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Field Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry
This center was established in 2001 through the merging of two former facilities, the Experimental Farm and the Experimental Forest. The center consists of three divisions and aims to construct a new scientific field to solve the problems on sustainable agriculture and forestry in the Hokuriku district.
Division of Rural Information and Planning
This division provides various educational programs and research projects on sustainable agriculture and forestry in Niigata and surrounding regions with the cooperation of other divisions of the center. Moreover, researchers in the Faculty of Agriculture and regional communities are networked to solve the problems on agriculture and forestry. Thus, this division works as a hub or a server of regional networks. Information and research databases in this division are available for all researchers.
Division of Agro-Production
The Division of Agro-Production has two stations, Muramatsu station (25ha) and Shindori station (3ha). Muramatsu station is located in Gosen city, 45km from the university campus. Food crops (soybean, potato), vegetables (bunching onion, watermelon, Japanese radish) and forage crops are cultivated and dairy cows and goats are kept at this station. Shindori station is located in Niigata City, 3km from the university campus. Rice and horticultural crops (onion, vegetable, soybean, broad bean, taro, strawberry, tomato, eggplant) and some ornament crops are cultivated in open fields and in greenhouses. Nurseries of flowers and herbs are produced in spring.
Fundamental practice on agricultural production is provided for all students of Faculty of Agriculture and advance courses are performed for the students belonging to plant science, animal science and agricultural machinery science at both stations. Research on the establishment of sustainable production systems with environmental conservation are conducted for all processes of agricultural production at both stations. At Muramatsu station research on labor saving systems with agricultural machinery,cycling systems of organic resources between crops and animal production and evaluation of productivity and reproductive performance of dairy cycling system are emphasized. On the other hand, research on management of water and fertilizer in rice production, genetics in rice vegetable breeding and vegetable production with low-input of energy are conducted at Shindori station.
Climate and soil
Muramatsu station / Climate; 13.2℃ average temperature, 1788mm precipitation, 70cm of snow cover. Elevation; 25m. Soil; volcanic ash, Andosol.
Shindori station / Climate; 13.2℃ average temperature, 1770mm precipitation, less than 20cm of snow cover. Elevation; -1m. Soil; alluvial, Gley Lowland soil.
Division of Sustainable Forestry
The Division of Sustainable Forestry has two stations. One is an experimental forest (Niigata University Forest: NUF, 500 ha) located on Sado Island, and another is a Nursery in Muramatsu (1.4 ha). NUF was founded in 1955 and has conducted many education programs and research of forestry and forest science. Muramatsu Nursery has provided juveniles of plantation trees for NUF. Sado Island has been isolated from the main land Honshu, and many endangered species are distributed. NUF has been noted for ancient Japanese Cedar (Cryptmeria japonica) forest, endemic mammals (Lepus brachyurus lyoni and Sorex sadonis), an endemic beetle (Damaster blaptoides capito), and many endangered perennial flowers. The number of vascular plant species in Sado Island is around 500, and 1/3 of them are distributed in NUF. Four investigators and seven technicians are engaged in NUF. The aim of NUF is to understand the ecology of those endangered species and ecosystems of Sado Island, and to utilize the results for environmental education. As a member of Japan Long-Term Ecological Research Network (JaLTER), long-term study on community dynamics of primary forests, climate monitoring, and ecosystem studies have been conducted at NUF.Three research stations of Niigata University in Sado Island (NUF,Sado Marine Biological Station, Center for Crested Ibis (Toki) and Ecological Restoration) are planning to launch a cooperative project to reveal the ecological relationships among mountain, river, satoyama and marine ecosystems.