- Associated Press - Thursday, February 19, 2015

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The number of small farms and ranches in North Dakota dropped sharply last year, while the number and size of large farms increased.

The U.S. Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service says the 30,300 operations statewide at the end of 2014 was 500 fewer than 2013.

The agency says the number of farms and ranches with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales declined 1,100 farms from the year earlier, while operations with more than $100,000 were up 600 farms from 2013.

Land in farms and ranches in North Dakota totaled 39.3 million acres, unchanged from 2013. But the average size of operation was up 21 acres from the year before, at 1,297 acres.

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