Forage Crop Breeding Unit conducts breeding and research of forage maize (Zea mays), orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata), Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum), zoysiagrass (Zoysia matrella) and bioenergy crop (Erianthus arundinaceus). Recently released cultivars and their major characteristics are as follows:
- Orchardgrass 'Makibataro', a medium-heading cultivar which shows high yield and tolerances to some diseases in the area from Tohoku to Kyushu region.
- Italian ryegrass 'Nakei 33', a cultivar with 70% of resistant individuals to crown rust. It is bred by introducing three major resistance genes and selection by DNA markers.
- Zoysiagrass 'Fox', a vegetative reproduction cultivar with dark green leaf color, less ear emergence and late discoloration in winter dormancy.
- Bioenergy crop 'JES1', a perennial Gramineae crop with high dry matter yield (ca. 25-30 t/ha), low water content (ca. 30%) by standing desiccation in late winter and adaptability to the area from Kanto to Kyushu region.
- A new flooding-resistant forage maize cultivar is under procedure to be registered as of October 2016. This cultivar candidate has an ability to form adventitious roots on the soil surface during flooding, which has been introduced from a wild relative of maize by repeated backcrosses