Ms. Hanna Takahashi and Mr. Njaratiana Faniry Adrien Rakotoarivelo (Madagascar), both second-year students in the Master’s Program for Agro-environmental Science of the Graduate School of Animal Husbandry, win the Best Poster Award at the 2018 Fall Conference organized by the Hokkaido branch of the Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition
The Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, a historical academic society, was established in 1927 to construct modern theories and technical structures in the study of soil science, fertilizer science and plant nutrition that are deeply related to the production of food and feed. Since then, the Society has evolved to also include the aspect of environmental science for the conservation of land resources. The Society currently has about 2,500 members and has expanded into other areas of research activities and technology development.
The 2018 Fall Conference organized by the Hokkaido branch of the Japanese Society of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition was held at Asahikawa Civic Culture Hall (Asahikawa City) on Thursday, November 29. About 100 members participated in the Conference for poster presentations on the latest research results from Hokkaido, domestic and foreign experts on soil science and plant nutrition. Ms. Hanna Takahashi and Mr. Njaratiana Faniry Adrien Rakotoarivelo, second-year students in the Master’s Program for Agro-environmental Science of the Graduate School of Animal Husbandry who made presentations respectively titled, “Evaluation of soil fertility of volcanic ash soils in potato producing areas in Kiambu, Republic of Kenya” and “Interactive effects of nitrogen and magnesium nutrition on yield and quality of processing potatoes,” both won the Best Poster Award out of 44 posters, receiving their prizes at the get-together held on the same night as the poster session.
Ms. Takahashi has conducted her fieldwork and collected samples in potato producing areas in Kiambu, Republic of Kenya, since she was a fourth-year undergraduate student, and has investigated the chemical properties of and available nutrient stores in soil. This study revealed that excessive application of poultry manure and animal waste results in a high content of available phosphoric acid and a high degree of base saturation/a high pH in the soil due to the effects of basic parent materials and animal waste. In the future, she plans to continue working to improve crop productivity by balancing fertilizer requirements through simple assessment of available nutrient stores in soil.
Mr. Rakotoarivelo conducted his fieldwork and sampling at farms cultivating potatoes for the food processing industry in Hokkaido’s Tokachi region as well as performed a practical field experiment. This study revealed that the biomass of the aerial part and the tuber change interactively due to the interactive effects of nitrogen and magnesium nutrition on potatoes, and that the increasing rate of nitrogen application and magnesium deficiency decrease the tuber yield of potatoes. In the future, he will continue working to contribute to better crop productivity and improvement of their fertilizer application methods.
This award recognized their innovative research on the connection between soil and crops. These research achievements are expected to contribute to the development of new research and technologies to ensure food safety and reliability around the world and in Hokkaido.