Higher Production From Fewer Farms in Del.

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    A new census of American agriculture shows that the number of farms in Delaware has declined over the past five years, while the value of crops and livestock they produce has increased.

    A report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that the number of farms in Delaware declined from 2,546 in 2007 to 2,457 in 2012.

    Meanwhile, the value of Delaware farm products rose from slightly more than $1 billion in 2007 to a record $1.28 billion in 2012. Livestock, poultry and related products accounted for two-thirds of the total value, despite a slight dip in market value from five years ago.

    The value of crop production more than doubled to $429 million, which state officials attributed in part to high commodity prices in recent years.

    Delaware agriculture Secretary Ed Kee says the report shows the state has a "strong, viable industry with a powerful economic impact."