Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, NARO

Forage Crop Production Unit

Development of low-cost technology for producing self-supplying feed is of crucial importance to reduce feed production cost for livestock production in Japan. An aim of this research unit is to develop high-yielding, labor-saving and cost-efficient cultivation technologies for double cropping system, which is a main forage cropping system in the Kanto region, consisting of summer crops such as corn and sorghum and then winter crops such as Italian ryegrass, barley and so on. In order to establish stable and high-yielding cropping system, silage corn varieties with disease resistance and high nutrition-yield are selected. Furthermore, we are trying to elucidate the suitable cropping season and planting density for the varieties selected. Moreover, a ridge-making seeding method is applied to corn planted on fallow paddy field, especially for poorly drained paddy field, for alleviating excessive soil moisture stress in corn. To reduce production cost, we are developing new management of fertilization for forage crops such as corn. In the new management, both stable forage production and lowering fertilizer application rates will be achieved by the use of nutrients in soil and cattle manure compost. Additionally, effective methods of fertilizer application and weed control are under investigation for a labor-saving corn seeding method combining a non-tillage seeder and a disc-harrow. To produce high quality forage crops, we are trying to reduce nitrate-nitrogen and potassium levels in Sudan grass and Italian ryegrass in a breeding manner. Moreover, since demand for self-supplying corn grain is increasing in Japan, we are selecting corn varieties suited to grain production in the temperate zone like the Kanto region. We are also conducting on-farm trails to promote the spread of these new technologies developed in this unit.

Unit Leader

KANNO Tsutomu

Unit Members