One thought on “(English) New York’s Overmanaged Farmers Are Suffering

  1. Farm viability is a complex issue. When founded by a prior generation, was there a vibrant local community purchasing from that farm? A rail head, or canal which facilitated the distant delivery of commodities at better than local rates? What changed in the past decades, impacting markets and profitability? Should a farm, become a value-added producer? Instead of selling milk, should you be selling cheese or yogurt?
    What costs are imposed by NYS and localities in making that change?
    Recently “FMSA” at the Federal level, impacted small operators by a one-size-fits-all rule making. Not every farmer has the income to hire full-time compliance managers and process review auditor.
    At the State and Federal level, seasonal guest-worker regulations regarding entry visas, housing, compensation, and insurances impact the cost of operation. In my state, (not NY) Workmen’s Compensation is based on the “State-adjusted mean income” (~$42,000) not the actual salary of a farm employee. It’s an incentive to claim enduring workplace injury, as Comp will pay equal or better than prevailing wage.
    The cost of energy is a big disadvantage to value-added producers, green crop and fruit crop farmers.
    New Trucking regulations, the cost of tolls, motor fuel taxes (has Mario Cuomo’s nickel tax for support of the MTA dime fare ever been repealed?) etc… drive the cost up for Oneida, Lewis, and Jefferson County farms, trying to supply the NYC Marketplace.

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