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Status report issued on agriculture and natural resources (Released: 2/9/96)

by Renu Sehgal, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Agriculture has changed dramatically in Connecticut in recent decades, but continues to thrive and contribute to the economy and quality of life in the state, according to a new, comprehensive report compiled by the University of Connecticut.

''Connecticut Agriculture and Resources 2000,'' written by the Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, reports on the past, present and future of agricultural industries in Connecticut.

''The traditional dairy and egg farms are consolidating. However, dairy farms continue to have a higher level of production per farm than New York or Vermont and we are still a major supplier of breeding stock for the broiler industry,'' said Linda K. Lee, chair of the report and associate professor of agricultural and resource economics. ''The nursery/ greenhouse and aquaculture industries are expanding and becoming more important to Connecticut's economy.''

Agricultural changes in Connecticut in part reflect national trends as the number of farms decrease while the size of remaining farms increase. But the state has trends unique to an urban environment, such as the emergence of the nursery/ greenhouse industry.

''Agriculture can exist in various forms and still be very important even in an urban state,'' Lee said. ''Farmland provides additional benefits through open space, wildlife habitat and scenic beauty.''

Dean Kirklyn M. Kerr said the report will provide information to help participants in Connecticut's agricultural and resource sectors plan for the future.

''Agriculture has experienced significant changes during the past several decades. We need to analyze trends to be fully prepared for change,'' he said.

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