% of the land area in the county.

122,086 acres of land or about 38 percent of the land in the county is located within an established agricultural district. Agricultural districts help to maintain farms in farming.

Farming is the principal occupation on 270 farms and a part time enterprise on 248 farms.

The farms in Cortland County provide direct employment for 528 people and indirect employment for many others in agricultural support industries such as feed, seed and fertilizer dealers, machinery dealers, builders and others providing services to the agricultural producer.

The average value of farmland and buildings per farm is over $423,170.

The average market value of machinery and equipment is $104,709 per farm.

Dairy farming is the largest agricultural enterprise in the county. The average production per cow in Cortland County is 2774.7 gallons; the total annual milk production from the county’s dairies is 28.7 million gallons.

The population of milk cows in Cortland County is 10,351. There are about 1,279 beef cows. The total population of cattle and calves is 23,239. Other livestock includes 894 horses, 700 sheep and 1,112 poultry.

Milk from 108 dairies is marketed in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania through cooperatives or independent handlers serving the area. Milk sales account for $41.7 million of the total agricultural sales from Cortland County farms.

41,756 tons of hay are produced on 22,820 acres across the county.

Corn for grain and silage is grown on 13,553 acres.

Horticultural enterprises include fruit, vegetables and ornamental crops. Market vegetables are grown on a full and part-time basis on over 33 farms and fruit production occurs on 11 farms. Ornamental crop enterprises include 14 businesses producing and selling greenhouse and nursery crops.

Horticultural crop sales account for $1.04 million dollars.

Other major agricultural crops grown in Cortland County include:

  • Wheat 131 acres 
  • Vegetables 228 acres
  • Oats 537 acres 
  •  Maple Syrup 32,853 gallons

DOWNLOAD A BROCHURE with these Agri-Facts

Data compiled from: 2012 US Census of Agriculture.


Dana Havas
Agriculture Team Leader

Last updated July 26, 2019