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Agroforum 2005 December

The month of Christmas
(Dr. László Bódis)

TOPIC OF THE MONTH – FOOD SAFETY

Organisation and tasks of food safety after the EU accession
(Dr. Pál Mattyasovszky)
In the past few years the traditional term of “quality” has been replaced by “complex quality” meaning both quality and safety. The Council of the European Union created the “European food law” for the production of safe food and feed with the scope of the whole food chain, as well as for supporting their free movement. In 2003, Hungary was the first among the newly accessing countries to establish a national institution for that purpose, the Hungarian Food Safety Office (HFSO) supervised by the minister of health. The paper shows the organisation of the Office, describes the main tasks of the particular units (rapid alert notification, risk assessment, risk management, tracing), furthermore informs on the system of connections of HFSO with the Hungarian authorities concerned.

Let’s expose food safety!
(Dr. Anita Jasinka)
In our days, in addition to continuously follow and transpose the Community directives for food control, the so-called “deregulation work” has also an important role, due to the changed control practice in the European Union. It means that the Community Regulations for direct apply have gained priority in the field of food safety. The author gives an overview of the process leading to the establishment of the current system of community legislation. She informs on the development from the publication of the Green Book in 1997 to the recent regulations, and also mentions the characteristics of the Hungarian legislation.

Testing genetically modified food for safe use
(Dr. Cs. Vértes)
Genetically modified (GM) food is under the scope of the Regulation (EC) 1829/2003. In compliance with the Regulation in force, only such GM-food may be placed on the market that has been authorised. The question is more and more frequently raised up whether the authorisation procedure can guarantee, and if so, to what extent that the particular product is really not harmful to health. With special attention to such concerns, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) asked the member states in late summer to designate competent laboratories that would take part in working out a uniform procedure for risk assessment of food, based on the existing one, but completing it in many aspects. Three designated laboratories participate in the development of the methodology and the ring tests.

Ecological farming and food safety
(Dr. László Radics, Anna Divéky-Ertsey)
One of the principles of ecological farming is that it refuses the use of the synthetically produced herbicides, pesticides and genetically modified organisms in crop production, and does not allow the use of hormonal products in animal husbandry. In connection with food safety, they mention among the benefits of ecological products their lower level of pesticide residues, heavy metal and nitrate contents. This is why there is a higher and higher demand for them. The authors emphasize that ecological farming is a completely controlled system. To justify it, they take the regulations on controlling such farming one by one and outline them.

TOPICALLY, UP-TO-DATE

Procedure and tools of winter pruning, possibilities for mechanisation in vineyards
(László Némethy)
The specialist of the Hungarian Institute of Agricultural Engineering gives an account of the comparative assessment of pruning techniques using the traditional hand tools and the results of the farm-trials with the Binger pre-pruning machine.

Wishing to sow maize also the next season? Do not forget about KWS! (x)
(Dr. Sándor Nagy)
KWS offers its hybrids for maize growers.

This is the way they do …Talking about tillage skills
(Attila Kosztolányi)
Our correspondent asked the professionals of Agro-Harta Co., Siófok Siómente Co. and the Gödöllő Training Farm Co. about issues of tillage and the management programmes they used.

WORTHY OF ATTENTION

Plant protection situation in field crops 2004/2005 (1)
(Miklós Tóth, Sándor Kobza)
The specialists of the Central Service for Plant protection and Soil Conservation give a detailed overview of weather conditions in 2005 and the pest management problems during the past season in cereals, rapes and peas.

Applying mycorrhizas in agriculture (III) Application in orchards and vineyards
(Tamás Barna)
This time the article focuses on the use of vesicular-arbuscular-mycorrhizal(VAM)-inoculation in fruit growing. The author gives a detailed account also of a Hungarian trial studying the effects of the treatment on shoot growth and leaf nutrient content of young fruit trees inoculated with VAM. The trials were conducted in the experimental site of KEFAG Seed Centre at Kecskemét in 2003 and 2004. The article is finished with the evaluation of trial results and the conclusions.

Dangerous pests (3) Dangerous nematode pests
(Dr. Csaba Budai, Mária Szántó Veszelka, Dr. Miklós Nádasy)
This part of the series deals with the dangerous nematodes, among them with root knot nematodes, potato cyst nematodes, rice leaf nematode, stem nematode and the virus-vector nematodes. You can get to know the importance and damages of the nematode pests, the taxonomy of the major species, the characteristics of their morphology and biology. The authors also mention the different options for their control.

The effect of covering soils to nutrient content of plants and soils, crop quality and quantity in vineyards
(Dr. Péter Varga, Dr. János Májer, Csaba Németh, Dr. László Némethy, István Szabó)
The specialists of the Research Institute of Viticulture and Enology of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Developemnt (MoARD) and the Hungarian Institute of Agricultural Engineering, using the conclusions of the trials with reed covers, established a tillage study in 2000, involving a treatment of covering the soil with waste reeds in a vineyard. Developing this long-term trial, they renewed the cover layer in spring 2003, in addition to this, they established a separate trail on the technique of renewing the soil cover. They objectives are to study the effect of covering the soil on the development of grape plants, crop quality and quantity and nutrient content of the soil and leaves. Read the article to know the results and conclusions of the study.

MECHANISATION, MACHINES

Väderstad clinic… Various novelties again from the Swedish manufacturer
(x)
The Swedish VÄDERSTAD-VERKEN AB, one of the most successful manufacturers of agricultural machines in Europe, displayed its novelties at the Hannover exposition ‘Agrotechnica’, launching the season of 2006.

The renewed ploughs of VOGEL & NOOT have achieved success also in the Hungarian market!
(x)
One of the leading manufacturers of reversible ploughs, VOGEL & NOOT is at the disposal of the interested with a wide rage of products.

Under the magnifying glass… (36) KUHN VARI-MASTER 180 reversible plough
(Dr. Sándor Soós)
The present part of the series puts the reversible plough KUHN VARI-MASTER 180 under the magnifying glass. The machine is designed to carry out mid-deep and deep ploughing in soils of different texture without leaving dead furrows and ridges. The semi-mounted machine consists of two main parts: the frame and the cultivating tools connected to it with auxiliary spars and linkages. The key technical data of the machine are tabulated. The article gives a detailed description of the output, working quality and energetic data and outlines the operation of the reversible plough KUHN VARI-MASTER 180. Finally, readers get recommendations for using the equipment.

Seen heard, read. MF’s Dyna-6 transmission is award winner
Massey Ferguson’s fully renewed series of tractors was recognised by awarding the title “the most innovative product” to its new Dyna-6 tractor transmission.

LOOKOUT

Changing agricultural property system in France (1) Land policy, inheritance and sales of agricultural land
Dr. Norbert Somogyi)
Land policy is of high importance in France from the point of view of establishing multifunctional agriculture. Therefore the state wishes to control land property structure, and in case of unfavourable trends, to influence it indirectly. In general it is true that two main factors affect land size. One of them is legislation concerning the inheritance of properties, primarily intended for preventing lands from breaking up. The other one is the participation of the state in land property trade, in order to avoid excessive increase of land size. The current land policy in France has a double goal: a) to prevent breaking up of land and by that, the creation of unviable small holdings and at the same time b) to avoid the establishment of too large farms, because it decreases the population retaining ability of rural areas and the chances of young farmers. The author gives an account of the main characteristics of French land policy and the details of inheriting and selling agricultural land.

Browsing in foreign journals
(Compiled by: Eszter Polgár Balogh)
This page is compiled from three interesting articles published in foreign journals.

Seen heard, read. Innovation and new markets at Fieragricola
(Press release)
The International Exhibition of Engineering, Products and Services for Agriculture will be organised for the 107th time in Verona between 9 and 12 February 2006, showing three fields under the heading: “Agrimeccanica” (agricultural engineering),”AgriService” (agricultural servicing) and “Zoosystem” (animal-keeping systems).

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

Note for growers. About the property-page
(Miklós Kurucz)
This part of the series deals with the “identity card” of real estates, the property-page of the land-register. It contains data and characteristics of real estates, personal data suitable for identifying the owner and the rights related to real estates.

Portrait. “Fostering human dignity by personal example”. Interviewing Dr. Ernő Bocz, retired professor
(Dr. László Bódis)
Talk with Dr. Dr. Hc. Ernő Bocz retired professor of the Debrecen University.

Seen heard, read. Demanding to be fair
(Dr. László Bódis)
Our correspondent took part on the 2005-ceremony of awarding the “Golden Pen” by the technical journal ‘MAG’ (“seed”) in the National Agricultural Library and Documentation Centre on 10 November. He briefly informs Readers about the event.

Success story of a Hungarian company. From BIOMARK to MAKHTESHIM
(Dr. György Demes)
Biomark Trading House Co. invited its partners for a season-closing event to Visegrád on 27 October 2005. The director of the East and Central-European Centre of Makhteshim Agan, Mr. Yosi Gur assisted the meeting and delivered a talk, presenting Makhteshim-Agan Industries Ltd. as the leading manufacturer of generic pesticides with one of the most dynamic development. The general director of Biomark Trading House Co., dr. Bertalan Tóth, announced that Maktheshim-Agan Industries Ltd. had acquired majority ownership in Biomark Trading House Co. Using the opportunity, we asked dr. Bertalan Tóth about the history of Biomark from founding a company through becoming independent as Biomark Trading House Co. to the Maktheshim-Agan Industries Ltd. acquisition.

New NPK mixed fertilizers in the Hungarian market
(Dr. Demes György)
The management of Fertilia Ltd. invited its partners for an inauguration of a factory on 13 October 2005. The event was organised on the occasion that the fertilizer mixing and packaging plant has been accomplished. It is suitable for producing the so-called “cold-mixed” NPK fertilizers from different basic materials, mainly mono-fertilizers tailored to consumers’ demand. We asked the founder of the company, the managing director Mr. Péter Simon about the details of establishing and operating the new factory, as well as about their future plans.

Christmas is approaching which tree to choose?
(Julianna Csikor)
Preparing for Christmas, the author presents conifers suitable for Christmas-tree. Giving the answers, she raises practical questions such as: Which one to buy – a rooted or unrooted tree? What to do with the tree until the decoration? How to take care of the rooted tree until planting?

Written anno
(Dr. Péter Inczédy)