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Agroforum 2003 February

 

PRODUCTION AND PROTECTION OF HORTICULTURAL CROPS

Prospects of vegetable growing in the enlarging European Union
(Dr. Erzsébet Kristóf)
On the approach of the EU enlargement, more and more fora deal with horticultural production in the accessing countries. In last October, Dutch experts organized a conference in Prague, involving four Central European countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Hungary. It focused on the situation analysis of vegetable and fruit growing in these countries. The lecturers dealt with the production indices of the particular countries, the structure of production enterprises, market and sales situations, as well as performed the swot-analysis of the sector consisting of summarising strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O) and threats (T). During the lectures and discussions the participants got a general idea of the critical points and problems needing urgent solutions for almost every accessing country struggling with the heritage of socialist economy. Experience from the production of such countries supplies useful information for planning the future of Hungarian vegetable growing.

Protection of vegetable seedlings
(Aranka Kormány, Dr. Csaba Budai, Erzsébet Dormanns-Simon, András Varga)
Transplanted plants cover a significant part of Hungarian vegetable area. Seedbed pest management is of primary importance as a healthy crop stand can be obtained only from high quality seedlings grown in pest-free medium and environment. The authors give account on the key elements of protecting seedlings, including media of producing propagating materials, as well as on another condition of high-standard production, i.e. nutrient supply. Due to their increased risk, fungal diseases and their control are of higher importance in the article. The authors give detailed information on the prevention methods and also on operations after observing the diseases. They present biological control applied during seedling production. A table and several colour photos complete the article.

Plant protection overview – 2002. (II.) Horticultural crops
(Sándor Kobza, Miklós Tóth, Adrienn Garai, László Szendrey)
Continuing the article published in the previous number, now the authors focus on pest situation of vegetables, major fruit crops and grapes in 2002. The mainly droughty, warm weather in summer was not favourable for the fungal diseases of peppers and tomatoes. Though their incidence was higher after the late-summer rains, they could not cause significant damage. However, cotton bollworm provoked severe losses in vegetable crops. Fusarium wilt of melon did not cause considerable seedling mortality and the disease nowhere reached to become epidemics. Density of mite populations was higher than in the previous year because of the extremely warm and dry weather, in addition to the conventional crop management programme.

While 2001 was the year of fungal diseases in apple growing, 2002 was favourable especially for insect pests. Codling moth and, among leaf rollers, summer fruit twist caused a lot of problems. Pests were characterised by high population densities and lasting flight activities, especially for the second generation. Meteorological conditions were favourable for apple powdery mildew not only in winter but also in almost the whole season, its epidemic-like spread could be prevented only with an intensive control. Spring weather was against apple scab, in addition, warm and dry June also limited the spread of the disease. The occurrence of mites was general in fruit orchards. Not only spider mites but also leaf mites affected fruit crops. Leaf mites preferred cultivars with hairy leaf undersides (Delicious, Prima, etc.).

The year 2002 was favourable for grapes in terms of plant protection. In most part of the season, meteorological conditions did not favour to fungal diseases. Populations of insect pests were also lower than in the previous seasons.

Well-organised Hungarian poppy seed production
(Zoltán Nagy)
Poppy, belonging to ‘minor crops’ and representing a high economic value, is one of the cultivated plants with the oldest history. Climatic conditions in Hungary are excellent for it, and nowadays it is grown not for the seeds but the alkaloids found in the capsule for pharmaceutical purposes. Its drug content justified introducing legal restrictions and rigorous controls in poppy production. ICN Hungary Co. integrates production on about 15-16 thousand hectares in a contracted system. The author discusses the elements of the crop management programme such as preceding, sowing, fertilizer application, etc. He separately deals with chemical weed control, the products registered for use (in certain cases only with a case by case permit), and the most important pests and diseases. Finally, he informs on profitability indicators.

PRODUCTION AND PROTECTION OF FIELD CROPS

For oat growers. Recommended varieties for 2003 from Szeged
(Dr. András Palágyi)
The brief article presents oat varieties ‘GK Pillangó’, ‘GK Iringó’ and ‘GK Zalán’ bred by the Research Institute for Cereal Growing.

Experience of malting barley trials in 2002
(Dr. András Tomcsányi)
A recognized expert of the Hungarian research and development for of malting barley production deals with two topics: 1) nitrogen utilisation in malting barley in function of soil moisture content; 2) virus risks to spring malting barley varieties.

Under Hungarian conditions, most critical point of malting barley production is how to maintain protein content below 11.5 %. It is especially true for years much warmer and dryer than the average, like 2002 was. The author conducted studies to get to know the effect of water-loosing and water-conserving tillage operations – due to their role in water supply and N-utilisation – on crop protein and yields. It was confirmed that, under conditions close to drought, water conservation tillage operations are favourable from both aspects.

In the second topic, under different conditions of provoking viruses, the author studied whether dwarfing viruses have a role in yield losses shown in late sowing. He compared the effect of different sowing dates, seed rates and seed dressing with insecticides. He also informs on the different behaviour of certain important varieties if sown late.

Recent development of DuPont for plant protection in cereals (x)
(Dr. István Molnár, Dr. Elemér Tóth)
The use of herbicides Ally 20 DF (metsulfuron-methyl) and Ally Star (metsulfuron-methyl + fluroxypir) in cereals are outlined.

Weed control in sunflowers
(Balázs Gyulai, József Pardi)
Sunflower is the third in the rank of crop areas in Hungary. Success of production often lies also in the efficacy of weed control. First the authors give an overview of weed infestation in sunflowers and of the dominant weed species. They also deal with the possibilities of cultural weed control (choosing the varieties and sowing date). They inform on the bases of selectivity of the applied major herbicides, i.e. what does phytotoxicity to sunflower by a particular herbicide depend on? Under the heading of chemical control, both textual and tabulated information is given on the registered pesticides, including the details of their application.

Naturalisation and weediness of common pokeberry
(Phytolacca americana L.) in Hungary (Dr. Pál Salamon)
This plant has been known in Hungary for a long time (since 18th – 19th centuries), but its spread as a weed plant has been conspicuous only in the recent decade. Until the 1980s it used to be present mainly in the territory of county Somogy (south-western Hungary), Budapest and its south-eastern vicinity, as well as to northeast of Debrecen (Hajdúhadház, Téglás, Balkány) where it occurred especially in forests or shrubby areas. In the past few years, new data have been recorded about its spreading and naturalisation in counties Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg (northeast), Bács-Kiskun (central part of Hungary) and other areas of county Somogy. The article informs on the names, taxonomic position and geographical distribution; its naturalisation in Hungary; botanical characteristics and biology; its chemical compounds and use, as well as the possible means of its control. Colour pictures and a map illustrate the article.

Callisto programme goes on: Callisto MegaPrim (x)
Informs on the herbicide with active substances mezotrion + atrazin.

 

MECHANISATION

Under the magnifying glass …(17) Güttler Ökonom PW 62 AS prism-cylinder
(Dr. Sándor Soós)
The machine, belonging to standard or self-cleaning Güttler-cylinders, has been developed for use with power machines of 60-80 kW engine capacity. It is intended for tillage and levelling on different soils. After mentioning its technical data, the author informs on testing conditions. It can be concluded from the tests that a heavy-duty universal tractor, a heavy disk harrow and the GÜTTLER ÖKONOM prism-cylinder, working together can be well-used for one-pass stubble stripping and levelling. ÖKONOM cylinder, working alone is also suitable for soil cultivation before and after sowing in the so-called “green areas”. According to the results of testing working quality, levelling and crumbling capacity of the machine is good. It can be concluded from analysing energetic data that the coupled disk and cylinder had an optimal load on the tractor. The operational safety of the prism cylinder is good. It can be easily integrated in the Hungarian implement system due to its favourable working quality, energetic and operation characteristics.

Preparing plant protection machines for the coming season
(Dr. Zoltán Csizmazia)

Preparation of plant protection machines is of primary importance as plant protection operations are generally not bound to calendar dates, all the more depend on weather and the occurrence of the particular pests and diseases. Therefore plant protection machines always have to be in a “stand-by” condition. Professional and careful preparation of sprayers in due time is essential for their successful use. First the article gives a brief account of jobs before winter storage. The author discusses spring tasks of preparation in the process of the liquid flow. Thus he takes one by one the checking of the tank and its accessories, suction filter, pump, filters, pressure regulating valve, sectioning switches, nozzles, boom and chemicals premixer.

High quality sowing = higher yields
(Dr. József Fűzy)
A precondition of successful spring operations is, among them, choosing and operating the machines most suitable for circumstances of growing. The article focuses on their key points. In addition to describing the precision drills for row crops (e.g. sugarbeet, maize, sunflower, etc.) of wide spacing (24-76 cm) between the rows, the author deals with the jobs of preparing such machines for the season, the major tasks of their examination before operation, as well as gives advice on their best setting.

 

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

Approaching the EU: Registration of pesticides
(Dr. Zoltán Ocskó)
Hungary’s coming EU-accession raises various questions among growers: which pesticides will be registered for use, what will happen with the currently distributed products and what are the conditions under which we can place our produces treated with the pesticides to the market? The article answers these questions and gives other information, too. First the author introduces current EU principles for authorising plant protection products (two-stage authorisation and the so-called positive list). He deals with the re-registration programme with the four groups of active substances. Finally, he considers Hungary’s prospects in the transition period, the derogations for the country to be specified in the accession treaty.

Pesticide packaging waste and its handling
(Péter Lantos)
In addition to storing pesticides, handling and decontamination of empty packaging materials are also important tasks for all the three participants of plant protection: manufacturer, distributor and user.

The empty packaging material of pesticides, with other words, waste packaging material contaminated with pesticides is considered dangerous waste, the temporary storage, transport and decontamination or use of which are subject to regulations.

The Governmental Decree 97/2002 (V. 2.) published in last May is intended to stop this situation. This decree maintains the former obligation of the user as owner of the dangerous waste of packaging material contaminated with pesticide, at the same time it lays a new duty on manufacturers, too. The decree lays down that from 1 January 2003 every manufacturer and, in case of imports, the first distributor is liable to provide for recollecting the packaging waste of the pesticide originated from him. After the publication of the said decree almost all the Hungarian pesticide manufacturers and primary importers decided to found the CSEBER company of public interest under the conditions set out in the decree. The company will coordinate recollection of packaging materials contaminated with pesticides against a use fee. The article describes the activity of the company.

Written anno
(Dr. Péter Inczédy)