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.


Ducks and coots can eat lotus root in the mud of lotus field

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has confirmed feeding damage by wild ducks and coots to the lotus roots in the mud of water-filled lotus fields. We experimentally placed lotus roots in a lotus field and recorded the waterfowl's behavior at night. As a result, Mallards and Eurasian Coots upended and ate the lotus roots to a depth of about 40 cm below the water surface. Mallards also dug mud with their legs. The results of this study can be used effectively against the lotus root damage (approximately 300 million yen per year) around Lake Kasumigaura, which accounts for about 10% of the agricultural crop damage caused by birds in Japan. This knowledge is indispensable for effective damage control measures based on scientific evidence.

Development of a new calculation equation for methane emissions from cattle and its manualization

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has developed a new calculation equation that makes it easier to use than the conventional calculation equation for methane emissions from rumen fermentation in cattle from the ratio of methane to carbon dioxide in exhaled breath measured by a milking robot. The climate change mitigation consortium, represented by NARO, has published a manual for estimating methane, including this research result. By using this manual to calculate methane emissions from cattle, it is possible to more easily compare individual differences in methane emissions and differences in methane emissions due to feed.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Greenhouse Gas Reduction in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

JIRCAS, in collaboration with the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), the University of Miyazaki, and Can Tho University in Vietnam, has conducted a life-cycle assessment (LCA) to evaluate the effects of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which contribute to global warming, and reducing environmental impact in the rural areas of the Mekong Delta. External Link: JIRCAS

Wild sika deer that consumes crop matures quickly

Researchers from National Agriculture and Food Research Organization(NARO) have revealed that the maturation of wild sika deer is accelerated by consumption of agricultural crops from the analysis of the nitrogen stable isotope ratios (δ15N value) of deer bone collagen. This result indicates that preventive measures for invasion of deer into farmland and culling of individuals causing feeding damage of agricultural crops are effective in controlling agricultural damage not only now but also in the future. Moreover, since the δ15N value was effective as an index of agricultural crop consumption of deer, it can be expected to be used for elucidating the characteristics of individuals causing feeding damage of agricultural crops using the δ15N value and for developing deer damage management strategies. Read more

Significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from swine wastewater treatment facilities

NARO, in collaboration with Okayama Prefectural Technology Center for Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Research and Okayama JA Livestock Co., Ltd. has demonstrated at the farm facilities that the greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by approximately 80% in swine wastewater treatment facilities by introducing a carbon fiber reactor we developed. By introducing this reactor to processing facilities nationwide, it is estimated that it can reduce 6 hundred thousand tons carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq) of greenhouse gas emissions annually. This achievement of reduced greenhouse gas emissions will contribute to the sustainable livestock production. Read more

Elucidating the genome sequence of Japanese honey bee

The Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, NARO (NILGS) and Institute of Agro-biological Science (NIAS), in collaboration with the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Kyoto Sangyou University, has succeeded in deciphering the full genome sequence of the Japanese honey bee. Japanese honey bee has many useful properties including strong disease resistance as compared to the Western honey bee. Disease resistance of both honey bees can be analyzed at the genetic level by means of comparing the genome of the decoded Japanese honey bee with that of Western honey bee. This result will contribute to the development of more useful technologies for utilization of honey bees.Read more

Successful application of marker-assisted selection for improving growth performance of Japanese slow-growing brand chickens

Press release on Feb 18, 2019


The Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, NARO (NILGS-NARO) has succeeded in improving the growth performance in four Japanese slow-growing brand chickens, i.e., Hinai-jidori, Okumino-kojidori, Amakusa Daioh cross, and Miyazaki-jitokko, by molecular marker-assisted selection, in collaboration with the Akita Prefectural Livestock Experimental Station, the Gifu Prefectural Livestock Research Institute, the Kumamoto Prefectural Agricultural Research Center, and the Miyazaki Prefectural Livestock Research Institute. It is expected to be applicable for improving growth performance of the other slow-growing chickens.Read more

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