The Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, NARO (NIAES) is the core institute of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) which emphasizes basic studies and research meant to ensure the safety of agricultural production environments. Research focuses on assessing risk in agricultural environments and developing risk management technologies, elucidating the structure of agricultural ecosystems in order to develop technologies to manage natural cycles, and fundamental studies to help elucidate the functions of agricultural ecosystems.

NIAES News

Long-term transition of Nitrogen load from food production to consumption

NARO has revealed for the first time the long-term transition of the nitrogen load (= Food Nitrogen Footprint) generated in the domestic and overseas environment due to food consumption in Japan. Our diet (from which food protein is consumed, protein overconsumption, food loss, etc.) has a major impact on the nitrogen footprint for food. This research result indicates that reducing food loss and living in accordance with Japanese dietary reference intake will be a key for solving global environmental problems. Through "food education", etc., it can be used as scientific information for each person to consider the cause of environmental problems caused by nitrogen load as familiar problems. Read more

Elucidating the relationship between biodiversity and organic & low input farming

A research group including NARO researchers conducted a nationwide survey of living creatures in both organic & low input farming rice fields and conventional rice fields and the number of species and number of individuals(population) are compared. This research result helps to mitigate the negative environmental impacts through biodiversity-friendly rice farming and also helps to add new value to agricultural products through branding using biodiversity. Read more

Mapping of Global crop production losses due to droughts

NARO has clarified the geographical distribution of global crop production losses caused by droughts. Analysis of drought index and crop yield data for the past 27 years (1983-2009), reveals that three quarters (450 million hectares) of the cultivated area of the major global crops (maize, rice, soy, wheat) have been affected by droughts. The total production losses over the past 27 years which is estimated from the crop production losses obtained this time and the producer price by country (2005), has reached about $166 billion. This research achievement is useful for international support and measures against droughts.Read more

Automatic decoding of waggle dance of honeybees

NARO has developed a technology to decode the waggle (figure-eight) dance of honeybees automatically for estimating the location of flowers used as forage source. This achievement will dramatically accelerate the manual decoding work done so far and useful for efficiently understanding the forage area where European honeybees (Apis mellifera) collect nectar and pollen. The results are published as an article in the international journal on honeybee research "Apidologie" on April 2019. Read more

New display function and database added to the Digital Soil Map available on the web

The "Digital Soil Map" available on the web has been renewed with an added data display function. and published after its renewal. The amount of standard fertilizer corresponding to the soil type published by Hokkaido, Akita and Ibaraki Prefectures can be referred from the soil map according to the soil at each spot. In addition, a characteristic value map showing water permeability and water retention of agricultural soil nationwide was also incorporated in this version. With these new functions and data, it is expected that it can be used as an efficient tool in agriculture particularly in fertilizer application and water management.Read more

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