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Report: Pennsylvania lost about 4,000 farms over 5 years

| Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 3:45 p.m.

HARRISBURG — A new federal report says Pennsylvania lost nearly 4,000 farms over a recent five-year period and the state's total farm acreage dropped by about 100,000.

The Census of Agriculture released Thursday found Pennsylvania had just over 59,000 farms that comprised 7.7 million acres in 2012.

The total annual market value of the state's agriculture products is about $7.4 billion. The average farm produces about $124,000 in products every year.

Most Pennsylvania farms are between 10 and 500 acres in size, but about 650 are at least 1,000 acres. The average farm size is 130 acres.

The survey says that about half of the state's 59,302 farm operators have another primary occupation outside of agriculture.

The average age of a Pennsylvania farmer is currently 56 years and getting older.

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