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Agroforum 2005 February

POTATO GROWING

The position and competitiveness of the potato sector after the EU accession
(Dr. András Szentirmay)
The author analyses the problems in potato growing that have come to light since Hungary’s EU accession (e.g. the difference in average yields between the old and new member states). He believes that the difference is caused by our backwardness in crop management (mechanisation and the applied crop production techniques). It is noteworthy that in the old member countries 100% of potatoes are grown in contracted sales system, while in Hungary 59.5 % of potato production is managed without sales contracts. The new member states shall satisfy market demands, increase their competitiveness, the efficiency of the marketing system and develop crop production programmes. The operators of the sector need to make efforts in order to represent their interests the most efficiently possible in groups organised on grower, production integrator, sales or any similar bases.

Field growing of early potatoes
(Dr. József Kruppa, Dr. Sándor Hodossi, Dr. Györgyi Csontos)
The authors inform on the new market situation created after the EU accession. In their opinion Hungarian growers may have chances in Western Europe especially in early potato markets (May and June). The area of early potatoes is 6-8 thousand hectares of which 700 ha are covered with plastic foil. They believe that this system will intensively spread. They give a detailed account of the biological bases, the key points of choosing the varieties, the process of forcing and rooting seed potatoes and the benefits of sprouting seed potatoes. Furthermore, they present the elements of the crop production programme (preparation of seed potatoes, crop stand, nutrient and water supply, cultural operations), the methods to be applied in growing early potatoes (temporary plastic foil cover, early and summer growing without cover) and plant protection.

Seen, heard, read. Commemorating Haberlandt Gottlieb
(Gyula Kettinger)
On 26 November 2004 in Mosonmagyaróvár, the Agricultural and Food Science Faculty of the West-Hungarian University commemorated the founder of the plant tissue culturing, Haberlandt Gottlieb, informing on his biography and technical results. Haberlandt memorial plaquettes were handed over on the commemorating session and a wreath was laid on his statue.

Early potatoes: uses, quality requirements and recent results of improving chemical composition
(Dr. József Kruppa, Dr. Zoltán Gyõri)
The authors describe that, due to the different crop management programmes, early potatoes slightly differ in volume, crop quality and taste from potatoes harvested in autumn and stored, and their quality parameters are genetically determined. They inform on the requirements for variety candidates of the National Institute of Agricultural Quality Control. They call the attention to the priority of growing varieties included in the National List with confirmed performance under Hungarian conditions. It is followed by an account of the varieties grown for the particular uses and the requirements they are expected to satisfy. Then Readers get to know the crop appearance growers need to ensure to be able to supply supermarkets. Finally, recent research results are presented on the chemical composition of early and midseason potato varieties.

Characteristics of nutrient supply for potatoes
(Dr. Károly Pocsay)
In the author’s opinion, the difficulties of potato growing professionals may derive from their uncertainties in nutrient and manure requirements of potatoes, nutrient supply capacity of Hungarian soils and application techniques. They do not make any difference between the nutrient and organic manure requirements of the different varieties and production purposes. The author calls the attention to the fact that the timing and mode of applying organic manures are more important than the quality and proportion of the active substances. Trials on manure application were established in potatoes in order to clarify this problem the results of which can be found in the article.

Recommendations of the “potato workshop” of Keszthely for growers
(Dr. Zsolt Polgár, István Wolf)
The Hungarian potato growing area has decreased to almost the half of its original surface. The EU accession has revealed the problems of the sector (unfavourable variety choice, insufficient biological bases, high production costs and deficiencies in crop management programmes). The authors provide growers keeping on producing potatoes with technical recommendations in order to improve the position of the sector, maintain domestic market as well as to assist competitiveness and profitability. They call the attention to the importance of observing phytosanitary rules and cooperation to coordinate production and sales. They suggest variety change step by step based on mainly Hungarian resources, using the varieties produced by breeders in Keszthely.

Potatoes in Hungary: growing, distribution, consumption. Report
(Dr. Pál Békési)
Potato is the “bread of the poor”, quotes the author the saying, because anyone can obtain it, relatively cheap and nourishing, rich in starch, vitamin C and minerals. In addition to household preparation, processing industry also demands it. However, EU-accession has resulted in new economic conditions and an open market. The author asked for the opinion of six professionals about the current problems of potato growing.

Outlook to the near future of Hungarian seed potato growing
(Dr. Levente Tas)
The author describes the market disturbances and problems that can be experienced in the sales of potato for consumption and the propagation of seed potatoes. He says that seed potato imports are in the hands of well-organised professional organisations that are not interested in maintaining a profitable Hungarian seed potato growing system. The Ministerial Decree 48/2004.(IV. 21.) FVM contains the new quality requirements which mainly differ from the previous one in the issue of viruses. The paper informs on the occurrence of the major potato virus diseases in Europe and Hungary where the level of production is considerably lagging behind the average of the EU. In the author’s opinion it is mainly caused by using poor quality seed potatoes. As regards the varieties, there are no remarkable changes in their structure and the varieties resistant to important virus-diseases spread only slowly.

Have there been any changes in the chemical control of weeds in potatoes?
(Zsuzsanna Hoffmann Pathy)
The author believes that the number of herbicides authorised for use in potatoes is continuously decreasing that can be explained by the reduction of potato growing areas. This trend is characteristic of the whole country. Unfortunately growing is at an advanced level only on 20% of the total potato production area. He calls the attention to the fact that chemical weed control in the crop depends on weather conditions and the composition of the weed flora is different from those of the other crops. Finally, he informs on the herbicides authorised for use in potatoes.

PRODUCTION AND PROTECTION OF OTHER CROPS

How is malting barley grown in Hernádkércs?
(József Kovács)
The author gives a brief account of the elements of the barley management programme in their cooperative (preceding, stubble stripping, accurate soil preparation at due time in autumn). He shows the importance of sowing date, optimum crop density, choosing the variety, seed treatment and soil nutrient supply. Then he describes treatments to control weeds, fungal diseases and insect pests. He highlights the importance of harvesting at proper time and in good quality. He believes that the success of malting barley lies in strictly observing the crop management programme, optimal soil and rainfall conditions, balanced nutrient supply, avoiding the use of herbicides of hormonal activity and the timing of pesticide applications.

Sekator and Huszár: sustainable control of cereal weeds (x)
(László Farády)
The herbicides Sekator (amidosulfuron + iodosulfuron + mephenpyr-diethyl safener) and Huszár (iodosulfuron + mephenpyr-diethyl safener) are recommended for weed control in cereals.

Western corn rootworm, how to go on? (x)
(Péter Maros)
The advantages of applying the Invite-programme in maize, by Biomark.

Weed control in sugarbeet – only gently! (x)
(Dr. Domonkos Lukács)
The metamitron Goltix 90 WG is recommended for use to control weeds in sugarbeet.

Saaten-Union GIVES MORE also in 2005! (x)
Saaten Union’s variety offer for hybrid maize, spring cereals, protein and soil plants in 2005.

Seen, heard, read. (x)
(Dr. György Demes)
The author reports on the meeting titled “The future of sugarbeet growing in the EU” where participants spoke with satisfaction about the quality and quantity of the crop produced in 2004. They also set forth the position of the National Organisation of Sugarbeet Growers regarding the sugar reform plan of the EU Commission.

Goal-up for weed control in sunflowers! (x)
(Attila Takács, István Szabó)
The benefits of using Goal, the oxyfluorfen herbicide distributed by Dow AgroSciences in sunflowers are described.

GrowHow solutions for maize and sunflower growers (x)
Kemira’s offer for fertilizers.

Supplying nutrients and protecting (x)
(István Tamás)
Hungarian Kwizda presents its foliar fertilizers completely satisfying current requirements

KWS offer in sunflowers: Barolo RM, the queen of Helias (x)
The advantages of growing KWS sunflower varieties from the point of view of Hidráns Ltd.

Intensive apple growing systems
(Krisztina Csigai, Dr. Károly Hrotkó, Lajos Magyar)
See the pictures with brief information related to the paper published in the January issue of the journal.

Increasing damages caused by vine chafer and green rose chafer, possibilities for their environmentally friendly control
(Dr. Erzsébet Voigt, Dr. Miklós Tóth, Dr. Zoltán Imrei, József Vuts, László Szöllõs, Dr. István Szarukán)
The authors reveal the plant protection problems arising from the changes of the ecological conditions taken place in the past few years. Coleoptera species, that caused insignificant losses earlier, provoked severe damages in crop quality and quantity in the drier and warmer years. Among chafers, vine chafer (Anomala vitis), Anomala dubia and green rose chafer (Cetonia aurata) were recorded for their increased injuries. The paper presents the morphology, geographical distribution, damages, host ranges and forecasting possibilities of the particular species. It furthermore offers environmentally friendly methods for the control of vine chafer and green rose chafer.

A new year – new challenges in Peremarton (x)
As we have already reported it, Kemira GrowHow has bought up Transcenter Fertilizer Manufacturing Ltd., Peremarton. A short interview with the director of the company, István Zajacz informs on the activity of the factory and the background of the changes taken place.

MECHANISATION, MACHINES

Economic effects of agricultural mechanisation (3)
(Dr. István Husti)
Since the spreading of mechanisation, the importance of time management has increased as machines and equipments are of great value. Their breakdown, falling out of production has adverse economic consequences. The utilization in time of the agricultural power machines and implements can be divided into three categories. The author discusses the details of these three fields (utilization in the whole calendar year, utilization during the high season and utilization in the daily work). He analyses the economic effects of time management.

Vaderstad-clinic: „Having looked for – and found – a cost-efficient, versatile drill suitable also for levelling after ploughing” (x)
See the advantages of Väderstadt machines from the point of view of the user.

HORSCH Sprinter – a new generation – a new drill (x)
(Zoltán Szász)
A new drill from Horsch for demanding growers.

Structure of fertilizer broadcasters (3)
(Dr. Zoltán Csizmazia)

Farmers managing larger fields like using trailed fertilizer broadcasters that are efficient also in applying higher fertilizer rates. Therefore manufacturers have recently been equipping trailed fertilizer broadcasters with a spreader that qualifies them for top dressing requiring higher dosing accuracy. The paper deals with such machines and describes their structural elements (hopper and feeding grid, conveyor, feeding slot, distributor and spreader, wheel and drawbar), advising for growers to reasonable use.

The new generation of crop production information systems: AGRO-NET NG (x)
AGRÁRIN Ltd. introduces its information gathering and processing software AGRO-NET NG.

Written anno…
(Dr. Péter Inczédy)

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

2004: a year with balanced weather conditions
(Márta H. Bóna)
The author evaluates the weather elements during the four seasons of 2004.

Overview of pests and diseases in 2004 (3)
(
Miklós Tóth, Sándor Kobza, Gábor Szalkai)
In 2004 the authors analysed pests and diseases affecting vegetable crops in the light of climatic conditions. Among pepper diseases, bacterial spot (Xanthomonas) incidence was conspicuous, while damages caused by viruses reached 20-40 %. In tomatoes, ecological conditions were conducive to late blight (Phytophthora infestans) while they were adverse for early blight (Alternaria solani) and Septoria leaf spot. Leaf mould (Cladosporium fulvum) and white mould (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum) caused medium level of infection. Cotton bollworm larvae moderately attacked both crops. In cucumbers downy mildew, bacteria, powdery mildew, while in water melon Fusarium wilt caused problems.

Seen, heard, read. Meeting of plant protection mycologists on grapevine decline
(Teréz Dula)
The mycologists of the county plant protection and soil conservation services, vine growers, producers of propagating materials, researchers, leaders of the Association of Producers of Grapevine Propagating Materials ad the representatives of pesticide manufacturing companies met on 20-23 September 2004 for discussing a major plant health problem of the crop. They dealt with studying and determining the fungal pathogens of Petri diseases and esca provoking early decline of grapevine, as well as with possibilities for their control.

Seen, heard, read. About fertilizer application in wheat – results of two decades’ investigations
(Dr. Gábor Princzinger)
The public discussion on Péter Pepó’s academic doctoral thesis titled “Nutrient supply for winter wheat in Hajdúság region” took place at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences on 20 December 2004. The thesis emphasises the importance of nutrient supply, the professional management of which directly or indirectly affects all other elements of the crop management programme.

Seen, heard, read. Charity Christmas party at Hungarian Kwizda
(Dr. György Demes)
Hungarian Kwizda decided to establish a tradition together with its partners for assigning all the money allocated for entertainment to the account of the “Foundation Hand in hand.

Soil sampling, soil analysis and nutrient management in view of legal provisions for subsidies
(Dr. Judit Berényi Üveges, András Karkalik, Péter Marth)
The paper informs on the regulations necessary when applying for area-based and rural development subsidies. There are three types of soil analysis among the legal provisions: limited, extended and complete soil analysis. The authors describe the accurate and uniform soil analytical methods and their instruments. They recommend calling in a person or organisation specialised in soil management advising. They give the criteria and conditions, the recommendation methods need to comply with.

Composting grape pomace and wine-lees together
(Dr. Gyõzõ Szolnoky)
The author gives an account of the grape pomace composting procedure described by Kocsis and summarises its advantages, comparing to composts made from sewage sludge. In his opinion composting is one of the most important organic waste-producing technique in our days.

Note for growers. About professional skills
(Miklós Kurucz)
On the occasion of the Agricultural Book-month, several valuable thoughts were put into words by the author. He raises the question: can the lack of professional knowledge lead to the so frequent failure in production? The number of well-prepared professionals in the sector is rather low, though there are various “tools” to assist work: training courses, manuals and internet. Our ancestors also used the winter break for attending “gold” and “silver courses” for farmers, and for training each other.

The philosophy of the Hungarian Society for Agricultural Science
The Hungarian Society for Agricultural Science has been successfully operating for 50 years as a social organisation ensuring the collaboration of agricultural graduates. However, its mission and goals need to be revised due to the changes occurred in social and economic life. The communication summarises the tasks of the Society.