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

Three synergies of increasing soil carbon in global agricultural land

Increasing the level of soil organic matter (mainly soil carbon) by managing agricultural land such as increasing organic matter input is known to result in crop yield increase. The increase in soil organic matter also reduces atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide(CO2), thereby mitigating climate change. National Agriculture and Food Research Organization(NARO) has quantitatively estimated the environmental conservation effects of increasing soil carbon in the global cropland area on the growth of six major crops (wheat, maize, rice, soybean, sorghum, and millet). Read more

Heat-induced sterility of rice observed in paddy fields in Japan in an extremely hot summer

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has conducted field survey in paddy rice in 2018, when high temperature lasted over a wide area in Japan, and found that a higher-than-normal percentage of sterility; heat-induced spikelet sterility (HISS) occurred in paddies that encountered high temperatures during the flowering period. By investigating the relationship between the sterility rate and meteorological factors, a simulation model was developed to estimate the sterility rate in paddy fields based on the panicle temperature during the flowering period. Read more

Highly sensitive detection of invasive alien species golden mussel (Limnoperna fortunei) by environmental DNA analysis.

The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has developed a highly sensitive detection method for the invasive alien species golden mussels (Limnoperna fortunei) using environmental DNA analysis. Golden mussels can be found in large numbers in waterways and reservoirs, which causes problems such as obstruction of water flow and adverse effects on the ecosystem of native species. However, it was difficult to detect them in the early stage of invasion due to their low density. This research will be effective in the early detection of golden mussels and quick countermeasures against the damage caused by them. Read more

Estimation of nitrogen budgets in Japan from the FY 2000 to 2015

The research group consisting of National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) et al. have elucidated the nitrogen (N) flows and N balance in Japan from the FY 2000 to 2015 for all human activities and the environmental media, where reactive N (N compounds other than stable dinitrogen) lost to the environment was also evaluated. The N budgets revealed that the amount of N waste per capita, 41-48 kg per year, was approximately double of the world average for the same period and the amount of reactive N lost to the environment was reduced into approximately one-third of the total N waste. Read more

Provision of global scale grain yield forecast

NARO, in collaboration with the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Climate Center (APCC), has developed a global yield forecasting method for maize, wheat, rice, and soybeans in 2018. Since June 2019, we have been conducting a trial operation of the providing yield forecast information to food agencies across the world every month. We verified the prediction accuracy of annual yield for 2019 by this service for the United States and 12 European countries. Although the accuracy of this service is rather low compared to yield forecasts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Joint Research Center (JRC), it was shown that the yield overview can be grasped 1 to 6 months earlier (3 to 6 months before the harvest) than the existing forecast is published. Read more

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