(Feb. 4, 5:07 p.m.) Just released statistics from the 2007 Census of Agriculture revealed the number of farms grew 4% in the last five years.

The census showed 2.2 million farms were operating in 2007, up by nearly 76,000 farms compared to 2002, the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service said in a Feb. 4 news release.

The census is available online at www.agcensus.usda.gov.

The new farms, the USDA said, tend to be more diversified, with fewer acres and younger operators.

Nearly 300,000 new farms have started since the 2002 census, the USDA said.

The 2007 census also showed 30% more women operators than 2002, while the number of Hispanic operators grew by 10%.

The Census also found that 57% of growers have Internet access, up from 50% in 2002. Of those who have Internet access, about 58% have high-speed Internet access, the USDA said.