- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lost 500 farms last year, continuing a trend seen in recent years in which there are fewer farms operating and those that remain are becoming larger.

The number of farms in Iowa has fallen about 1.6 percent in the last five years while the average farm size has increased 1.5 percent.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says most of the loss was smaller farms with sales of less than $10,000.

Iowa posted a total of 87,500 farms in 2015. Total land in farms was 30.5 million acres. That’s about the same as the year before. The average farm size rose slightly to 349 acres.

Nationally, the number of farms fell by 18,000 last year to 2.07 million.

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