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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

USDA on Friday issued a report that said the number of U.S. farms declined in 2007 by .6% to 2.08 million and the average farm size increased by three acres over 2006 to 449 acres.

According to USDA, the reduced number of farms and their larger size "reflects a continuing consolidation in farming operations and diversion of agricultural land to nonagricultural uses."

But numbers of farms and acreages varied by state. For example, the number of farms in South Dakota last year stayed steady at 31,300, the exact same number as 2006. That total, however was down 4% from 1997 and down 11% from 1987. The average size of South Dakota farm also stayed the same in 2007 as it was in 2006 at just under 1400 acres.

But the number of farms in Nebraska fell last year to 47,300, down 300 from the year before. The average farm size in Nebraska increased by 4 acres to 964.

And in Iowa last year, the number of farms declined by 200 to 88,400. The average Iowa spread stayed the same, however, at 356 acres.

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