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Agroforum Extra 13.

Name as you like it: maize, “Turkish wheat” or “overseas”
(Dr. László Bódis)

Market of Hungarian maize yesterday, today and tomorrow
(Dr. Hajnalka Hingyi)
The investigator of the Agro-economic Research Institute gives an account of the history of Hungarian maize growing from the early 20th century to the present. The article, completed with various figures, provides a comprehensive picture of the yields, uses and exports during several years and of the present situation. Regarding the prospects, the author remarks that selling the surplus on foreign markets will remain difficult due to the high freight costs and the shortages in transporting capacities, therefore stocks are expected to further increase in 2006. In order to avoid overproduction, maize may play an important part in the future, in addition to fodder growing, also in bioethanol production.

Development alternatives in Hungarian maize growing
(Dr. Péter Pepó)
The author begins with outlining the major changes in global maize growing occurred in the past few years. He gives detailed information on the cropping area and yields, indicating the share of the particular continents. Going back to the middle of the past century, a figure demonstrates the trends in maize growing of Hungary and the European Union, clearly showing that after the intensive development began in the ‘60s, from the 1990s maize yields have significantly declined due to the decreased agronomic level and the inputs. In order to ensure efficient maize growing in terms of agronomy and economy, it is necessary to apply cultural techniques that satisfy plant needs, mitigate the ecological extremities, so characteristic of Hungary. To help this, in the second part of the article, the author gives a detailed discussion of the key agronomic elements.

Maize world – an exposition helping growers to select hybrids (x)
(György Kőszegi)
In November 2005, it was the second time that, invited by Szekszárd Plant Co., the variety owners, professionals dealing with seed distribution and product sales, as well as maize growers came together to share the past year’s experiences in growing with each other in order to help choosing the suitable hybrids.

Field trials in Hungary (x)
This is information on the fertilizer trials to be established in early spring by Agrolinz Melamine International Hungary Ltd.

Hungarian maize growing in 2005 according to data recorded by the National Institute of Agricultural Quality Control (OMMI)
(Dr. Dénes Szieberth)
The specialist of OMMI gives an account of the statistics prepared by the Institute about the maize-growing areas and yields for 2005, as well as about the results of their variety trials, demonstrated by tables and figures. Furthermore, he outlines last year’s situation regarding pest management and weather condition from the point of view maize growth.

Szekszárd PLANT Co. is 10 years old
The professionals of Szekszárd Plant Co. summarise the efforts made and the results obtained during the past ten years, and finally they outline their future plans.

KWS’s premium maize offer (x)
KWS recommends growers its new-generation maize hybrids.

Quality of maize in 2005 from the point of view of intervention
(Attila Réther)
While a part of the maize harvested in 2004 is still in the intervention warehouses, some million tons of the record production in 2005 were also loaded in the storage facilities. Considering the present rate of loading out and transporting, a significant part of the produced crop surely needs to be stored for several years. This is why the author evaluates maize quality from the point of view of storage ability. Year 2005 was not so favourable for maize growing as the year before. In connection with this, we may get to know the results of intervention quality control of last year’s crop (moisture content, broken seeds, heat-injured seed), compared to those of 2004. It was concluded from the painstaking analyses that the quality and storage ability of the maize harvested in 2005 were poorer than in the year before. Storage cannot be successful without continuous and professional handling of the commodity. Maintaining of the crop quality is the responsibility of the stock-keeper.

Practical experiences of cost-effective and environmentally friendly fertilizer application in maize
(Dr. Péter Csathó, Nándor Fodor, Dr. Tamás Németh, Dr. Tamás Árendás
)
In the middle of the 1990s, the Research Institute of Soil Science and Agrochemistry and the Agricultural Research Institute, both of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, began to develop a novel, cost-saving and environmentally friendly, computer-aided advisory system in order to assist reasonable fertilizer use and optimisation of costs. The system can provide expertise at four levels such as minimum, environmentally friendly, balance-approach and integrated nutrient supply. The effects of environmentally friendly and other fertilization systems were tested in the frame of a small-plot field trial within a three-year programme in 2005. The article gives an account of the results of these trials in the particular production sites (Balatonszentgyörgy, Mezőkövesd, Nagyhörcsök).

Outstanding yields in every season! (x)
(István Riczu)
Monsanto Trading Ltd. recommends DEKALB hybrids for maize growers in 2006.

The effect of certain agronomic factors on maize yields
(Dr. Péter Pepó, Attila Vad, Dr. Sándor Berényi)
In 2004 and 2005, the authors studied the effect of plant density and fertilizers on maize yields in a multifactor long-term trial established 23 years ago. The treatments of increasing fertilizer rates and the untreated control were applied at densities of 40,000, 60,000 and 80,000 plants per hectare. The effects of cultural techniques were assessed in monoculture, as well as in 2- and 3-year rotations. The results showed that in the average of crop densities, yields in the control were moderate in monoculture, while they were much higher in 2- and 3-year rotations. The effect of fertilizer application on yields was significant in monoculture, while it was quite modest in 2- and 3-year rotations. The article also includes further analyses.

Changes of pesticide use in current maize growing
(Dr. Sándor Keszthelyi)
The paper begins with outlining the changing share of the particular cost elements of maize production and the increasing production costs due to the more intensive use of pesticides. The growing volume of the applied chemicals is explained by the more frequent occurrence of abiotic extremities or the appearance of new or rare biotic factors. The author points out how the extreme climatic conditions (increasing global warming, uneven distribution of rainfall) and biotic factors (western corn rootworm, cotton bollworm) influence the success of maize growing, and by that increasing pesticide use. Finally, the author summarises all the factors that have contributed to the increase of production costs.

Dangerous pests. Noctuids I.
(Dr. Béla Herczig, Dr. Kálmán Szeőke, Dr. Péter Gyulai, Dr. Géza Vörös)
This part of the series on dangerous pests focuses on noctuids. You may get to know the taxonomy, characteristics, importance and damage of these insect pests. The authors wish to present the possibilities of controlling noctuid larvae feeding both on the soil surface and above it.

Weed control in maize, criteria of choosing herbicides
(László Szentey)
The proper herbicides can be selected only being aware of the weed population in the fields to be treated and the action spectrum of the herbicides to be used. The specialist of the Central Service of Plant Protection and Soil Conservation focuses on the timing and means of chemical treatments in maize, and indicates the critical points for properly selecting the herbicides for application. He draws the attention also to the importance of assessing the efficacy, after carrying them out, of the treatments against the particular weeds. It is important to gather experience from various years as it is not possible to get a true picture about the efficacy of a herbicide based on a single year.

Synchronised weed control on 1 million hectares (x)
(István Rikk)
Bayer CropScience recommends growers to use Merlint (isoxaflutol) in maize for its long-term effect against weeds germinating at different times.

Mustang and agro-environment management (x)
(Attila Takács)
Mustang SE (florasulam+2,4-D) is a wide-spectrum herbicide from Dow AgroSciences for use in cereals, including maize and in canary grass.

Thoughts before sowing maize in spring 2006
(Dr. Endre Széll)
When planning maize sowing, it is necessary to consider the results of various years, because weather conditions even of two years are not similar. It is mostly true for those operations whose effects are highly influenced by water supply and temperature. Furthermore, the author’s key point is that it is not enough to consider the general management programme of maize, but we also need to take into account the specific agronomic characteristics of hybrids. He evaluates the effects of sowing date, plant density, the particular hybrid and the season on crop quality and quantity.

Fusarium: the toll-collector of maize yields in rainy seasons
(Csaba Szőke, Dr. Tamás Árendás, Dr. Csaba L. Marton, Ferenc Rácz)
In addition to yield loss caused by Fusarium species, in our days the serious quality problems provoked by them are also a more and more important factor for consideration. These pathogens produce mycotoxins that impose high risks to both humans and animals. New limit values for Fusarium and mycotoxin contents are expected to be introduced in Hungary from 1 July 2006. The authors give an account of the results of inoculation trials carried out in Martonvásár to study the effect of Fusarium infection on the incidence of ear mould, the ear surface covered by mould and on yields. Being aware of this, it is essential to select such maize hybrids that possess an above-the-average resistance to Fusarium species even in rainy seasons.

Maize management programmes in Hungarian big farms
Szekszárd Plant Co. organized its exposition titled “Maize World” for those interested in the crop also last year. Visitors could get acquainted with the maize growing practice of exhibiting producers mainly from figures, pictures and diagrams. In the current issue of our journal, you may read the brief thoughts of certain participants about all these, without the intention of completeness.

Written anno…
(Dr. Péter Inczédy)