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Agroforum 2007 October

The possible effects of climate change on the agricultural sector
(Dr. Zsolt Harnos, Dr. István Láng)
European agriculture will face various challenges in the next couple of years, and climate change will further increase difficulties. Average global temperature has increased by 0.76 °C since 1850. Global warming is estimated at 1.8-4 °C by year 2100 compared to 1990 under the conditions of the current economic development. In the past few decades, climate change had a massive effect on rainfall volume, flora and fauna, as well as on food supply. Investigators drew the conclusion from various trials that the limit of the production area for wheat, barley, rye and maize would move by 100-150 km to the north due to climate change, and the volume of the produced crop might increase. At the same time they also stated that climate change would be accompanied by more frequent and more intensive climatic anomalies (e.g. more hot days, drought risk, wind-storms , etc.). Damages caused by extreme meteorological events considerably increase. The plans of the European Union in connection with agriculture and rural development and regarding climate change are outlined at the end of the article.

FOCUSING ON SOIL CULTIVATION

Introduction
(Dr. Márta Birkás)
The first article of the column “Focusing on soil cultivation” tells its timeliness and background, and also lets you know the topics of the articles published under this heading.

The safety of structure- and moisture-conservation soil cultivation in droughty seasons
(Dr. Márta Birkás)
First the author gives an account of the conclusions of the past droughty year, and then identifies eight factors of moisture-conservation tillage: 1) Being aware of soil conditions (risk); 2) Lack of hardpan (safety); 3) Soil loosening, 4) Creation of small surface for water loss; 4) Soil cover, 5) Conservation of organic matter, 6) Stubble management; 7) Levelling after ploughing; 8 ) Less clod and dust formation. The author continues with listing mistakes increasing water loss, such as deep or delayed stubble management, unlevelled summer tillage and deficient weed control. Finally, she outlines the techniques of justified and adaptable soil management.

Agronomic and technical solutions of mechanisation adjusted to climate change
(Dr. István J. Jóri)
Comprehensive studies are conducted in order to eliminate climatic and crop management problems, towards applying environmentally friendly tillage and planting techniques. The author gives an account of the results of developing basic tillage with and without turning, seedbed preparation and mulching. She summarises in four points the response of mechanisation to the challenges of climate change. It is a future task to work out such items as changing crop management programme, merging/omitting certain operations, quicker, using more flexible and efficient machinery, and streamling mechanisation.

Tillage for and sowing of green-manure crops improving soil conditions in an extreme season
(Dr. Csaba Gyuricza)
The extreme weather conditions prevailing this year recall the attention to the use of moisture-saving crop management programmes, not only for conventional crops but also for green-manure plants (legume and non-legume crops) improving soil conditions. Hungarian growers prefer, in particular mustard, oil radish and facelia whose success is primarily determined by the used soil management programme and sowing time. The article lets us know the requirements applying an appropriate crop management programme and the best time for sowing.

Crop production in terms of conserving soil moisture
(Gergely Szöllősi)
The author and his colleagues studied the water demand of four field crops during the growing season, expressing it in dynamic water demand. They represented the values of dynamic water demand broken down for the growing season of the particular plants. Based on these data, they worked out tillage techniques that suit better to the water needs of plants and to rainfall conditions.

Tillage tricks for reducing pass number and conserving soil moisture in a family farm Report
(Attila Kosztolányi)
Bize is a small village belonging to the municipality of Marcali and close to the southern shore of Lake Balaton. We asked János Rádics, the head of a family farm there, about the reduced number of tillage passes they apply and its mechanisation background.

Soil-conservation and moisture-preserving tillage as they see it in Lengyeltóti. Report
(Attila Kosztolányi)
Our correspondent talked with a private farmer, Miklós Légrádi about his experience in soil conservation and moisture-preserving tillage techniques, as well as about the technical conditions required to apply them in the family farm at Lengyeltóti.

The concept of moisture-conserving tillage at Tedej Farming and Servicing Co. Report
(Attila Kosztolányi)
The correspondent of Agrofórum asked Róbert Kőrösi, head of crop management and mechanisation in Tedej Farming and Servicing Co. about the practical aspects of moisture conserving tillage and their several years’ experience obtained in this field.

TOPICALLY, UP-TO-DATE

When shall we drill wheat? – Pros and cons!
(Dr. István Mihály Petróczi)
To sow wheat at its optimal time is decisive in the success of growing. The author studies the best timing for this in Hungary in the light of the research and practical results of the past decades. Considering the data, it is concluded that there is no “perfect recipe” for sowing date. At the same time, the differences among the yields reached with the particular sowing times come up to, sometimes exceed 1 t/ha. The author continues with seeking the answer to the question of the alternatives for stabilising positive or mitigating negative effects of sowing time. The Hungarian “Laloux-method” or “Szekszárd-Dalmand” model (early sowing date), completed with applying techniques of moisture conservation tillage, balanced nutrient supply and autumn programme for pest management may help in solving this problem.

The possible causes of certain virus diseases in cereals and their management options
(Ms. B. Halvaksz)
In certain cases cereal dwarf viruses cause severe symptoms in winter wheat and winter barley, while in other ones they do not. The author wishes to find the reason why this happens, and also presents the possibilities for fighting virus infection.

IXth Cereal Forum held by Summit-Agro (x)
Summit-Agro Hungary Ltd. organised the Cereal Forum arising great interest already for the 9th time in Visegrád

Fruit growing and storing at Vámosmikola. Report
(Attila Kosztolányi)
Our correspondent talked with Sándor Juhász, the manager of horticulture at Eurotrust Consult Ltd. in Vámosmikola, a village, located among the picturesque surroundings of Ipoly valley in North Hungary and with significant fruit-growing history. The topic was one of their most important activities closely related to their fruit growing, i.e. storage with its technical background, and the key aspects to be considered when loading the fruit to the storage place.

“Wine is made during fermentation!”
(Zsuzsa Györök)
Vintage is still going strong throughout the country, also in the wine-region around Szekszárd. In connection with it, our correspondent talked with Mihály Vadai, distributor of goods and machines related to winemaking, about the jobs to be done after grape harvesting, the materials to be used and their availability.

“Grapevine meeting” – 2007 (x)
(Csaba Lovász)
Bayer CropScience held its “Grapevine meeting” in August.

WORTHY OF ATTENTION

Situation report about Hungarian potato growing
(Attila Kosztolányi)
The author provides information on the cropping areas and yields of Hungarian potato growing, looking back to a couple of years. In addition to outlining the problems of the sector, he writes also about the changes in potato consumption, as well as about the growing of early potatoes.

Seed potato production in Hungary
(Dénes Keresztes)
The specialist of the Agricultural Office of County Hajdú-Bihar gives a comprehensive overview of seed potato propagation in Hungary. He shows tabulated data on seed potato growing of the past 14 years, reflecting a conspicuous decrease. A considerable decline can be observed since Hungary’s EU accession involving the introduction of strict community rules in the qualification scheme of seed potato production. The decrease has further gone on, therefore the total area declared for seed potato production is only 355 hectares. After presenting the share of the leading varieties in commercial growing of seed potatoes and the expected trends in this field, the author summarises the conclusions of crop production and plant protection in the past year and the current season.

Seen heard read. National show of potato varieties at Nyírtelek
(Attila Kosztolányi)
The Central Agricultural Office, Directorate of Crop Production and Horticulture, the Agricultural Office of County Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg and the Hungarian Potato Council organised a national conference and variety show for the fifth time at Nyírtelek in the middle of August.

Seasonal effects on potatoes and the importance of irrigation
(Dr. József Kruppa)
Among environmental factors, extreme weather conditions have a significant effect on potato quality. However, as the author draws the attention to it, crop safety and volume can be considerably increased with irrigation, by frequently applying small water quantities.

Quality targets can be reached by growing the properly selected hybrids
(Dr. Zsuzsanna Hegyi, Tamás Spitkó, István Pók, Dr. Csaba L. Marton)
The reproduction of hybrids, having been included in the national list since the 1950s, began at Martonvásár in 2001. As a result of this work, 13 old hybrids released from the research institute were compared with 11 new hybrids in 2006. The objective of the experiments launched in 2006 was to study the chemical composition of the hybrids. The investigators of the Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences publish the main results here in the article.

New expectations for maize quality
(Dr. Csaba L. Marton, Dr. Zsuzsanna Hegyi, Dr. Emese Nagy, Dr. János Pintér, Ferenc Rácz)
In addition to productivity and consistent yields year by year, new requirements have gained priority in maize growing in the recent times compared to the previous years. In case of maize offered for intervention buy-up, the standards for hectolitre weigh and the share of broken seeds, as well as for seed moisture have become stricter. Nowadays there are rather few words about milling industry, while the output of about 40 % grits can be increased to even 60 % by growing appropriate varieties and applying a good crop management programme. Grit output is mainly determined by specific seed weight. The experts presents the results of hybrids bread at Martonvásár in two parameters, i.e. hectolitre weight and specific weight.

The first experience of the drought in 2007, or the background of the better performance of Pioneer hybrids (x)
Pioneer informs on the experience of growing its maize hybrids in this droughty year.

Where are sunflowers?
(Dr. László Bódis)
The article lets readers have an insight into the most significant moments of the sunflower meeting and show organised at Székkutats and Tordas in late August.

Damages by wasps and the options for their control in orchards and vineyards
(Júlia Jósvai, Dr. Erzsébet Voigt, Dr. Miklós Tóth)
Certain wasp species of Vespoidea can cause significant economic losses. The flesh of ripen fruit attracts wasps that can seriously affect vineyards and orchards. The authors give an account of the main wasp pests, their biology and damage. The article is finished with showing the possibilities for wasp control, the trials carried out for that purpose and the drawn conclusions.

Producing common mushroom in Europe and Hungary
(Dr. Júlia Győrfi)
The investigator of Corvinus University of Budapest, Faculty of Horticultural Science gives a detailed description, going back to several years, of the development of mushroom growing in the most important countries of the European Union, and the changes taken place in Hungarian mushroom production. You may get to know from the article also some other details about the number of facilities producing common mushroom compost in Hungary, the way of a compost management and the prospects of Hungarian growers for mushroom exports.

The dominant aeroallergens in the autumn air: fungal spores
(Dr. Miklós Juhász)
The aero-biologist deals with fungal spores most responsible for allergic symptoms in autumn. After giving a detailed description of fungal reproduction, he presents the characteristics of fungal genera capable of infecting seasonally (fungal spore concentration in outdoor air) and perennially (throughout the year, mainly present in indoor air). The following questions are also answered in the article: What is the reason why a fungal spore is allergenic? Which are the periods of spore reproduction?

Students’ page. Seedling pests and their natural enemies
(Katalin Hári)
In the past few years the health of plane trees was at risk by pests that had been known for a long time but without causing any significant damage. This stimulated the author to seek the answer in his article about the role of insect pests in the initial leaf fall of trees beginning already in August, and the climatic and biological reasons influencing the high increase of populations of the most common insect pests.

LOOKOUT

Browsing in foreign journals
(Compiled by: Eszter Polgár Balogh)
The article published in a foreign technical journal informs on the creation of a transgenic tomato plant possessing the smell of roses and lemons.

MECHANISATION, MACHINES

CLAAS novelties (2) – Balers and implements for handling rough and mass fodders
(Dr. György Demes)
As we have reported in our previous issue, this year CLAAS presented technical journalists coming from several countries the results of the recent developments in Hungary. The novelties on the show covered three major areas of the whole product range of CLAAS, i.e. harvesters, balers and the machines of the so-called green line. This article gives a brief account of CLAAS balers and the recent developments in connection with CLAAS green line machines.

New prospects in application technique
(Dr. György Dimitrievits)
It is essential for successful plant protection to apply pesticides at the right time and rate, providing an even distribution, without unnecessarily loading environment. Development of sprayers undertaken in the past few years has produced results that allow easier, more accurate and safer spraying. The specialist of the Hungarian Institute of Agricultural Engineering discusses the main trends and the new technical solutions that can be applied to the machines.

AXIÁL organised “Open Gates” for the second time
(AF)

It was the second time for Axiál on 7 September to welcome its partners on the event called “Open Gates”. The purpose of the meeting was to present its products, services and financing options to the north-eastern region, similarly to the previous one, in an informal way.

Väderstad-clinic. Spirit: A new solution from Väderstad for drilling in loose and medium-heavy soils (x)
Information is provided for growers on Spirit, the new cereal drill from Väderstad.

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

Rachel Carson, author of Silent spring was born 100 years ago
(Dr. János Lazányi)
In connection with environmental protection, the author remembers Rachel Carson who based environmentally concerned way of thinking and environmentalist movements with her book titled “Silent spring”.

Seen heard read. Horticultural conference at Farmer Expo about the current state and future prospects of the vegetable and fruit sectors
(Attila Kosztolányi)
The ones interested in vegetable and fruit growing did not have to do without a horticultural conference even at Farmer Expo, because the Committee on Horticulture, Sub-committee on Vegetable growing of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, together with Corvinus University of Budapest, Faculty of Horticultural Science, Department of Vegetable and Mushroom Growing, and University of Debrecen, Department of Horticulture and Plant Biotechnology organised a round-table discussion about the situation and future prospects of the vegetable and fruit sector. The main topics considered at the meeting were: the New Hungary Development Plan, and the effects of the reform of Community market control of the vegetable and fruit sector; the impact of subsidies and market requirements on production; and market prospects and expectations.

Portrait. “This work can be undertaken only fanatically”. Talk with András Augusztinyi
(Dr. László Bódis)
Our correspondent talked with András Augusztinyi, an agricultural entrepreneur about his devotion to farming and experience in variety trials.

Outstanding persons of our agricultural past. Árpád Hensch (1847-1913)
(Miklós Kurucz)
In the frame of the series about the persons who made significant contributions to Hungarian agriculture, this month we write about the life and work of Árpád Hensch.

Farmer Expo and its satellite events
(Dr. László Bódis)
This is a talk with the organiser of the 16th Farmer Expo, manager of V-TRADE Ltd., László Vaszkó about his current year’s experience.

Legal page. Supports financed from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund
(Dr. Lajos Szabó)
The legal advisor outlines the possibilities of taking advantage of additional national subsidies that can be applied for in connection with the single area payment scheme (SAPS) financed from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund, their legal background and the conditions of claiming this support.

Note for growers. About logistics
(Miklós Kurucz)
Logistics is the well-considered organisation of moving materials. Today even agriculture cannot work efficiently without it. This is why the author summarises the tasks and the objectives of logistics, not omitting the economic advantages involved in applying the techniques.

Written anno…
(Dr. Péter Inczédy)