CHENANGO COUNTY – Chenango County's oldest consolidated agricultural district is on the decline, according to an ag district review from the County Department of Planning and Development.
The department's draft report cites an estimated 1,660 farms currently in Agricultural District 1A. That's down 752 farms since 2011. Moreover, acreage of farmland dropped an estimated 11,486 acres over the last eight years.
Chenango's Ag District 1A encompasses nearly half the county, totaling 167,035 acres in the towns of Afton, Bainbridge, Coventry, Greene, Guilford, Norwich, Oxford, and Smithville. It also includes the villages of Afton, Bainbridge, Greene, and Oxford, as well as the City of Norwich. Roughly 101,637 acres in the district is farmland, according to the report. It's the largest ag district in the county.
Review of the three agricultural districts in Chenango County is done in conjunction with the county's Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board every eight years in order to preserve “Right to Farm” laws for local farmers. Findings are filed with the County Department of Planning and reported to New York State Ag and Markets.