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Agroforum 2004 November

Selected passages from the history of agricultural administration
(Dr. István Eke)
The author gives an insight into the history of the Hungarian plant protection administration on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of establishing the county plant protection stations.

JUBILEE IN SZEGED

The Cereal Research Non-profit Company, Szeged is 80 years old
(Dr. Princzinger Gábor)
The Cereal Research Non-profit Company, Szeged celebrates the 80th anniversary of its establishment. On this occasion a scientific session was organized in Szeged on 23 September 2004. The jubilee meeting was chaired by dr. János Németh, scientific adviser. In his opening speech he commemorated of those whose life-work proved to be of lasting value in the history of the institute. Dr. István Marton, head of a ministerial department was present there on behalf of the minister of agriculture dr. Imre Németh. He expressed his appreciation of the eight-decade long activity of the institute celebrating its jubilee with his lecture titled “The role of the Cereal Research Non-profit Company, Szeged in the Hungarian agricultural research. The managing director, dr. János Matuz gave a general overview of the past 5 years of the institution. It was followed by the lectures delivered by the leaders of the particular teams of field crops.

Research concepts and results in cereal crops
(Dr. Zoltán Kertész)
The breeding of new plant varieties, proper maintenance of the varieties and the propagation of their seeds are basic missions of the Cereal Research Non-profit Company. The research strategy has to be adjusted to them. The end of the 20th century and the turn of the millennium set further requirements for wheat breeders. Today those wheat varieties are needed which grow well at yield levels of both 2 and 8 t/ha, do not demand special crop management operations and still provide a high-quality crop. Among the varieties registered in the past decade, ‘GK Kalász’ and ‘GK Élet’ achieved such success. Together with their breeder, ‘GK Garaboly’, ‘GK Petur’, ‘GK Ati’, ‘GK Verecke’ and ‘GK Holló’ have potential for similar career in the near future.

Maize research: challenges and responses
(Dr. Sándor Szél)
The speaker referred to the political, economic and meteorological changes that have basically rearranged agriculture and within it, the maize sector since the turn of the ‘80s and ‘90s. It was more than 30 years ago when the production of the inbred lines began in the Maize Directorate. In compliance with the production of inbred lines and hybrids, the staff performs a diverse research activity, too. Their programme includes also the selection for adapting to extreme weather conditions, disease resistance and herbicide tolerance. They reached the first research success in biotechnology. Now they make joint efforts with the Szeged Biological Centre of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to insert genes expressing stress resistance and nitrogen fixing capacity in maize.
Though with less input, they continue increasing protein and oil content of maize grains. They consider it important to investigate genotypes suitable for cost-efficient extraction of semolina of maize.
Cereal Research Non-profit Company has lined up to the seed companies of our times.
Finally the author summarized the sorghum breeding programme of the institute.

Breeding of oilseed plants, results and possibilities
(Dr. László Pálvölgyi)
Readers may get to know from the article that in the past decade 17 new sunflower hybrids had good performance in the trials of the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control, and altogether 22 hybrids were registered in 10 foreign countries. One of the basic conditions of disseminating the new varieties is to produce seeds in good quality and quantity. To ensure it, the seed group of the Oilseed Crop Directorate produces pre-basic and basic seeds of parent lines and generation 1 seeds (F1 at hybrid plants) for commercial growing. Improving test methods of the new experimental hybrids by organizing regional trials at various sites is among the major results. The production of HOAC (high oleic acid content) hybrids is very prospective in sunflower breeding. Cereal Research Non-profit Company has possessed such parent lines for more than 10 years. In the future biotechnological methods (acceleration of generation, gene transfer and molecular markers) will be introduced in the breeding programme of oilseed crops to ensure the efficacy of traditional breeding methods.

Remembrance and hopes. Comments
(Dr. János Borsos)
The president of the National Association of Agricultural Research Institutions acknowledges the activity of the institute of great history, recognizing it with a diploma. In his remark, he complained about the decrease of subsidies afflicting the institutions and recommended to increase the capitals of the non-profit company.

In addition to public interest, a key issue: marketing. Comments
(János Turi)
The Head of the Seed Association and Product Board analyzed the marketing strategy of the past, present and the future in the light of the activity and the recognized varieties and hybrids of the institute in Szeged. He states that the Cereal Research Non-profit Company cannot meet the challenges under the fierce market competition of our times. In addition to the benefits deriving from public interest, the importance of strengthening its marketing activity is increasing and the marketing approach in the management must be generalized. It means that the concept shall be accepted, and the importance of a well-considered strategy is increasing.

MAIZE PRODUCTION

Studying the water balance of maize in Martonvásár
(Dr. Csaba L Marton, Dr. Tamás Árendás, Dr. Zoltán Berzsenyi, Dr. Tamás Szundy, Dr. Péter Bónis)
In Hungary and generally in the countries with advanced maize growing, the studies on the dynamics of ripening, especially on the evapo-transpiration of maize plants have aroused great interest since the first energy-price explosion. It is a general opinion that late harvesting involves lower grain moisture content, drying before harvesting is more economical than operating drying facilities. The investigations of the breeders at Martonvásár demonstrate that the special morphological traits of the varieties, together with other characteristics, play an important role in decreasing moisture content during ripening. In the trial they analyzed the effect of the different weather conditions on the moisture content of maize grains from the 3rd decade of September to the 1st decade of November, i.e. during over-ripening. Late harvesting was not always beneficial in the average of the tested varieties. The vast majority of the earliest varieties, even in the years more adverse from the point of view of evaporating water, could be harvested in September at moisture content below 20 with a minimum drying programme or without it. However, keeping such grains still “on footelevated the risk of increasing of moisture again. The most intensive decrease in the moisture content of grains was the most conspicuous in case of the hybrids FAO 400 and FAO 500 during October. The conclusions drawn from the studies on the dynamics of ripening will allow choosing the optimum harvesting time and they will serve as good bases for continuing successful selection work.

Maize hybrids bred in Szeged in the light of growers’ and users’ needs
(Dr. Sándor Szél)
Next year any hybrid included in the EU lists can be distributed in Hungary. The choice of the hybrids selected in Hungarian is fairly rich, there is no need for taking the risk of hybrids with unknown performance, even if their price is pleasing. Placing on the market and advertising of the many hybrids will result in a more difficult decision-making. The investigators of the Cereal Research institute make efforts so that the growers could choose the seeds of their maize hybrids based on due considerations and experience. Therefore they describe the recommended hybrids grouped according to their season, requirements for the site and use.

Seen, heard, read … Western corn rootworm on the agenda
(Attila Kosztolányi)
The Szekszárd Plant Protection Ltd., the Agricultural Chamber of county Somogy and Practical Agrofórum organized a large-scale meeting titled “The beetle is present” in Nagyberki on 6 October 2004. Maize growers, the representatives of pesticide manufacturing companies, owners of maize varieties and specialists working in research-development and education had a valuable exchange of views in the following topics: How did western corn rootworm “work” in 2004? What are the prospects of planting maize after maize in spring 2005? When is crop rotation obligatory and when is it reasonable? The participants also discussed the news and information on the maize market.

Western corn rootworm Risk Analysis – in the focus of the PIONEER SERVICE (x)
(Béla Kara)
The programme of western corn rootworm Risk Analysis is one of the agronomic services of PIONEER that assists growers to make well-based decisions decreasing the risk of larval damage to the minimum level.

Novelties, new products in the variety choice of KWS for next year (x)
(Mihály Pallós)
KWS RAGT Hybrid Ltd. has widened its choice for the forthcoming sales season with various products possessing novel, up-to-date genetic background in both maize and sunflowers.

SUNFLOWER PRODUCTION

The state of sunflower growing nationally and internationally
(Dr. Hajnalka Hingyi)
According to the prediction of FAPRI (Food and Agriculture Policy Research Institute) the global volume of sunflower production is expected to reach 27 million tons this season that exceeds the previous year’s data by 5 percent. The poor supply, as well as the strong demand for sunflower seed and oil in 2003/2004 led to very high prices in the global market. As a result of the increasing yields and cropping areas, FAPRI forecasts a 1.7 percent average annual increase in production until 2013. The Cereal Trading Committee representing European cereal dealers predicted a 3.8 million ton production for the enlarged European Union for this season. While the level of self-sufficiency of the EU-25 is likely to be around 67% in 2004, this data will reduce to 63% by 2013. In Hungary the volume of harvested sunflowers roughly reaches 20-25 % of the EU-production. This spring, sunflower seeds were sown on 487 thousand hectares that is by 3% less than a year before. This year 930 thousand tons of sunflowers are expected to be harvested.

Sunflower varieties: choice and use
(Gábor Szekrényes)
Sunflower is a major industrial crop of Hungarian agriculture. The profitability of sunflower growing is highly influenced by variety use. The choice of varieties is fairly rich. The sales season of sunflower seeds in 2005 will be the first opportunity to distribute and sale, completely freely without any restrictions, seeds from the EU list containing almost 1100 varieties. The Hungarian sunflower growers are very demanding for varieties. It is confirmed by the fact that only the high-quality seeds of those varieties can be introduced to commercial growing that possess good quality and quantity parameters and have an overall good performance against diseases. Among the registered 109 varieties, only 50 ones have practical importance on the market. Five varieties, Alexandra PR, PR 63A82, Arena PR, Diabolo PR and NK Brio account for more than 61 % of the oil-producing cropping area.

Looking back to sunflower diseases in 2004
(Dr. Pál Békési)
Sunflower harvest will soon be over, presumably with the highest national yield ever. It is worth seeing which factors contribute to this extraordinary result – suggests the author in the introduction. The summary of the answer is as follows:
One of the reasons is that growers succeeded in carrying out a more efficient weed control under weather conditions more favourable than before. The other one is that the crop was not significantly affected by diseases. Fortunately, in spite of the fact that the season was rainier than in the previous years, sunflowers could remain healthy. Therefore, and also for the successful weed control, fairly high yields are expected. The rest of the article gives an account of this year’s experiences with the most important diseases.

Behaviour of sunflower varieties in provocation tests, 2004
(Zsuzsanna Birta Vas, László Gergely)
In 2004, the specialists of the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control studied the resistance of the registered sunflower varieties to white rot (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) and Diaporthe helianthi in a small-plot provocation trial with 3 replicates carried out in the Phytopathological Station of the Institute. The following provocation methods were applied: increased N-supply and continuous sunflower cropping for the 6th season for white rot, while for Diaporthe the infected plant debris was overwintered, distributed on the plots. Readers may see the obtained results in a tabulated form.

Experience with weed control in herbicide-resistant sunflowers
(Zoltán Papp)
This year the professionals of KITE Co. could test two new crop management techniques based on the post-emergence weed control in sunflowers. The primary objective of such treatments is to control the problem weeds. Both technologies are based on special varieties or hybrids allowing the use of such herbicides that would destroy conventional sunflower plants. In these varieties the recessive genes originating from sunflowers (therefore not transgenic), ensuring herbicide resistance were multiplied and made dominant. In this way the varieties have become resistant to the particular herbicide. One of the variety groups shows resistance against imazamox from imidazolinones, while the other against tribenuron-methyl among sulfonylureas. The former varieties are called IMI sunflowers and can be treated with the herbicide Pulsar 40 SL, the latter ones are the Granstar-resistant sunflowers and accordingly Granstar 75 DF is their tailored herbicide. It turned out from the trials that the varieties possess the resistance during all of their growth stages. Therefore timing of weed control is basically determined not by the crop but the developmental stage of the weeds. The remaining part of the article focuses on the evaluation of the weed control efficacy and the phytotoxicity, as well as on the weed control programme recommended by KITE Co.

Let’s speak about the oleic acid content of sunflower
(Rita Szalay, Rozália Nagy Kutni)
In summer of 2004, the authors participated in the 16th International Sunflower Conference where investigators coming from 24 countries of 5 continents could get an overall view of sunflower research in the world. On the occasion of the conference, the article calls the attention to the possible changes in the variety choice of sunflowers for the plant oil industry. At the same time the authors wish to assist professionals and sunflower growers in getting familiar with the new technical terms.

WHEAT GROWING

The state of wheat growing – from EU point of view
(József Lukács)
The accession to the European Union requires changes also in our wheat growing. In Hungary winter wheat is of primary importance covering 28-30 % of the arable land. One of the most important aims in wheat growing is to annually produce the similar volume of commodity supply. The other major goal is to reduce quality differences due to the seasonal effects and that the commodity supply be of constant quality, suited to the use purposes year by year. The competitiveness of the country does not lie in the production of high volume of wheat with intervention quality, but in the quality suitable for consumption and improving. The long-term goal is not to increase the cropping area of cereals and to reach the annually constant production volume by increasing crop management level. The use of certified seeds is not a condition of obtaining area-based subsidy in the European Union. However, the grower who produces not for his own use, but mainly for the market, will not be competitive without reasonably using the varieties and sowing certified seeds. One of the conditions of a good market position is traceability, compliance with the particular quality assurance criteria and the mandatory keeping of records.

Cereal intervention – expectations and reality
(György Makay)
In the year of the EU accession, Hungarian cereal production reached a historical record. The outstanding yields and produced volumes, however, involve problems as well, because it is becoming more and more likely that the storage capacities will not be sufficient. The situation is even worse as wheat exports have not started with the expected intensity. Not being prepared enough for the intervention, the product owners not possessing storehouses need to look for buyers on the free market. Intervention price is fairly attractive to growers, and as this price is unacceptable for the market, at the moment the main “market“ is intervention. There is a disturbance in the cereal market that can only be partially managed by intervention, because there are not enough storehouses, as well as appropriate and competitive logistic capacities in the country. It must be taken into account that the intervention may be prolonged even for months and will not be able to accept the commodities of each grower in the stores.

Crop quality of wheat in 2004
(Dr. József Balogh)
The article begins with showing the meteorological data basically determining the quality of wheat in 2004. The other part of the paper focuses on wheat quality itself. Crop quality was tested and evaluated from the samples of the stored commodities taken according to random orders from different parts of Hungary. As it turns out from the article, due to the low quantity of the sampled commodities and the slack wheat market, the number of quality tests is rather few. Therefore the published data can only be considered a preliminary estimation. The author gives a tabulated summary of the partial results, based on the major quality parameters.

MECHANISATION, MACHINES

Under the magnifying glass … (31) OLIMAC DRAGO DF-6 – a chopper for maize and sunflower harvesters
(Dr. József Fűzy, Győző Mészáros)
The OLIMAC DRAGO DF-6 harvest adapter mounted to the sloping elevator of the harvesting-threshing combines are designed for separating the ears or sunflower heads from the stems and forwarding them to the threshing device during the harvest of maize and sunflowers. The adapter has a chopper as well, so the stems can be chopped in one pass together with harvesting. The article describes the detailed results of testing the maize and sunflower harvesting adapter.

AXIÁL started distributing CLAAS tractors in Hungary
(Dr. György Demes)
In 2003 CLAAS acquired majority ownership in Renault Agriculture company. As a result, the first “green” CLAAS tractor rolled down the assembly line of the Renault factory in Le Mans in order to start its European career. As it was announced on the press conference held by AXIÁL Ltd. on 12 October 2004, since that date the tractor choice in Hungary will be enriched with the recent “green” CLAAS power machines distributed by AXIÁL Ltd. Altogether 5 different types of CLAAS tractors (PALES, CELTIS, ARES, ATLES and XEIRON) are supplied in the range of 50-335 LE capacity. The choice is even more diverse as there are further models within the mentioned types. For the time being, CELTIS and ARES will be distributed on the Hungarian market. Read the article for the major technical data.

„VÄDERSTAD machines can provide excellent performance only with reasonable use and due commitment”(x)
This time the column Väderstad-clynic reports on the farm experience of “Vajas-Agri-machine Agricultural Ltd.”, an agricultural company in county Bács-Kiskun

Seen, heard, read … MANITOU Olympics 2004 – this year for the third time
(Dr. György Demes)
The success of the “Olympics of MANITOU operators” in 2002 and 2003 stimulated the Hungarian distributor of MANITOU loaders, AXÁL Ltd. to invite the operators using MANITOU loaders to enter into an open competition for the third time. The theoretical questions were followed by practical competition on four tracks of the same quality and difficulties. The structure of the tracks and the jobs of different hardness to be done gave a good opportunity for participants to compare and assess their manoeuvring capabilities, fastness, concentration capacity and personal preparedness.

The effects of agricultural mechanisation (1)
(Dr. István Husti)
Amid the current problems of Hungarian agriculture, mechanization of production does not always get the due importance. If it is still possible, addressing economic problems of mechanization is even lagging behind. Mechanization basically influences the success of the majority of the agricultural sectors. There are products, in the manufacture of which the machine-related costs may reach even 65-70% of the total production cost. The competitive production cost is in direct connection with the machines. The efforts to decrease it in order to increase competitiveness are quite understandable and that the reduction of machinery costs is identified as one of its most efficient ways. The economic effects of mechanization are remarkable as mechanization is finally qualified by the fact that the mechanized production was economically successful or not. The economic impacts of mechanization in agriculture are quite diverse and complex, therefore we are talking about the economic mode of action of mechanization. The author describes the details of its favourable and adverse elements.

MF 3400 special vineyard and orchard tractor with Braun implements (x)
The article presents the advantages of using, among Massey Ferguson tractors, MF 3400 low construction, narrow track, special tractors in vineyards, orchards, nurseries, vegetable growing farms and public areas.

On the field show of a new pumpkin-seed harvester
(Dr. György Demes)
The Austrian manufacturer, Kröpfel Landmaschinen GmbH invited domestic and foreign professionals to the field demonstration of its new pumpkin-seed harvester to Rigács on 28 September 2004. The participants could see the new, heavy-duty Moty KE 3000 new pumpkin-seed harvester under farm conditions. Recently there has been an increasing demand for pumpkin and the solutions for the mechanization of its production, among them for harvesters. The new Moty 3000 has various novel characteristics compared to the former constructions, resulting in the increased capacity, better working quality, easier and safer operation..

OTHER PUBLICATIONS

Dr. Dušan Čamprag et al.: Cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera Hübner) and the means of its integrated control. Book review
(Dr. Gábor Princzinger)
This monograph prepared by using the information published in more than 500 scientific articles focuses on the most important pest of the last two decades: cotton bollworm. The authors, professors or investigators of the Novi Sad University, Agricultural Research Institute and the Maize research Institute, Zimony are known to the readers of Practical Agrofórum, as they honoured our journal several times in the past few years with their articles, especially on western corn rootworm.

Seen, heard, read… Autumn days in Lengyel
(Attila Kosztolányi)
The “Apponyi Agricultural Vocational School”, the Council of the municipality of Lengyel and the “Völgység-Hegyhát Equstrian Association” jointly organized the “Autumn days in Lengyel” for the fifth time on 1 and 2 October. The event has furthered a double objective for years: on the one hand it offers agricultural entrepreneurs to present themselves that is a good opportunity for establishing and maintaining professional relations and on the other, it also ensures training and dissemination of information. The article gives an insight into the lectures delivered on the conference organized on the second day.

About the first meeting of the Agrofórum Club
(Attila Kosztolányi)
The first meeting of Agrofórum club was successfully held on 30 September. The aim of this event – as readers may have read it in our previous number – is to provide an informal, friendly environment where the editors can meet all those for whom Agrofórum is important and to show participants the recent number of the journal.

Note for growers. About the subsidy conditions of the Operative Programme of Agriculture and Rural Development
(Miklós Kurucz)
The modernization of food processing, the development of rural areas and the improvement of agricultural production are among the subsidized areas of the Operative Programme of Agriculture and Rural Development. The latter one means the financial support of areas where the modernization of commodity production allows achieving competitiveness of growing basic materials.

Solutions for bridging finance in cereals from Raiffeisen Bank (x)
Raiffeisen Bank offers two favourable alternatives to owners of cereal products for bridging finance.

News from the Chamber

Written anno…
(Dr. Péter Inczédy)