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  • Peat substitutes in growing cucumber transplants

    The use of an adequate medium is very much emphasised in growing transplants. Due to their favourable characteristics, peats have long been used in production. With the depletion of peat resources the research of peat substitutes has come in the foreground. In the experiments cucumber transplants were grown using baked, expanded clay granules. Results have indicated that by mixing them to peat in a 50 % rate they could be suitable mineral material as a component for soil mixtures.

  • Fungicide resistant Trichoderma strains causing compost infection in shiitake production

    Trichoderma infection represents the major problem of shiitake production in the growing house of the Research Institute at Kecskemet. Heavy infections occur mainly on the compost before spawn run. All the isolated strain belongs to the species Trichoderma harzianurn, but morphology of the colony indicates that there are more strains liable for the infection. Source of infection remained unclear but the Trichoderma strains can be considered as weed moulds rather than true pathogens of shiitake. All the Trichoderma isolates showed unusual high degree of resistance to fungicides.

  • Antioxidant, polyphenol and sensory analysis of cherry tomato varieties and landraces

    Among vegetables produced both for raw consumption and processing, tomato is one of the most important one in Europe, by production area and by yield as well. In the past years several study dealt with the investigation of the inner content of tomato, with special regards to antioxidant content. In this paper cherry tomato varieties and landraces from conventional and organic production were compared. Besides basic investigations sensory analysis were designed and Antioxidant Capacity (AOC) and Total Phenol Content (TPC) were measured. The aim of the research was to compare varieties and to study the effect of variety and production methods on antioxidant capacity and sensory profiles.

  • Comparison of light yellow fleshed pepper varieties grown on rockwool under unheated forcing conditions

    Experiments are going on all over the world assisting the joint effort of researchers and practicing specialists to identify the methods which can help either in the reduction of production costs or in the increase of yields.

    The task of the growers is to make profitable use of the forcing facilities and to satisfy market demands at an acceptable price by means of improving production technology and applying new scientific, technological and technical information.

    For the last few years, rockwool based forcing has been gaining in importance. The subject of our scientific work was the analysis of an important question of this technological variant, the selection of the variety. Besides, we also tried to identify the most suitable pruning technology for the varieties studied.

    In Hungary, the highest demand is commonly known to be for the light yellow fleshed varieties which are suitable for stuffed dishes. In the future, due to their special quality and appearance, as well as to the Hungaricum character, they could become important export goods on the European Union market. It was within this variety type that comparison between varieties already common in production (HO F1, HRF F1, Danubia F1) was carried out, trying to get an answer to the question which of the three varieties could be produced with the greatest success. Considering the quantitative and qualitative indicators, it was H6 F1 that proved the best out of the three varieties tested under unheated forcing on rockwool. It excelled the other two varieties both in quality and in average fruit weight, preserving this advantage until the end of the growing period.

  • Sweetcorn production from transplants

    In our trial we tried to find out how the time of propagation and transplanting influenced the growing season of sweet corn along with some major properties relevant to quality. The following technological variations were compared with the help of the variety Spirit (normal sweet, very early ripening): transplanted plants with floating row cover (with 2 planting dates); transplanted plants with no row cover: direct seeded plants with no row cover. The 21 day transplant growing period reduced the growing period by 16 to 20 days, compared to the technology used in the existing practice of production. Earliness had a negative influence on ear size, nonetheless it is worth while to attempt since the market is not so exacting with new products in the early period. Covering the seedlings in the early season was clearly beneficial, as the floating row cover provided protection for plants against lower night temperatures which are common in this period.

  • Effect of physical properties of horticultural substrates on pepper transplant development

    Pepper transplants were grown in trays using 6 different growing media. Trays were filled in a loose and in a compact manner with the 5 different peats and coconut coir. Measurements were made for the most important physical parameters of each single medium studying their effect on transplant development. Results indicated that compaction had had a beneficial effect on the germination of the transplants and on the rate of their development.

  • Assessment of fruit firmness of pepper using non-destructive physical measurements, in response to different growing and pruning technologies

    The European market demands vegetable products of the highest quality and this commercial quality must be maintained till the goods reach the customer. One of these important quality parameters is the fruit firmness of pepper.

    The experiments were aimed at to find out the influence of different growing methods (soil or rockwool-based) and pruning technologies (to 1, 2, 3 or 4 shoots) on the yield and fruit firmness of three pepper varieties (HO F1, Karpia Fl and Pritavit F1) which are common in Hungary. Fruit firmness was measured by the non-destructive impact method.

    On the basis of the results, in unheated forcing the pruning to 1, 2 or 3 shoots can be suggested for all three varieties, as well as the utilisation of rockwool in their growing.

    The non-destructive impact method has been found suitable for testing the fruit firmness of pepper varieties. In the experiments involving different growing mediums pepper stands were found to show significant differences, however the different pruning methods had no significant influence on fruit firmness.

  • The effect of potassium fertilization on the inner values of spice pepper

    To reserve the fertility of soil is the basic condition of successful cultivation. The field specific nutrient supply, based on soil tests is very important in both economy and ecology aspects. Spice pepper plants have high nutrient demands. Proper nutrient supply has importance not only from the point of potential yield levels, but make a major contribution to quality. This is the reason which necessitates the rational development of nutrient supply as an the elements of the production technology. Our objective was to offer a contribution to this job through our nutrient trials. Experiments on the nutrient supply of spice pepper were set up in the 2005 growing season in order to decide whether yields and fruit composition parameters of pepper could be increased by means of increased K fertiliser closes with lower N:K ratios. Several forms of potassium were used, as well as applying microelement top dressings in the single treatments. It was found that higher K doses lead to increased yields, and the influence on dry matter and pigment content proved beneficial too. Potassium applied in the form of patentkali seemed to be better than in that of potassium-sulphate.

  • Observing population changes of thrips (Thysanoptera) species damaging forced pepper and their natural enemies

    By the strengthening of environmental protection and food safety efforts in Hungary, integrated and especially biological pest control methods should increasingly put forward, for which a solid knowledge on the life course and efficiency of natural enemies applied against certain pests is necessary. Pepper has distinguished significance in domestic vegetable forcing, and the profitability of production is determined primarily by the efficiency of the control of thrips pests. This is why we attached great importance to study what results may be expected by introducing arthropod predators (Amblyseius cucumeris, Orius laevigatus) to control thrips species under domestic conditions on rock wool in a long vegetation period pepper culture. We also liked to find out what kind of role the cultivars play in the change of phytophagous and zoophagous populations. The A. cucumeris predatory mite introduced in late January proved to be effective in controlling thrips pests until mid-April. Despite repeated introductions, the predatory bug O. laevigatus (Heteroptera: Anthocoridae) did not proliferate. Among the three pepper cultivars (Hó, Keceli, Titán) grown at Ráckeve, thrips species proliferated in the highest number on cultivar 'Hó', while the population of predatory mites was lowest on the cultivar 'Titan', compared to the other two cultivars.

  • Influence of various mineral supply on sweet corn root development

    Investigations into root strength have assumed particular importance with the emergence of American rootworm (Diabrotica virgifera-virgifera) as the number one pest, mainly as a result of monocultural production. Three treatments were applied in the trial: zero control treatment, treatment "A" (g/m2): 4, 47 N + 7, 89 P205 + 19, 74 K20 and treatment "B"(g/m2): 8, 94 N + 15, 78 P205 + 19, 74 K20. Measurements were made to find out whether the treatments had produced any significant difference between the root strength of the two varieties (normal sweet Puma F I and super sweet Dessert R75 Fl) at the two dates of measurement (tasseling, milk stage) in the year 2003. The treatments with a high phosphorous ratio resulted in an apparent increase in root strength with both varieties. There was a detectable difference in root strength also between the two points of measurement, suggesting that root development had remained stable. The treatments produced significant increase not only in the root strength but also in the yields of both varieties.

  • Storability of paprika varieties measured by non-destructive acoustic method

    During our experiments, the storability of paprika (Capsicum annuum) samples was measured by a non-destructive acoustic method. The aims of our work were the determination of the applicability and reproducibility of the acoustic stiffness method for paprika, the investigation of the optimum measuring conditions. In order to compare the main paprika varieties regarding shelf-life, our further aim was to follow the softening phenomenon or textural changes (i.e. changes in stiffness) of different paprika varieties measured by the non­destructive acoustic stiffness method. Five different varieties of paprika grown in hydroponics growing system were used for the measurements. All paprika varieties were stored at 20 °C for two weeks. Samples were tested on every 2nd or 3rd day. The acoustic method was found to be suitable to follow the softening of paprika samples. The characteristic frequency of the acoustic signal could be well detected and clearly separated from the other vibration peaks. Tapping the top of the paprika was observed to give a clearer and less noisy signal compared to the signal obtained by tapping the sample's shoulder. The acoustic results showed the same tendencies with regard to softening during storage as the impact method showed in our previous experiments.

  • The effect of soil coverage on the soil quality

    In this study we carried out experiments with soil samples originated from the Haschberg variety elderberry orchard and wild-growing plants from Szigetcsép Experimental Farm.

    During the examinations we wanted to know how the black polyethene foliar soil coverage influences the quality of soil and the distribution of different nitrogen forms.

    We studied the individual covered (foliar soil coverage for every plant), the full covered (foliar soil coverage was laid in the rows) and the uncovered threatments.

    During the experiments we pointed out that the foliar coverage influences the condition of the soil unfavourably. Because of the coverage there is less air flow in soils, the lack of oxygen leads to degradating of soil life and results humus materials of poor quality.

  • Dynamic economic analysis of greenhouse pepper production on rockwool on a family farm

    The major part of the pepper growing farms in Hungary operate as family enterprises with areas varying between 1,000 and 3,000 m2. As a result of the small size, their profitability is greatly dependant on the technological level and market circumstances. Most of these farms are characteristically affected by the lack of capital, therefore, they are unable to implement any further developments with their own forces. Greenhouse pepper production on rockwool had already been subjected to analysis earlier in our research, however, those calculations were directed solely at the profitability and efficiency of production. Based on the data from 2004 in 2005 yet another and more profound analysis was set as the objective. Besides the methods already applied before, several dynamic indicators have been introduced which could also be useful for practical applications. The graphs can permit growers to monitor the temporal distribution of the costs incurred and revenues earned during production. Thereby it is easier to plan the costs and more simple to distribute them more rationally over the production period. Our experiences suggest that this sort of analytical method is applicable only in cases where a very careful and precise collection of data is ensured and the results obtained can not be generalised as being valid only for the single farm analysed. Experiences and results, however, make us consider the dynamic economic analysis as being very useful both for beginners and practicing horticulturists.

  • The importance of Hungarian melon (Cucumis melo L.) landraces, local types and old varieties (Review)

    While supermarkets devote whole aisles to hybrids, traditional varieties are hard to find, and becoming scarcer day by day. Unfortunately, countless old melon varieties have already been lost. Luckily we succeded in collecting most of these varieties, and thus conserving them in Gene Banks. Landraces, local types, and old breed races show many characteristics that could be useful in organic farming. It is important to get acquainted with these varieties and cultivars, because they have greatly adapted to the climatic and pedological conditions of the Carpathian basin. Therefore their conservation is essential for the protection of Hungarian genetic variability. With the help of utilising our landraces in organic farming; careful selection; and the usage of marketing strategy in order to enhance quality features, such as unique flavour; we could reclaim the one-time excellent reputation of Hungarian melon.

  • Changes in the Carotene Content of Nantes Type Carrots during Storage

    Changes in carotene content occurring during winter storage in Nantes type carrot hybrids grown on soils of different quality (sand and loam) have been investigated. The carotene content of the samples grown in a rainy year (1999) was lower than that of the samples grown in a dry year (2000). Lower carotene content was found in carrots produced on sandy soil (Szatymaz) than on loam soil (Tordas). The increase in carotene content (2-11 mg1100 g) measured at the end of winter storage was related to the season's character.

  • Storage ability and differences of carrot varieties defined by firmness changes measured with new non-destructive acoustic method

    Carrot production in Hungary is getting more important these days. The condition of the quality insurance is to choose the proper variety of carrot and store on optimal conditions therefore measuring firmness and matter parameters are very important. Four varieties of carrots were measured (Bangor, Olympus, Napa and I3olero). The roots were stored in unsealed polyethylene bags at 4-10 degrees Celsius and 95% relative humidity. The vegetables were measured three times: at harvest, after I .5 months of storage and after four months of storage. The samples were tested by non-destructive acoustic. Stillness measuring method during the 112 days experiment for firmness. In laboratory were measured weight loss, dry material -NO3 and sugar content as an important matter parameters.

    The firmness change as a function of storage time are the following: First part of the storage (after 60 days), the Napa variety changed least in the case of acoustical parameter, at the same time its weight Foss and dry material content were not rise significantly, while its sugar content increased with 50%. The l3olero variety had the highest changes of sugar content during storage. During the second storage period, the softening speed of all samples was increased. The Bolero had the highest average mass loss (32,7%) and NO3 content changes as well. All measurements showed the largest changes for the Bolero variety. The highest percentage of dry material content was found by the Bolero and Napa varieties (18-20%).

    In this experiment, we found that the Bolero variety showed the greatest loss in compressibility during storage. If both firmness and weight loss results are considered, the Napa variety is found to be the most storable variety in sort period. The Bangor variety was found to be the best for long-term storage.

  • Some relationships between soil and nutrient requirements and nutrient supply of pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) with respect to types grown in Hungary

    Exports and local marketability of both pepper protected cultivation and open field pepper production depend on whether we succeed in the near future achieving developments capable of bringing about significant improvement of yield and quality, as well as enhanced yield security. Results from experiments and surveys carried out on farms involved in production suggest that nutrient management is one of the factors whose development could considerably improve the marketability of pepper. Technological improvements in the field of nutrient supply are also urged by the more and more demanding environmental regulations, so it is inevitable to introduce a balanced system of nutrient supply system for pepper as well. The article is a collection and summary of the relevant results of 30-year experimental work in Hungary.

  • Changes in the Dry Matter and Sugar Content of Nantes Type Carrots during Storage

    Changes in the dry matter and sugar content occurring during the winter storage of Nantes type carrot hybrids grown on soils of different quality were studied in 199912000 and 200012001. The dry matter content of the varieties tested depended on the production site and on the weather conditions prevailing in the growing season. The increase in the dry matter content during winter storage reached 6 to 7 per cent in the crop grown in a dry year and 1.5 to 2 per cent in a rainy year. The sugar content was lower in the rainy year (1999) and on brown sand (Szatymaz) than in the rather dry year (2000) and on chernozem soil with residual forest (Tordas), respectively. The increase in sugar content (1 to 5 per cent) measured at the end of storage was related to the season's weather conditions.

  • Texture changes of vegetable cultivars measured by non-destructive methods

    According to our experiments the tested group of non-destructive methods offers a useful tool not only to follow the texture changes of vegetables during storage but to characterize the firmness and vision parameters during the growing period as well. Advantages of these methods are: they are mobile, easy to set up, easy to use and quick. The suitable maturity state — and so the optimum harvest date also - can be determined by these methods. In addition, these methods can be built into sorting lines making possible to sort and classify great amounts of produces. These methods help the producer to offer homogenous products of controlled quality. They can be used for measuring different effects on vegetable's quality parameters (fertilization by different microelements, different irrigation effects on the product) as well.

  • Effect of boron fertilisation on the flavour of carrots - Applicability of organoleptic analyses to carrots

    Foliar boron fertilisation has had positive influence only on carotene content. Results were evaluated with chemical analyses and sensory tests. It has been observed that sensory tests are able to detect bitter flavour and also to measure its interaction with sweet flavour. Sensory tests for evaluation are generally used in the EU, also in the case of fruits and vegetables. With the aid of students and staff having received training and acquired practice, our University has the possibility to complete chemical analyses in such a way that satisfies modern demands, as well as facilitating the sale of the products on foreign markets.

  • Role of nutrient supply in yield increase and quality improvement of spice pepper

    Hungarian spice pepper powder is a unique product, a real hungaricum with its flavour and aroma compounds and seasoning effect. Its competitiveness with foreign spice peppers is ensured by its high biological value deriving from the specially Hungarian production and processing technology. Besides the traditional and highly manual labour intensive processing technology, there are some modern industrial technologies as well, where high quality can be guaranteed only by producing excellent base material (raw pepper pods). This is the reason which necessitates the rational development of the elements of the production technology, such as nutrient supply. Our objective was to offer a contribution to this aim by our trials in plant nutrition.

    Experiments on the nutrient supply of spice pepper were set up in the 2003 growing season in order to decide whether yields and fruit composition parameters of pepper could be increased by means of increased K fertiliser doses with lower N:K ratios. Several forms of potassium were used, as well as applying microelement top dressings in the single treatments. It was found that the increase of N:K ratio from I:1 to 1:6 did not increase yields, but resulted in higher pigment and dry matter content. Microelement top dressing had a yield increasing effect at each N:K ratio. Higher potassium doses did not accelerate ripening.

  • Using compost of grape manufacture and farm wastes as growing media in vegetable ad ornamental nurseries

    This work was conducted at private nursery in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate during 2006 and 2007 seasons to investigate the possibility of using grape manufacture waste compost (GMWC) and farm wastes compost (FWC) in ornamental and vegetable nurseries as partially or totally replacement of coconut peat (CP) and vermiculite (V) in the growing medium and also to find out the optimum media of tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum, cv. Castle Rock) and Cockscomb (Celosia plumosa) as comparing to a mixture of CP and V (1:1 v/v). The authors used a ten mixtures as followed: 1- Control (CP+V at 1:1 v/v), 2-GMWC (100 %), 3- GMWC +CP (1:1 v/v), 4- GMWC + V(1:1 v/v),5- GMWC +CP + V (1:1:1 v/v/v), 6- FWC (100 %),7- FWC+ CP (1:1 v/v), 8- FWC+ V (1:1 v/v), 9- FWC+ CP+ V (1:1:1 v/v/v), 10- GMWC+FWC+CP+V (1:1:1:1 v/v/v/v). Data recorded as seedling height, No. of leaves, total pigments, shoot fresh and dry weights, root length and root fresh and dry weights in order to assess the quality of both transplants of tomato and cockscomb. Both seedlings grown in medium contain a mixture of GMWC+CP+V displayed quality traits similar or better as to those of recorded from the control treatment.