LUBBOCK (AP) – A new federal report shows that while the number of farms in Texas grew slightly over the last five years, the number of acres under production saw a minor drop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its preliminary 2012 Census of Agriculture on Thursday. It provides estimates on the number of farms, how many acres are farmed, the number of farmers and their average age and other statistics.

The report, issued every five years, is used in evaluating and implementing agriculture policies and programs.

The report says Texas leads the nation with 248,810 farms, up from 247,437 operations in 2007. Farmland covers about 130.2 million acres in Texas, a negligible drop from about 130.4 million acres in 2007.

Texas farmers’ average age rose to 60.1 years, up from 58.9 years.

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