County governments in New York state are pushing back against the proposed change to the overtime threshold for farmworkers, arguing it could have widespread financial effects for small farms. 

State officials are considering final approval of a lowered threshold plan that would stretch over the next decade. It's a proposal that's been cheered by labor unions and farmworker advocates. 

Under the plan, the threshold for overtime pay would be lowered over a decade starting in 2024 from 60 hours a week to 40 hours. 

But agricultural groups like the New York Farm Bureau have opposed the change. 

“New York’s counties are proud to stand with the family farmers and farmworkers who produce the food that fills our grocery store shelves, our school cafeterias and local food banks in opposing this change to the overtime threshold," said Martha Sauerbrey, the chairwoman of Tioga County and the president of New York State Association of Counties. We need to be doing everything we can to support our local farmers as they confront challenges from increasingly erratic weather and rising costs of feed and fuel, not adding additional burdens that threaten their ability to feed our communities and power local economies.”

The number of farms in New York has declined over the last decade, and many have gotten larger as they absorb land from those who have let the industry.

The New York Civil Liberties Union in a statement this year called the change necessary to boost workers on farms. 

“The workers on whom we depend for the food on our tables have waited over 80 years for dignity and to be afforded the same basic workplace protections as all other New Yorkers," said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman.