Rice Production in Japan Set for Advancement as BASF, Kubota, and ZEN-NOH Launch Collaborative Project

Kubota rice transplanter machines will use the KSAS platform to implement xarvio FIELD MANAGER’s tailored, variable application maps for fertilization.

(IN BRIEF) BASF, Kubota, and ZEN-NOH are collaborating to enhance rice production in Japan. The collaboration involves integrating BASF’s xarvio® FIELD MANAGER platform with Kubota’s KSAS operating platform to assess operability. The goal is to deliver greater convenience, increased yield, optimized fertilizer use, and higher returns on investment for farmers. The collaboration aims to address challenges in Japanese rice production, such as an aging workforce, labor shortages, and farmland consolidation. Field trials will be conducted by ZEN-NOH during the upcoming growing season to test the performance of the integrated platform. Successful outcomes from previous trials have shown increased yields and reduced fertilizer use. Full integration of the platforms is expected to be available commercially in Japan from spring 2024.

(PRESS RELEASE) COLOGNE/ OSAKA, 18-May-2023 — /EuropaWire/ — BASF (ETR: BAS), the world’s largest chemical producer, Kubota, and ZEN-NOH have joined forces in a collaborative effort to improve and optimize rice production in Japan.

The collaboration consists of two phases, starting with the integration of BASF’s advanced xarvio® FIELD MANAGER crop optimization platform with Kubota’s state-of-the-art KSAS operating platform to assess operability.

The integration of these platforms aims to enhance convenience, increase yield, optimize fertilizer use, and provide higher returns on investment for farmers. This collaboration addresses key challenges faced by rice production in Japan, including an aging workforce, labor shortages, and farmland consolidation. Furthermore, it helps farmers achieve sustainability, global competitiveness, and meet established fertilizer reduction targets outlined in Japan’s MeaDRI strategy for sustainable food systems.

Phase two of the collaboration involves conducting field trials in rice crops managed by ZEN-NOH to test the performance of the integrated platform. These field trials, scheduled for the 2023 growing season, will involve experienced farmers who are familiar with using xarvio FIELD MANAGER, Kubota’s KSAS platform, and its machinery. Farmers will utilize the KSAS platform and Kubota rice transplanters to implement field-specific, xarvio FIELD MANAGER variable application maps for fertilization.

The results obtained from these field trials will complement the outcomes of over 100 field trials conducted last year by ZEN-NOH and BASF in rice crops. In the previous trials, xarvio FIELD MANAGER’s variable application maps for fertilization were compared to standard application practices. The use of xarvio FIELD MANAGER’s variable application maps resulted in yield increases of 15% to 20% on average, accompanied by a 10% reduction in fertilizer input. In some cases, depending on field conditions, fertilizer use was reduced by up to 50%.

Konstantin Kretschun, Global Head of BASF Digital Farming, comments: “Rice farmers in Japan recognize the need to become more sustainable and globally competitive, while reducing environment impacts and meeting MeaDRI strategy targets. Climate smart farming technology provides a proven, effective and available solution to help them achieve these goals. By working closely with Kubota and our valued partner in ZEN-NOH to connect offerings, we can together deliver even greater value to farmers and positively transform rice production in Japan.”

BASF and ZEN-NOH introduced xarvio FIELD MANAGER in Japan in April 2021, which received significant adoption among farmers due to its ability to provide consistent, field-specific, and measurable agronomic benefits. This digital product utilizes proven plant models, agronomic algorithms, and various data inputs such as historical agronomic information, in-season risks, weather data, and satellite-based biomass images. It offers clear and timely agronomic recommendations for crop fertilization and protection.

The seamless transfer and utilization of xarvio FIELD MANAGER’s variable application maps for fertilization by KSAS-compatible rice transplanters is achieved through the integration of xarvio FIELD MANAGER with Kubota’s powerful KSAS farming and service support system, eliminating the need for an additional device for data transfer.

Full integration between xarvio FIELD MANAGER and Kubota’s KSAS platform is expected to be commercially available in Japan from spring 2024.

About xarvio® Digital Farming Solutions – a brand by BASF Digital Farming GmbH

xarvio® Digital Farming Solutions is at the forefront of the digital transformation of agriculture, optimizing crop production. Its products, xarvio® FIELD MANAGER and xarvio® HEALTHY FIELDS, use an advanced crop modelling platform to provide independent, timely and field-specific agronomic advice. xarvio’s proven technology consistently delivers measurable benefits for farmers, helping them to produce crops more efficiently, sustainably, and profitably. For more information, please visit www.xarvio.com or any of our social media channels.


About BASF’s Agricultural Solutions division 
Farming is fundamental to provide enough healthy and affordable food for a rapidly growing population while reducing environmental impacts. Working with partners and agricultural experts and by integrating sustainability criteria into all business decisions, we help farmers to create a positive impact on sustainable agriculture. That’s why we invest in a strong R&D (Research & Development) pipeline, connecting innovative thinking with practical action in the field. Our portfolio comprises seeds and specifically selected plant traits, chemical and biological crop protection, solutions for soil management, plant health, pest control and digital farming. With expert teams in the lab, field, office and in production, we strive to find the right balance for success – for farmers, agriculture, and future generations. In 2022, our division generated sales of €10.3 billion. For more information, please visit www.agriculture.basf.com or any of our social media channels.


About Kubota Corporation

Kubota Corporation is one of Japan’s leading manufacturers of a comprehensive range of machinery and other industrial and consumer products. Since 1890, Kubota Corporation has offered various products including farm equipment, engines, construction machinery, pipe-related products, environment-related products, and social infrastructure-related products to contribute to improve human lives and society. With broad product lineup and its unique comprehensive strength, Kubota Corporation presents in more than 120 countries and strives to solve the worldwide problems related to food, water, and the environment, which are indispensable for human beings. Please visit  Kubota Global Site for the latest news and more information.



The Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) Group is an organization consisting of farmers’ cooperatives, whose purpose is to protect and enhance agricultural management and the livelihood of farmers in the spirit of mutual assistance. The National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (ZEN-NOH) is in charge of the marketing and supply business of the JA Group. It seeks to connect producers and consumers, revitalize production centers, and preserve society and the environment. Through integration with prefectural-level JA federations in the course of organizational restructuring aimed at strengthening its business foundation, the ZEN-NOH Group has now 32 Prefectural Headquarters and one Prefectural Office nationwide.

Media contact:

Nathan Quigley
Specialist Media Relations xarvio TM, BASF Digital Farming GmbH
+49 151 5519 3566



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