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An ornate box of food
Farm Crops
  1. Organic Farming in Japan
  2. Early Mechanization of Agriculture
  3. Wet Rice Agriculture
  4. Transplanting Rice Seedlings
  5. Innovations in Fruit and Vegetable Farming
  6. Raising Silkworms in Japan
  7. Dairy Farming in Japan
  8. Beef Cattle in Japan
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A farmer in bright yellow milks a cow by hand.
An apprentice learns the proper technique to care for dairy cows.
Photo Courtesy of the Japan Forum. Photo by Hikari Yoshino.
Dairy Farming in Japan
Dairy farming has become an important part of Japanese agricultural production as the Japanese diet has changed. In 2001, 32,000 households raised 1.7 million dairy cattle in Japan. They produced 8.5 million metric tons of raw milk, nearly 60 percent of which was sold as fresh milk for drinking. Hokkaido with its cold climate and larger farm size is a primary area for dairy farming, but most of its raw milk production is processed into butter, cheese, canned milk products, and ice cream. Dairy farms closer to major cities produce most of the fresh milk that Japanese drink. While some dairy farms in Hokkaido keep their cattle in pastures, most dairy cows are kept in small feedlots and fed grain. Japanese dairy farms are small compared to those in the United States and other western countries, with an average of about 50 head of dairy cattle per farm. The number of large-scale commercial dairy farms is increasing rapidly. Click on CHARTS, below, to learn more about dairy cattle in Japan.
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