Hobby farmers may skew agriculture statistics

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An Indiana farm organization official is concerned an increase in "hobby farmers" may eventually skew the numbers in the Census of Agriculture that gathers information on the nation's farms and the people who run them.

Allen County Farm Bureau President Roger Hadley told The Journal Gazette the number of farms in some counties in northeast Indiana may have increased, but called the boost a bit bogus. He says some of them are people with a few acres as side jobs that are being counted.

The latest census found there were 58,695 farms in Indiana in 2012, down from 60,936 in 2007. The average size of a farm increased to 251 acres, up from 242 acres five years earlier.

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