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BRIEFLY

February 10, 1988

New government figures show that the nation's farm population dropped last year to below 5 million, the lowest total in more than a century. An Agriculture Department historian, Douglas E. Bowers, says the current U.S. farm population could well be the lowest since James Monroe was President 170 years ago. The Census Bureau said an estimated 4.9 million people lived on farms in 1987, 240,000 fewer than in 1986 and the smallest total since records have been kept.

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