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Cacti have always been farmable completely automatically. With pistons in 1.7, sugar cane can now be farmed in a fully automatic fashion as well. Mobs and animals can be farmed as well in giant mob grinders. To my knowledge these are the only items that can be farmed in a fully automatic fashion in vanilla Minecraft.

Cobblestone can be farmed fully automatically using mods, or in a semi-automatic fashion using TNT. Wheat can be farmed semi-automatically on a massive scale, but unfortunately requires replanting and tilling.

What I'd like to know is if there are any contraptions people have contrived to harvest any other item in a fully automatic way without using any mods.

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I'm debating whether or not this question is appropriate. It seems to be inviting a "list of X," which we tend to close here because they have no real "right" answer. As stated, it seems to just ask for people to list various devices they've created. –  FAE Sep 22 '11 at 19:27
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@FallenAngelEyes - I agree that the title somewhat gives that impression, and I thought of this too and struggled with its wording, but I tried to present it more as a "am I missing anything?" question than a list question.. –  dlras2 Sep 22 '11 at 19:45

4 Answers 4

up vote 23 down vote accepted

Aside from the things you mentioned:

  • Records can be farmed (semi-automatically), with this ingenious contraption.
  • Cooked Food - raw food is easily collected with vanilla mobtraps, this trap cooks the meat too! This one uses pig spawners, but just modify your vanilla trap to kill with this method to harvest cooked instead of raw meat from all mobs.
  • Melons & Pumpkins can be farmed using BUDs.
  • Mushrooms are easily farmed, since they spread by themselves.
  • Eggs can be farmed
  • Snow with snowmen
  • Ice with a BUD to detect the freezing water
  • Cocoa beans
  • Nether Wart
  • Wheat can be fully automatic using a farmer villager

I'll continue to think about this, let me know if there's anything to be added.

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You can't farm pumpkins. There is no renewable supply of pumpkin seeds. You can't craft pumpkins into seeds like you can with melons. –  John the Green Sep 22 '11 at 20:29
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@John, but the steams will produce pumpkins as long as they're alive. You can farm the pumpkins they produce, but not the pumpkin seeds. –  fredley Sep 22 '11 at 20:34
    
Ah ok. I haven't been able to try that because of the bug making pumpkin seeds not spawn in 1.8. Btw, this answer is an excellent resource! +1 –  John the Green Sep 22 '11 at 20:36
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Don't think you can farm eggs quite like that any more, too many chickens in a small area and they supposedly start to die, so you end up making raw chicken and feathers instead of eggs. Seen at minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Egg#Trivia –  agf Sep 23 '11 at 1:04
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@agf: "If too many chickens are in a small area they will start clipping into walls, and suffocating and dying. This can be alleviated by using glass walls for a chicken coop, since transparent blocks do not cause suffocation." So you just need to use glass block for your farming contraption. –  Lysarion Dec 12 '12 at 15:47

After a little more than a hour looking up things and figuring out stuff, I think I have a list of all items you can make farms for. (Only the automatic farms.)Here is the list and hope this helps.

Planted Crops

  • Cacti - Cacti farm.
  • Sugar Cane - Sugar Cane farm.
  • Mushrooms - Mushroom farm.

Mob Grinders

  • Iron - Iron golem farm.
  • Roses - Iron Golem farm.
  • Eggs - Chicken farm.
  • Bones - Skeleton farm.
  • String - Spider farm.
  • Rotten Flesh - Zombie farm.
  • Blaze Rod - Blaze farm.
  • Ghast Tears - Ghast farm.
  • Sticks - Witch farm.
  • Glass Bottles - Witch farm.
  • Glowstone Dust - Witch farm.
  • Redstone Dust - Witch farm.
  • Sugar - Witch farm.
  • Gunpowder - Creeper/Witch farm.
  • Ender Pearl - Enderman farm.
  • Magma Cream - Magma Cube farm.
  • Gold Nugget - Zombie Pigman farm.
  • Slime Ball - Slime farm.

(please write a comment if I missed anything.)

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I think this would work better (A) as an edit to the accepted answer and (B) properly formatted. –  Riking Jun 25 '13 at 2:35
    
Also don't forget to remove the mob drops, cacti, sugarcane, and Wheat - those were mentioned in the OP. –  Riking Jun 25 '13 at 2:37
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I think it would be best to keep the stuff listed in the question, if only to better provide a comprehensive list of all the automatically farmable items. That said, Pumpkins/melons appear to be missing. As are all the non-egg chicken drops, considering chickens can lay eggs that are automatically collected, 'hatched', and then fed to a grinder. –  Trent Hawkins Jun 25 '13 at 2:45
    
I didn't realize there were fully-automatic farms for Magma Cubes, Zombie Pigmen and Slimes. Could you link some designs? –  ChargingPun Jul 3 at 13:14

The lists above are excellent!

But, this question was asked before Minecraft 1.8 so a few things have changed.

Now you can use Villager Farmers to automatically harvest and replant Carrots, and Potatoes, and Wheat. You can also automatically collect the Bread that Villager Farmers make with the wheat.

Another source of automated carrots and potatoes are from zombie mob grinders.

You can fully automate Pumpkins and Sugar Cane, but not melons. Any automation will break them into Melon Slices. So Melon Slices can be fully automated.

Villagers can also be farmed. Because you can have them automatically shipped away from the village and stored somewhere else so that more can breed. I manually do this right now but am building an automated system.

I've built a minecraft world that fully automates most almost everything I can think of. I made a video tour of this world that you see at:

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Cobble can be farmed through withers, don't forget that. Feathers can be farmed through a cooked chicken farm. Ink Sacs can also be farmed

That's all I can think of at the moment for autos that wasn't already mentioned by previous people.

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