HOKKAIDO, Nov. 7 — A bright golden line of trees stands out against green wheat fields and brown Chinese yam fields in the town of Memuro, Hokkaido, as larches and Sakhalin spruces which make up Japan’s longest windbreak forest are turning color.
The 9.2-kilometer-long, 65-meter-wide forest, located west of Prefectural Route 62, was designated by the central government as a windbreak forest in 1922.
The forest helps weaken the strong winds descending the Hidaka Mountain Range and reduce the impact of the winds blowing away or drying the soil.
A farmer who conducts crop rotation near the windbreak, growing wheat and beets, says the forest protects the crops from being damaged by the winds.
According to the Tokachi General Subprefectural Bureau, more farms are cutting down their own windbreaks on the ground that the trees cast shadows and lead to reduced crop yields.
The bureau is calling on farms to understand the roles and effects of windbreaks.