Department of Environmental Conservation

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Farms and Agriculture

Farms, orchards and vineyards are an important part of our environment and economy. DEC offers these web pages to:

  • Provide information about funding assistance and programs that make agriculture more energy efficient, less polluting and more sustainable.
  • Help farms and other agricultural businesses comply with the environmental laws that protect the wildlife, land, water and air of New York State.

Regulatory Programs

Farms, orchards and vineyards are businesses that use significant quantities of fuel, fertilizer and pesticides. Sometimes, agricultural lands are located over desirable deposits of gas, oil and minerals. For these and many other reasons, small and large agricultural businesses are subject to laws designed to enhance both their environmental and economic value. Owners and operators of small and large agricultural businesses can find information on environmental laws and regulatory programs for topic areas, including: air quality compliance, the management of pesticides, lands and forests, waste and whey. Resources regarding bulk storage of petroleum and chemicals are also available.

A herd of cows in the pasture with farm house, barn and silos in the background
Dairy farms contribute substantially to
New York State's agricultural success.

Assistance Programs

Improving energy efficiency, developing farm-based renewable energy, and using practices that are more environmentally sustainable can help your farm, orchard or vineyard cut its operating costs and reduce pollution. For example, programs that help you make electricity from biogas, save energy dollars and reduce air pollution. This increases your energy independence and the possibility of developing new ways to profit from dairy and food processing businesses.

State and federal agencies and Cornell University offer help for farms and agricultural businesses.

Please note: All of the following links leave DEC's website.

More about Farms and Agriculture: