Vol. 18 No. 2 (2012)

Published July 26, 2012


  • The use of rootstocks for European (Prunus domestica) and for Japanese (Prunus salicina) plums (review)

    The worldwide tendency to increase the intensity of fruit growing technologies prefers generally for every fruit species rootstocks with week or mediocre vigour. From this viewpoint, the use of rootstocks for plums are rather unilateral in Hungary, where 95–99% of plum plantations are grafted on mirobalan seedlings (P. cerasifera v. mirobalana). The score of plum rootstocks abroad is much more diversified. The present study summarises the respective knowledge referring to the literature available.

  • Commercial varieties of European plums grown in Hungary, a comparison of promising foreign varieties with the widely grown traditional ones

    Observations and investigations performed in laboratory at several growing sites over a period of many years are summarised on established plum varieties as well as on new promising ones concerning their marketing value. The ripening period of plum varieties was enlarged substantially with the appearance of new varieties of extra late maturity (‘Elena’, ‘Tophit’, ‘Presenta’). The new varieties did not alter the traditional colour, more or less long, violet or blue character of the plum. The most known type, ‘Besztercei szilva’ with its accustomed taste was followed by the new varieties ‘Katinka’, ‘Tegera‘, ‘Hanita’ and ‘Presenta’. The fruit size are largely of the medium category, except the early ripening small ‘Katinka’, whereas the larger and attractive (~60 g) fruits are represented by the late ripening ‘Tophit’ and ‘Empress’. The stone/fruit ratio was lowest in 3% (‘Tophit’) and 6% (‘Besztercei Bt. 2’, ‘Hanita’, ‘Jojo’, ‘ ‘Čačanska rana’) at the other end of the scale. The width and thickness of the fruit fl esh between 28 mm (‘Besztercei szilva’) and 43-44 mm (‘Empress’, ‘Tophit’). The fi rmness of the fruit fl esh excelled in the late maturity varieties ‘Presenta’ and ‘Tophit’ (~4 kg/cm2). Water soluble solids were 12-13 Brix% (‘Čačanska rana’, ‘Katinka’, ‘Silvia’) and 20 Brix% (‘Presenta’, ‘Tophit’), whereas titrated acids are found between 0.2% (‘Besztercei Bt. 2’) and 1.2% (‘Tegera’).

  • Self-incompatibility alleles in Esatern European and Asian almond (Prunus dulcis) genotypes: a preliminary study

    Almond [Prunus dulcis (Mill.) D. A. Webb.] as one of the oldest domesticated plants is thought to have originated in central Asia. Gametophytic self-incompatibility of almond is controlled by the highly polymorphic S-locus. The S-locus encodes for an S-ribonuclease (S-RNase) protein in the pistils, which degrades RNA in self-pollen tubes and hence stops their growing. This study was carried out to detect S-RNase allelic variants in Hungarian and Eastern European almond cultivars and Turkish wild growing seedlings, and characterize their S-allele pool. Five new alleles were identifi ed, S31H, S36-S39 in Eastern European local cultivars. The village Bademli and Akdamar island are two distinct places of almond natural occurrence in Turkey. Trees growing wild around Bademli city showed greater genetic diversity than those originated on Akdamar island. Many of the previously described 45 S-RNase alleles have been also detected in these regions. Homology searches revealed that Turkish almonds carried some P. webbii alleles indicating hybridization between the two cultivars and massive introgression events. Our results supply long-awaited information on almond S-allele diversity from regions between the main cultivation centres and the centre of origin of this species; and are discussed from the aspect of methodological developments and evolution of the cultivated almond.

  • Determination of quality in stored pear fruits by chemical analysis and sensorial judgement

    Aim of this research/project to determine the external and internal preferences of pear using descriptive sensory analysis, consumer preference. The research was performed on local consumers. Destructive measurements included fi rmness by puncture tests, soluble solids content (SSC), titrated acidity (TA). While there is a general positive trend for increasing preference with fi rmness, some consumers will prefer softer apples, and some will dislike the fi rmest pear. Sensorial judgement is able to classify the attractiveness, preference of properties specifi c for pear. Tests were performed by 13 persons on 4 pear varieties (Bosc kobak, Conference, Packham’s Triumph, Dessertnaia) checking 11 sensorial properties on a scale of 1 to 100 points. Relations of measurements and judgements were processed by correlation analysis. For analysis, the objects were furnished in 2011 from different growing sites (Csenger, Mérk and Nagykanizsa), taking from the store (in January) immediately. Among those the best notes were given to Bosc kobak and Conference coming from Mérk and to Packham’s Triumph grown at Nagykanizsa. It was stated that the success of sensorial judgement depends on the state of maturity, which is diffi cult to guarantee to be synchronous among samples of different varieties. Mature fruits are more praised as a sample of Bosc kobak taken from a chain of department store proved to be of balanced composition regarding its sugar/acid ratio (0.12) and the optimal fi rmness (5.75 N/cm2). Results of the correlation analysis suggest that the thickness of the skin is a decisive component of preference (r= 0.857), the typical pear flavour (r= 0.948), the taste as sweetness and acidity (r= 0.930 and r= 0.813). At the same time, no valuable relation could be detected between the data raised in the laboratory and the preference expressed by the sensorial tests, which should signalise that the opinion of consumers does not depend on any individual parameter obtained in the laboratory (sugar- or acid content, fi rmness) but rather on the complexity of several decisive components together (sweetness, acidity, fl avour, skin, etc.). The consumers’ preference cannot be measured objectively without the aid of adequate expertise and a prosperous surrounding, samples of optimal maturity and a thoughtfully edited judging form.

  • The effect of storage to optical properties in case of two apple fruit varieties

    The keeping quality of fruits is a very important factor in storage point of view, since it could be elongated the consumption time of fruits. In many cases the storage may be necessary, e.g. in short time it is not able to market due to the rich harvest, or all fruits could sell in markets throughout the year. The keeping quality of various fruit species is greatly different; moreover it could be observed some differences between the varieties as well. In our research, we have investigated the spectral properties of the external surface and fl esh of two ripe apple varieties – Jonagored and Granny Smith – before and after storage (about 3°C and about three weeks). The hyperspectral investigation was carried out with AvaSpec-2048 Fiber Optic Spectrometer. The experimental results represented the differences between healthy and chilling injured apple fruits. Furthermore, some indices were created to given countenance to the spectral differences.

  • Effects of DMI and strobilurin fungicide combinations on scab and powdery mildew incidence in apple production: a preliminary study

    The aim of our study was to evaulate the effectiveness of four DMI and strobilurion fungicide combinations in a season-long disease management programme against apple scab and powdery mildew in two integrated apple orchards on cultivar Jonagold. The four spray programmes were: i) standard, ii) DMI dominant iii) strobilurin dominant, and iv) DMI and strobilurin dominant. Apple scab incidence as generally high in both orchards in the standard fungicide treatment plots ranged between 21.8 and 26.4%. Leaf scab incidence was higher in all treatments compared to fruit incidence. Scab incidence was generally higher at Mándok compared to Ófehértó. In both locations the lowest scab incidence was assessed in DMI dominant treatment ranged between 5 to 10.7%, which was not signifi cantly different from the DMI and strobilurin dominant treatment. Powdery mildew incidence was generally low in both orchards in all fungicide treatments ranged between 0.002 and 0.5%. Although there were no signifi cant differences among treatments, the lowest powdery mildew incidence was assessed in the DMI and strobilurin dominant treatment in Mándok and in the strobilurin dominant treatment in Ófehértó.

  • Susceptibility of European pear cultivars to Venturia pirina Aderh. infection at a variety collection in Hungary

    Field sensitivity of 271 European pear genotypes were evaluated in a large variety collection of pear in Hungary during a nine years survey. Substantial differences were detected in the rate of pear scab infection of leaves and fruits. Some 18 per cent of the inspected genotypes remained completely free of infection even in the years with weather favouring to the disease. On the other hand, 78 % of the inspected genotypes were infected in some or more extent. The rate of infection was generally higher on leaves than on fruits. 18.6 % of the genotypes inspected were tolerant to leaf infection and their majority (81.1 %) were tolerant to fruit infection. Some one fi fth of the genotypes (19.7 %) were highly susceptible to leaf infection but only minor rate of them (2.2 %) were highly susceptible to fruit infection. There were 44 genotypes that could be regarded as tolerant to pear scab leaf and fruit infection under fi eld conditions. Some of these genotypes may be suitable to commercial pear growing with highly reduced chemical control against pear but their yield capacity and fruit quality should be evaluated.

  • Determination of chlorophyll content in case of peach leaf curl disease (Taphrina deformans) with spectral analysis

    One of the most important conditions of high quality fruit production is the early detection of hytopathologycal infections. The most dangerous disease of peach (Prunus persica) is the Taphrina deformans, which causes serious damages mainly in the years where the weather condition is cool and wet. In this study, healthy and naturally diseased leaves by peach leaf curl were investigated in the laboratory of University of Debrecen, CAAES, Institute of Water and Environmental Management. Both of hyperspectral measurement and the values of spectrophotometer shown the chlorophyll content of diseased leaves were lower than the healthy samples. Based on the experiments the water status of investigated leaves established the infected leaves contained more water in their tissues.

  • Evaluation of fruit tree waterstress condition and transpiration with heat fl ux sensors
    leaf area index, evapotranspiration, water stress

    In this study the transpiration properties and response to heat stress of Granny Smith and Jonagold apple species were measured. The examinations were set at an orchard near to Debrecen. The chosen trees were two years old, without fruits, in 20l container, placed in the mixture of mulch matrix, wood chips and sawdust and grown at the same climatic conditions. One of the most important goals was to determine the leaf area of the trees which is a basic data for transpiration modeling. Leaf area was larger (signifi cance level p<0.05) in the upper part of the canopy to achieve larger photosynthetic surface. Jonagold species with less leaf number (–18% compared to Granny Smith) reached almost the same canopy area, than Granny Smith, due to larger leaf area of Jonagold. Another aim was to measure the transpiration rate of the apple trees. The transpiration measurements were carried out by sap fl ow meter. Only a small transpiration difference can be found between species. During the investigation time there were wet and cool as well as dry and extremely hot periods. In the case of dry and extreme hot periods the transpiration is decreased, which causes decrease in transpiration and enhanced the water stress of trees.

  • Vineyards characteristic by using GIS and refl ectance measurements on the Nagy-Eged hill in Hungary

    Our investigation was carried out in vineyards on Nagy-Eged hill in Hungary. Grapevine growing plays an important role in Eger Vine Regions. In the grapevine cultivation it becomes necessary to know the requirements of vineyards along the best geographical situation using available cultivation and examination technology to achieve better and quality produce. This study reviews applicability of the different spatial analyst techniques in vineyard especially models based on surface relief and the new technology of hyperspectral analysis. The spectral alteration was examined between different health status and leaves infected by Eriophyes vitis to defi ne spectral characteristics. Thus reflectance measurements could also support to evaluate airborne hyperspectral images with the help of the spectral library.

  • Climate change effect on sour cherry production in Central Hungary

    Consideration of the soil and climatic conditions and their expected changes is very important in planning of new orchards. This research focuses on the expected climatic conditions and opportunities of sour cherry production in Central Hungary in the periods of 2021–2050 and 2071–2100, compared to the base period of 1961–1990. Results show that in the near future the expected changes are mostly favourable for sour cherry production, the utility values are increasing in most of the subregions. By the end of the century the utility values show further increase in the formerly colder subregions. However, in some subregions the utility values slightly decrease because of the appearance of the extreme dry and warm year types, though their values remain at the level of the base period or even higher.

  • Relationship between several meteorological factors and phenological features of pear cultivars

    The aim of this paper was to investigate the fl owering characteristic of apples and their relationship to meteorological parameters. The trees observed are grown at Újfehértó, Eastern Hungary in the plantation of an assortment (gene bank) with 586 apple varieties. Each of the varieties were observed as for their dates of subsequent phenophases, the beginning of bloom, main bloom and the end of bloom over a period between 1984 and 2001 during this period the meteorological data-base keeps the following variables: daily means of temperature (°C), daily maximum temperature (°C), daily minimum temperature (°C), daily precipitation sums (mm), daily sums of sunny hours, daily means of the differences between the day-time and night-time temperatures (°C), average differences between temperatures of successive daily means (°C). Between the 90th and 147th day of the year over the 18 years of observation. The early blooming varieties start blooming at 10–21April. The varieties of intermediate bloom start at the interval 20 April to 3 May, whereas the late blooming group start at 2–10 May. Among the meteorological variables of the former autumnal and hibernal periods, the hibernal maxima were the most active factor infl uencing the start of bloom in the subsequent spring.

  • Spatial and temporal variation of extremely low minimum temperatures in Hungary during the period between 1951 and 2010

    For this study, data of 16 meteorological stations have been processed over a period of 60 years with the purpose to reveal the spatial and temporal structure of the frequencies of absolute extreme minima in Hungary with special reference to the surmised global rise of temperatures on a worldwide scale. In the main areas of fruit growing, the monthly or seasonal absolute temperature maxima and minima are presented during the 60 year-long period and projected on the geographical map. For the main fruit- and vegetable growing regions the probability of winter- and late frosts is of prime interest. The time series of extreme temperatures though did not prove signifi cant changes over the period observed, but the information upon changes and their tendencies is a precious tool being utilised in planning, choice of adequate varieties for a longer period of time in the future. The deleterious winter frosts experienced in fruit production is not a consequence of a sole drop to a minimum temperature, but of an earlier period of mild temperatures during the winter, which sensibilised the trees. Frequent and extreme variations of temperatures may cause troubles at any time during the year and reduce the yields conspicuously. We ought to get familiar with the hazards of our climate and fi nd optimal solutions to mitigate the damages expected. The seasonal and monthly distribution projected on the geographical map we can follow up also the spatial relations and the signifi cance of their occurrence. Coeffi cients of variation between meteorological happenings at different localities facilitate the calculation of the probability of risks on the surrounding areas.

  • Temporal changes of the frequency of spring frost damages in the main fruit growing regions in Western Hungary and in East Hungary

    Most of the risk in Hungarian fruit growing is the damage caused by late spring frosts. The frequency of late frosts seems to increase nowadays. The aim of the study was to check this contention: what is the real probability of the damages. Based on earlier experiences, the physiological LT50 function has been elaborated for new fruit varieties, which are eligible to moderate the danger when being threatened by frost. By means of this technique, the probability of freezing is distinguished between frost susceptible, frost resistant and medium frost resistant fruit species and varieties around their blooming time. The degree of frost damage depends on the duration and severity of the low temperature and not at least on the frost tolerance of the plant. For that purpose, the frequencies of frost damages were studied at two Transdanubian and two Trans-Tisza fruit growing sites by means of a meteorological database for the 60-year-long period 1951–2010. Being aware of the LT50 values changing during the phonological phases of the fruit trees from budding, bloom, fruit set and fruit growth, the number and date of critical (frosty) days could be settled. An important role is attributed to the orographic relief and the height above the sea level of the site, as 20–30 m differences and expositions may become decisive within the same plantation. The spatial distribution of damages is also dependent on the air circulations within the Carpathian basin. At the southern and northern borders of the country, especially valley bottoms represent additional risks of frost. Most spring frost damages are experienced in April 20–22, and cause heavy damages by temperature minima between – 3°C and – 6°C. The severity of damage depends largely on the temperature of the preceding few days. The earlier bloom the heavier damage is expected. The study is emphasising the importance of the varieties. Frost tolerance of some varieties may lower the risk of spring frosts by 40–50%, as experienced on the plantations. The quantifi cation of the risks based on data raised during the last years will be suitable to defi ne the security of yields of each growing site successfully.

  • Damages caused by winter frosts, their temporal variation and frequencies in the main fruit growing region of Transdanubia and of the East Tisza regions of Hungary

    The aim of the study was the study of winter frost damages, especially their changes expressed in temporal frequencies on the main fruit growing regions of the country. In our earlier paper, we introduced the calculation with the term LT50 as the quantitative expression of temperature threshold, when the lethality halves the survival of plant organs, buds or cells causing 50% death rate. The damage is highly dependent on the temperature and on its duration (length of time), but not at least on the frost tolerance of the fruit trees. The incidence and severity of damage is analysed according to the apricot and peach varieties of their different susceptibility or tolerance too. Four fruit growing regions, two of the in Transdanubia and two belonging to the regions east of the Tisza river have been selected to trace the incidence and severity of frost damages. For that purpose, we analysed the history of the past 60 year period, 1951–2010, utilising the database of the network of 16 meteorological stations of the countrywide service. Being aware of the values of LT50 during the rest period and afterward, the compulsory dormancy caused by low temperature, the number of days, the probability of frost damage could be predicted. The role of the orographical profi le, the height above sea level and the exposition of plantations are also decisive. Within the same plantation, 20–30 m difference of level may cause large diversity in temperature and frost damage. Air circulation and regular incidence of winds within the Carpathian basin modify the occurrence and severity of damages. Lowlands near the southern and northern country borders are particularly exposed to winter frosts. Most damages are reported in February, as temperatures below –20 °C especially if the fi rst part of the winter was mild, or in January was a warm period. With the end of the physiological rest period of the trees, the frost-susceptibility increases signifi cantly, and a cold period of –15 °C may cause heavy damage. This study proves that tolerance of varieties infl uence the damages substantially. By planting frost tolerant varieties, winter frost damages could be diminished by 40–50% at the same growing sites. Present results may also offer a tool to estimate the risk of frost damages and express the security of yields at a given site based on the data accumulated in the database over many years.

  • Technologies developed to avoid frost damages caused by late frost during bloom in the fruit growing regions of Siófok and Debrecen

    The aim of the study was to fi nd out which of the methods used to avoid damages of late frosts would be the most effective for the fruit growing practice. Three technologies have been tested in the regions of Siófok and Debrecen-Pallag. The antifrost irrigation proved to be the most advantageous. For that purpose microjet sprayers are used, which are thrifty and do not need for that purpose large containers. With the aim to secure an even distribution of water, the sprayers are distributed on three levels: above and inside of the crown as well as on the level of trunks. On a large scale, a single microjet above the crown level would be suffi cient. By means of a detailed analysis served to set the optimum intervals between spraying phases: with each 15, 10, 5 and 3 minutes during half a minute. The synchronous presence of water and ice below the freezing point, the released freezing heat plus the water used much above the freezing point (9–10 °C) altogether maintains the temperature above around 0°C near the fl owers or growing fruitlets, meanwhile, the surrounding air cools down to –8 °C. The effectiveness of the generally used anti-frost would be increased substantially by the former application of cooling irrigation, which delays the blooming date. The Frostbuster represents a new technology developed for the same purpose of frost defence. It uses butane burning and produces high (80-90°C) temperature with a strong blast of air. On the protected area sensors have been distributed for measuring temperature and relative humidity. The means of the measurements proved a rise of temperature, which was suffi cient to save the fruit trees until the difference is less than –3–3.5 °C. Our analyses stated that paraffi n candles avert the frost until –4 °C. Its success depends largely on the intensity of air movements. A small wind would be enough to frustrate the effect. The results show clearly the utility of Frostbuster and paraffi n candle combined is approved.

  • Spatial and temporal variation of extremely abundant maxima of precipitation in Hungary during the period between 1951 and 2010

    The study deals with the accumulated database of 16 meteorological stations in Hungary during a period of 60 years. The purpose was to reveal the spatial and temporal structure of the appearance of extreme values in the daily distribution of data concerning precipitation. We strived to answer the question whether the frequency of incidences of daily maxima did they change or not during the 60 year-long period in the main growing regions of the country. It is demonstrated on geographical maps how the size and frequency of precipitation episodes ensued, and what are the typical traits of changes in intensity as well as in frequency of happenings projected according to their spatial and temporal distribution. From the point of view of fruit and vegetable growing, it is of prime interest what kind of frequency and intensity of changes occurred in precipitation. The temporal distribution of extremities though did not seem to change signifi cantly in some areas, but the recognition of changes may help conspicuously the planning and the choice between alternatives of species and varieties as well as technologies of horticultural managements for the long run. Extremely intense rains during a short time may cause erosion and stagnant water, thus we have to know what are the odds of risk. The temporary distribution of changes helps us to judge upon the reality of anxieties, which are expected according to the existence of trends. Seasonal or monthly distribution is visualised by maps, what is expected and what is accidental as for a decision in planning. The spatial distribution of coeffi cients of variation help us to decide what is the local chance of extreme happenings at different parts of the country and what is its coeffi cient of uncertainty. The risk of any undertaking dependent on conditions of weather could be expressed numerically by a coeffi cient of risk.

  • Relations of phenometrical indices of apple fruits with weather variation in the assortment of varieties of an apple gene bank

    The purpose of phenometry is to examine the measurable parameters of the plants in order to follow up the consequences of weather processes. We should fi nd the reasons, why the diameter of fruits grows larger in one season and smaller in the next. Variation may occur as a response to insuffi cient provision of water or nutrients, but also because of pathological effects and of extremely high or low temperatures, moreover, of extraordinary heavy fruit load. There are phenometrical characteristics, which consider the fi nal consequences (density of fl owers, fruits set, drop of fruits), whereas other parameters could be followed up (size, length and width of fruits) as the dynamic components of growth. The quantitative parameters of growth are functionally related to each other, where the weather conditions, soil humidity and nutrients are on the input side, thus it is possible to model the growth of fruits as a function of the environment. Initially, the relations between the main weather variables and the phenometrical data have to be cleared. In the present study, the interactions between the mentioned phenomena are presented and numerically defi ned.

  • The atmospherical drought as a decisive factor of yield in the main sour cherry varieties of Hungary

    Atmospheric drought causes heavy diffi culties of water supply in most fruit species grown in Hungary, although the modern, intensive plantations are already equipped with irrigation. The use a dripping systems are widely applied, therefore nothing was done to avert the risk of atmospheric drought. In excessively dry seasons the reduction of yields is often due to atmospheric drought. Present study aims to utilise measured data of meteorological parameters (relative air humidity and temperature) to develop an index to characterise drought and measure its effect on fruit yield. Causes influencing yields are multiple. Phytosanitary problems are combined with defi cits of water supply. Water deficit of the soil is avoided by dripping irrigation, but the atmosphere is infl uenced by sprinklers only. Atmospherical drought increases the transpiration of the trees intensely and causes reduction of photosynthetic activity, consequently impairs the yield. Applying the index developed in a plantation of 6 sour cherry varieties grown in Hungary (Meteor, Nefris, Pándy, Újfehértói fürtös, Kántorjánosi, Debreceni bôtermô), we measured the specific yields (yield per volume of tree crown) during the period 1989–2011 using the meteorological database of the growing site. Additionally, other parameters characterising the drought are compared and searched for a method most reliable for judging the specific yielding capacity of sour cherry varieties. The results proved convincingly the utility of the index, especially for the varieties Pándy and Újfehértói fürtös. Comparison with other indices expressing the effects of drought revealed the superiority of our index, which will be applied in the future to express the risk of atmospheric drought.

  • Conditions of rentability in the apricot industry of Hungary

    Total investment costs of an up to date apricot plantation requires about 5000 thousand HUF/ha. Modern
    plantations yield under normal conditions 15–20 t/ha with 80% quality for fresh consumption. Consequently, taking the life span of a plantation (15 years), the internal rate of return of 15–17% per year (IRR), that means that the costs of investment will be regained in the 9–10th year, which is considered to be satisfactory. However, weather hazards (frost, hail) may occur at a probability of 20–25%, therefore, maintaining the quality (80% for fresh consumption) and yields (15–20 t/ha) are badly needed to speak about rentability. This level of yields maintains the option of feasibility up to 20–25% losses.

  • The Role of Human Factor in the Innovation of Apricot Production-Empirical Study in a Disadvantage Area of East-Central European Country

    Hungary is a traditional fruit growing country for ages. As fruit sector has a very high hand work request and value added, it has an important role to decrease the elimination of unemployment and the lack of income in the disadvantage rural areas. The study was made in the year of 2009, the studied population consisted of the members of the fruit-grower marketing organization (Gyümölcsért Ltd.), that organizes growing and sales of stone fruits in Hungary. The number of studied population were 95 capita, the number of fi lled out and evaluated questionnaires was 35. By the composition of the questions both qualitative and quantitative methods have been used. We tried to get answers to the following questions: Are the studied human factors (age, educational level, sex etc.) of growers, determined the extension of innovation of apricot production?

  • A short introduction of new apple varieties obtained

    A short introduction of new apple varieties obtained

  • Effects of environmental factors on morphological and quality parameters of table beet root

    In our trial morphological and quality parameters of 15 table root varieties were tested at 3 different sowing dates: 15 April, 9 July and 19 August 2010. In the trials the root shape of the varieties form the April sowing date approached most the regular spherical shape (diameter/length –1.0) which is favoured both by fresh market and the processing industry. In the July and August sowings the roots were elongated with reduced proportions. The highest red pigment content (betacyanin) was observed in the second sowing of July (>80 mg/100 g). In the late sowing (August, under plastic tent) a further 10–20 mg/100 g pigment increase was measured in relation to the earlier sowing dates of the same varieties. A similar trend could be observed in yellow pigments (vulgaxanthis) which proves a close correlation between the quantities of the 2 pigments (r=0.823). The highest vulgaxanthin content (103.3–124.18 mg/100 g) was obtained form roots of the late sowing harvested in December. Varieties reacted differently to temperature and so to sugar accumulation in the different sowing periods. In the July sowing higher water soluble solids content was measured on the mean of varieties (10.12 %) as compared to the April sowing (7.76%). Sensory evaluations included inner colour intensity (1–5), with ring (1–3) and taste (1–5) of the raw material evaluated by scoring. According to laboratory measurements better inner colour intensity was observed in the July and August sowing dates. In these samples uniformly coloured, almost with, ring-free roots were obtained. In our trial varieties from the spring sowing had superior taste. Early sowing is recommended for fresh market sale while the second crop (July) harvested in autumn can satisfy processing requirements. In the late sowing (under unheated plastic tent) fresh beet root can be grown at the end of autumn or beginning of winter, thus prolonging the usability of plastic tents.

  • Comparison of honeybee behaviour in blooming fruit plantations

    Field observations were made on the fl ower visiting behaviour of honeybee foragers in commercial fruit plantations of apricot, Japanese plums, sour cherry, apple and pear. The number of inspected cultivars was 18. The intensity of fl ower visiting by honey bees was markedly different when data of different fruit species are compared. Most intense bee activity was registered on the Japanese plums, somewhat less on apricots, the intensity diminished signifi cantly with apples and pears. Our data presented on the honeybee visitation of Japanese plums can be regarded as new fi nding because no information has been available so far on the relative attractiveness of this fruit species compared to European fruit tree species. Japanese plums were somewhat more attractive to honeybees than apricot and much more attractive than sour cherry, apple and pear. The behaviour of honeybees as visiting the blooming trees displayed specifi c differences according to the fruit species (apricot, sour cherry, pear), which coincide largely with earlier results. It is notable that the fl ower visiting behaviour of honeybees on Japanese plums has been found to be fairly similar to the same on European plums.

  • Effect of over tree cooling irrigation on ‘Bosc’ pear orchards microclimate

    Irrigation in some countries is a horticultural practice mainly used only to supply water. At the same time the use of microsprinklers have a powerful infl uence on the changes of temperature in orchards. When the air’s temperature is high (about 20 °C or higher) the evaporative cooling irrigation signifi cantly decreases the plants’ surface temperature and air temperature. The cooling effect is stronger when the air is dryer. By using cooling irrigation regularly, canopy temperature can be decreased so that the beginning of blooming can be delayed. Also if the blooming is early and frost probability is high, serious damages can happen in orchards. The benefi cial effect of cooling irrigation is the temperature reduction and frost protection. In March 2010, one month earlier than the expected blooming an irrigation system was established to produce anti-frost treatment and regulate the micro-climate of a Bosc pear orchard which belongs to the University of Debrecen (Hungary). The objective of sprinklers was to cool the air by increasing water evaporation and relative humidity. The position of the micro-sprinklers was planned in three levels (around the tree trunks, a few cm near to the soil surface, in the crown region and above the crown, a half meter higher). The results showed that the water sprayed in the orchard by micro-jets infl uenced decisively the temperature of the plantation. At higher temperatures (around 20 °C), the drop of temperature may attain 5–7 °C. A low relative humidity of the air may increase the relative effect. When water was applied at intervals of 15 minutes for ten times a day from 8 am to 18 pm, the air, fl owers and bud’s surface temperature could be kept low. At certain days when the temperature was higher than 10 °C, irrigation was used at night time in similar 15 minutes intervals, from 18 pm and 6 am. The beginning of bloom could be delayed for more than ten days. The Bosc pear variety blooming dynamics was characterized by a logistic curve in the treated as well as in the control plot. In the treated plot, the curve was steeper than in the control one in spite of the equal temperatures measured in the plots. Under Hungarian climatic conditions, the method was successfully used to delay blooming dates. The main result was the diminution of the frost damage in the spring that assured pears yields.

  • Investment analysis of Hungarian apple-orchard and fruit storage projects

    There are profound, long-term changes in world apple production and trade. The former hegemony of Europe in apple production doest not exists any more, among the most important apple exporters the emerging economies have a growing importance. The globalising apple market means new challenges of traditional producers. This is especially true for Hungary, which has been the most important apple exporter in terms of quantity thirty years ago, but now its production hardly covers the domestic demand. A necessary precondition of the modernisation is the re-construction of plantations and the cold-storage system. Analysing the economic effi ciency of apple production and cold storage, it is obvious, that a necessary precondition for the modern, competitive apple production is the availability of cold-storage facilities. Neither the apple-production, nor the cold-storage can not evaluated separately from each other. Under current Hungarian conditions there is a need for active state support for the establishment of cold-storage facilities.