Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, NARO


The Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, NARO (NILGS) is the Japanese research institution for livestock and grassland. We promote the technical developments that integrate studies on grassland, animal feed production, livestock production and animal waste treatment and reuse. NILGS's mission is to contribute to increasing the production of safe and high-quality animal products and improving the self-sufficiency rate of feed by utilizing land resources effectively. Throughout our research, we develop technologies that benefit both present and future livestock production, support our plentiful diet, and finally, contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of national land through development of the livestock industry.


Psychological stress alters the sugar chain structure of the intestinal epithelium

Press release on October 25, 2018

imageThe National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), in collaboration with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Ibaraki University and The University of Tokyo has revealed for the first time that mice subjected to psychological stress exhibited the reduction of a specific sugar chain (fucosylated sugar chain) in intestinal epithelial cells that cover the inner wall of the small intestine. The result of this study is expected to be useful to elucidate the mechanism of changes of gut microbiota in response to psychological stress.Read more

Environmental burden due to livestock production found to be much lower than current estimate

Press release on April 26, 2018

imageTA collaborative study of NARO with several research institutes recalculated the nitrous oxide and methane emission factor based on actual measurements of greenhouse gases generated in swine and cattle wastewater treatment facilities. As a result, we have found that the domestic emission factor of nitrous oxide was found to be over-estimated at present. The estimated value of greenhouse gas emissions using the latest emission factor (total amount of nitrous oxide and methane) associated with swine and cattle sewage treatment was reduced by 600kt CO2 eq. (41%) annually as compared with the estimated value using the current emission factor. The nitrous oxide and methane emission factor calculated this time will be adopted as a new standard for Japan.Read more

Enhanced nitrogen removal in continuous aerated activated sludge swine wastewater treatment

Press release on April 23, 2018

imageThe Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, NARO (NILGS) has revealed that the nitrogen removal efficiency can be improved by more than 5-fold at low concentration of dissolved oxygen in continuous aerated activated sludge treatment, a popular method for treatment of swine wastewater, based on a small-scale experiment of 1/60,000 and simulation study. This study is expected to pave way for the development of an efficient technology that can greatly improve the nitrogen removal efficiency by simple measurement and control method of dissolved oxygen concentration in the aeration tank.Read more

Technology for detecting the effects of heat and pH on meat proteins

Press release on March 5, 2018

image In order to clarify the appropriate cooking methods of meat products and to contribute to the development of products with excellent digestion and heat absorption properties, the Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, NARO (NILGS), the Research Unit "Quality of Animal Products" (UR 370) from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), and the "Spectroscopy and Microscopy in the Infrared using Synchrotron" (SMIS) beamline of SOLEIL Synchrotron (France) have jointly developed an infrared microspectroscopic approach that could easily and simultaneously detect the effects of heat and pH of proteins in meat samples before and after cooking. Read more.

Development of an easy-to-adhere, hard-to-peel protective material for cow's teat

Press release on October 23, 2017

image The Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, NARO in collaboration with Tokuyama Co., Ltd. has successfully developed an easy-to-adhere and hard-to-peel seal-type material that can be used to protect the teat of cows for up to 2 weeks. It is expected that this protective material can be effective for efficient treatment of mastitis during the non-lactating period for dairy cattle.Read more.

Utilization of "Erianthus" crops for regional fuel self-sufficiency

Press release on September 13, 2017

image A continuous collaboration of NARO with Sakura City, Tochigi Prefecture and the Takano Co., Ltd. led to the successful commercialization of regional self-sufficiency fuel. In this project, the Takano Co., Ltd. facilitated the cultivation and processing into fuel of the bioenergy crop "Erianthus" jointly developed by NARO and the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS). This biofuel was then used in boilers of hot spring facility in Sakura City, Tochigi Prefecture. Erianthus can be cultivated in non-snowy areas ranging from low altitude southern Tohoku region and extending to the Kyushu region. Read more.

Estimation of nutrient excretion factors of broiler and layer chickens in Japan

Press release on March 6, 2017

image The nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg) excretion factors of broiler and layer chickens in Japan were estimated using the latest available data. Since the current values of excretion factors were based on the data obtained almost 20 years ago, there was a large difference in the values and the amount of nitrogen excretion was over-estimated. Based on the new nitrogen excretion factor and the number of chickens, as well as an estimate of the nitrous oxide (N2O) emission from chicken excretions, it is estimated that the greenhouse gas emission decreased by 640,000 tons/year (35% decrease, as CO2 equivalent). The new value of nitrogen excretion factor will be recorded as greenhouse gas inventory report in Japan. In the future, this will be used in assessment of the environmental impact caused by the excretion of chickens. According to the new estimated factors, it is clearly evident that the amount of nitrogen and the greenhouse gas emission is found to be smaller than those calculated using the excretion factors obtained 20 years ago indicating that the impact on the environment has been greatly reduced in the current poultry farming. The new nutrient excretion factor will lead to appropriate use of fertilizer derived from livestock manure such as compost. It will also help in properly evaluating a balance of the demand and supply of nutrients and domestic nitrogen flow in a particular region. Read more.

Sexing day-old chicks using endoscope

Press release on July 26, 2016

image The NILGS has developed a novel method for sexing day-old chicks using an endoscope system. In this method, the probe of the endoscope is inserted from the cloaca into the intestine of a chick, and the presence of testes or ovary can be observed through the wall of the intestine and clearly viewed on a computer monitor. An overall accuracy of 90.2% was obtained in the present study which could be improved by continuous training in the handling of the endoscope. Furthermore, this endoscope system is not only very efficient but is also easy to use and requires no specific skills for simple operation or about 1 or 2 weeks for more precise sexing. Read more.