Category Archives: Others

【News】Grrrr! Wolf-like animal scarer to have sharp eye on uninvited visitors to farms (May 3, 2017)

A new uniquely-shaped animal scarer with gleaming eyes and terrifying roars is now being tested in a fruit farmer in Sapporo city, Hokkaido. The scarer looks so much like a wolf and is named “Monster Wolf.” The “wolf” was developed by Ota Seiki Co., Ltd., a machine parts manufacturer in Naie town, Hokkaido, in order to keep animals like deer and bears away from the farms especially at night. The wolf-like scarer measures 60 centimeters in length. The gleaming eyes are made of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and the sounds are provided by a speaker embedded in its head. It turns on and produces approximately 40 different roaring sounds to scare … Continue reading

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【News】Possible success reported in artificial culture of phytoplasma (May 7, 2017)

Artificial culture of phytoplasma – a pathogenic microorganism that causes a wide variety of symptoms in plants ranging from dwarfing and yellowing to withering – may have become a reality. It has been said that phytoplasmas cannot be grown in axenic culture. But in late April, plant pathologist Kunihei Kishi, 90, presented in the meeting of the Phytopathological Society of Japan that he has succeeded in culturing the microbe in vitro. If the genetic sequence analysis proves the presence of phytoplasmas in the culture fluid, it will be the world’s first successful culture of the organism. Kishi extracted from mulberry trees microorganisms which appear to have caused a phytoplasma-associated disease, … Continue reading

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【Opinion】Independence essential for agricultural cooperatives (May 2, 2017)

[By Masaru Yamada, The Japan Agricultural News Special Senior Writer] Last week, Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organization held a five-day workshop in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, to discuss development of Asian rural villages and the role of farmers’ cooperatives. More than 20 people from 12 countries, including bureaucrats, executives of agricultural organizations, officials of nonprofit organizations and university faculty members, participated in the workshop. It was surprising to see that although the goal of the workshop was to reaffirm the role of cooperatives in increasing the value of agriculture, many of the attendants voiced criticism over the current farm coops. Some pointed out that agricultural coops are government-led organizations, with … Continue reading

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【News】One year on – Kumamoto farmers struggle to recover from earthquakes (April 14, 2017)

Farmers of Kumamoto Prefecture are still working to recover, a year after the area was rocked by two powerful earthquakes which marked the highest rating of 7 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale. In the Tateno district in the village of Minamiaso, where the large Aso Ohashi bridge collapsed, water supply remains cut off and farmers are having difficulty resuming their business. But earlier this month, one dairy farmer managed to take up farming again. In Tateno, farmlands and water pipes were damaged in the earthquake that hit the region in the early morning of April 16 last year, following one on April 14. Nearly a year after, on April … Continue reading

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【News】Tatami industry to take action, go global (Mar. 29, 2017)

In Japan, production of tatami matting (a thin upper portion of a tatami, Japanese traditional flooring panel) is on decrease with the westernization of lifestyle of Japanese people. To save and revive the tatami industry, some efforts are underway. Riding on a Japan boom abroad, domestic tatami manufacturers have launched a new project to communicate the attractiveness of tatami to consumers at home and abroad. An agricultural cooperative in Kumamoto Prefecture (JA Yatsushiro) has begun to look into the feasibility of tatami matting export. Others are trying to develop new materials that make use of the superior properties of rush, the main material used to make tatami, while a farm … Continue reading

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