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Agroforum Extra 2.

CROP PRODUCTION ISSUES

Conditions of high maize yields
(Dr. Ernő Bocz, Dr. János Nagy)
Nutrient supply and selecting the appropriate hybrid are decisive among the various factors influencing successful maize production. At the same time, water regime in maize fields has a significant role in having the desired effects of fertilizer, crop density and other agronomic factors, depending on the season. On areas of deeper water table where the moisture content of the upper 200 cm layer of soils is determined mainly by rainfall, the middle 50-160 cm soil horizon has almost dried out.

Deep soils of high water holding capacity allow expanding the classical time span of irrigation. The authors demonstrate the effects of off-season irrigation, based on the results of three years with different natural water regimes, at various nutrient levels. Within the change of harvested yields, they also deal with the effect of treatments on the particular yield components.

Based on trials: maize growing in an environmentally friendly way
(Dr. Endre Széll, János Makhajda, István Tóth Szeles, Dr. Zoltán Győri)
The authors present new research results in weed control, Western corn rootworm and nitrogen fertilizer application in a model way, combining scientific fastidiousness and clarity, assisting sustainable and cost-saving production. The guiding principle of this work is expressed in the introduction of the paper: “Environmentalists wish to omit such elements of the crop management programme which are based on synthetically produced chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides). We plan and carry out trials serving for the development of crop management programmes in order to ensure favourable conditions for growing our crops and to protect the environment from harmful chemicals load. We believe that any declaration or discussion on the risk of environmental contamination must be based on trial results and not on theories. Here are two examples: People protesting against chemical control of Fusarium diseases in wheat have to be aware of the amount of Fusarium toxins getting into feedstuffs or directly to human food if chemical treatments are not carried out.

Many people raise objections to chemical weed control. However, it is likely that we would be less exposed to ragweed pollen if we performed professional chemical treatments in wider areas.”

Farm experience in a tillage programme with less passes in maize
(Dr. Tamás Rátonyi, Dr. Attila Megyes, Dr. János Nagy)
Tillage is one of the most energy-consuming elements of field crop production. The conventional primary tillage involving turning of the soil has a decisive role even today in Hungary. At the same time, multi-pass operations are traditionally characteristic of the common tillage systems. Conservation of the agricultural land, and in a broader sense, environmental protection and economic concept in farming need the development of soil conservation tillage systems and implements. The article gives an account on the results of a farm trial established on a meadow soil, comparing the effect of conventional primary tillage involving turning with that of direct sowing and soil cultivation with disk ripper and mulch finisher. We may have an idea about the tested techniques, reading information on compactness and moisture content of the soil, yields, crop density and grain weight per plant in the article completed with informative figures.

The role of nitrogen fertilizer forms in maize growing
(Dr. Péter Pepó, László Zsombik, János Derzsényi)
This paper is more than it is foreseen from the title. The authors begin with an overview of the urgent tasks to be completed for our EU-accession in order to create competitiveness of Hungarian agriculture and within it, field crop growing. Nutrient supply and weed control are the two most critical elements in the management programme of maize growing. This is why the effect of liquid ammonia and other N-fertilizers on the growth, development, agronomic characteristics and yield of maize was studied in a fertilizer application trial established at Hajdúhadház and Mezőkövesd. Comparing the results of the six-year trial and the former own experience can be useful for every grower.

The effect of sowing date on maize yields
(Dr. Mihály Sárvári, Zoltán Futó)
It was concluded from the results of sowing date trials that in Hungary the optimum time for sowing maize was the third decade of April. Sowing seed later would lead to lower yields and higher grain moisture. However, is it a hard-and-fast rule or can it be modified, depending on seasonal effect, variety and soil type? We may have an answer to this question from the experience of trials carried out on a typical meadow soil.

The impact of plant density on crop quality and quantity of maize
(Dr. Mihály Sárvári)
Sowing, done appropriately and at optimum time, is a primary condition for the development of homogenous, even maize stands. The particular maize hybrids differ in their capacity of compensating the eventually reduced crop stand and uneven plant spacing. Therefore it is important to have as thorough knowledge as possible on the on the optimal range of crop density for the particular varieties. This information helps in determining seed rate to be sown, taking field conditions (nutrient and water supply, etc.) into consideration, and at the same time it refers to the adaptability of the selected hybrid. The results of the several-year long trials established on two soil types partly help growers select varieties and adjust sowing machines, and partly call the attention to the obstacles when applying a crop management programme without the due consideration.

Students’ page. Growing maize on ridges and the drawbacks of omitting crop rotation
(Annamária Bálint)
The student of the Gödöllő University gives an account of a new soil cultivation system without real traditions in Hungary. The ridge-tillage system involves the establishment of a special form of rows and between the rows where the seeded row is at least by 12-20 cm higher than the field level in most time of the year. This system can be useful especially on sites with adverse conditions, on slopes. Readers can get a picture about the benefits of the cultivation method based on Hungarian and Austrian experience.

Maize production using GrowHow management programme (x)
(Kemira)
The article provides information on Power fertilizers suitable for nutrient supply of maize and on Kemira complex made according to the recipe.

 

VARIETY CHOICE

Make your choice! The results of comparative small-plot trials with state qualified hybrid maize varieties in 2002.
(Dr. Dénes Sziebert)
In 2002 the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control established a comparative study of state qualified maize hybrids altogether with 91 varieties at 20 locations of the country. The particular FAO maturity groups were evaluated based on the data of 14-17 locations. The article with a rich collection of charts not only informs on the key parameters for the hybrids in the particular ripening groups but also offers an interesting discussion on the profitability levels of the FAO-groups. It is a special value of the paper that the author summarises characteristics of 2002, analysing the critical points of maize growing. Readers get a useful chapter of knowledge on maize.

Our recommended hybrids in maize, a continuously improving variety choice (x)
(Dr. Zoltán Pintér, Dr. Szél Sándor)
We can get acquainted with the proven and promising new varieties of breeders in Szeged, and the main concepts producing them.

Limagrain in Hungary. Intensive maize breeding programme and a comprehensive product development (x)
(Károly Kupi, András Orlik)
It is the brief history and Hungarian appearance of a European company and the first remarkable fruits of the introduction and breeding programme implemented in this country.

Maize hybrids from Martonvásár – recommendation for 2003. Reliability and cost-efficiency (x)
The latest competitive breeding releases from the cradle of the first European hybrid maize obtained 50 years ago.

Saaten-Union and SWS, preparing for joint success also in Hungary (x)
(Zoltán Blum, Zsolt Zeitvogel)
Information is given on the first promising hybrids of the German breeding companies present in Hungary since 1990.

“Old-new” criteria of selecting a hybrid, from PIONEER’s point of view (x)
(Béla Kara)
Pioneer hybrids recommended for commercial growing are presented, with special attention to their adaptability according to the results of farm trials carried out in 2002.

Improving economic value of maize hybrids (x)
(Dr. Péter Szabó)
Productivity of maize hybrids in commercial growing has significantly increased during the past decades. Nowadays, depending on production conditions, we can implement almost the 75% of the genetic potential in the fields under better conditions. The differences between the profitability of market leading hybrids are more and more levelled up, and genetically based criteria have become conspicuous such as crop stability or stress tolerance. Genetic traits are matched with important economic criteria which can be linked to seeds in the frame of certain services by the breeding company. Such trait is for instance seed quality, but good servicing, furthermore supply with reliable information and crop production advice also contribute to profitable farming. How does this all go through in the marketing philosophy and practice of Syngenta Seeds? – it is in the focus of this article.

 

CHEMICAL WEED CONTROL

Recent results in hybrid specific weed control in maize
(Dr. Péter Pepó)
The importance of early and normal post-emergence treatments, when weed infestation and populations are known, has significantly increased in Hungarian maize growing. The effect and efficacy of such treatments depend on environmental conditions and sensitivity of the hybrids. The currently grown various commercial hybrids respond to herbicides in different ways, therefore being aware of such responses is more and more important in crop production. The author gives an account of his trial carried out with certain maize hybrid and herbicide combinations. He studied sensitivity of hybrids of different genotypes to herbicides with various active substances under conditions of mixed weed populations, as well as the complex effects (both to weeds and hybrids) of herbicides with normal time or delayed application. Information is provided on the dynamic changes in seasonal abundance of weeds, phytotoxicity caused by herbicides, as well as grain moisture at harvest and yields.

Mester (The Master) has arrived (x)
(István Rikk)
The new herbicide containing foramsulfuron + iodosulfuron + isoxadifenethyl is recommended for post-emergence weed control in maize.

Herbicide tolerance of maize hybrids – in the light of trials carried out at Martonvásár in 2002.
(Dr. Péter Bónis, Dr. Csaba Marton L., Dr. Tamás Árendás)
Phytotoxic effects of herbicides with post-emergence application in hybrid maize have several kinds of appearance on the crop. Form and severity of symptoms depend on the genotype and herbicide tolerance of the maize hybrid, the type and rate of the applied herbicide and the growth stage of maize at the time of application. The favourable and adverse effects are highly influenced by weather conditions (temperature, rainfall, wind speed) before and after spraying, accuracy of the application technique, technical condition of the sprayer and the relief of the field. The authors carried out a small-plot trial to study the response of 24 maize hybrids, among them two sweetcorn varieties to the registered maximum and the double rate of 12 herbicides with post-emergence application. The herbicides were applied delayed, after the recommended, optimum growth stage of maize. The conclusion of the article illustrated with colour photos was that the tested herbicides can be well integrated in the weed management programme of the studied hybrids. However, special attention shall be paid to the optimum growth stage of maize and the amount of the applied chemicals in the case of certain hybrids.

Genetic advantages (x)
(Péter Csengődi)
The article demonstrates the economic advantages of growing DeKalb maize hybrids.

Means of controlling problem weeds in maize
(László Szabó)
Chemical weed control in maize is characterised by continuous development and changing. Relation of weed populations are always changing in maize fields (importance of certain weeds decreases while of others increases), and new herbicides are placed on the market year by year. The author studied the effect of ten herbicide mixtures (mostly applied in post-emergence treatments) against various weeds in the area around Hajdúszoboszló. He concludes that various herbicide mixtures can be successfully applied against hard-to-control weeds. In addition to having a profound knowledge on the weed population of the particular area, appropriate timing of applying the product or mixtures and treatment tailored to the given field are also necessary for successful weed control.

Callisto 4 SC pre/post herbicide spray programme in maize
(Lajos Gracza)
During the past years various articles have discussed the advantages and importance of pre/post-emergence applications of herbicides in the columns of Agrofórum, providing detailed information on this efficient technique, but little has been heard about such treatments with the recently registered new active substances of herbicides. Especially such herbicides perform well with pre/post applications, which have their effect both through soil and leaves. Callisto 4 SC (mezotrion) has such mode of action. Weed killing effect of the mixture Callisto 4 SC + Dual Gold 960 EC with pre/post application was studied under conditions of heavy weed infestation. (Terbutrin mixed with metolachlor with efficacy proven in a lot of pre/post application trials was used as standard control.) The results were convincing in demonstrating good effect of this mixture and mode of application.

Problems of weed control in seed maize at Mezőhegyes
(Dr. Zoltán Szabó)
Seed maize growing has a decisive role in the crop management of Mezőhegyes State Farm Co. In seed production, due to the sensitivity of inbred lines and irrigation, chemical weed control causes a special problem. The author presents weed conditions characteristic of the farm, laying emphasis on problem species (e.g. johnsongrass, wild millet, velvetleaf, ragweed and thorn apple). The occurrence and damage of western corn rootworm force growers to apply crop rotation. The author gives an account on experience and observations obtained during the farm use of herbicides, which may be useful for every grower.

Post-emergence solutions for weed control in maize (x)
(Dr. Elemér Tóth, László Borsos)
The wide range of uses of DuPont herbicides registered for weed control in maize is presented.

Ensuring crop safety (x)
(Attila Takács)
Information is given on Komondor, a flumetsulam herbicide.

Safe and efficient weed control in maize: Wing + Cambio (x)
(BASF)
It is BASF’s latest recommendation for weed management programmes.

 

PLANT PROTECTION

The results of comparative fungicide trials with state qualified hybrid maize varieties and variety candidates in 2002
(Péter Hertelendy)
In the frame of trials indicated in the title, the Plant Pathology Department of the National Institute for Agricultural Quality Control (OMMI) conducts variety studies with three diseases that can have a decisive effect both on crop quality and quantity, and no efficient and cost-effective chemical treatments other than seed dressing are known to control them. Such diseases are common smut (Ustilago maydis), stem rot and ear rot caused by Fusarium spp. During variety trials, in addition to assessing natural infection data, results of artificial inoculation with Ustilago maydis are also taken into account. Last year a lot of very useful data on resistance could be generated for all the three diseases. Beside common smut, stem rot and ear rot also provoked significant damages in 2002, the crop suffered the most severe losses of the past years caused by ear rot. It can be explained by weather conditions so adverse for maize during 2002: the high disease incidence can be attributed to poor crop state due to summer stress, uncovered ear tips (missing husks), as well as to injuries by pests (cotton bollworm, western corn rootworm), even enhanced by sporadic autumn rains. Detailed data recorded during observations and surveys are tabulated.

Asking… Mr. András Horváth, division director of IKR Co. on Western corn rootworm situation
(AF)
Western corn rootworm (WCR – Diabrotica virgifera virgifera) can be considered definitely established in Europe, and in 2002 severe economic losses were caused in certain counties of Hungary. We addressed some questions arising the most interest of growers to the plant protection manager of one of the major agricultural integrators in Hungary, IKR Co. How prepared is the maize sector to mitigate losses by WCR? What are the technical and crop management conditions of successful control? What kind of solutions does IKR Co. recommend to growers? – Readers may get the answers to these and several other questions.

Maize growers, how to continue? (x)
(Péter Maros)
Biomark Ltd. presents its recommended products targeted against western corn rootworm.

Thoughts on Western corn rootworm. A thorough answer to a big challenge … (x)
(András Timár)
The offer of Syngenta Ltd. to control western corn rootworm.

 

MECHANISATION, MACHINES

Under the magnifying glass …(18) A KUHN PLANTER (PL) JUNIOR and MAXIMA precision drills
(Dr. József Fűzy, Győző Mészáros)
The 6-row French NODET drills, KUHN PL JUNIOR and MAXIMA are of mounted execution, equipped with pneumatic sowing device. The machines can be used for sowing seeds of maize, sunflower, sugarbeet, beans, etc. by changing sowing discs. After presenting technical data of the machines, the authors inform on testing conditions. During field measurements, uniformity of lengthwise seed distribution, uniformity of sowing depth and grain injury characteristics, as well as fuel consumption and performance parameters were determined.

It can be concluded from the tests that theses drills, in the appropriate speed range and adjustment, can be well used for precision drilling of sweet and grain maize seeds. Data on deviations in application rate meet the requirements. Sowing elements of the machines were suitable for ensuring the adjusted sowing depth. The sowing device of the machine is well executed and up-to-date. The technological and technical safety of the drills is appropriate.

 

OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

A Call for proposals of the Euro-Eco Farm Project is published for participating in the programme titled “Energy-saving and environmentally friendly crop management programmes”.

Written anno…
(Dr. Péter Inczédy)