Tokachi Agricultural Experiment Station
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.
Our experiment station has a history of over 120 years and have contributed to agricultural development in eastern Hokkaido mainly in the Tokachi district.
|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.
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.
Soybean varieties of high quality and stable- and high-yield have been developed suitable for each area of Hokkaido. The goals of development are
- cold torelance
- resistance to soybean cyst nematoda
- resistance to soybean dwarf virus
- suitability for mechanical harvesting
- tolerance to seed coat discoloration induced by low temperature
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.
New cultivation systems have been studied in terms of production cost reduction, mechanization, labor saving, and high efficiency.
Variable-rate fertilization and automated machinery systems are developed for improving productivity using information communication technologies.
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.
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.
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
- Soybean variety | "Toyomadoka" (2018), "Toyomizuki" (2012), "Yukihomare R" (2010)
- Adzuki bean variety | "Erimo 167" (2017), "Chihayahime" (2016), "Kita-asuka" (2010)
- Kidney bean variety | "Akibare" (2019), "Kachidoki" (2017), "Kita-Rosso" (2017)
- Chinese yam variety | "Tokachitaro" (2013)
- Stable cultivation method by dense planting for early-maturing Adzuki bean varieties in eastern Hokkaido (2019)
- Control of Leguminivora glycinivorealla and bugs injurious to soybean seed (2019)
- Delay of maturity period of red kidney beans against climate risk by extra-late sowing (2019)
- Evaluation of cost reduction in potatoes for starch production (2018)
- Improvement of field productivity by controlling soil freezing depth (2018)
- Variable-rate nitrogen application for crop rotation system using remote sensing data (2017)
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.
- +81 155 62 2431
- +81 155 62 0680
- Postal address
- 9-2 Shinsei Minami, Memuro, Hokkaido, 082-0081, JAPAN