Yates County Farmland Prices Rise With Interest In Craft Beverages

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) — Farmland prices in the Finger Lakes continue to increase. In Yates County, that’s partly due to more interest from craft breweries and distilleries, according to The Observer newspaper.

At two recent auctions, the final land prices were over $10,000 per acre. That’s over double the usual price of $3,000-$5,000 per acre.

“For people who are still looking, they’re increasingly having to get creative about land arrangements and, you know, accessing leased land, working with land trusts, things like that, because the price of land has nothing to do with it’s value agriculturally,” said Erica Freney, a livestock farmer in Tompkins County. She also works for the Cornell Small Farm Program.

For many new farmers, the idea of owning and farming their own land is becoming a fantasy, according to Freney.

In other counties, farmland prices are also affected by dairy farmers looking to expand, proximity to lakes for better growing environments and need for good pasture for grazing.

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