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Agroforum 2004 June


Dangerous pests (I/9) Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) (Ibolya Hatala Zsellér, Dr. Géza Ripka, Dr. Géza Vörös)

This article of the series is about the pest introduced to Europe in the past decade and recently having spread more and more intensively. In spite of the fact that quite a lot of articles have been published about Western corn rootworm in Agrofórum (and also in other journals) in the past few years, the authors present readers a valuable paper, a good summary of the topic affecting so many people. In the chapter about its importance and damage, they give an overview of the European history of the pest and show the economic importance of the pest supported by useful data. Based on foreign literature and Hungarian observations, they give a detailed description of the biology of the pest. After reckoning with the forecasting possibilities, they deal with the issues of control in every detail. They inform on the American experience, being aware of which is very important for the European countries, then take the control methods one after the other. They give an account of the experience in control obtained in Hungary, about both successes and failures. They give tabulated information on the insecticides registered for controlling the pest. Several colour pictures and as an exception, 35 references complete the article.

Colour page:

Western corn rootworm

Figure 2: Root injury by Western corn rootworm in Hungary (2002-2003)

Figure 3: Spread of Western corn rootworm in Hungary (1995-2003)


  1. Larva of Western corn rootworm (photo taken by László Vasas)
  2. Adult of Western corn rootworm (photo taken by András Varga)
  3. Pupae of Western corn rootworm (photo taken by Dr. Géza Vörös)
  4. Mating beetles (photo taken by Dr. Géza Vörös)
  5. Maize lodging due to larval damage (photo taken by Dr. Géza Vörös)
  6. Drill equipped with granule spreader (photo taken by Dr. Géza Vörös)
  7. Eggs of the pest (photo taken by András Varga)

Asking development managers of KITE about Western corn rootworm (Dr. Gábor Princzinger)

A major field crop of Hungarian agriculture, maize plays an important part also in the management of KITE Co. The biggest agricultural integrator in Hungary has a decisive role in the success of maize growing on several hundred thousand hectares via its partners, therefore it is not indifferent, what kind of strategy and tactics they follow against the current “public enemy No. 1”: Western corn rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera virgifera). We asked the development and marketing manager Tamás Horváth, development engineer Zoltán Papp and the chief product manager Tamás Molnár to answer our questions, among them, as follows:

– What is their experience with management programmes against Western corn rootworm (seed dressing, soil disinfestation, in-crop protection to control larvae and adults)?

– What does KITE Co. advice to growers, what control method to apply (seed dressing, soil disinfestation using liquid and granulated insecticides, in-crop protection to control larvae and adults)?

– What kinds of machines does KITE Co. recommend for the application of soil insecticides and the control of adults, which are the proved, reliable models?

– What are their proposals for pest control to sweetcorn growers?

Why is it so difficult to control Western corn rootworm? (Dr. Bertalan Tóth) (x)

The author reviews the techniques used for the control of Western corn rootworm, as well as the risk of the increasing population of adults due to the biology of the pest. He presents the advantages of using the mixture of Invite + Diabro.


Rhizopus-species affecting sunflower heads and their influence on oil content and quality, as well as on germination ability of seeds (Dr. Ilona Walcz, Éva Berki Szlil, László Nébli)

In the extremely dry and warm year of 2003, a head disease, uncommon in sunflowers occurred in various parts of the country. The disease was provoked by Rhizopus species. The article informs on the symptoms (shown in various colour pictures), then lists the possible causal agents according to international literature. The biological tests and chemical analyses performed by the authors show that though germination ability was not drastically reduced because of the infection by Rhizopus species, but the infected seeds served as inoculum sources for the next year. On the other hand, oil content of infected seeds significantly reduced, and fatty-acid composition of the oil also changed for the worse. Possibilities for chemical control are not known for the time being. It was observed that successful control of cotton bollworm was important, as its larvae opened the way to the infection by the fungus.

Colour page:

Rhizopus-species affecting sunflower heads

  1. Head infected by Rhizopus, mycelia and reproductive organs of the fungus (photo taken by László Nébli)
  2. Coriaceous tissues of head affected by Rhizopus due to dry weather (photo taken by Ilona Walcz)
  3. Toxin-induced drying of leaves (photo taken by László Nébli)
  4. Symptom similar to grey mould (photo taken by Ilona Walcz)
  5. Achenes affected by Rhizopus (photo taken by László Nébli)

6-7. Joint symptom of Rhizopus stolonifer and cotton bollworm (photos taken by Ilona Walcz and László Nébli)

8.   Diverging mycelium, sporangia and sporangiophores of Rhizopus stolonifer (photo taken by László Nébli)

Ecological and biological background of increasing population density of European corn borer (Sándor Keszthelyi)

Though nowadays maize growers focus on Western corn rootworm and cotton bollworm, in addition to them, the high increase of population of a native pest, European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis) is also a question of concern. The author seeks the answer to the question, why European corn borer populations and their damages have increased so high in Hungary. Industrial production of maize has clearly assisted mass occurrence of the pest, but we need to know much more about the appearance of this pest in Hungary and the influencing ecological, biological and climatic background in order to obtain a realistic picture. The author gives a detailed description of his flight studies using light traps and of the analysing temperature data. He concludes that the increased populations of European corn borer and the caused yield losses observed in the last few years can be attributed to the spreading of the bivoltine ecotype in Hungary, assisted by the global warming.

Colour page:

Ecological and biological background of increasing population density of European corn borer

Figure 5: Distribution of flight patterns of European corn borer in Hungary in 1999

Note: The line shows the imaginary border between the univoltine and bivoltine populations in 1999. 1nrp (r2r) = univoltine European corn borer populations and partial secondary flight; t1rnp = strictly univoltine European corn borer populations; 2nrp = bivoltine European corn borer populations; t2rnp = strictly bivoltine European corn borer populations.

Figure 6: Distribution of flight patterns of univoltine and bivoltine populations of European corn borer in Hungary in 1999, 2000 and 2001

Note: Dotted line indicating the borderline of uni- and bivoltine populations in 1999. 1nrp (r2r) = univoltine European corn borer populations, and partial second flight; t1rnp = strictly univoltine European corn borer populations; 2nrp = bivoltine European corn borer populations; t2rnp = strictly bivoltine European corn borer populations.

Leaf spot of winter wheat in spring (Péter Hertelendy, Zsuzsa Birta Vas, Tibor Szabó, Andrea Zalka)

The authors, specialists of the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control (OMMI), in spring of 2004 recorded early symptoms of leaf spot (Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, DTR) at an incidence not having seen so far in the long-term winter wheat trials. They call the attention of growers to the disease so that they would not forget about it. They warn producers of the pathogen being latent in the past dry and warm years, to prevent that unexpected damages occur. In the provocative field trials carried out last spring, though a considerable volume of infected straw was placed on the experimental plots, primary leaf symptoms were only sporadically observed; damages were negligible in all the trials. The big difference in the losses caused by primary infection by DTR recorded in the two studied years is attributed to different weather, this season’s extremely favourable conditions for the disease. The authors give tabulated information on the susceptibility to the primary infection by DTR of the state-qualified wheat varieties.

Colour page:

Leaf spot of winter wheat

  1. Fruiting body of the pathogen causing leaf spot on winter wheat straw (enlargement) (photo taken by Péter Hertelendy)
  2. Primary symptom of leaf spot on winter wheat leaves (photo taken by Péter Hertelendy)

Symptoms showing herbicide sensitivity of sweetcorn hybrids on photos (Ferenc Molnár)

The article links to the author’s paper published in the previous number of the journal. It shows the most common phytotoxic effects caused by herbicides on sweetcorn on twelve colour pictures completed with textual information.

Colour page:

About the herbicide-sensitivity of sweetcorn hybrids (photos taken by Ferenc Molnár)

  1. Though Ring 80 WG is registered for use in sweetcorn, there is still a hybrid (Wombat) that is almost completely destroyed by this herbicide. Only a slightly (5-10 %) retarded growth can be observed on hybrids with lower sensitivity.
  2. Application of sulfonylurea + hormonal herbicide (dicamba) may provoke bending on stem bases and stems. Brownish discolouration can be frequently seen at the place of bending. Later the plant regains its straight habit. Tips frequently turn yellow, growth becomes retarded. The mixture is not registered for use in sweetcorn!
  3. Symptom of sulfonylurea + hormonal herbicide + a phytotoxic product on sweetcorn. Leaves fold towards the top side, leaves are narrower, linear, the whole plant is of slimmer habit. Soil disinfestation with organophosphates may induce that leaves form tubes on certain hybrids, and tassels come out of these tube-like leaves.The mixture is not registered for use in sweetcorn!
  4. Symptoms at a near view of sulfonylurea + hormone + a phytotoxic product.
  5. Yellow spot on the leaf caused by a sulfonylurea herbicide. Tips may also become whiter on certain hybrids, even tips and stems may get yellowish-brown. Growth may be retarded. Sulfonylureas are not registered for use in sweetcorn!
  6. Leaves of sensitive hybrids become yellow, even whitish due to treatment with Callisto 4 SC. Leaves get slimmer, such slim parts later become partly brown and dry. After some time, the majority of the yellowing spots of the less sensitive hybrids regain their green colour, however slight symptoms may be seen still at tasseling. Retarded growth can also occur. Postemergence application of Callisto 4 SC shall be preceded by consulting the owner of the variety or the integrator of the production.
  7. The effect of Callisto 4 SC on Wombat hybrid at a nearer view.
  8. Deformed emergence at a few percent of the plants provoked by the pre-emergence application of chloroacetanilide herbicides. By growing, the leaves got stuck will be released from the first leaf. The majority of chloroacetanilide herbicides can be used in pre-emergence and early in-crop applications in sweetcorn.
  9. Similar symptom on barnyardgrass treated with chloroacetanilide herbicides.
  10. Hormonal herbicides (2.4-D, dicamba) cause bending on stem bases and stems. If the plant bends at the stem base, it becomes brittle and brakes easily with cracking. Then a between-the-rows cultivator may damage bending plants. Later the plants become straight again, but the youngest leaf emerges tightly winding in with upright position similarly to a scythe straightened out. Neither 2.4-D, nor dicamba are registered for use in sweetcorn!
  11. Postemergence application of a liquid bromoxynil herbicide will provoke significant phytotoxicity even after a treatment carried out below 22 ˚C. The effect is more marked if a sticker is used. Such materials shall be avoided when applying products of phytotoxic effects. It can be concluded that post-emergence applications may cause more severe symptoms if applied together with adhesive formulants, or if weather was rainy before the treatment or the crop was irrigated, because active substances may penetrate the softened epidermis more easily.
  12. The pre-emergence application of products with phytotoxic effect will lead to damaging leaf tissues by the active substance in the splashing raindrops. The plant above the affected part will dry and die.

Let’s supply also foliar fertilizers to field crops! (Anikó Antal) (x)

Hungarian Kwizda Ltd. informs on the advantages of foliar fertilizers distributed by the company.

Students’ page. Broomrape, a new-old weed in sunflowers (Péter Mikó)

The author, a university student, conducted a detailed study on the broomrape population of the central part of Hungary (Northern-Bácska) and on the distribution of the “E-race” of the pest in the region. He surveyed 91 sunflower fields (4532 hectares) for broomrape infestation. The results were as follows: low infestation on 3425 ha (75.6 %), medium on 283 ha (6.2 %) and high on 824 ha (18.2 %). On 18.2 % of the whole area involved in the survey no damage of economic importance was recorded. The author gives a detailed description of his studies on determining the broomrape races. He concluded that the newest race occurring in the region is “race E”, infesting a significant part of the area.


The structure of plant protection machines (8) Sprayers with high free clearance (Dr. Zoltán Csizmazia)

Field use of sprayers with high free clearance has recently gained more importance again. Interest has increased especially with the appearance of Western corn rootworm. When injuries occur, treatments need to be carried out in a high crop. In this part of the season the conventional tractors and sprayers cause a considerable damage to the crop, therefore only the tractors and sprayers with high free clearance and the models of mobile sprayers with high free clearance can be used successfully. Machines with such ground clearance can be well applied for the desiccation of sunflowers, in farms growing sweetcorn, seed and ware maize, in tobacco, grapes and every other crop where high ground clearance, heavy duty execution and accurate application are needed. The article shows the details of the topic through mobile sprayers that can be target machines or mobile chassis suitable for carrying other implements (fertilizer spreader, liquid manure distributor, drill, etc.).

Colour page:

Mobile sprayers

  1. Mobile sprayer
  2. Drive scheme of the sprayer
  3. Efficient spring suspension
  4. Different steering methods
  5. Short-radius turning at field edges
  6. Handy cab
  7. Clear view from the cab
  8. Front-boom
  9. Rear- boom
  10. Hydraulic tilting of the booms
  11. Boom equipped with a height sensor
  12. Boom with airbag on a mobile sprayer
  13. Heavy-duty centrifugal pump
  14. Chemical injector tank

„I can protect sweetcorn using a high-clearance tractor but not with an aerial equipment” Report (Dr. György Demes) (x)

Sándor Hegedűs, the plant protection manager of AGRO-FERR Ltd. managing 3000 hectares at Kisdombegyháza, tells readers his experience with using the mobile high clearance sprayer Kertitox AGRI IS 826.

Selected passages from the Brno Fair. Report (Dr. Gábor Princzinger)

In spring 2004 Brno, already for the tenth time, hosted the traditional agricultural exhibitions and fairs such as the 8th International Exhibition of Agricultural Machines (TECHAGRO), the 7th International Exhibition and Fair of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry (ANIMAL VETEX), and the 8th International Exhibition and Fair of Forestry and Hunting (SILVA REGINA). The representatives of the major agricultural journals, among them, Agrofórum were invited by BD EXPO Ltd. to spend two days in the fair city of Brno. A brief report illustrated with colour pictures gives an account of what was seen and heard there.

Colour page:

Prize-winning products on the TECHAGRO Machinery Fair in Brno (photos taken by Dr. Gábor Princzinger)

  1. ROmill S900.2-M mobile grain cracker for high-moisture grain
  2. ROTOSTAT COMPACT M50 module seed dresser
  3. SPIDER radio-controlled grass mower
  4. EXCELENT 6 drill

Seen, heard, read. „Public days” in the FLIEGL factory in Abda (Dr. György Demes) (x)

It was eleven years ago when the German FLIEGL group, famous especially for road and agricultural means of transport founded a factory also in Hungary under the name FLIEGL-ABDA with buying the works at Abda of the past Mezőgép of Győr. The occasion for introducing the company and the Hungarian factory in the “Public days” was given by the inauguration of the recently completed new assembly hall and the new five-platform station for testing road vehicles, as well as by the 10+1 anniversary of the founding. The representatives of the international technical journals were invited to the first, while the prospective buyers interested in the products of the company, to the second day of the event.

Colour page:

Produced in the FLIEGL factory

1.      Triaxial dump truck for 2-24 tons load weight. Produced also in a biaxial execution

2.      Trailed truck with push-down emptying. Produced in a two-, three- and four-axial execution

3.      Uniaxial reloading truck with screw emptying for 16 and 18 tons load weight. Especially suitable for rubber-belt transport of grains at harvesting

4.      Push-down emptying unit fixed on a trailer suitable for transport and heavy-duty manure spreader

Efficient control of cotton bollworm in sweetcorn with mobile high-clearance sprayer (Ede Petró, Sándor Hegedűs, Dr. István Molnár, Zoltán Kutasi)

The cotton bollworm invasion in 2003 raised a number of questions both for researchers and professionals. Several trials were carried out in sweetcorn with indoxacarb to control larvae of the pest. The efficacy of the product depends on the spray coverage. As the insecticide is of contact effect, the application technique is highly important. Several modes of application are known, among them the aerial one and the technique applying the product via the Pivot irrigation system called “insectigation”. The application technique needs to be tested not only for the efficacy of the product but also for the cost-effectiveness of the method.

In the recent years the high clearance sprayers have begun spreading in the intensive crops. Last year’s big cotton bollworm invasion called the attention to the importance of accurate adjusting and professional operation of such advanced level machines.

The objective of the study was to highlight the key elements of application technique from the point of view of spray coverage. In case of larvae hiding in maize plants, out of growers’ sight, spray coverage, especially on the target area, as complete as possible is essential for efficient treatment. It requires accurate adjusting of the machine and using the appropriate nozzles and spray volume.

First performance of Väderstad machines on the hillsides of county Komárom (x)

The newest site of our series presenting the experience with the Swedish Väderstad company in Hungary and the results obtained with the several hundred implements working in the country is Bajna in the north-eastern county Komárom-Esztergom. László Gazdag, a grower managing his farm in the surroundings tells us his opinion.

Protecting our orchards (János Berta) (x)

Axiál Ltd. informs on the structure and possible uses of the mobile sprayer Berthoud Boxer distributed by the company.

Advanced quality and accuracy of plant protection spraying. Report (Dr. Gyula Herzeg)

Interview with mechanical engineer András Faragó and plant protection professional János Mucsi, managing director and agricultural manager of Agrobázis Co. (Kaba) about the services supplied by the company, in particular about their three mobile high clearance tractors Matrot M 44 D.

„Night fly” by the mobile JD 4710 sprayer (Tamás Molnár) (x)

László Halász, managing owner of Terra D. H. Ltd. in Szentes speaks about his experience with John Deere 4710 mobile sprayer.

Raiffeisen Agrihouse Ltd. introduces one of its partners (x)

Helmuth Gsuk, director of GSD Agrárprodukt Ltd. presents the advantages of the Pronto drill of Horsch engineering works from the point of view of a grower.


Commemorating Dr. András Takács: (1942-2004)

Last honours to a recently died member of the editorial board of Agrofórum.

Communication by the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control (OMMI)

Invitation to variety exhibitions. Information on winter wheat, rape and peas varieties.

Seen, heard, read. Unveiling of a sculpture in Mosonmagyaróvár (Gyula Kettinger)

The Agricultural Faculty of the West-Hungarian University in Mosonmagyaróvár commemorated archduke Albert Casimir, the founder of the legal predecessor of the institution, by unveiling his statue.

Please, be there! This will be first rendezvous with Bayer! (x)

Invitation to the plant protection field shows of Bayer CropScience.

Counting on good wheat prices (Dr. Csíbor István)

Briefly about the intervention prices of wheat.

Notes for growers. About the past of agricultural subsidies (Miklós Kurucz)

A short looking backward to agricultural subsidies from 1719 to the present.

Seen, heard, read. Food safety – organic farming. Report (Dr. Gyula Herzeg)

The “Székács Elemér Technical Secondary School for Agriculture” in Törökszentmiklós organized a regional exhibition for agriculture and food industry that has already some traditions and is one of the most important technical events in the region of the Great Plain. The professional forum this year focussed on food safety, addressing the problems of organic farming and environment. The paper summarizes the presentations delivered there.

Written anno … (Dr. Inczédy Péter)