This is a farming method according to which paddy fields are filled with water in winter and early spring. Usually, no-till farming is conducted in these fields.
At the rice fields in Koji, Shoin-machi, Suzu City, commonly known as “Haccho-no-ta”, “Winter paddy-field flooding” is implemented from late October through mid-March for Bewick’s swans flying from Siberia. The local volunteer group called “Tonoyama-kai” has carried out the activity for over 20 years. Water is drawn from the nearby Mamagawa River. With the cooperation of local residents, the group stores rice from previous years. Early in the morning, its members spread rice grains in the paddy fields for Bewick’s swans to eat. The sight of many Bewick’s swans pecking at rice in the paddy field is a special feature of winter. Since the beginning of the winter paddy-field flooding, more Bewick’s swans have come. Now, over the winter, more than 200 of these birds migrate to Haccho-no-ta to rest their wings.