- Associated Press - Thursday, February 20, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Federal officials say the number of farms in New York declined slightly from 2007 through 2012, while the amount of farmland ticked up.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Thursday that preliminary numbers from its 2012 census show there were 35,538 New York farms, down from 36,352.

The agency says the amount of farmland increased to 7,183,579 acres from 7,174,743. The average size of a farm grew to 202 acres from 197.

The 2.2 percent decrease in the number of farms compared to a 4.3 percent decrease nationally. The USDA says that continues a long-term trend toward fewer farms.

The report shows there were 1,106 New York farms of 1,000 acres or more, down slightly. The largest number of farms was in the 50-to-179 acres category at 13,544.

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