AKIMOTO Masahiro Associate Professor

ThemeIntroduction of new crops to Tokachi region and development of new cultivation methods

My DreamNew color to the field in Tokachi


Research Department/Department of Agro-environmental Science/Division of Plant Production Science/Section of Plant Production Science
Field Crop Science, Agronomics, Grassland Science, Plant Breeding Science, Ecolocigal Genetics, Evolutional Ecology, Plant Genetic Resources
Keyword Food crop, Forage crop, Oil crop, Cultivation technic, Plant genetic resources, Plant breeding, Rye, Barley, Peanut, Temperate grass, Perilla, Sunflower, Tartary backwheat, Upland rice


In fields in the Tokachi region, the rotation of four crops (wheat, sugar beets, beans and potatoes) has been practiced from long ago. But many farmers hope to cultivate new crops in addition to these. In my research I look for things that are highly valuable from crops around the world and that are likely to bring economic benefits to farmers, and I try to introduce them to fields in the Tokachi region.
In introducing crops, breeds that are adapted to the environment of the land must be selected and breeding must be conducted. It's also necessary to establish optimal cultivation methods to increase yields and quality. For example, although rye is important as a crop that's processed into bread, little of this grain is produced in Japan. If we can start producing rye in the Tokachi district before it's grown in other regions, we'll bring many benefits to farmers. (Refer to the photo “Rye grown on an experimental field at our university.”) In introducing rye to the Tokachi district, we're conducting tests to select varieties from around the world that are suitable for the meteorological environment of the Tokachi district. Since rye grows tall, it has the disadvantages of being prone to lodging by rain and wind. In my research, we're cross breeding rye varieties to find ones that resist stem lodging. In addition, we're trying to find fertilization control methods, planting densities, and sowing and harvest times that best mitigate lodging in rye. In addition, we're developing technology to cultivate top-quality rye for use in foods.
Our research subjects include a wide variety of crops, such as barley, peanuts, wild sesame, sunflowers, buckwheat and grass crops. (Refer to the photo “Crops cultivated in our research.”) We aim to establish a crop cultivation system that achieves high yields and high quality for the crops mentioned above in the same way as for rye under the cool environment of the Tokachi district. Toward this goal, we also develop efficient cultivation methods and we breed and select excellent varieties of the crops.
Much of my research is carried out in collaboration with farmers and companies. In that collaboration, we're studying the practicality of the agricultural technology and discovering new issues by having the results of our research put into practice at production sites.

List of current research topics

  • Production of feed and edible grains by double cropping cultivation of rye
  • Improvement of germinability at low temperature conditions with seed priming method
  • Effect of application of calcium by seed enrichment method on salt tolerance of grasses
  • Soybean productivity improvement by tip-clipping treatment
  • Establishment of proper cultivation of groundnut in the Tokachi region
Related industries Agriculture, Animal husbandry, Food processing industry, Food distribution business, Pesticide, Agricultural materials, Seed
Affiliated academic society Crop Science Society of Japan, Japanese Society of Grassland Science, Japanese Society of Breeding, The Weed Science Society of Japan, Hokkaido Society of Livestock and Grassland Science
Academic degree D.Agr.
Self introduction

I was born in 1970 in Maebashi, Gumma Prefecture. I had an arts background until high school, but now I find myself dealing with crops. Since I research the cultivation of field crops, I spend all day in the field during the growing season. I plow the fields, sow flower seeds, and bring in the harvest with students every season. This life makes crop growth my calendar. With the motto of “working as hard as possible on weekdays in order to appreciate Sunday,” I work silently during the growing season; during the off season, I enjoy activities at various places.

Room addressGeneral Research Building I
Room numberE3202-2
Mail address akimoto atmark obihiro.ac.jp