International Society for Horticultural Science

Horticulture Research International


General info
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The range of yearly average temperature is 7-17 °C, and average precipitation per year ranges 1000-2500 mm, with the rainy season between June and July, except in northern Japan. From November to February, the regions along the Japan Sea Coast have a great deal of rain and snow, but less rain and more sunshine occurs in the regions along the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes, typhoons pass through from August to October, damaging horticultural productions.

Japan is narrow, however, extends 3200 km from northeast (46 °N, 149 °E) to west (24 °N, 124 °E), intervened by seas. It has mountainous topographical characters. The ecological condition of the land varies extremely in each region, as do the cultivated crops.

Characteristics of horticultural industries in Japan are that many crops from temperate to tropical origins are grown. The planted areas per farmer are small, i.e. less than 1 ha. In addition, diseases insect pests and weeds are prevalent owing to relatively high temperatures and high humidity in summer season. Successful growing is impossible without chemical control, plastic coverings, diseases resistant cultivars, etc. With this type of background, labor growth has been inevitable to increase production per unit area. However, due to recent labor shortage, labor saving mechanization suitable for small-scale land has become necessary.

In fruit tree growing, the planted areas and the amount of production in 1997 are 301,200 ha and 4.4 million tons, respectively. The main fruits are Satsuma mandarin, apple, Japanese pear, persimmon, grape, peach, Japanese apricot and Japanese chestnut. Satsuma mandarin is the most important, occupying 22% of the total planted areas and 35% of the total production of all tree fruits. The planted areas for all citrus is 34% of the total ones. Apples follow, occupying 16% and 23%, respectively.
The planted area and the amount of production of main vegetable crops in 1997 are 569,400 ha and 16.7 million tons, respectively. Main vegetables are Japanese radish, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, onion, Welsh onion, spinach, carrot, cucumber, watermelon, tomato and eggplant, etc. In oreliculture, year-round production systems of main vegetable crops have been almost established by growing suitable cultivars for respective region and season, in the open or under coverings.
In floriculture, the areas devoted to cut flowers, potted and bedding plants, nursery of ornamental trees and shrubs, and bulb production in 1997 are 19,500, 3,070, 13,900 and 1,080 ha, respectively. Total numbers of produced cut flowers are 5,743 million, mainly chrysanthemum (36%), carnation (9.4%), rose (8.5%), lily (3.4%), Limonium (2.4%) gerbera (2.3%), Eustma (2.2%), gentian (1.9%) and tulip (1.9%). Potted plants are mainly cyclamen, orchid and foliages. Recently, production of bedding plants has increased rapidly. Bulb production, however, has decreased due to rapid increase in import of bulbs from Holland.
As for protected cultivation, the area of plastic greenhouses in 1997 is 50,307 ha. They are used mainly for vegetables such as cucumber, melon, watermelon, tomato, eggplant, strawberry, spinach and cut flowers and also tree fruits as grape and Satsuma mandarin. The area of glasshouses is 2,264 ha mainly for netted melon, tomato, Muscat grape, chrysanthemum, rose and ornamental potted plants.
Growing areas of Satsuma mandarin are distributed mainly along coastal slope regions of the central and southern part with a yearly average temperature of 15-17 °C, and main growing prefectures are Shizuoka, Wakayama, south Hiroshima, Ehime, Saga, Nagasaki and Kumamoto. Apples are grown in the northern part with a yearly average temperature of 8-11 °C, and main growing prefectures are Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima and Nagano.

Distribution of Horticulture
Growing areas of Satsuma mandarin are distributed mainly along coastal slope regions of the central and southern part with a yearly average temperature of 15-17 °C, and main growing prefectures are Shizuoka, Wakayama, south Hiroshima, Ehime, Saga, Nagasaki and Kumamoto. Apples are grown in the northern part with a yearly average temperature of 8-11 °C, and main growing prefectures are Aomori, Iwate, Akita, Yamagata, Fukushima and Nagano.

Research Thrusts
The main research thrusts are the Ministry of Agriculture (National Institutes), the Ministry of Education (National Universities) and the Prefectural Governments (Prefectural Research Stations and Universities).

Nature of Institutes
In Japan, research work in horticulture is mainly done in universities, national research stations, prefectural experiment station and research stations of commercial companies.
Fundamental research is performed as well as education of students in universities. About 40 universities have a faculty of agriculture with its university farm, mostly national and one-fourth of these universities have departments of horticulture including 4 laboratories at least, with different specialities such as pomology, olericulture, floriculture and post harvest, etc., and the rest are on small scale with one or two laboratories of horticulture not specialized as above described. Most universities have master course and doctor course besides undergraduate course. Recently, graduate school for agriculture has founded in form. In addition, there are several junior agricultural colleges including horticultural courses.
In horticulture, there are National Research Institute of Fruit Tree Science, National Research Institute of Vegetables, Ornamental Plants and Tea and also some National Agricultural Experiment Stations with horticultural divisions as in Hokkaido or Shikoku where horticultural industries are prevailing. In these research stations, the problems are studied of country-wide interest or on a large scale.
The main station of National Research Institute of Fruit Tree Science (NRIFTS) is located in Tsukuba, Ibaraki pref. This Station has 4 branch stations: Apple Research Center in Iwate pref., Department of Citriculture in Shizuoka and in Nagasaki pref., and Persimmon and Grape Research Center in Hiroshima pref.
The main station of the National Research Institute of Vegetables, Ornamental plants and Tea (NIVOT) is located in Tsu, Mie pref. Three departments are located elsewhere: the Department of Protected Cultivation at Taketoyo, Aichi Prefecture and the Departments of Tea Agronomy and of Tea Processing Technology at Kanaya, Shizuoka Prefecture. NIVOT has 2 branch stations; Morioka Branch in Iwate pref. (vegetable and ornamental crops in cool regions) and Kurume Branch in Fukuoka pref. (vegetable and ornamental crops in warm regions).
Forty-seven prefectures have respective prefectural experiment stations. Their organisations are of various forms; horticultural experiment station, fruit tree experiment station, vegetable and ornamental crops experiment station, department of horticulture in agricultural experiment station, or sand dune agricultural experiment station. In special cases, we have Apple Experiment Station in Aomori pref. Practical problems that affect directly production in local areas are mainly subjected to research in prefectural experiment stations. These stations are also the centers for technical extension services based on their experimental results.
On the problems common to several prefectures, cooperative works of different experiment stations are carried out. Co-operative works are also made between prefectural experiment stations and national research stations, as occasion demands. Combined meeting of national and prefectural experiment stations are held regularly in respective regions, for reviewing and discussing experimental results performed. Sometimes, staffs of universities join the meetings. In additions, spring and fall season meetings of Japanese Society for Horticultural Science and also annual meeting of the chapters of JSHS (6 chapters) provide opportunities for mutual contact and discussion among horticultural researchers.


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Last updated: Fri Apr 2 15:48:46 DFT 2004