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As stated in Minecraft Snapshot 19W37A change notes:

Blocks that can be manually placed on farmland can now also be pushed onto it by a piston without destroying the farmland

What are the implications of this simple change?

Mainly, I'm interested in the applications of automated farming. For example, does this mean that I can line up a set of pistons behind my crops to destroy them all automatically now? Obviously I would still need to replant them afterwards.

Or instead, does this just mean that if I have one crop, I can transfer it to an empty farmland plot with a piston?

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You can destroy(/harvest) crops by extending a piston into it now, yes.

Some other blocks than piston head also work, as demonstrated by this farm design:

  • That's great news! Thanks!! – Erin B Sep 12 at 13:06

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