- The activities of the Agricultural and Forestry Research Center (AFRC) focus on the teaching of field practices and research of faculty and students, in addition to providing a place for communication of technology and information that will be beneficial for society. Another characteristic of this center is that it is often used by students, faculty and staff from other universities, institutions and companies.
- The Agricultural and Forestry Production and Technology group is divided into the University Farm (Tsukuba Campus) and the University Forests (Tsukuba Experimental Forest, Yatsugatake Forest and Ikawa Forest). The University Farm is organized into the Division of Crops (paddy field cultivation and upland field cultivation), the Division of Horticulture (fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants), the Division of Animal Production (animal husbandry and forage crop cultivation) and the Division of Agriculture Machinery (machinery maintenance, metal processing and wood processing).
- The Agricultural and Forestry Research Center manages vast areas of fields and forests. At the Tsukuba Campus, the University Farm and the Tsukuba Experimental Forest occupy 40 ha, whereas the Yatsugatake/Kawakami Forest in Nagano Prefecture covers approximately 280 ha and the Ikawa Forest in Shizuoka Prefecture approximately 1800 ha. The farm and forest at Tsukuba contribute greatly to the green tracts of land in the campus of the University of Tsukuba.
- Division of Crop Production Technology
- Division of Horticultural Production Technology
- Division of Livestock Production Technology
- Division of Agriculture Machinery Production Technology
- Division of Forestry
Production Engineering Staff
Division of Crop Production Technology
●The Crop Production Division consists of the paddy-field cropping section
and upland-field cropping section. Both sections support field practices
for undergraduate students and field experiments of students and researchers.
Research objectives focus on the development of crop production technology
with a lower environmental load and stable production.
●The paddy-field cropping section includes the following activities: field practice studies on paddy rice production for undergraduate students, evaluation of characteristic differences in paddy rice and upland rice for conserving genetic resources, development and evaluation of rice production technology with lower environmental loads, and evaluation of the effects of macronutrients on rice production.
●The upland-field cropping section undertakes the following activities: production of sweet potatoes, potatoes, groundnuts, buckwheat and wheat under specific rotation systems, field practice studies on upland crops such as sweet potatoes and groundnuts, industrial crops, crop rotation, and research on the development of upland crop production technology with lower environmental loads and stable production.
Division of Horticultural Production Technology
●The horticultural section consists of three groups that respectively produce
flowers, vegetables and fruits. The floricultural and vegetable production
groups manage 7 greenhouses and several open fields. The fruit group carries
out fruit production in an orchard with an area of approximately 2 ha.
●The floral crop production group produces various floral crops, and conserves many types of flower and ornamental crop bio-resources. Bio-resources, including orchids, Japanese primrose, cacti and other ornamentals, are used for research and educational programs. Studies are conducted on the regulation of flowering time, effects of growth regulators, micro-bacterial and organic materials, and non-stress fertilizers on floral crop growth.
●The vegetable crop production group manages greenhouses and open fields for field practices programs. In addition to educational programs, studies are carried out on cultivation technology in vegetable crop production. Hydroponic systems (DFT, NFT etc.) have been introduced and successful development of a high quality tomato production system and a fertigation system for vegetable production have been achieved
●The fruit production group manages an orchard for educational programs and research. Several types of blueberries have been grown in the orchard for many years. Blueberry is a relatively new type of fruit in Japan and in recent years it has become popular as a healthy fruit. Mainly, ‘High bush’ and ‘Rabbit eye’ blueberries are grown, and can be harvested from June to September.
In addition to blueberries, 14 cultivars of Japanese pear including ‘Kosui’ and ‘Hosui’, and 3 cultivars of pear are grown. Many other types of fruits such as grapes, apples, peaches, plums, persimmons, walnuts and kiwi are also grown in the orchard.
Division of Livestock Production Technology
●The Division of Animal Production consists of the animal husbandry and
feed crop production sections. In the animal husbandry section, dairy cattle
(Holstein Friesian), sheep (Suffolk), layer hens (White Leghorn and Rhode
Island Red) and a swamp buffalo are maintained. The swamp buffalo is a
rare animal in Japan and used for research on reproductive, nutritional
and environmental physiology.
●Dairy cattle and the swamp buffalo are maintained with a loose housing system. Dairy cattle are milked twice a day in the morning and afternoon.
The main research topics include environmental and reproductive physiology of the swamp buffalo and reproductive physiology of poultry.
●In the forage crop section, 5 ha of dent corn are produced and 2.5 ha of leguminous plants are grown to maintain soil fertility. Research is conducted to compare and select a suitable forage crop for our field conditions
Division of Agriculture Machinery Production Technology
●The Division of Agricultural Machinery is composed of three sections,
machinery, metal processing and wood processing. This division provides
maintenance of agricultural machinery and the necessary equipment for studies
and research by undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty members.
●The machinery section deals with large size machinery for farm work, e.g. two wheel tractors, four wheel tractors, and small size agricultural machinery, e.g. mower and reaper. This section performs the replacement of parts and repair. In addition, a gantry crane, stationary crane, hydraulic jack, air compressor, arc welding machine and various machine tools are also available.
●The metal processing section processes metal, non-metal and plastic materials as requested by undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty members after discussing the design and strengths of materials needed for their studies. A lathe, shaping machine, vertical milling machine, upright drill, bench drill, free center drill, hack saw, band saw, shearing machine, abrasive cut-off machine, arc welding, inert gas arc welding, spot welding, universal tool & cutter grinder, and air plasma cutting machine are all available.
●The wood processing section makes wood products to be used in education and research activities as requested after consultation on the usage of the products and the strength of wood needed. The wood processing section maintains a planer, surface planer, circular saw, lathe, wood lathe, table saw, saber saw, mortising machine, grinder, tenoner, tenoning machine, tenon-cutting machine and various carpenters’ tools.