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Agroforum 2003 January


Apple growing in the European Union
(Ferenc Takács)
According to FAO sources, global apple production in 2001 was 61 million tons. Most of it was grown in Asia (China’s production was over 20 million tons for the last couple of years), but Europe’s share is also significant, 29 %. Among the EU member states, apple growing is important in ten countries with an annual production of 7-8 million tons. Half of the total volume for Europe is grown in France and Italy. The most common cultivars are ‘Golden Delicious’ (with a share of over 30 %), Jonagold, Red Delicious, Gala and Granny Smith. The article gives an account of apple growing in the particular countries of the EU, indicating crop volume, share of cultivars and the most important characteristics of production.


The way of the future in the EU: an agricultural product with a trademark and a label of integrated production
(Dr. István Kajati)
In the future, the use of trademarks, indicators of geographic origin and certification labels will gain more and more importance also in the Hungarian food production. High quality Hungarian, so-called “hungaricum” products may obtain higher reputation on international markets. Integrated production serves for producing high quality and safe, healthy food which is a high priority also in the National Agro-environment Programme. A successful Hungarian example for integrated apple production is the birth of the label certifying “guaranteed healthy apple” (GHA – in Hungarian: GEA), also entered in the register of the Hungarian Patent Office. Three colour pages complete the article.

Protection of apple orchards in 2002 – experience in county Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg
(Gabriella Minya, Pál Sallai)

The extreme weather of 2002 also nfluenced plant protection situations in apple orchards. The article begins with a brief summary of meteorological conditions during the past season, followed by the discussion of pest occurrence and disease incidence. 2002 was the year of animal pests marked especially by high populations of codling moth (Cydia pomonella), summer fruit twist (Adoxophies orana) and at certain places, of blister moth (Leucoptera malifoliella). The authors demonstrate flight of these pests also on diagrams.

Fireblight (Erwinia amylovora) control trials with products increasing resistance to the disease
(Dr. Tamás Bubán, Pál Sallai, Dr. László Dorgai)
At present, the most important special chemical used in the control of fireblight of pome fruits caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora is an antibiotic (Streptomycin 20 WP, Erwin 25 WP), that can be used only during flowering, if infection is likely according to forecasting data, and based on a special permit. Another possibility for controlling the disease is offered by the use of substances that can increase disease resistance of plants. Among them, the authors have been conducting studies for several years with Bion 50 WG (benzotidiazol), BAS 125 10 W (prohexadion-Ca), Biomit Plussz (mezo- and microelements, 60 different kinds of plant extracts) and of Vektafid R (light summer oil containing copper oleate). These products are bactericides, therefore their use is beneficial for reducing pesticide load in the environment, and in accordance with their mode of action, prevention or at least, a significant reduction of disease incidence can be expected from their application. According to the preliminary results (tables), the possibly most efficient control of fireblight can be achieved by the joint application of the experimental products with proactive mode of action used as laid down in the demonstrated programme and of the antibiotic sprayed during flowering for direct control.

What can we do to control fireblight? Experience in county Szabolcs
(Ferenc Merő)
The first part of the paper looks back to the first appearance of fireblight (Erwinia amylovora) in Hungary six years ago and its rapid spread in the country, shows symptoms (illustrated by photos) and describes infection process. The author discusses epidemics in 2002 according to data of the MARYBLYT forecasting programme in details in county Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg. To the contrary of the forecasted prospects, infection level was high. It can be explained by the fact that a much more severe damage, an epdemic may evolve from an infection occurred during complete flowering than from a one taken place at the end of flowering, close to petal fall. Various attacks of the pathogen during flowering further increase severity of damage. The author gives itemized information on the factors leading to the establishment of epidemics. He discusses control methods in details, emphasising necessity and possibility of prevention.



Developing management programmes in cucumber growing for pickles
(Dr. Erzsébet Kristóf)
Cucumber growing for pickles is considered a success sector in Hungary owing to the modern crop management programmes and varieties, as well as to the well-organized buy-up system and excellent quality. Several decades’ experience proves that high quality and crop production safety can be achieved by using an intensive trellis system. In the past five years, crop area ranged between 3,000 and 4,000 hectares. The share of the trellis system in the total cucumber area is increasing, and while in 1994 it was hardly 35 %, in 2001, it reached 79 %. The article discusses the particular elements of the trellis system such as selecting the site, soil preparation, choosing the varieties, propagation method, cultural operations and plant protection.

Management and marketing issues in integrated vegetable growing
(Dr. Gábor Kollár)
Management in integrated vegetable growing implies providing resources necessary for cost-efficient production (human, technical and financial resources), participation in the particular professional programme, as well as record keeping increasing consumers’ confidence and allowing control. The author pays special attention to the latter issue, as Hungary’s nearby EU-accession and the continuous spread of integrated production require thorough preparation of growers in this field.



Plant protection overview – 2002 (1) Field crops
(Sándor Kobza, Miklós Tóth Adrienn Garai, László Szendrey)
Weather in 2002 was characterised by a long, hard winter with little precipitation, a dry spring and a dry, warm summer with uneven distribution of rainfall. All these determined occurrence of pests and diseases. Disease incidence was generally lower, while pests caused severe losses in various crops. The authors give an account on pests in cereals, sunflowers, sugarbeet, rapes and potatoes in 2002. Yellowing, causing yield losses in winter barley throughout the country, can be partly attributed to agronomic reasons and partly to virus infection. In maize western corn rootworm provoked severe lodging and cotton bollworm also significantly affected the crop. Weather conditions were not favourable for sunflower diseases. Certain insect pests had a significant role in low rape yields.

The effect of weather conditions on wheat and maize yields in 2002
(Dr. András Stollár)
The author as an agro-meteorologist shows the effect of extreme weather conditions of 2002 in wheat and maize growing. The great promises for high yields foreseen in wheat fields during the autumn of 2001 failed to materialise due to the lasting drought in spring and summer (at various places some 150-200 mm rainfall was missing from the fields). Average yields in the country were only between 3.6 and 3.8 t/ha. Drought in May and June was also detrimental for maize in delayed emergence, uneven crop growth and definitely retarded maize development. As a consequence of warm but dry weather, maize got sufficient temperature regime but shortage of rainfall prevented optimum crop development. At various places, forced harvesting had to be done because of hollow seededness. Seven figures illustrate the article.

Oil radish growing is a big challenge
(Zsolt Kovács Csomor, Zoltán Nagy)
Oil radish (Raphanus sativus convar. oleifera) is a crop with a long history, and was sown also for green manure, green fodder and vegetable crop. In Hungary, it has been grown since 1964 on surfaces of different size. Its importance has increased since the ‘90s, its favourable effect on suppressing nematode populations was recognised abroad that time. Now the primary purpose of its growing is to supply seeds for foreign production and the increasing Hungarian green manure and fodder growing. The small number of pesticides registered for use in the crop is a limiting factor. The article informs on characteristics of the plant, advantages of its growing and discusses all the details of the crop management programme. The author also deals with risk factors and profitability of oil radish production.

After Hungary, now in France: “WORLD CLAAS 2002” FORUM. Report
(Dr. György Demes)
Two years after Hungary hosted “WORLD CLAAS 2000”, the Forum “WORLD CLAAS 2002” was organised near Senlais of northern France between 26 and 29 August this year. During four weeks, more than 15,000 professionals, trade partners and prospective buyers were invited from different continents. On the first day of the two-day technical programme, the whole range of CLAAS products were displayed on a spectacular show in a huge tent with a seating capacity of several hundreds of people. Different machines were moved in front of the audience, beginning from the ones designed for roughage and mass fodder crop growing, through the several types of the new telescopic loaders, to the line for harvesting and straw-handling. During the “standing” show, the participants could get into touch with the whole assortment of combine harvesters, self-propelled choppers, square and cylinder balers, telescopic loaders, as well as with the whole assortment of machines for roughage and mass fodder growing. The article illustrated with colour photos gives an account on the exhibition, focusing especially on novelties.

Sunflower hybrids – values for beekeepers (x)
(Edit Zajácz, Enikő Szalai-Mátrai, János Bíró)
Flowering of sunflower, depending on sowing time, takes place just at the time when other bee-forages cannot be found in such an extended area. Therefore it is highly important in midsummer gathering of nectar. Though the crop does not produce nectar in a quantity similar to that of locust or linden trees, it may ensure safe nectar flow with its stable crop area and long flowering time. For beekeepers, the most important criterion for evaluating sunflower hybrids is honey yield that means nectar production, sugar concentration and sugar value calculated from the previous two parameters. The higher these values are, the more nectar will get in the beehives from a unit area. A major aim of NK sunflower breeding is to enhance insect visits, especially of directed bee visits. Bee-keeping values of NK sunflower hybrids (Alexandra PR, Arena PR, Opera and Pixel) were studied in trials carried out jointly by the Apiculture and Bee-Biological Department of the Research Institute for Small Animal Breeding and Feeding and Szent István University in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002. The article summarises their results.

Protecting maize production using Clearfield programme against western corn rootworm larvae and weeds
(Gábor Pálfay)
The article informs on using the soil disinfestant Counter 5 G (terbufos) in maize fields sown with conventional and imidazolinon-resistant hybrids.

Weed control in winter wheat with the mixture of Solar + Duplosan DP + Granstar (x)
(Imre Kovács)
The advantages of applying this herbicide mixture are outlined.

Mustang + Esteron – more efficient with joint forces
(Dow AgroScience)
The use of the herbicide mixture recommended for weed control in cereals is presented.

Seed potatoes have got a passport
(Dénes Keresztes, Ferenc Merő)
All the ones who participate in producing and trading seed potatoes have to get acquainted with a new term and a new procedure, i.e. plant passport. From autumn 2002, in compliance with the EU practice, seed potatoes as the first among agricultural products may be traded only with plant passport, can be placed on the Hungarian market only with plant passport. What does the term “plant passport” cover? Which are the plant health and quality requirements for issuing a plant passport? Who issues plant passport? What is the content of this document? The article gives the answers to these questions.

Maize growing on an advanced level (x)
(Syngenta Seeds)
The professionals of three farms leading in maize growing were asked about the background of their successful crop management.

Issues related to cereals and genetically modified products: market news and problems in connection with contracts (Graham Brookes)

As a consequence of an increasing rejection of biotechnology in the EU, a separate section of non-GM products have been established in the market. It is based on the rules laid down mainly by private traders, but legal provisions (existing and planned) also influence it. It is important to understand mechanisms of this market from point of view of the Hungarian grain fodder trade, as it can directly influence contractual obligations. The article discusses the related main problems.



Seen heard, read. Young wine feast on St. Martin’s day. Report
(Zoltán Molnár)
A report is made on the third Young wine feast on St. Martin’s day of the Transdanubian wine regions held in Balatonboglár on 8 November 2002. Recognized specialists and professionals of the Hungarian viticulture and winemaking gave very interesting lectures in the event.

The Art of Agriculture – The Art of Life VIII
(György Salamon)
A brief introduction of Arysta LifeScience Corporation and its subsidiary companies in Hungary.

Written anno… (Dr. Inczédy Péter)


Annex: Thematic table of contents of volume 13 of Practical AGROFÓRUM (2002)