The Forestry Agency will create a nationwide system to more accurately forecast cedar pollen counts to help people with allergies be more prepared.

The agency will conduct five-year studies from November in eight prefectures that have cedar forests, with the goal of having the planned information system in place before the pollen season of spring 2006, agency officials said Thursday.

Agency researchers will monitor the growth of male flowers on some 40 cedars in each designated forest every fall and count the volume of flowers that have fallen after releasing pollen the following spring, they said.

“If the system is completed successfully, the accuracy of forecasting cedar pollen will be more than 80 percent, which we hope will help prevent hay fever,” one agency official reckoned.

Currently, the agency forecasts the release of pollen by analyzing temperature, precipitation and other weather conditions in July and August. The forecast accuracy is no higher than 50 percent.

The eight prefectures chosen for the project are Fukushima, Toyama, Nagano, Wakayama, Tottori, Hiroshima, Tokushima and Nagasaki.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.