Tokachi Agricultural Experiment Station

About us

The Local Independent Administrative Agency Hokkaido Research Organization (HRO) is a general research institute established by Hokkaido local government, involving approximately 1,100 employees in 22 hubs.

The organization comprises of six main research department. Tokachi Agricultural Experiment Station is one of the eight agricultural experiment stations under the agricultural research department.

Tokachi region is a famous and important agricultural area of upland crops and dairy in Japan. We support crop production mainly in the Tokachi region providing new varieties and cultivation technologies, such as been breeding, development of crop cultivation technologies, machinery cultivating system, and farming management. The purpose of our development is a high yield, high quality, easy cultivation, and environmentally friendly and low-cost production. We wish our technologies will lead to flourishing by farmers.

History

Our experiment station has a history of over 120 years and have contributed to agricultural development in eastern Hokkaido mainly in the Tokachi district.

History of Tokachi Agricultural Experiment Station
Year Event
1894 An agricultural test field was established in Tokachi Meteorological Station
1895 Establishment of Tokachi Agricultural Test Field in Shimo-Obihiro village (current Obihiro city) at the expense of the government
1960 Relocation from Obihiro city to the present place in Memuro town
1964 Rename to Hokkaido Prefectural Tokachi Agricultural Experiment Station
1986 Expansion of the building to establish new laboratory
1995 100th anniversary of the foundation
2010 Reorganization to Tokachi Agricultural Experiment Station, Local Independent Administrative Agency of Hokkaido Research Organization

Climate and Agriculture in Tokachi

The mean annual temperature is 6.6°C. Winter temperature is quite lower than in Sapporo (capital city of Hokkaido Prefecture) caused by radiative cooling and few snow acumulation. The low winter temperature makes soil freezing from December to April and the freezing depth is 0.1-0.4 m.

The mean annual precipitation is 597 mm, which is lower in Japan. But most of the precipitation around 70% is from April to October. Therefore, crops can grow well without irrigation. On the other hand, the irrigation system has been introduced in some areas recently to stabilize initial crop growth, especially in April and May.

Typical soil type is Andosols, soils developed from parent materials of several volcanic eruptions from Mt. Tarumae, Mt. Eniwa, Shikotsu, etc. The soils are typically highly porous and dark-colored.

The arable area in Tokachi is 255 thousand ha and 5,200 farmers produce 330 billion yen (3,000 million USD) for agricultural products. 60% of the productions are from milk and livestock and the rest is the production of crops and vegetables (2015).

The main crops are winter wheat, sugar beet, potato, and beans. These four crops are cultivated under crop rotation. Recently, cultivated areas of some vegetables are increasing. Chinese yam (Nagaimo) is a popular crop in Tokachi, and sweetcorn, carrot, cabbage, onion, and young soybean (Edamame) are produced in the central Tokachi. In piedmont and coastal Tokachi, corn for cattle feeding and grass are generally cultivated. Rice production is few due to cool climate.

Organization

Our station has three research groups in the Research Division. Every group has some research teams. The number of staffs are 43 including 34 researchers, 4 staffs for field support (tractor operators), and 5 office clerks. Additionally, 3 technical staffs of Agricultural Technologies and Extension Division in Hokkaido local covernment stay in our station. We closely collaborate with them for agricultural extensions in Tokachi region.

Division of Tokachi AES

Our studies

Soybean Breeding

Soybean varieties of high quality and stable- and high-yield have been developed suitable for each area of Hokkaido. The goals of development are

These soybeans are used for tofu, boiled beans, miso, and natto.

Adzuki beans / Kidney beans Breeding

Varieties of Adzuki beans and kidney beans (Kintoki, Tebo, etc.) have been developed for Hokkaido. The goals of adzuki beans breeding are to develop high-quality and high-yielding varieties with cold resistance, disease resistance, and suitability for mechanized cultivation.

The goals of kidney beans breeding are to develop high-quality, large-gain, and high-yielding varieties with disease resistance. Varieties for salads have also been developed recently.

Support of Other Crops Breeding

Tests on regional adaptability and cultivation methods of major upland crops (wheat, potatoes, and sugar beets) are also performed for high profitability.

Cultivation System

New cultivation systems have been studied in terms of production cost reduction, mechanization, labor saving, and high efficiency.

Precision Agriculture

Variable-rate fertilization and automated machinery systems are developed for improving productivity using information communication technologies.

Farming Management

Economy of new agricultural technology has been evaluated. Also, management methods are developed to implement high-profit and low-cost management. Furthermore, local support systems are implemented to support management.

Fertilization and Agro-Environment

Appropriate fertilization methods have been developed based on soil and crop diagnoses. Also, appropriate application rate of organic matter (e.g. manure and compost) are studied coupled with reduction of application rate of chemical fertilizer. Furthermore, new fertilizers and new materials to adjust soil conditions have been developed. Measurement of environmental conservation and soil surveys are also studied.

Pest management

Some pests are difficult to control for main crops and vegetables in Tokachi area. Reliable and environmentally friendly pest management methods have been developed. Also, new agricultural chemicals have been tested to examine its performance. Furthermore, pests are diagnosed and pests occurrences are predicted.

Horticultural Crops

Regional adaptability and cultivation methods have been tested for profitable vegetables, such as yams, carrots, and cabbage.

Local Support and Cooperation with Agricultural Technologies and Extension Division

We have solved technical problems for local agriculture through verification tests for spreading new technologies. Conference on the support of local agricultural technologies have been held every year to introduce these new technologies. Also, we have cooperated with local agricultural technologies and extension division to support local agriculture.

New Varieties and New Technologies

Access

Our station is located at 42.8915 N, 143.0785 E.

From Memuro railway station
10 min. by car
From Obihiro railway station
25 min. by car
From Obihiro Airport
50 min. by car

No direct bus services to our station.

Research visit to our station

Research engagement with other researchers and agricultural stakeholders is always welcome to maximize agricultural benefits. Please send us the official request paper from your manager of the organization.

Contact us

Email
agri-tokachi@hro.or.jp
Tel
+81 155 62 2431
Fax
+81 155 62 0680
Postal address
9-2 Shinsei Minami, Memuro, Hokkaido, 082-0081, JAPAN

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