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VOX POPULI: Banner harvest met with bad omens for future of rice farming

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The season of new rice is here, and supermarket shelves are stacked with bags of freshly harvested rice from various regions, marketed under brand names such as Shinnosuke, Seiten-no-hekireki and Yumepirika.

Rice farmers in Hokkaido and the Tohoku region are said to be having a banner year.

I visited Yamagata Prefecture, where the yield per unit of area was reportedly the highest in the nation.

But the operator of a large-scale farm in the town of Takahata in southern Yamagata was unexpectedly glum.

"Actually, our company is having the worst crisis since it was founded," said Toshihiro Yamaguchi, 62, who runs a company named Farm Osonozuka.

The cause of his distress is that........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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