At NYFVI, we regularly use statistics to help us understand agriculture in New York. These data enable us to move beyond our limited individual perceptions of what farming looks like in the state to a truer picture of where agriculture stands, where it has been, and where it is going.
Each page consists of a series of questions about the given topic. Clicking on a question will reveal our best attempt at an answer, usually in the form of an image. Information is presented through charts, tables, and thematic maps.
How to read a thematic map (click to reveal)
The image below shows part of a simple thematic map illustrating the southeastern part of NY. Each county is colored according to a theme, with values set out in a legend to the right. In this case the colors indicate which agricultural sector is responsible for the most sales in each county.
Elsewhere in this "Portrait" we have included 3D maps, where the value of a particular data point (for example, number of milk cows) is indicated not only by color but also by how tall the county is in comparison to the other counties. This provides a bit more information, and we think it is also just more fun! On many of these 3D maps we have included an explanatory chart, so keep an eye out for it.
Sources of Data
The information presented here initially is almost entirely based on raw data from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2012 Census of Agriculture, which was released in May of 2014. This Census is conducted every five years and offers the most comprehensive information about agriculture at the national, state, and county levels. If you are interested in seeing the full dataset, we encourage you to explore the Ag Census here.
As we move forward we will also be making use of data from the USDA Economic Research Service, the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, and the US Census Bureau, as well as information from Cornell University and various reports and projects that NYFVI has funded over the years.