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Agroforum 2004 February

Chronicle of meteorological events in Hungary in 2003 (H. Bóna Márta)

The past 2003 was the year of extremes and records not only in Hungary bur also in almost all European countries. It is probably that sweltering heat and drought will come to our minds about this year even after a long time. The author gives an overview of the weather events of this extreme year through the changes of the most important meteorological elements. She discusses data on temperature, precipitation, snow cover, soil moisture and the number of sunny hours and their changes in 2003. Four figures illustrate textual information.

We asked Dr. Bálint Nagy on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of establishing the plant protection stations (2.) (AF)

We were preparing for a situation analysis planned to be an anniversary interview with Dr. Bálint Nagy, retired university professor, on agriculture, plant protection and the profession, addressing him the following three issues: 1) looking back to the past fifty years; 2) remarks on agrochemicals use in the present situation and 3) thoughts about the future. We could read his opinion about the first topic in the previous number of the journal, now we publish his ideas about the second and third ones. He explains why he does not agree with the current agricultural policy. Regarding the third question, he lets us know his view about rural development.


Soybean in Hungarian crop production (Dr. Béla Nagy, Nagy Árpád, János Feczák)

In Hungary the estimated area suitable for soybean production is 400 thousand hectares but actually it may be even much larger, because the ecological needs of the crop are very similar to those of maize. The article gives an overview of soybean production. The first part of the paper takes one after the other the conditions of soybean growing, giving the details of crop management in all cases. The authors inform on the crop needs for climatic (temperature, light, water), soil and nutrient conditions. They deal with the preceding crops and also evaluate soybean as a preceding. They discuss chemical weed control in the crop, not from the point of view of chemicals but because of the relations of weed control with cultural operations. The authors list the economic, biological, agronomic, etc. reasons supporting the increase of the cropping area but also point out the most important inhibiting factor, insufficient profitability.

Plant protection forecasting and its practical application (Dr. Pál Békési, Dr. Mihály Perczel)

Commissioned by Syngenta, the authors prepare a nation-wide forecasting for the possible onset of the diseases of three crops: winter wheat, sunflowers and grapes. Dividing the country into four parts, they weekly give the expected time for the appearance of the particular diseases. They inform on the theoretical bases and practice of forecasting.

Seen, heard, read. Biomark is 15 years old. Meeting on using Invite EC in 2003 (Dr. György Demes)

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of establishing the company, in December 2003, Biomark organized a technical meeting for its partners in Budapest. The management looked back on the activity performed during the past 15 years. Evaluating the work, they gave an account of the experience of using the product Invite EC they distributed to control Western corn rootworm.

Hungarian maize growing: The chapter of Magyaróvár (Gyula Kettinger)

It is well known that the north-western part of Hungary, Kisalföld is not among the regions with long traditions of maize growing. However, in the history of agriculture during the time between the middle of the 19th and the 20th centuries, significant theoretical, experimental and practical achievements were launched from here, in particular from Magyaróvár, contributing to a considerable improvement of Hungarian maize growing. The process began with writing the first Hungarian-language crop production manual and applying it in higher agricultural education. Its next step was starting national variety trial and breeding work and extending it to countrywide level. It was followed by the national coordination of breeding work that had been performed till that time at different places of the country in private farms and by using the most different methods. From this time on, Magyaróvár was engaged in establishing the theoretical and practical methods of plant breeding and in organizing post-graduate education. The article presents the main steps of the almost hundred year long process in connection with Magyaróvár.

Dekalb® the engine of developing maize hybrids (x) (Balázs Szeidl)

The article shows the advantages of a maize grower in Hungary today of grows the most recent DEKALB® hybrids.

Mustang: the winner in wheat fields is 5 years old (x) (Attilla Takács)

Cereal growers have been using Mustang, the 2,4 D ester + florasulam herbicide in Hungary already for 5 years, and in 2004 the product will gain importance also in weed control in maize.

GrowHow solutions for nutrient supply in poppy and spring barley (x) (Dr. Erik Czinege, Dr. János Térmeg, Imre Szász)

KEMIRA company would like to help Agrofórum Readers to apply Kemira GrowHow fertilizers with articles showing the use of its products. Adjusting to sowing time, they begin with presenting the fertilizer management programme for poppy and spring (malting) barley.

Soil disinfestation using pyrethroid (x) (Béla Radvány)

The tefluthrin soil insecticide Force (10 CS and 1.5 G) is recommended, especially for maize growers.


Let’s think over the use of dwarfing cheery rootstocks! (Géza Bujdosó)

In several countries of the world, intensive orchards are planted in more and more hectares, offering various advantages. Among them, the fruit trees are smaller, therefore they can be handled easier, they come to bearing earlier, fruit size is more uniform, yields are higher, return on capital is fast, etc. In stone fruits, intensive orchards have spread slower, because the available rootstocks were too vigorous. However, the production of dwarfing rootstocks has begun for some decades also in sweet and sour cherry breeding.

The article gives an account of the results of trials for introducing dwarfing rootstocks recently bred in Germany and the Czech Republic, as well as calls the attention of growers to certain important factors in connection with their use.

Last year’s experience in controlling insect pests of peaches (Piroska Szabó)

Pest management programme in peaches has considerably changed since the mid 1980s (spreading of summer pruning, delayed performance of early-season pruning and run-off spraying with copper products twice, in autumn and early spring). They resulted in, among them, the reduced incidence of serious fungal and bacterial diseases. At the same time growers unfortunately almost completely leave out the use, before bud-burst, of washing-off sprays applying lime sulphur products suitable also for reducing insect pests. Insect pest control is based on a new strategy. Monitoring the flight activity of fruit moths by sex-pheromone traps is more and more common. Decision on mite and aphid control is often preceded by examination of plants. The article presents the major insect pests of peaches, as well as the problems of their control and their solutions.

Preventing leaf curl of peaches (Szabolcs Makó, Ágnes Schweigert)

Leaf curl of peaches (Taphrina deformans) regularly attacks household gardens and large commercial orchards in all of the Hungarian peach-growing areas. Its incidence in rainy, cool spring can become epidemics. Only an extremely dry March and April that we witnessed in 2003 can prevent its outbreak. The annually recurring pathological process may lead to a general decline, even death of the trees. The article gives an account of the biology of the pathogen and the conditions of the infection. It discusses the role of meteorological factors, their effect on the development of the pathogen and the host plant and the susceptibility of the latter. The authors emphasize that successful control requires strict prevention and complex approach. It includes profound knowledge on the biology of the pathogen and the role of ecological conditions, the susceptibility of the cultivars, as well as on the possible methods of cultural and chemical control. Fungicides registered for the control of the disease are tabulated.

Grafted or own-rooted fruit trees? (Dr. Péter Inczédy)

The author cites an article published in a one-time journal titled “Kertészet” (Horticulture) in 1929, giving an account of the production of own-rooted fruit trees.

Envidor – not only a new solution against mites …(x) (Csaba Lovász)

Envidor, a special, wide-spectrum pirodiclofen acaricide that, besides spider mites and leaf mites, successfully controls also certain insect pests.


Under the magnifying glass …(25) Comparing fertilizer broadcasters Amazone, Bøgballe,  Rauch, Sulky and Vicon (Dr. György Demes)

A fertilizer broadcaster is not among the most expensive agricultural implements. However, the quality of the work done by the machine has a significant effect on the yields, and through this, on the profitability of growing. The cost of fertilizer accounts for a considerable amount of production costs, at the same time, if applied with a poor quality, depending on the unevenness of broadcasting efficacy is decreasing and the environmental impacts cannot be neglected either. Therefore it makes a difference what kind of fertilizer broadcaster growers use.

In its December 2003 issue, the journal PROFI published the results of the comparative test with five fertilizer broadcasters Amazone ZA-M maxIS, Bøgballe EX trend, Rauch Axera M, Sulky DPX expert and Vicon RS-XL, prepared by the Danish Agricultural Research Institute headquartered in Bygholm, in cooperation with the German Agricultural Chamber. In this article of our series “Under the magnifying glass …” we let you know the results and the most important conclusions of the above comparative tests.

One year, seven machines (x)

One of the biggest, most versatile agricultural companies of Eastern Hungary is “Tedej Co” possessing 6000 ha arable land in the fields of seven villages. By purchasing seven Väderstad implements during almost a year, the company has become the most important partner of the Swedish manufacturer in the eastern part of the country. Róbert Kõrösi, crop management and machinery director outlines his experience with the machines.

Structure of plant protection machines (7.) Seed dressing machines (Dr. Zoltán Csizmazia)

The efficacy of seed dressing highly depends on the used seed treatment compound and the application technique. Today seed dressing almost always carried out with chemicals and the active substance is applied to the surface of the seeds or tubers with a seed dresser. If the active substance gets on the target area in a smaller quantity than desired, the treatment does not have the acceptable efficacy, while overdosing, may decrease the germination ability of seeds and involve a load on the environment. Therefore the technique of applying the seed dressing compound is decisive for the success of the treatment. In general we can conclude that seed dressing products must be applied to the surface of seeds or tubers in the required quantity and to ensure even distribution so that the applied product, during handling, remain on the treated surface.

The article illustrated with colour pictures gives a detailed description, among seed dressers, of UNIVAX-G, GRAMAX-V, MOBITOX SZUPER II, a well as Niklas and Rosengren companies, while among tuber dressers, of the models of Gumotox machines.

Possibilities for reducing operation costs of machines (Dr. Lajos Gockler)

Costs of agricultural production, or increases of such costs must be reduced, especially because of the EU-accession, otherwise our competitive ability compared to the existing EU Member States still enjoying bigger support for years will be significantly decline. Operation costs of machines accounting for about 30-70% of the cost of production, considerably, almost decisively influence it. Furthermore, because of the quality of the performed work, machines have an effect on the whole result of growing. Therefore it is not indifferent to what extent do the particular major factors influence operation costs of the machines.

The author analyses the survey and testing data KSH ÁMÖ, AKII and FVM MGI according to the following topics: the changes in the operation costs of machines; the most important factors influencing success of agricultural production; the present state of farms; the effect of farm size on the production costs; the role of machine capacity in influencing costs and the importance of field size.



Dangerous pests (I/7) Aphids (Aphididae) (Dr. Zsuzsanna Basky, Dr. Kálmán Szeõke, Dr. András Takács)

The present member of the series of articles presents aphids, a widespread and important pest group of field and horticultural crops. The authors give a detailed description of the importance and damage of aphids. They list the species occurring in Hungary on the major crops and describe the symptoms of their injury. After the taxonomy and morphological characterization (figure and table), they inform Readers on their biology. They give a detailed description of the particular developmental stages. Among the issues of the control, they deal with the possibilities of forecasting and the importance of warning. The cultural operations highly contribute to the success of control. Means of biological control (natural enemies) are already known and used also in the practice. The possible methods of chemical control and the registered products are tabulated for the particular crops. Colour photos and the lost of the most important references published in Hungarian language complete the article.

Rainfast copper hydroxide (x)

The article presents the excellent characteristics of Funguran-OH, a copper hydroxide fungicide.

Distribution and damage of cotton bollworm in Hungary (Éva Hoffmann, Istvánné Gáspár, Adrienne Garai, Dr. Géza Gabi, Zsolt Tatár, Miklós Tóth, Sándor Kobza, Gábor Szalkai)

We have also experienced the effect of global warming. The more and more frequent warm, droughty periods, among them, are favourable also for the increase of populations of insects with higher temperature requirements. Cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) entered into Hungary in masses during the very dry spring of 1993. In the ten years since then the increase of its population has taken place to different extents (depending on weather conditions) throughout the country. In certain parts of Hungary it was one of the most dangerous pests of horticultural and field crops this year.

The authors discuss the highly increased populations of this pest during the past few years, inform on the “strategy” changed this year (data on monitoring of flight with light and sex-pheromone traps). They list the major damaged crops, the symptoms found on them, and the degree of the damage. Fundamental conditions of successful control are the early detection of the pest, regular scouts in the crop, determining the time and intensity of egg-laying and hatching of larvae.

Supplying nutrients and protecting the crop (x) (István Tamás)

The article is about the fact how closely plant protection is related to nutrient supply based on physiological characteristics of plants. The two elements will be a complete thing only if we both supply and protect the crop. For all these, the author recommends the products distributed by Kwizda.


Written anno… (Dr. Inczédy Péter)


Seed dressers

1.      UNIVAX-G synchronous screw seed dresser

2.      Feeding of seed dresser with screw elevator

3.      MOBITOX-SZUPER II mobile semi-synchronous seed dresser

4.      Rosengren seed dresser

5.      GRAMAX-V stationary semi-synchronous seed dresser

6.      Flowmeter in the seed dresser

7.      Seed level sensor in the hopper

8.      Niklas universal seed dresser

9.      Niklas W.N. 5/00 laboratory seed dresser

10.    Niklas W.N. 6 stationary seed dresser

11.    Scheme of Niklas W.N. of seed dressers

12.    Operation system of Niklas seed dresser cone


1.      Cabbage aphid colony

2.      Increasing colony of black bean aphid

3.      Damage by rosy leaf-curling aphid

4.      Fundatrigenous generation of black bean aphid on a young shoots of sweet mock orange

5.      Damage at wax-ripening of mealy plum aphid with population increased on flowering sunflower head

6.      Damage of black bean aphid with population increased on male plants during the production of sunflower seeds

7.      Damage of Russian wheat aphid

8.      Rothamsted suction trap

9.      Damage of wheat aphid on ear

10.    Green apple aphid colonies

Photos by

1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8: Dr Zsuzsa Basky

5, 6, 9, 10.: Dr. András Takács

Cotton bollworm

1.      Eggs of cotton bollworm

2.      Young larvae of cotton bollworm on maize silks

3.      Pupa of cotton bollworm

4.      Double cone pheromone trap (Csalamon VARL+ (MTA NKI))

5.      Larval damage in peas

6.      Characteristic damage of cotton bollworm in maize ear

7.      Distribution of cotton bollworm

Photos by

1, 4, 6, 7, Éva Hoffmann

3.,8. András Varga

2., 5. Gábor Szalkai

9., 10. Andrea Guttyán

11. Géza Gabi