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Number of ND farms down 3 percent

Number of ND farms down 3 percent

FARGO — The average number of North Dakota farms is down 3 percent according to preliminary data from the 2012 Census of Agriculture.

The data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service showed there were 30,961 farms in 2012, down from 2007.

Land in farms, at 39.3 million acres, was down 1 percent from what was reported five years prior. The size of the average farm was 1,268 acres, up 2 percent or 27 acres from 2007.

During 2012, the average age of the principal operator remained unchanged from 2007’s average age of 57 years.

The number of operators under the age of 34 was 2,762, up 14 percent from 2007, while the number of operators over the age of 65 totaled 9,398, up 2 percent from 2007.

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