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Agroforum 2004 September

Our daily Bread (Dr. László Bódis)

Several months ago the Editorial Board of Agrofórum called upon Dr. László Bódis, the deputy director general of the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control to outline the contents of the September issue dedicated to wheat. In the introductory article the author shares his feelings and personal thoughts about wheat and bread with Readers.

 

Wheat fields, large wheat fields … (Dr. András Binnyei)

In his inspiring article, the author compares the ideas of old, famous agricultural experts Sándor Cserháti and Ernő Kemenessy with nowadays’ challenges. He states that among our agricultural potentials, wheat, together with grapes and wine, has an outstanding rank, therefore growing of both crops must remain important even under the conditions of the European Union. Such old thoughts could be very useful even today for solving structural problems of Hungarian crop production, being aware of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and subsidy conditions of the EU. When analysing crop management and crop protection factors currently affecting the quality and quantity of wheat growing, we cannot do without the findings of the great ancestors especially if we suit them to present conditions. However, the same may refer to studying market and stock exchange conditions.

 

 

CULTURAL OPERATIONS

Preceding for basing crop yields (Dr. Sándor Balikó)

The author who is a leading professional of the Bóly Agricultural Co. recognised for its successful crop production, begins with the brief overview of Hungarian wheat production. Then he introduces the practice implemented in his firm. One of its key elements is crop rotation, i.e. selecting a suitable preceding for cereals. The results of the farm have proved in practice since 1974 that food and feed legumes as precedings are not competitors of cereals; on the contrary, they help cereal growing by taking the well-known advantages of growing. The author itemizes these benefits. He states that a good preceding is a cost-reducing factor, higher yields may be reached by less energy input, and the poorer the soil for sowing wheat, the bigger the effect is. He gives a detailed account of the wheat management programme. Due to the beneficial effect of precedings, in spite of the less fertilizer use, wheat yields over the national average were harvested.

 

What is our tillage practice for winter wheat and what could it be? (Dr. Márta Birkás)

First the author gives an account of the history of tillage for wheat and calls the attention to some noteworthy lessons. She informs on studies conducted in wheat fields. She states that, in parallel with the worsening economic conditions, the practice of deep tillage has become less frequent and has been replaced by shallow one. The problem is not the lack of deeper soil cultivation or the frequency of shallow tillage, but the gradually deteriorating soil conditions. She mentions the most important tasks of soil cultivation, then presents wheat growing systems, taking weather conditions into consideration. The reduced ploughing system allows meeting quality requirements by low number of passes, using up-to-date plough and leveller, as well as one-pass seedbed preparation and sowing. The major advantage of mid-deep loosening is the improvement of deeper soil layers and thereby the mitigation of cultivation errors. The agronomic and economic advantage of the cultivator system lies in conserving soil structure. The disk system is more justified if used on dry soils. Finally, she deals with the plant protection tasks of omitting turning. Several tables and figures complete the article.

 

GrowHow recommendations for winter wheat (x) (Dr. Erik Czinege)

Kemira’s recommendation for nutrient supply of wheat is found.

 

Wheat growing skills from Martonvásár to be used for sowing (Dr. Tamás Árendás, Dr. Zoltán Berzsenyi Dr. László Láng Dr. Péter Bónis)

You reap what you have sown – the authors quote the old saying. To make it clearer, the yield of the selected variety, its adaptability to weather extremities, pests and pathogens highly depends on the conditions of sowing: in what soil (preparation, moisture content, nutrient supply), when (sowing date) and how (germ number and sowing depth) were the seeds planted. The article shows the decisive role of the mentioned elements of cultural operations very briefly, based on the results obtained in the research institute at Martonvásár. Various figures and tables illustrate textual explanation.

Experience and recommendations in nutrient management for winter wheat (Dr. Katalin Debreczeni)

The article discusses the issue through the results of the National Long-term Trial on Fertilizer Application. These small-plot field trials were established supported by the Ministry of Agriculture at 26 sites in 1967. However, due to the reduced subsidy, the number of trial locations has gradually decreased, and the remained trial network is limited to 9 different regions. The author informs on the most important climatic and soil data of the 9 experimental sites. She presents the details of treatments, the applied crop rotation variants and the different fertilizer rates. She draws conclusions on the nutrient supply of wheat based on the six or seven years’ data recorded between 1988 and 2000. Their detailed analysis is given for the particular production sites illustrated by figures. The results demonstrate that when nutrient supply is not balanced, especially in case of nitrogen, yield-increasing effects show considerable differences among the particular production sites. The treatments of the long-term trial confirm that, in case of soils of various sites, due to their different properties and seasonal impact, the effects of the same nutrient application are not the same. Therefore, fertilizer application cannot be made after the same pattern.

 

What are the meanings of intensive wheat growing? (x) (Tamás Fehér)

The main differences of intensive cereal management programmes can be found at the cultural operations in autumn and the related plant protection techniques. The article presents them, based on the Hungarian Kwizda programme „Supplying nutrients and protecting plants”.

 

VARIETIES AND SEED

Decided on varieties, let’s see the seed! (Dr. Katalin Ertsey Peregi)

The sentence worded in the title is repeated year by year between harvesting and sowing, expressing a constant need in our continuously changing world. As it is known, commodity supply is ensured by certified seeds of high quality and true-to-type that is the result of professional seed production. This is why the author gives an account of the changes our accession to the EU has brought for Hungary in the system of seed production, and its consequences for domestic supply and quality. It is followed by the information on this year’s experience in seed production, certification requirements for quality and quantity, as well as on the eventual special effects of a particular year.

 

Expected quantity and quality of winter wheat seeds in the first year of our accession to the European Union (Zoltán Benke)

In the first part of the article the author shares his experience with readers about field inspections. He draws the attention to that the size of inspected areas has further decreased compared to the previous year’s data. The distribution per county is shown in a tabulated form. Compared to 2003, the area excluded from seed production has also decreased, the reasons can be found in the article, too. In the author’s opinion it was difficult to estimate the yields during this inspection period because of the dense crop stands and the extremely high thousand-grain-weights. He finishes the article with reporting on variety choice and seed certification in the forthcoming autumn.

 

Who gives his vote to what? The results of variety trials in wheat (Sándor Kovács)

The author informs on the results of the annual variety trials carried out by the specialists of the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control. Data on the key parameters are presented in a tabulated form. He shows the yields harvested at the particular sites indicated for the maturity groups, ranking the varieties. Comparing the droughty last year to this good season, it turns out from the article, which varieties had the most outstanding performance.

Situation of winter wheat seeds on the market (Dr. Tibor Hullán)

Nowadays, depending on the possibilities of the particular year, 120-130 thousand tons of seeds are sown annually. Direct subsidy for seed use is over with the EU accession. According to the estimates of the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control, the average yield in seed production is expected to be 5.7 t/ha. The Seed Federation and Seed Board announced a guiding price also for 2004, based on the figure of 120-130 thousand tons of certified seeds needed in the market. The income has to finance the whole sector of wheat seed production. Looking at the user’s side, growers may count on, in addition to EU-support of intervention buying-up, also on national subsidies. Hungarian wheat growers shall make the best of the opportunities and sell the produced volume on the free market. It requires a change in the approach to crop management and the use of certified seeds. Seed renewal must not remain at the current 30% but reach 70-80 % of the professional production.

 

Profit without any input? (x)

Farmers living in the different regions of the country give an account of their experiences with growing winter wheat varieties of Vetőmag 95 Ltd.

 

CROP PROTECTION, WEED CONTROL

Dangerous pests (I/10) Soil pests (Dr. Gábor Tersztyánszky, Dr. Miklós Nádasy, †Dr. András Takács)

This article of the series focuses on one of the most serious groups, the really polyphagous soil pests. Summarising the topic, the authors present a comprehensive study to readers. The major pests are listed and their damages are described in the first chapter, mentioning the preferred crops. After the geographical distribution, their morphology and biology are outlined. Well-illustrated figures help understanding. Having discussed the possibilities of forecasting, the means of cultural, biological and chemical control are also dealt with.

 

Galera – distinctly visible weed control (x) (István Szabó)

The advantages of the new clopyralid + picloram herbicide distributed by Dow are recommended for rape growers.

 

Chemical weed control for winter cereals in autumn (Zsuzsanna Hoffmann Pathy)

The rainy spring of 2004 has called for the possibility and necessity of autumn weed control in winter cereals again. It is justified especially on acidic brown forest soils. Germinating crop plants do not have weed competition capacity, therefore in autumn T1 and T2 weed species are infesting fields. Their common characteristic is that they are much more difficult to control in spring with the registered herbicides than by spraying pesticides in autumn. Decision on autumn weed control in winter cereals need to be made, being aware of the infesting weed species to control and the characteristics of the herbicides to apply.

 

Autumn weed control in cereals – LOGRAN 75 WG (x)

Syngenta informs on the benefits of using its triasulfuron herbicide for autumn weed control in cereals.

 

The story of the Seed and Drying Ltd., Tímár with the colour of Vitavax 2000 (x) (Dr. Péter Inczédy)

Why is the colouring capacity of a seed dressing compound so important? You may know it reading the opinion of Seed and Drying Ltd., Tímár.

 

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

Those who founded Hungarian wheat breeding (Dr. Miklós Szabó)

Man has known wheat for several thousand of years: it is one of our most widespread crops with almost the longest history of growing. It is only rice that precedes it. Wheat has ever been the source of thriving for man bound to earth, captured by the unrivalled richness of Hungarian language by calling the plant briefly “life”.

Recalling it from the distance of more than 100-150 years, the example of the great predecessors in wheat breeding deeply impresses all of us and we feel indebted to their devotion, steadfastness and their lives rich in achievements.

These are the words with which the author introduces his article presenting the path of life of Sámuel Mokry, Elemér Székács and Rudolf Fleischmann.

 

Note for growers. About viable farms (Miklós Kurucz)

The Agricultural Research and Informatics Institute began establishing the network of Hungarian testing farms. Its main goal is to collect data from different farming systems and ownership forms as well as of crop production and animal husbandry under different farm size conditions and, after making the necessary calculating, to draw the conclusions. The institute performs this work in compliance with an EU regulation. When extending to national dimensions, a basic point was to select farms (big and small ones) and to monitor, according to predefined thus uniform parameters, the ones exceeding the minimum economic size. The applied index expresses the potential profit producing capacity of the particular firm, while its practical importance is shown in the subsidy projects.

Seen, heard, read. National machinery shows organised by KVERNELAND Ltd. (Dr. György Demes)

KVERNELAND Group Hungary Ltd. exhibited VICON RV 1601 round baler with variable chambers, the CLC combined field deep cultivator of 3.6 m working width and the MSC combined cereal till-plant machine of 3 m working width at 15 places of Hungary in field shows held between 26 July and 6 August. The report summarises the technical characteristics of these implements.

 

„Satisfied with Horsch PRONTO till-plant machine” (x) (Taken down by Dr. György Demes)

András Csikós grower, together with his mechanician fellows, manages 2000 rented hectares, of which around 1400 ha are found on the hills of Nógrád (northern part of Hungary) moreover rather dispersedly, on smaller-bigger fields. We asked the manager about their main experience obtained with the used Horsch PRONTO till-plant machine.

 

Seen, heard, read. MONSANTO meeting about DEKALB rapes, Lasso and Roundup (Dr. György Demes)

MONSANTO Trading Ltd. invited its partners and the growers for a summer meeting to Lepence, a picturesque environment in the Danube bend on 21 July 2004. The company shared their knowledge on the rape seeds and herbicides distributed by them with those interested in it.

 

Seen, heard, read. Crop protection professional in county Baranya for 2003: János Kendi (Zoltán Molnár)

It was the tenth time that the regional organisation for county Baranya of the Chamber of Plant Protection Professionals and Plant Doctors awarded the prize “Plant protection professional of the year”. The ceremony took place at Villánykövesd on 9 July. The members of the chamber voted to János Kendi, the chief agronomist of Agro-Lippó Co. as the best plant protectionist of county Baranya. On the occasion we put some questions to the former member of the editorial board of Agrofórum.

 

Seen, heard, read. Privatisation of state farms (Zoltán Molnár)

Mihály Kun and Gábor Szávay, the general directors of the Mezőhegyes Estate Co. and the Enying Agricultural Co., respectively, as well as Attila Szaxon, the president – general director of IKR Co, buying up a significant part of the shares of the two companies held a press conference for the representatives of the daily papers and the professional journals in Budapest on 27 July, where they outlined the ideas and plans of the basic firms founded by the privatisation of their big farms.

 

Written anno… (Dr. Péter Inczédy)