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      Michigan mirrors US agricultural trends, according to survey

      Michigan is mirroring a national trend of declining farms even as the value of crops and livestock increases.

      A five-year federal census of America's agriculture released Thursday finds Michigan had about 52,000 farms in 2012 - down 7 percent from 2007. The state also saw a decrease in small farms and an increase in large farms.

      The census says the number of farms decreased in 34 states. There were 2.1 million U.S. farms in 2012, down 4 percent from 2007.

      The survey also found the market values of crops, livestock and total agricultural products rose in Michigan as well as the country.

      The nation saw a small rise in younger farmers, while the number held steady in Michigan. Both experienced a drop in middle-age farmers.

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