Japanese Farm Households Turning From Dairy

JAPAN - The Japan Dairy Council, an organization comprising dairy-related and raw milk producing groups across the country, predicts about 1,240 farm households in all prefectures except Hokkaido will cease raising cows this year.
calendar icon 26 March 2009
clock icon 1 minute read

Kenichiro Takagi stared sadly at an empty cowshed.

"I have been around cows since I was old enough to understand things," the 63-year-old farmer from Nasukarasuyama told TheJapanTimes. "It's lonely without them."

He is one of the many dairy farmers who have stopped raising milk cows in the face of surging feed prices, reports the news organisation.

The price of grain has been rising sharply around the world since fall 2006 amid a rise in demand for grains such as corn for biofuels and a flow of speculative funds into grain markets.

Imported feed mixed primarily with corn cost about ¥40,000 per ton until two years ago, but the price soared to up to ¥68,000 last year. Takagi said annual feed costs rose from ¥2 million to ¥3.2 million.

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