Tennessee farms smaller and fewer


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports Tennessee farms are smaller and fewer in number than they were several years ago.

There were 79,280 farms last year, down 9 percent from 2002, according to the U.S. Census of Agriculture. The amount of land in farms was just under 11 million acres, down 6 percent.

State Agriculture Commissioner Ken Givens attributes the fewer farms to less tobacco production in Tennessee since the end of federal price supports for the crop in 2005. The number of tobacco farmers in Tennessee fell by 80 percent between 2002 and 2007.

In many parts of the state, the pressures of urbanization also contributed to the change.

Nationwide, the number of farms increased 4 percent between 2002 and 2007. Tennessee was one of 11 states that saw the number of farms decline over the five-year period.


Information from: The Tennessean, www.tennessean.com

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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