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NYS: Suffolk tops in flowers, pumpkins, sod

Suffolk County ranks as the state’s top producer

Suffolk County ranks as the state’s top producer of sod. Above, fields are tilled at DeLea Sod Farms in Cutchogue. (May 27, 2011) Credit: Randee Daddona

Suffolk County ranks as the state's top producer of flowers, pumpkins and sod, according to state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

In a two-page report released Monday, DiNapoli said flowers were the sixth-largest commodity in 2010 statewide, generating sales of $183 million. Pumpkins placed 18th with sales of $35 million.

He did not give figures for the commodities that make up Suffolk's $240 million in agricultural sales.

"While farming in New York is mainly a small, family business, its economic impact is widespread," DiNapoli said. "Farming supports thousands of New Yorkers in a variety of industries and services, such as food processing, trucking and tourism."

The report found that the average farm in the state is less than 200 acres, or about half the national average.

Suffolk is a major player in the wine industry, boasting 76 of the state's 374 wineries. New York is the second-largest producer of wine in the country, after California. Thirty-six million gallons of wine were made statewide in 2010.

Wineries drew five million tourists in 2008, the most recent data available. About 1.3 million visited Long Island vineyards.

The state's top commodity is milk, with 2010 sales of $2.2 billion, or nearly half of all agricultural production. Much of the milk is used by the burgeoning Greek-yogurt industry, along with makers of cottage cheese and sour cream. New York is the country's top producer of cottage cheese and sour cream.

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