- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

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

The agency’s National Agricultural Statistics Service says the 30,000 operations statewide at the end of 2015 was 300 fewer than 2014.

The agency says the number of farms and ranches with less than $100,000 in agricultural sales declined 700 farms from the year earlier, while operations with more than $100,000 were up 400 farms from 2014.

Land in farms and ranches in North Dakota totaled 39.2 million acres, which was down about 100,000 acres from 2014. But the average size of operation was up 10 acres from the year before, at 1,307 acres.

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