The plant breeders, gardeners and plant protectors monthly magazine

Current issue

Recent special issue

Agroforum 2008 January

The people in our planet
(Dr. László Bódis)

We introduce ourselves…
(AF)
Here we briefly introduce the correspondents and members of the editorial board of Agrofórum.

TOPIC OF THE MONTH

Applying ‘Good Agricultural Practice’
(Zoltán Hajdu)
The European Commission pointed out that going on with certain agricultural practices and intensive farming imposes risks to semi-natural ecosystems. This is why the principles of Good Agricultural Practice have been worked out. They provide for optimal management practices in agriculture and food industry, ensuring that food is produced in a way meeting requirements of food safety and consumers’ demand and, at the same time, environmental contamination is reduced and damages to biodiversity are avoided. The article summarises the most important knowledge on soil conservation, water management, sustainable crop production and animal husbandry, as well as on waste management and food safety, in order to make use of subsidies for following Good Agricultural Practice and Good Management Practice – drawing up narrower requirements for farmers.

FOCUSING ON VEGETABLE GROWING

Up-to-date nutrient supply methods in field pepper growing
(Dr. István Terbe)
The objective of pepper growing for the forthcoming years is to improve crop quality, quantity and safety. One of the conditions to reach them is to modernize nutrient supply. This is why the author explains the basis of up-to-date calculation of nutrient demand, following with the description of applying nutrient solutions as a modern way of nutrient supply.

Developing a crop management programme for sweet peppers harvested at biological ripening
(László Dudás)
Sweet peppers may be harvested at the stages of commercial or biological ripening. In Hungary, the types, harvested at commercial ripening, with light or dark green colours, are popular (such as Cecei, pointed hot-type, bell-shaped pepper). Against this, the colour of the types harvested at biological ripening, are mainly red, orange (tomato-shaped, kapia, blocky and lamuyo types). Under Hungarian climatic conditions it is possible to pick up fully-ripen pepper fruits. However, in order to achieve advanved level of production, thus making profits with types harvested at biological ripening, the elements of intensive crop management programme (drip irrigation, nutrient solutions, soil cover and temporary plant cover) are essential to apply.

Growing of long-season peppers
(Dr. Hajnalka Ledó Darázs)
The author compares the methods and plant protection problems of growing long-season peppers in Hungary and the Mediterranean countries, taking the different environmental conditions into consideration. She draws the conclusion that long-season growing of peppers can be a profitable job in Hungarian horticulture in the future, too, because the application of up-to-date management programmes, the efficient use of energy resources and the introduction of biological control may result in competitive yields and excellent quality.

The importance and practice of biological control of western flower thrips in greenhouse peppers
(András Molnár)
In addition to aphids, western flower thrips is the most important pest of greenhouse peppers. The first part of the article deals with the biology and the kind of damages caused by this species. The question of how to use predatory mites and flower bugs against it is addressed in the second part.

The key issues in greenhouse production of musk melons
(Csaba Szamosi)
The development of crop management programmes allowed greenhouse growing of musk melons also in Hungary. This fact gains importance in the more and more fierce competition, because using this method, the risk arising from extreme climatic conditions can be considerably reduced. However, certain aspects need to be considered before starting protected production of melons, such as factors influencing profitability, the different crop management programmes and pest management issues.

The experience of growing and marketing melons in year 2007 at the growers organisation ‘Magyar Termés TÉSZ Ltd.’ Report
(Attila Kosztolányi )
Our correspondent talked with the managing director György Simonka and advisor Csaba Marina in the premises at Medgyesbodzás of ‘Magyar Termés TÉSZ’ Ltd. about their experience in melon growing and problems arisen in 2007, the use of young plants grafted to rootstocks and buyers’ demand.

Thinking about mushroom production
(Dr. Júlia Győrfi, András Geösel)
In Hungary, year by year there are more and more biomass containing lignocellulose (e.g. straw) is produced. A feasible option for recycling such biomass is to use it for growing different kinds of mushrooms. By doing this, we do not only produce valuable food, but also reduce environmental contamination and preserve the narrowing natural resources. A part of the spent compost remaining after growing can be used for the complementary feeding of animals, for structural improvement of sandy soils and supplying organic manure.

Up-to-date solutions for establishing and operating vegetable greenhouses
(Dr. János Gyúrós)
The author presents development taken place in the shape and structure of plastic greenhouses.

Frequent errors during the production of young plants
(Dr. Noémi Kappel)
The author, in order to assist producing high-quality young plants, provides valuable information about controlling temperature and light intensity, irrigation and nutrient supply, as well as about plant health conditions. In addition, she gives useful advice for growing grafted young plants and for preparing them for outdoor planting.

Retarded fertilizers and their application in vegetable growing
(Attila Ombódi)
Those fertilizers are called retarded whose nutrients become water-soluble within a longer time after application and, by that, are available for plants later and for a longer time than traditional fertilizers. The author presents the three main types, such as the groups of inhibitors, slow-release and coated fertilizers, the alternatives for their use and the advantages and drawbacks of their application.

Quality irrigation in vegetable growing
(Gyula Szabó)
Among the severe problems of growing field vegetables in Hungary there are the lack of irrigation, the poor quality of the existing irrigation systems and the performance of irrigation. Under our climatic conditions, it is almost impossible to reach profitable crop quality, quantity and safety. This is why a professional of KITE (Agricultural Service and Trade Limited Liability Company) summarises the requirements for irrigation and other functions of irrigation beyond water supply during vegetable growing.

Chemical evaluation of irrigation waters used in Hungry
(Ms. I. Rácz)
Due to the extreme, dry, yield-reducing weather in the recent past and environmental effects threatening available water resources, good quality water is a more valuable wealth in our days than ever before. With the increasingly stricter environmental regulations and economic restrictions, plants can be grown only with deliberate water use both from quantitative and qualitative aspects. The author summarises the characteristics influencing water quality for crop production on soils, and shares her experience in analysing waters used by vegetable growing holdings.

TOPICALLY, UP-TO-DATE

Will it live to be fifty years old? Thoughts about agricultural flights in our days
(Dr. Árpád Szász, Miklós Megyery)
The specialists of the Federation of Agricultural Aviators present the situation and future prospects of agricultural aviation, on the one hand in terms of the plant protection products, i.e. the pest management programme, and on the other, in application technique.

Seen heard, read. 2nd Plant Health Doctors’ Day. Report
(Attila Torma)
In November 2007, the ceremonial hall of Budapest Corvinus University was the venue of the 2nd Plant Health Doctors’ Day. Dr. István Vályi, the president of the Hungarian Chamber of Plant Protection Professionals and Plant Health Doctors outlined the current challenges in plant protection. The delivered talks focused on the outbreaks of old and new pests and diseases, the changes in grown varieties and applied pesticides, as well as on the tasks of the plant protection sector set forth by the climate change.

Changes in controlling plant diseases and current situation
(Dr. Pál Békési)
There are quite a lot of methods of controlling plant diseases. Among them, the paper deals with the importance and situation of genetic control (breeding and use of resistant varieties).

Double joy – Quality award to Dr. Csaba L. Marton
(AF)
The Hungarian Patent Office, in co-operation with the President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1997, on the occasion of the Feast of Hungarian Science, established Academy-Patent Award in order to recognise the creators of scientific and technological work and their activity and to express the appreciation of research results managed with due care for protecting industrial property rights and for coping with the international competition. In 2007 the award was granted to Dr. Csaba L. Marton, agricultural engineer, doctor of the Academy, titular university professor, for his achievements in maize research, their extensive utilization in agriculture as well as for his highly successful research work manifesting itself in numerous intellectual products and patents.

Comments. Again about certain virus diseases of cereals
(Ms. B. Halvaksz)
This is a contribution to the article written by dr. Emil Pocsai in our November issue (Agrofórum volume 18, No. 11, p. 64).

Situation and authority background of Hungarian seed production
(Zoltán Benke)
Hungary has been a member of the European Union for three and a half years. In the light of data on seed production and certification, the specialist of the Seed Production Department of the Central Agricultural Office gives an overview of the changes and trends taken place in the particular crops in the Hungarian seed sector.

The Committee of Variety Quality Control held a meeting
(Dr. Katalin Ertsey Peregi, Dr. László Lázár)
The Field Crop Section of the Committee of Variety Quality Control held its meeting on 14 November 2007. The experts of the Directorate of Crop Production and Horticulture of the Central Agricultural Office give an account not only of the major decisions heard on the meeting, but they also summarise the criteria against which a variety candidate shall be evaluated and, if performing well, can be included in the national list. Furthermore, the article informs on the trials carried out in the various crops for testing economic values and the conditions of approval are also described.

Seen heard, read. The keyword for BASF: innovation
(Zoltán Molnár)
On the last day of November, the Agricultural Products Division of BASF Hungária Ltd. held its traditional season-closing sales meeting at Hotel Thermal in Visegrád. The event, organized already for the tenth time, was opened by Gábor Méhn, head of Ag Division and Róbert Horváth sales manager with the aim to give account for the sales representatives of the results achieved in 2007 and to present their objectives for the future, together with the pesticides to be introduced in order to reach them.

Seen heard, read. Informal talking with the management of PIONEER HI-BRED Hungary
(Dr. György Demes)
The management of PIONEER HI-BRED Hungary Ltd. spoke about the recent changes taken place in the company.

Seen heard, read. Counterfeit pesticides and illegal trade
(Dr. György Demes)
The Hungarian Crop Protection Association held a meeting titled “Counterfeit pesticides and illegal trade” with the participation of the interested manufacturers, distributors, and users of plant protection products in Budapest on 28 November 2007. The different counterfeit pesticides have been causing problems in the trade sector for a long time. The trend of placing different counterfeit products, among them pesticides, on the market has been increased in particular. This unfortunate phenomenon evidently causes significant damages to growers, operators of the food chain, the pesticide industry and governments.

Have you ever heard about FARLAND?
(Dr. László Bódis)
The project titled “Future Approaches to Land Development”, abbreviated as FARLAND, was launched with the participation of 7 countries in July 2005 and terminated in December 2007 in the frame of a ceremonial act reported here. The key topic of the project was related to land use, land protection and land management.

Another conference, also about our planet
(Dr. László Bódis)
In late November, Keszthely hosted a new “land” event titled “Land evaluation and information on land use for improving competitiveness of environmentally-friendly farming”. This conference intended to offer an opportunity for investigators dealing with land, policy makers of the sector, consultants of the interested servicing sector (banks, insurance companies), officials of authorities responsible for land quality, land value and land use, as well as for professionals of enterprises and holdings to explain their standpoints and get to know the opinions and views of others.

Seen heard, read. Bayer conference on cereals and rapes
(Attila Torma)
In November 2007, the Hungarian representation of Bayer CropScience held a conference in Budapest about the protection of cereals and rapes. The delivered talks and the subsequent discussions provided a good opportunity for participants to learn about the activity of Bayer CropScience and receive useful information about the company’s work in developing pest management programmes.

WORTHY OF ATTENTION

Mild winter followed by a hot summer: a brief review of weather conditions in 2007 from the point of view of crop production
(Vilmos Vadász)
The biggest part of year 2007 was characterised by extremely warm weather, highly influencing agricultural production, crop growing in particular. The series of warm months began already in autumn 2006. This is why the expert of the Hungarian Meteorological Service starts the review from that time, so much the more that the prevailing autumn and winter conditions would influence crop production circumstances even in the subsequent year.

2006-2007 from plant protection aspects (1) Field crops
(Miklós Tóth)
The specialist of the Directorate of Plant Protection, Soil Conservation and Agri-environment of the Central Agricultural Office summarises the past year’s experiences with weather conditions. He gives an account of the pests and diseases occurred in the particular crops.

The Grain Producers’ Association in America
(Tamás Petőházi, Kornél Vancsura)
The international meeting of farmers and agricultural round-table organised by Truth About Trade & Technology, TATT began in Des Moines (IOWA State, USA) on 17 October. The key topic of the event was the double challenge of our times: How can global agricultural production meet the requirements of the increasing demand for both basic material for food and bio-fuel and bio-energy?

SX®: the new-generation herbicide for use in cereals (x)
(Dr. István Molnár, Dr. István Somlyay, István Rácz)
DuPont Hungary Ltd. draws growers’ attention to its novel formulation technology ‘SX’ for sulfonylurea herbicides to achieve more efficient weed control.

Seen heard, read. Market prospects for table grapes
(Attila Kosztolányi )
On 20 November 2007, the First Hungarian Table Grape Association invited interested professionals to the event titled “Market prospects of table grape growing”. The meeting was opened by the president of the organisation, dr. László Bakonyi. He briefly outlined the reasons of founding the society, and the aims they wish to reach. The most important task of the organisation operating in the form of association is to provide Hungarian consumers with Hungarian, tasty table grapes. Diána Sidlovits, rapporteur (National Council of Vine-growing Communities) delivered a talk about the international situation of table grape growing, the legal background and its new aspects. Dr. Róbert Lux, deputy president of Fruitveb – Hungarian Fruit and Vegetable Board – summarised the market prospects for table grape production.

What is there in a champagne bottle?
(Attila Kosztolányi )
The author informs on the classical, traditional and up-to-date techniques of champagne production, and shares certain data on Hungarian consumption of sparkling wines, flavoured with a little history of champagne.

Scotts recipes for success. Greenhouse strawberries (x)
Scotts recommends its basic fertilizers for the optimum nutrient supply of greenhouse strawberries.

Ornaments of our house and country (1) Flood of fragrance in winter
(Dr. Matild Szántó, Dr. Zoltán Hámori)
Winter jasmine
(Dr. Magdolna Sütöri Diószegi, Dr. Hámori Zoltán)
Don’t hellebores hibernate?
(Dr. Magdolna Sütöri Diószegi, Dr. Hámori Zoltán)
In the first part of the series, readers may get acquainted with ornamentals bringing spring into winter, such as hyacinth, jasmine and different kinds of hellebores.

The new generation Mv. maize hybrids acquitted themselves well also in 2007 (x)
(Emil Bodnár)
The advantages of the new-generation maize hybrids released from Martonvásár are outlined here.

Responses of DEKALB innovation to the challenges of maize growing (x)
(Benő Kökény, Zoltán Major)
Information is given about the new Dekalb hybrids in the service of maize growers.

DEKALB® sunflowers – a programme for safety (x)
(József Wágner, Dr. Erzsébet Kiss
This is Monsanto’s offer for sunflower growers in 2008.

AZOSZUL sulphur-containing suspension fertilizers for foliar application of nitrogen (x)
(Gergely Sebestyén)
PESZT-PLANT Ltd. presents the advantages of using AZOSZUL foliar fertilizers.

Results of maize and sunflower trials, 2007 (x)
(Gábor Müller)
This is about the results of trials carried out in maize and sunflowers with fertilizers by Linzer Agro Trade Hungary Ltd. in 2007.

LOOKOUT

Browsing in foreign journals
(Compiled by: Eszter Polgár Balogh)
Now the brief summary of the article published in a foreign journal is about the situation of the European market of carrots.

MECHANISATION, MACHINES

AXIÁL Ltd.’s premises in Székesfehérvár was awarded by a Shell Service-prize in Hannover
(AF)
Shell Service Award is given on the first day of AGRITECHNICA 2007 event at Hannover by Shell and Top Agrár. The award could be won by the best companies dealing with sales and providing services of machines and spare-parts.

Let’s learn about tractors (2)
(Dr. Vilmos Varga)
The name ‘universal tractor’ refers to the general and versatile usability implying that it is a machine suitable for almost any kinds of agricultural works from sowing via tillage between the rows to works within the farm and from light soil cultivation to transporting. In Hungarian agriculture – similarly to the European practice – universal tractors are spreading in the highest number and model range. The author deals with the set-up and main characteristics of universal tractors, and also mentions the alternatives for loading supplementary weight and adjusting track-width.

Novelties from FENDT (2)
(Dr. György Demes)
In our previous number we gave an account of FENDT 820 Variogreentec tractor that can be operated also with rapeseed oil, of a new front loader FENDT CARGO, a new-generation square baler from FENDT and an electronic logbook for keeping records of tractor operation, namely FENDT Vario-Doc Basic. Now we present the renewed FENDT Vario tractors and reveal the secret that was shown only at AGRITECHNICA 2007 event.

Increasing yields – in winter? (x)
(Norbert Páska)
Güttler Ltd. recommends growers its Güttler Standard cylinder for springtime rolling to advance tillering.

Recommendations about application technique for growers (2)
(Jenő Huszár, Miklós Pánczél)
Farmcenter Ltd. gives an overview of TEEJET flat fan sprayer tips.

Väderstad-clinic. Novelties – 2008/I. Carrier, Cultus, TopDown (x)
Väderstad technology without soil turning has become completed.

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

Book review. Dr. Emil Wolff: A practical guide for fertilizer application
(Ed. Dr. Imre Kádár)
This book allows readers to get a lively introduction to agri-chemistry and nutrient supply. This publication is recommended to researchers, academic staff, advisors, university and college students, as well as to thoughtful growers following reasonable crop management practice.

Outstanding persons of our agricultural past. Carl von Linné
(Miklós Kurucz)
This month we may get to know the life and work of Carl von Linné in the frame of the series presenting the persons who greatly contributed to our agriculture.

Note for growers. About advisory service
(Miklós Kurucz)
This part of the series addresses the question why it is worthy and useful for growers to make use of advisory services.

Written anno…
(Dr. Péter Inczédy)

Annex: Contents of articles published in volume 18 of AGROFÓRUM (2007), grouped in the particular topics