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Agroforum 2004 January

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

In 2004 it will be the 50th anniversary of establishing the nation-wide network of county plant protection stations. On this occasion we visited dr. Bálint Nagy, retired university teacher, to summarise our Readers the decades remembered also as the “heroic age” of plant protection, in shaping of which he also had a decisive role for a long time. Among the three predefined issues: looking back to this period; his remarks about the chemisation in Hungarian agriculture, as well as his thoughts about the present situation and outlook to the future, now you can read his answer to the first question, while his remarks to the other two ones will be published in the next number of Agrofórum.

 

NUTRIENT SUPPLY – IN GENERAL

What to base recommendations for fertilizer application on? (Dr. István Buzás)

The current agricultural practice can be characterized by the excessive application of fertilizers in some places, while in general, by insufficient nutrient supply. Both ones negatively influence our environment. First the author gives a brief overview of the principles of fertilizer recommendations, then he informs on its practice established and applied in Hungary. He points out that the current system of advisory service can only be considered a temporary and stopgap arrangement. Data on soil nutrient analysis in themselves are only indicators. They should be used in fertilizer recommendations only after calibration, after determining with experiments the relationship between data obtained from soil analysis and the related yields. Until performing the necessary calibration tests, the fertilizer recommendation cannot be regarded as scientifically based. The Hungarian Rural Development Plan set the following objectives: reasonable nutrient management, mitigation of environmental load and the maintenance of fertility. It requires running of a fertilizer recommendation system based on the calculation and planning of applying fertilizer rates, taking environmentally friendly nutrient management aspects into consideration, in order to reach optimum yields without adversely affecting the environment. The author intends his article for introducing a discussion.

Experiences in fertilizer application in county Csongrád (Mária Regős)

With the introduction of liquid fertilizers the practice of nutrient supply changed, leading to additional errors in plant nutrition. In the early ’90s the excessive application of fertilizers, especially of phosphorous and potassium, was frequent in greenhouse growing. The most difficult to ensure is continuous nutrient supply suited to the growth stage and the requirements for nitrogen and potassium of the crop. The author gives a tabulated summary of the registered foliar fertilizers.

Integrated nutrient supply – utilization of biomass – compost (Lajos Sáry, Gábor Szelényi)

Plant nutrient supply at country level is an economic and environmental problem at the same time. In addition to cost factors, e.g. of fertilizers, it affects important fields of soil conservation, water and environment protection. If the EU accession restricts direct subsidy to our agriculture, it is worthy to make efforts for integrated plant nutrition being less expensive, offering more advantages from environmental and soil conservation aspects, promoting humus production and soil regeneration, and by this, ensuring more healthy products. The major part of waste biomasses cannot be utilized in a raw state for crop production. Therefore they have to undergo a kind of treatment, ensuring good physical structure, concentration of active substances and the decomposition or humification of organic compounds. The article is about the necessity and possibility of composting.

NUTRIENT SUPPLY – IN THE FIELD

Rainfall, fertilizer application and the production of certain field crops. Study (Dr. László Márton)

Sustainable agricultural production is greatly determined by ecological conditions. Their rapid and global changes have lead to an increased sensitivity of the agro-ecological potential and crop production. From 1860 to 1999 the global increase of temperature on the surface of our planet was 0,6 ˚C, the consequence of which may be the adverse conditions of regional formation and distribution of precipitation (drought, excessive rainfall). In Hungary this process started in the 1850s and has been going on today, causing incalculable damages to national economy. The effect of precipitation may amount to just 75% of that of the factors influencing yields. According to certain estimations, the trends of recent years’ precipitation may indicate that aridity will increase and there will be lasting drought periods in the near future. Under such weather conditions the role of plant nutrient supply will gain more importance, as fertilizer application enhances crop production to a greater extent than water demand. The results have been obtained from a long-term trial of fertilizer application established 41 years ago in 1962 at Nyírlugos in one of the largest sand area of the country (north-eastern Hungary). They show the effect of the different years (average, dry, droughty, rainy and with abundant rainfall) and of N-, P-, K- and Mg-fertilizers on the yields of rye, potatoes, winter wheat and triticale. The data serve as a good basis for an up-to-date advisory service, planning and managing agricultural.

About nitrogen fertilizer application to maize, based on the recent results of the Cereal Research Company (Dr. Endre Széll, Péter Streb)

Thinking of fertilizer application in maize, the two most frequently asked questions are: 1) what amount of fertilizers and 2) how and when to apply? The authors wish to answer these questions based on the results of their long-term trial established in 1979. There are various factors to take into consideration for timing fertilizer application. They recommend paying more attention, in addition to financial constraints, to soil moisture and bearing capacity. Results of trials carried out on soils with medium nutrient supply have not confirmed the yield-increasing effect of starter fertilizers. However, fertilizer application done in one pass with sowing, furthermore fertilizers applied with cultivators during the season may be more advantageous for various reasons (avoiding trampling damage and eventual yield increase) than spreading of fertilizers before sowing of maize on wet soil, causing tramline damage. It is more and more important to find solutions other than pre-sowing fertilizer application. Six figures and three tables demonstrate the results.

Lessons learned from fertilizer application trials in wheat (2001-2003) (Dr. István Mihály Petróczi)

Among the most important risk factors of wheat growing there are climatic extremities, as the grower can influence them to the least extent. From the aspect of both quantity and quality, the most important factor affecting yields to be decided by growers is fertilizer application. The article presents the results of long-term trials with fertilizers started in 1982. Sixteen kinds of fertilizer application (4 different amounts of PK and 4 N rates) were established, annually using several varieties and 4 replicates. The author discusses yields harvested in the past three years (of which two were droughty). It has been proved that nutrient supply may have a significant role in decreasing or increasing fluctuations of yields due to climatic extremities. In 2003, the year with the lowest results, the average wheat yield in unfertilized control plots was 1.24 t/ha, amounting only to the 1/3 part of yields (3.85 t/ha) in similar plots obtained in 2001. On the other hand, at the level of a complex fertilizer application of 120+60+60 kg/ha, 60% (5.74 t/ha) of the yields of 2001 (9.44 t/ha) were harvested in the critical season of 2003. In the average of the tested varieties and years, applications of 2:1:1 of NPK provided the highest yields, double or triple amount of the unfertilized control.

NUTRIENT SUPPLY – IN ORCHARDS

Nutrient supply in orchards and Hungarian weather conditions (Dr. Endre Szűcs)

Weather conditions and their consequences have more remarkably come forward in the recent decades also in orchards. The author gives an overview of the relationship of weather and nutrient supply of fruit species. In addition to the ecological effects, however, various other stresses affect fruit trees (certain elements of crop management or plant health factors). The conditions of the trees are important from the point of view of their tolerance. Among nutrient elements, potassium has an outstanding role in mitigating stress effects, the concentration of which in green plants is the second one after nitrogen, and it is essential in various life processes. The metabolism of plants with good potassium supply is more intensive; their resistance to plant pests and diseases, frost and drought is higher. Finally, the author calls the attention to that stress effects may combine with each other. A part of them cannot be controlled, while the other part, being aware of the local conditions, can be more or less influenced.

New possibilities of nutrient supply in producing potted grafts (János Deme, Edina Gyetvai)

In the recent years growing of potted grafts has an increasing share in nursery production. This method allows speeding up of making bench-grafts, on the other hand certain plant health problems (crown gall, various soil fungi and virus-vector nematodes) may also be eliminated. The authors compared two management programmes of producing potted grafts by using fertilizers with different release rates (Osmocote Exact hi-start types), and different soil mixtures (pure peat from Sükösd /Hungary/ and 1:1 mixture of peat from Sükösd and from the Baltic region. They have concluded from the studies that using controlled-release fertilizers could increase the productivity of producing potted grafts. The addition of the biostimulant (Radifarm) considerably enhanced root mass, therefore it had a beneficial effect on the development, health state and stress tolerance of grafts. Controlled-release fertilizers, by a single application, without overdosing, continuously supply nutrients to plants and leaching of fertilizers, characteristic of conventional fertilizers may also be prevented by using them. Applying such products may further increase the profitability of potted graft production, the possibility of making mistakes is considerably less and the quality of the plants is better even with less input.

The role of calcium in apple production (Dr. Andrzej Pedryc)

In the recent years it has been demonstrated about various physiological disorders that they are related to calcium deficiency in different plant organs or to the disturbed distribution of calcium in the plant. The article begins with the role and importance of calcium in plant metabolism. Compared to plants’ needs, Hungarian soils generally contain sufficient calcium levels, but this reserve is not always available for plants (ion-antagonism). Disorders of calcium deficiency generally are not caused by the insufficient concentration of a particular element in the whole plant but by the uneven distribution of calcium among different organs of the plant. The cause of this phenomenon is basically related to the characteristics of transport. Finally, the principles and practice of calcium fertilizer application is discussed.

DISTRIBUTORS’ RECOMMENDATIONS

A new and efficient method for supplying zinc! (x) (Dr. Erik Czinege, Dr. János Térmeg)

(Dr. Erik Czinege, Dr. János Térmeg)

The article informs on the news that in spring 2004, Kemira GrowHow will place on the market the Power/Optima fertilizers with low concentration of nitrogen, containing zinc in a chelated form in order to ensure optimum zinc supply, unique throughout Europe.

Nutrient supply tailored to dry conditions (x) (Antal Anikó)

Agriplant® fertilizers and Wuxal® foliar fertilizers distributed by Hungarian KWIZDA Ltd are recommended for use to solve the problem indicated in the title.

BactoFil® soil bacterium products help plants even in drought! (x) (József Márton, Zoltán Daoda)

The mentioned yield enhancing substances are microbial preparations containing soil bacteria, improving microbial soil life, nutrient supply capacity and fertility, thus ensuring continuous and balanced nutrient supply of plants in due time and quantity.

Products of high micro-element content for advanced quality (x) (Márton Szabó)

The article presents Fitohorm products, suitable for eliminating microelement deficiency of cultivated plants, and in addition to it, having several positive effects on crops.

Maize varieties recommended by KWS (x) (Mihály Pallós)

As a result of its breeding programme, KWS RAGT Hybrid Ltd. introduces its newest hybrids completely satisfying all the current demands (high productivity, intensive moisture release during ripening, firm stem even in over-ripening).

Experiences of trials carried out in large-scale farms in 2003 (x) (István Szanyi)

The results of trials with DeKalb maize hybrids carried out in Hungary in 2003 are presented.

Mustang – a winning herbicide also in maize fields! (x) (Attila Takács)

It is about the use of the florasulam + 2,4-D herbicide for postemergence weed control in maize.

MECHANIZATION, MACHINES

Structure of plant protection machines (6.) Environmentally friendly technique for pesticide application (Dr. Zoltán Csizmazia)

The present member of the series summarises the technical solutions for sustainable plant protection techniques. The up-to-date, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly plant protection lays emphasis on reducing the amount of the applied chemicals and improving the efficacy of application. Among the technical solutions, the author gives a detailed discussion of the following topics:

¾   Reducing the applied chemicals (e.g. band spraying, sectional spraying, roto-wiping application);

¾   Preventing drift of small droplets (e.g. by using protective shields, air assisted sprayers, electrostatic charging);

¾   Maintaining big droplets on the target surface (e.g. by nozzles with injectors);

¾   Applying chemicals-free techniques (e.g. mechanical weed control, thermic weed control, pneu-mechanic bio-collectors

Several colour photos complete the article.

Target: one machine, various operations … After Väderstad Carrier, Rapid combi has also proved well with us … (x)

The interviewed grower obtained good experience with using Rapid drills that had a daily performance of 30-40 hectares in the past two years.

Also to control Western corn rootworm … Tecnoma, a novel self-propelled sprayer has arrived (x)

From this year on, Raiffeisen Agro-house Ltd. distributes the self-propelled sprayer of Tecnoma, available for growers in three executions, Laser 2500, Laser 3000, Laser 4000 and Laser 5000.

 

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

A change in the management of Bayer CropScience (x)

Interview with Mr Michael Muncey who manages the Hungarian enterprise of the company from 2004.

Seen, heard, read. Inauguration of a company seat Opening of an Axial basis in Nyíregyháza (Dr. György Demes)

Report about the inauguration of the 15th company seat of AXIÁL Ltd. held in Nyíregyháza on 27 November 2003.

Articles published in the field of nutrient management by Practical Agrofórum (December 1998 – December 2003)

Written anno … (Dr. Péter Inczédy)

Annex: Cumulative contents of articles published in the 14th volume of Practical Agrofórum (2003), grouped in the particular topics (Numbers 1-12)

Photos

Page 44

New possibilities of nutrient supply in producing potted grafts

  1. Symptoms of zinc deficiency on untreated grafts (Újfehértó, 2003)
  2. Growth of Pinova/M.26 apple grafts treated with control-release fertilizers and untreated ones (Újfehértó, 2003)
  3. Root system of Pinova/M.26 grafts (Újfehértó, 2003)

Page 67

Structure of plant protection machines (6.) Environmentally friendly technique for pesticide application

  1. Band spraying in one pass with sowing
  2. Band spraying in one pass with cultivatoring
  3. Spraying targeted below the leaves
  4. Scheme of treatment with rotary herbicide wiper
  5. Rotary herbicide wiper
  6. Rotary herbicide wiper with central tank
  7. Air assisted sprayer
  8. Scheme of air assisted spraying
  9. The effect of air assisted spraying on the crop
  10. Sprayer with protective shield (tunnel)
  11. Injector (air intake) nozzle
  12. Injector (air pressure) nozzle
  13. Injector (air intake) and injector (air pressure) nozzles in operation, on a single boom
  14. Thermic weed control machines
  15. A machine collecting Colorado beetles and larvae (bio-collector)
  16. Collector tray of the machine