The decline in the mushroom industry in Ireland over the past several years has been well remarked upon in this column over the years.
However, Stalker was stunned at the number of farms in general that have disappeared in the south of Ireland since 1991.
Another chance to take a guess if you care to, informed readers. Would it be 5,000? or maybe even 10,000? That's a lot of farms.
The true figure according to findings of the most recent farm structure surveys released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) this month, is 37,900. The number of farms has decreased in the period from 1991 to 2005 , from 170,600, to 132,700.
The largest decreases were recorded in the Border region, where there was a fall of 8,300, and in the west, where there were 7,700 fewer farms in 2005.
This is a massive change in farming in Ireland during this time frame. The CSO data also showed that in general farmers were aged 55 or over.
One conclusion from the data is that farm work is increasingly becoming a part-time pursuit.