Farming is still the biggest industry in Georgia, although the number of farms has dropped and farmers are getting older without being replaced by a new generation, according to statistics from the Census of Agriculture released Wednesday.
The census, based on detailed surveys of farmers, is taken every five years and attempts to measure changes in land use and ownership, characteristics of farmers, production practices, income and expenses. The data, which can be broken down by county, covers 2002 through 2007.
Georgia is one of 11 states losing farms, with a 3 percent drop to 47,846. The decrease translates to a loss of about 293 farms per year.
The national trend is the opposite, with 4 percent more farms than in 2002, said Doug Kleweno, state director for Georgia agricultural statistics.
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