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  • Interaction of nutrient supply and crop load of apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.)

    Long term fertilisation trials were combined with storage experiments with 'Jonathan' apple trees and fruits to study influence of tree nutrition on quantity and quality of crop. The site of experiments is a typical Carpathian-basin environment with loamy silt soil, high lime content and arid summers. Conclusions has been drown from six years' set of data. Augmented levels of soil fertilisation increased cropping capacity of apple trees, however, the fruit load has not met with cropping capacity in every year. More the def cit came into view in crop load, less the fruit quality resulted in. The deficit in cropping capacity, however, could not have been determined with simple rates as fruit weight per trunk circumference or similar. Better determination was obtained where foliar nutrient contents were correlated to crop per tree figures. In general terms, the N and Ca content in leaves increased with yields when K and P content formulated reciprocally. When storage quality of 'Jonathan' apple fruits were related to crop load (kg/tree), influence of crop deficit became visible. As the crop load and foliar nutrient levels interacted, the fruit quality (number of disordered apples after 6 month of storage) subjected of both physiological phenomena. Higher determination degree were obtained when crop load was assessed together with single or multiple foliar analysis data.

  • Effect of seedling quality on growth, yield and quality of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)

    A two trial greenhouse experiment was carried out at Rwanda-Israel Horticulture Centre of Excellence located at Mulindi Station to evaluate seedling quality on growth, yield and quality of tomato. The seedlings were grown in different growing media and produced seedlings with varying quality indices. The growing media of peat moss 100% (T2) and sand + goat manure + carbonized rice husks 50%: 10%: 40% (T8) were revealed in seedlings with the highest mean quality indices of 31 and 28 respectively, while sand 100% (T2) presented the lowest quality indices during both trials. The transplants were planted in polybags filled with 2:1 of topsoil and kitchen manure arranged in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replications. Collected data were subjected to analysis of variance and means were separated using HSD test at a 5% level of significance. The results revealed that the seedlings grown in T1 (S1) and T8 (S8) consistently presented tomatoes with better growth performance and yield. S1 and S8 produced mean yield of 93.59 and 92.35 t/ha respectively while S2 had the lowest yield with 53.86 t/ha. The fruit produced from seedlings grown in T4 (S4) had the highest mean sugar acid ratio of 5.88 but not significantly different from 5.61 and 5.44 of S1 and S8 respectively. Hence, there was a positive relationship among seedling quality and growth and yield performance of tomato but not in fruit quality.

  • Consumer preference for apples: the role of attributes influencing the choice and consumption

    Consumers consider good quality fruits to be those that look good, are firm and offer good flavour and nutritive value. Nowadays, consumers are, however, increasingly  interested  in food qualities which  cannot  be discovered  by  looking, tasting or smelling  the products but their roles are not yet really cleared up. Therefore the objective of this study was to explore the importance of selected kinds of attributes (taste, size, colour, cultivar, origin and price) in fluencing the choice of apples of customers. In accordance with several authors, fruit qualities (taste, size and colour) seemed to be the major attributics influencing the choice of apple independently of people's age and gender. However, the size of fruit had lower importance with increased age. Generally, females gave higher importance rating for most attributes than did male. The price was getting more important for consumer's choice with age which can be connected with their socioeconomic situation. The origin of fruit and the cultivar did not have important influence on consumer's choice. Authors also investigated the preference of consumers for six selected apple varieties ('Jonagold', 'ldared', 'Royal Gala', 'Golden Reinders', 'Braeburn' and 'Granny Smith'). and pointed out the role of the origin in fruit quality and in choice of apple in the case of 'Granny Smith' cultivar. Apple fruit samples from Austria, Argentina, Chile, Hungary and South Africa were involved in this study. Authors evaluated fruit quality parameters of above cultivars and compared them to consumer preference. Consumer preference usually represented the quality attributes of the fruit well. It is also concluded that degree of liking of apple cultivars varies through gender and age. Children and young consumers preferred 'Royal Gala', 'Granny Smith  and 'Braeburn' mostly. In spite of 'Idared' is one of the cultivars grown on the largest area in Hungary, the lowest preference ratings were given for it in both gender categories. Middle-aged consumers (between 25 and 50 years or age) preferred crispy apples with red or blemished skin color ('Royal Gala' and 'Jonagold'). 'Jonagold' and 'Idared' were the most preferred cultivars for the consumers above the age of 50 likely because of their relatively low price, as price plays a significant influencing role in the purchase of these consumers. The relatively expensive and soury 'Granny Smith' appeared not really preferred by this age group. In spite of the significant differences in instrumentally measured fruit quality parameters among 'Granny Smith' fruit samples from different countries, consumers did not give significantly different preference rating scores for those.

  • Foliar application of zinc and its effect on greenhouse grown cucumber

    The experiment was conducted to examine the effect of the foliar application of zinc on yield and crop quality and on fruit mineral composition of cucumber plants (Cucumis sativus cv. Mustang) which were grown in peat in containers under unheated conditions and were not showing visible signs of zinc deficiency.

    In the trial the following 3 treatments were set up in 4 replications: Znl = 0.35 g/litre Zn, as foliar fertilizer; Zn2 = 0.7 g/litre Zn, as foliar fertilizer, control = no foliar fertilization. Foliar fertilization was applied 5 times with 10 day intervals. After their planting out the plants were fertigated daily with water soluble complex fertilisers. Fruits were harvested twice a week, 16 times in all, and were divided into three quality classes (class I, class II and substandard). Shoot length of the plants (plant height) was measured on 3 occasions. Zinc content of the fruits and leaves was analysed at two times.

    From the results of the trials it can be concluded that the 0.35 g/litre Zn (0.35 mg/ml) foliar fertilisation had beneficial effect on cucumber both in terms of yield and quality. Under the conditions of the experiment (daily fertigation through drip irrigation) the effect of a more concentrated foliar application of zinc seemed less beneficial.

    The zinc content of the fruits showed no evident increase in response to foliar fertilization, while a significant increase was seen in the leaves, particularly with the more concentrated Zn treatment. This indicates that in the case of cucumber zinc, through its assimilation in vegetative parts, has an indirect effect on fruit development.

  • N:K ratio and its effect on paprika yield and quality in hydroculture

    Earlier results of experiments with paprika grown in soil have shown the high sensitivity of the crop to nutrient supply. According to these findings, yield and also fruit quality are highly affected not only by the nitrogen and potassium level, the concentration of nutrient solution, but also by the nitrogen-potassium ratio. Our preliminary tests have also proved, that the composition of the nutrient solution, first of all, the N/K ratio has a definite effect on the yield quantity and quality. Therefore we have investigated the ratio of the two nutrients with the aim of developing a nutrient solution of optimal composition for white fruited paprika forcing. The most balanced burden of the plants was found when the N/K ratio was 1:1. The highest yield was produced with N/K 1:1.3. Significant yield reduction (30%) was found with the treatment N/K 1:1.9 as compared to the 1:1.3 and 1:1.6.

  • Effect of a nanotechnology-based foliar fertilizer on the yield and fruit quality in an apple orchard

    Nutrient management is a determining element of the technology in fruit production. Significance of foliar fertilization has been increased continuously over the last years, as it can improve directly the vegetative and generative performance of the trees. In this study we aimed to evaluate the effect of a nanotechnology-based foliar fertilizer (Bistep) with 1, 3, and 5 l/ha dosages on the yield and fruit quality parameters in an apple orchard during 2016 and 2018. According to our results, crop load increased with 29% in the third year of the experiment with the application of 5 l/ha Bistep treatment compared to the control treatments. Fruit weight was also improved in each year, as values of fruit weight in all treatments were higher than the control one (3.0-13.0% growth). Fruit surface color increased with 2-18% due to the foliar fertilizer. During the three years, leaf length was 9.5-9.9 mm on the control trees, as 9.8-10.4 mm was measured on the fertilized ones. In conclusion, yield and fruit quality can be improved in apple orchard using a nanotechnology-based foliar fertilizer.

  • Impact of planting dates on yield and pod quality traits of snap bean under short-temperate season climates

    Snap bean, a warm-season crop, have low frost tolerance. The optimal temperature for seed emergence and plant growth is important. Therefore, appropriate planting dates for adapted varieties has paramount significance in improving pod yield and quality of snap bean under short cool season climates. Three snap bean cultivars planted at 3 different dates were examined to evaluate the effects of planting dates on snap bean pod yield and quality traits in a 2-year study in a short season climate in Manitoba, Canada. Results of this study showed that three, two weeks apart, planting dates had a non- significant effect on marketing yield of three different cultivars tested in this study. Planting dates showed significant effect on un-marketable yield, pod fresh weight, pod length and total soluble solids. Higher marketable and un-marketable yields along with longer pod length and soluble solids, in all three cultivars, were more profound when seeded at mid and late planting dates. Snap bean grew under higher temperature and accumulated more growing degree days (GDD) when planted in mid June and early July when compared to early June planting. These results conclude that marketable yields of snap bean were not significantly affected by planting dates when seeded-two weeks apart-in shorter growing environments which allow commercial and market gardeners, in northern areas with shorter growing seasons to optimise planting snap bean, without reducing pod yield and quality.

  • Water relations of sour cherries (minireview)

    Recently, the sour cherries as food resources become more important for health preservation and so the modernization of growing technology in sour cherry production will be timely. The global warming and inadequate distribution of precipitation result a decrease in the alternancy of sour cherry production, as well. Sour cherries rather adapted to survival of drought than sweet cherry trees therefore a few studies performed to explore the water requirement of sour cherry varieties. The rootstocks, the type of soils in plantation and the water balance influence the water management of sour cherries. In orchards, in particular first year plantation, use of various row covering contribute to preservation of the natural water pool of soil and affect on the tree vigor, yield and fruit quality. Wide-spread application of integrated fruit growing technology and climate changes the researches are pointed to develop efficient irrigation technology based on transpiration yield model. The crop model based on use of meteorological data was developed for cherry orchards in order to predict transpiration of trees, dry matter production and fruit yield. The linear relationship between dry matter accumulation and transpiration was verified for sour cherry trees. Other models essay to asses the effects of climate changes on crop production. Importance of economical production and fruit quality such as ingredients of raw materials and food increases in intensive sour cherry orchards used by irrigation techniques. Because of climate changes it should more pay attention to research concerning on the stress physiological response of sour cherry varieties and post-harvest fruit quality.

  • Nutritional quality, fruit shape and relationships among exotic and local Capsicum pepper genotypes in Uganda

    Twenty-one hot pepper genotypes comprising of local (15) and exotic (6) types (C. annuum, C. frutescens and C. chinense) were characterized for selected fruit traits after propagation in a glasshouse at the Makerere University Agricultural Research Institute Kabanyolo in Central Uganda using a completely randomized design with three replicates. Ripe fruits were harvested and analyzed; traits evaluated were all significantly different at P<0.05 with variations in quality attributes. The genotype OHA-B305-10 had the highest ascorbic acid content (128.86 mg/100 g) and is recommended for improvement of both local and exotic genotypes targeting the fresh market. Genotypes CAP0408-12 and UG2 WE0511-22, with highest total soluble solids (16.17 ºBrix) and dry matter content (28.59%), respectively should be used in improvements for industrial use or processing to products such as chilli powder or flakes. BRS-M205-04 with highest titratable acidity (1.04%) can be used in enhancing shelf life of genotypes with low titratable acids as well as for the fresh market. In spite of the intraspecific relationships among genotypes, significant differences were observed in their quantitative traits. These genotypes will, therefore, be useful in improving the quality of hot pepper fruit in Uganda.

  • Evaluation of crop yield and fruit quality in organic apple production

    In this study, crop yield and fruit quality parameters (soluble solid concentration, sugar, total acid, and vitamin C content) of 15 apple cultivars including old, resistant and currently grown cultivars. The highest fruit yield among all 15 cultivars was obtained on CV. Jonagold with 15.5 kg/tree, while the lowest yield was measured on the resistant cultivar Reanda with 8.1 kg/tree. There were no significant differences among the cultivars in fruit diameter ranging from 70 mm in the case of cv. Húsvéti rozmaring to 82 mm for cv. Mutsu. Values of soluble solids concentration of the cultivars varied between 15.5% for cv. Téli Banán and 19.2% for cv. Renora. Sugar content values showed a similar tendency to soluble solids content. The highest and lowest total sugar content was observed on cvs. Jonagold and Renora and cv. Re­tina with 17% and 12.4%, respectively. Total acid content values ranged between 0.18% and 0.53% for cvs. Jonagold and Remo, respectively. Values of vitamin C content for the 15 apple cultivars varied between 2 mg% and 4 mg% for cv. Retina and cv. Mutsu, respectively.

  • Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) anatomical, physiological, biochemical and production responses to drought stress - A mini-review essay

    The cultivated plant climate association in agricultural yields is getting expanded consideration with regards to changing climatic conditions. Abiotic stressors can lead to morpho-anatomical, physiological, and biochemical alterations in harvests, resulting in a significant loss of profit. A comprehension of ecological elements and their communication with physiological cycles is critical for improving agricultural practices. Drought stress is among the main natural factor affecting plant development, growth, and yield measures. Assessing the impact of environmental change and atmospheric variability on tomato crop output will require a thorough understanding of this stress element. The physiology, development, improvement, yield, and quality of the tomato crop are all affected by dry season stress. This mini-review essay presents the most prominent features about the effects of drought stress on tomato crop plant physiology and production, with specific highlighting for the complex relationship between drought stress, and nutrients uptake.

  • Development in intensive orchard systems of cherries in Hungary

    High density central leader systems, the so called "spindle trees" are spreading in intensive stone fruit orchards established for hand picking in Hungary. Results of Brunner (1972, 1990) and Zahn (1967, 1996) inspired the researchers to implement their theories into practice under our climate and special soil conditions. For sweet cherry it is essential to apply an orchard system appropriate for hand picking because of the European market requirements. In intensive sweet cherry orchards two new training and orchard systems are developed and adapted to environmental conditions in Hungary based on previous inventions. The first step of the development is represented by modified Brunner-spindle, which applies the delayed heading of the central leader and the sectorial-double-pruning system from Brunner (1972), resulting intensive orchard of 600-800 trees/ha density, planted on standard vigour rootstocks. Modified Brunner-spindle trees are developed with a central leader and wide-angled branches on it. Light bearing wood is positioned on the central leader and wide-angled branches. During training, shoots for branches are bent or a sectorial double pruning is used. The growth of central leader is reduced by delayed heading, and the strong upright shoots are pinched in summer. Based upon tree size spacing of 5 m between row and 2.5-3 m between trees is recommended, tree height is around 3.5-4 m. This training system is useful for hand-picking; 60-70% of the crop can be harvested from ground. Modified Brunner-spindle is suitable for either standard or moderate vigorous rootstocks. The cherry spindle is an intensive orchard planted with 1250-2300 trees per hectare and it is recommended for sweet and sour cherries on semi dwarf to vigorous rootstocks, depending on soil fertility and quality. Trees are 2.5-3.5 m high, 75-80% of the crop can be harvested from the ground. Permanent basal scaffolds are developed on the basis of the canopy to counteract the stronger terminal growth. The tree is headed only once, after planting, from the following year the central leader grows from the terminal bud. The central leader developed from the terminal bud results moderated growth in the upper parts of the tree head. The strong upright shoots that may develop below the terminal bud are pinched to 3-4 leaves in the summer or removed entirely. The weaker, almost horizontal shoots growing from the central leader form fruiting twigs in the following year if their terminal bud is not removed. Brunner's double pruning is used only once or twice on the permanent basal branches because of its good branching effect. Trials on various rootstocks are running to find optimum spacing and fruiting wood management. The training and pruning guidelines are discussed in the paper. The average crop of bearing years is around 20-30 t/ha depending on site and cultivars. This new system is spreading in Hungary, around 70 ha sweet and sour cherry orchards are trained according to our guidelines.

  • Treatments for improving tree growth, yield and fruit quality and for reducing double fruit and deep suture incidence in “Desert red” peach trees

    Five years old “Desert red” peach trees budded on Nemaguard rootstock and grown in sandy soil at commercial orchard Al-Nubaria city, El-Behira Governorate-Egypt were treated with some agricultural treatments involving thinning out pruning, fruit thinning and foliar application of potassium silicate (25% S +10% K2O) at 0.1% and super grow (20% N, 20% P2O5 and 20% K2O) at 0.3% in 2014 and 2015 seasons, to study their effects on yield and fruit quality and the relationship between nutrient balance and yield of “Desert red” peach trees. Beside, testing the influence of used treatments on two physiological disorder, double fruit and deep suture %. Also, economic evaluation of different treatments was done. All obtained data were statistically analyzed using a randomized complete block design. Depending on the obtained results in this study, it could be concluded that application of thinning out pruning 35%, fruit thinning by leaving 15 cm between fruits on one-year old shoot at 20 days after full bloom and foliar application of potassium silicate which sprayed five times during each growing season at fruit set, the second fruit development stage, the beginning of the fruit color change and twice after month from harvest, most profitable treatment for peach trees grown under conditions of this investigation. This treatment gave the best vegetative growth, yield, fruit quality, higher crop value with high net income /fed. from “Desert red” peach trees, in addition, reduced the percentage of double fruit and deep suture by more than 50% in both seasons, therefore, the study recommends this treatment for “Desert red” peach growers.

  • Appreciation of ethrel on ripening dynamic and on the content of ingredients in processing tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum (L.) Karsten) varieties

    Tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum (L) Karsten) is an important crop cultivated in Hungary. Ethrel has been used to advance maturity and promote uniform ripening of processing tomato since 25-30 years in Hungary. The aims of the present study were 1) to evaluate the effects of two different ethrel concentrations on ripening rate, 2) to investigate lycopene content of different maturity stages, 3) to test the effect of ethrel on lycopene content. It is important to note that the experimental year (in July and August) was very rainy and cool. Ethrel was applied at two rates: 1500 and 3000 ppm. The results clearly indicate that Ethrel can be a useful and effective tool of maturity-enhancement, under present circumstances. Ripening concentration increased significantly by Ethrel. In spite of this, Ethrel treatments did not affect lycopene content of examined varieties significantly. The quality of tomato products are characterised by their lycopene content. Colour is highly important quality factor of food products. The range in lycopene contents from all samples evaluated was 48.7 to 113.0 mg kg-1 fresh weight. Also correlations between lycopene content and colour (a*/b*, and chroma) were investigated also.

  • Evaluation of morphological parameters and bioactive compounds in different varieties of beetroot (Beta vulgaris L. ssp. esculenta GURKE var. rubra L.)

    Beetroot consumption based on pickled beets generally in Hungary which is due to the higher yield from second crop harvested in autumn and processed by manufacturing industry. Researches of the past years confirmed its favourable nutritional-physiological effects on human body so demands, as for fresh salad, also increased. The trial aimed at testing the interaction of varieties on quality parameters and in the same time suggestions are made how to use different varieties of beetroot according to its quality. Morphological and sensory evaluations were examined on 10 varieties of beetroot harvested in autumn. The regular spherical shape can reduce the refining loss during the processing of beetroot which is beneficial for the manufacturing industry. In our trial the root shape of Libero, Mona Lisa and Rubin varieties approached most the regular spherical shape (diameter/length – 1.0) which is favoured by not only processing industry but also fresh market. The highest red pigment content (betanin) was observed in Mona Lisa, Akela and Cylindra (34.58–47.66 mg/100 g). A similar trend could be observed in yellow pigments (vulgaxanthins) which proves the close correlation between the quantities of the two pigments (r=0.898). Highest total polyphenol (77.13–83.37 mg GAE/100g) and flavonoid (21.73–22.73 mg CE/100g) contents were detected in Akela, Mona Lisa and Bonel. These varieties are favourable for fresh salad and they can satisfy processing requirements also. Highest water soluble solids content was found in Akela (7.15%). In our conditions nitrate (NO3-N) values below 900 mg/kg were examined in all of the varieties which is favourable in the case of beetroot.

  • Epidemiological survey of Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis and Gnomonia leptostyla on natural population of walnut (Juglans regia) in eastern Transylvania

    In Romania, walnut Juglans regia L. is an important fruit crop, although most of the fruit production comes from non-grafted walnut trees, which are natural hybrids. Breeding programs have been launched during last 30 years to develop new cultivars with uniform fruit quality. In addition, foreign cultivars have been introduced and tested to establish a valuable walnut genepool. To improve the present assortment of generative rootstocks in walnut and to examine the infestation level, a long term survey was carried out in Eastern Transylvania. The main physical characteristics of fruits and its variation to the infestation level were considered. The cumulative distribution of Xanthomonas arboricola pv. juglandis and Gnomonia leptostyla were relatively low and the maximum value was around 15%. The highest infestation of husk with X. arboricola pv. juglandis was observed for roundish forms and differences were statistically significant comparing with other phenotypes. Infestation with G. leptostyla was similar for roundish, elliptic and thwarting egg-shaped phenotypes, while the husk infestation for egg-shaped phenotypes was not observed. The walnut population studied in our experiment can be considered as a genetically valuable population. More than 20% of them have upper class quality fruits with at least or more than 50% of nutmeat. Do to the large scale climate variation in Eastern Transylvania and the high humidity favourable for pathogen infestations, these population can be considered resistant and well adapted to abiotic and biotic factors.

  • Sunburn assessment: A critical appraisal of methods and techniques for characterizing the damage to apple fruit

    Many methods and techniques have been introduced for measuring alterations in the fruit and in its surrounding environment related to sunburn incidence. The research objectives, fruit materials and the environment to be evaluated dictate the methods to follow. These procedures are either non-destructive and involve techniques that allow us to track the course of sunburn development and related environmental parameters, or destructive and involve the removal of fruit from the tree for field/laboratory measurements. Techniques employed can be used for pre-symptomatic monitoring (before symptoms become visible) or characterizing the symptoms already present. The principles behind the measurements and their usefulness for sunburn assessments are discussed and critically evaluated in this review paper. Descriptions and evaluations of the methods and techniques were made in the following groups: 1. Thermal measurements; 2. Visual assessments; 3. Fruit quality measurements; 4. Measurements of physiological and biochemical alterations; and 5. Practical evaluation of sunburn damage. Thermal measurements involve methods tracking the ambient temperature and fruit surface temperature, and their relation to sunburn formation. Visual assessments cover all measuring techniques (skin color, chlorophyll fluorescence, radiation reflection, electron microscopy) that are able to detect changes on/in the fruit skin related to sunburn formation. Fruit quality measurements are used to point out differences in qualities (soluble solids, firmness, titratable acidity, and water content) between unaffected and sunburned areas of the fruit. The measurements of physiological and biochemical alterations (gas exchange, pigment analysis, enzyme activity, gene expression) give us a better insight to the mechanism of sunburn formation. Practical evaluations involve many procedures that are used by scientists to characterize the susceptibility of cultivars, evaluate protection technology, etc. For this purpose, the following methods are in use: expressing the percentage of the total fruit surface area affected by sunburn or the percentage of the total number of fruits damaged on the tree, or even a scale based on the severity of the symptoms occurred. All assessing methods and techniques described here have their pros and cons as well as their specific applicability, therefore any of these cannot be favored to use exclusively for assessing sunburn incidence. The combination of these techniques will be the best choice to meet a given research objective perfectly.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Agromorphological and nutritional quality profiles of fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis Hook F.) as influenced by cultivar, growing medium and soil amendment source

    Fluted pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis Hook F.) is popular as food and feed around the world. Sixteen treatments were developed from factorial combinations of three factors: cultivar (ugu elu and ugu ala), growing medium (garden soil (GS) and white sand (WS)), and soil amendment source (poultry manure, NPK, supergro and no amendment). A pot experiment was conducted to investigate the agromorphological and nutritional traits of fluted pumpkin obtained from the treatments. Fresh leaves were analyzed for crude protein, crude fibre, crude lipid, total ash, phytate and nitrate concentrations. Data were subjected to analysis of variance and principal component analysis. Mean plots were used to explain the effects of the three factors and profiling was done using the GYT biplot. There were significant (p≤0.05/0.01) mean squares for measured traits, suggesting the possibility of selection among the treatments. Plants in GS consistently out-performed those in WS for shoot weight, leaf length, and number of leaves per plant possibly due to greater availability of nutrients in the GS. Inconsistent patterns observed in the proximate concentrations of pumpkin from the 16 treatments showed the role of interaction among the three factors. Principal component analysis identified some traits as contributors to differences among the treatments which can be basis of selection. Treatments 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 might be useful to improve vegetative yield while 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 could improve nutritional values of the fluted pumpkin.

  • Effects of excessive weather on the micro-climate of apple plantations under the hail protection nets

    The general utilisation of hail nets is spreading all over the world and in Hungary too. Hail nets are at present the only tool, which
    is able to prevent heavy hail damage in agricultural crops. Besides its numerous advantages, there are also deleterious side effects, e.g. it
    changes the microclimate of the crop stand. Our study aimed to observe the differences, which characterise the physical status of crop stands
    under the protection of hail nets compared with the stands in open air under various meteorological conditions: high or low temperature, calm
    or windy atmosphere and their possible combinations. The results indicated that on hot and calm days the difference may attain 3–4° C. On
    cool summer days, the difference was only 1.5 ºC. The hail net influences the relative humidity of the air, which means on ho summer days
    often 7-8% differences. Conditions of radiation may also differ conspicuously. Measurements prove the reduced global radiation on sunny
    summer days to 70%. This impairs as a rule the development of fruits reducing their quality and also its quantitative traits. Sunburn is, on the
    other hand, significantly prevented by shadow.

  • Preliminary results of renewal pruning an 18 years old sour cherry trees

    Sour cherry is a light demanding fruit species. As most of the crop is developing from buds on one year old shoots and 2-yearold wood, the formation of bare wood can be seen apparently in a badly maintained canopy. The formation of „whip shoots” indicates the degree of bare wood. Unfortunately in many gardens and commercial orchards sour cherry trees resemble willow trees. Owners often decide to grub old orchards, although the useful cropping lifespan of the trees planted in a correct spacing can be 20-30 years on a move vigorous rootstock. Therefore renewal pruning can contribute to the full renewal of the orchard, but the length of its effect is depending on the growth characteristics and renewal capabilities of the cultivar. The growth characteristics of the cultivars are different. The regeneration capabilities of different aged wood are also different. These differences emphasize the need for cultivar specifi c pruning. Knowing the reactions to renewal pruning, we can ensure regular high crops with excellent quality by applying cultivar specifi c rotation pruning.

  • Effects of nitrogen fertilizer application rate and time to first harvest on leaf area index; leaf nitrate content and yield of irrigated leaf rape (Brassica napus L. var. Giant)

    In Zimbabwe, smallholder cultivation of leaf rape is of considerable importance due to the increasing demand for the leaf vegetable from the rapidly increasing urban populations.  A two-season field trial was conducted in the Agricultural Practice Experimental Plots of the Midlands State University in central Zimbabwe. The objective of the study was to establish selected biometric responses of leaf rape to N fertilizer rates and time to first harvesting. Increasing the rate of N fertilizer application considerably improves the yield of fresh rape leaf; LAI and concentration of leaf nitrate. Delaying rape leaf harvest after N fertilizer side dressing can be used as a strategy to boost rape leaf yield for vegetable markets with high single delivery demand. When harvesting is deliberately delayed after N fertilizer application rape LAI are significantly increased. Delaying the first leaf harvests by 7; 14 and 21 days after N fertilizer side dressing amendments increases the content of nitrate in fresh rape leaves. Fresh rape yield can be more accurately predicted by values of rape LAI. Nitrate concentrations in fresh rape leaf is a poor predictor of rape yield under field conditions.

  • Work quality assessment of a cherry sorting machine

    The conditions of the cultivation of marketable cherries are diverse. Choosing the production site on the basis of the climatic conditions, selecting the most appropriate variety taking into account the region and the purpose of the production, utilization of the optimal production method, to ensure the required water and nutrients supply, frost and hail protection techniques, modern technology in crop protection, and professional performance of harvesting and handling, to name just a few of the most important issues. The objective of present study is to determine the qualitative characteristics of the UNITEC cherry sorting machine.