Merino and Merino-derived sheep breeds have been widely known and distributed across the world, both as purebred and admixed populations. They represent a diverse genetic resource which over time has been used as the basis for the development of new breeds. In spite of this, their gene-pool potential is still unexplored. The Merino sheep repres...ent the most important sheep resource of the Hungarian husbandry. It has the largest amount of individuals between both of the stock and commercial flocks. But in Europe the Merino stocks went through a drastic reduction in number. Thus these breeds became endangered in several countries as well as in Hungary. In this study we would like to present the recent status of different Merino breeds of the world to ground our further phylogenetic research with the Hungarian Merino breed.
A major part of the animal products are based on the grasslands, due to the fact that the grassland ecosystems can be found all over the globe. In places where economical and successful crop production cannot be realized, the grassland based animal husbandry can be an efficient way of food production. In addition these ecosystems have an import...ant role in carbon sequestration, and with their rich flora – and the fauna connected to it – in conservation of biodiversity. The protection of nature, and the sustainable agriculture is getting more and more attention in the European Union, but looking at the consumers’ needs, the production of healthy food cannot be neglected either. Because of these facts, the effects of two specific composts - which are officially authorized in organic farming, in Agri-environment Schemes and Natura 2000 programs – on grass yields and sward compositions were investigated in a field trial. The investigation took place in Hungary, on a natural grassland based on solonetz soil. The first type of compost was a natural one (N) without any additional material and the other one was enriched in phosphorus (E). Both was produced by the research institute, made of sheep manure. Three rates of compost (10 t ha-1, 20 t ha-1,30 t ha-1) were tested on 3 m×10 m experimental plots. Every treatments had four replications and both type of compost had four-four control plots too, this way 32 experimental plots were included in the investigations. The yield of the pasture was harvested two-times (in May and in September) and before cutting the plots measurements on botanical compositions were made. Samples for laboratory analysis were also taken. Dry matter yield and crude protein content was measured in laboratory and with the received data the yield per unit area was calculated. Based on the research results we can say that the application of compost in any dose inflicts higher dry material and crude protein yield. The changes were partly due to some positive changes in sward composition, because of the better nutrient conditions. The research results indicate, that use of organic compost can be an efficient way to increase grass yields in a sustainable way.
In an experiment, two types of compost were tested on natural grassland in order to improve the productivity of a natural sward on solonetz soil. Both composts were made of on-farm produced sheep manure, but the second one was enriched in phosphorus. These fertilizers/composts are officially authorized and can be applied in organic farming. Zer...o application and three rates of fertilizer were tested (10 t ha-1, 20 t ha-1, 30 t ha-1) on 30 m2 experimental plots wit four replications. Dry matter, crude protein and net energy content for maintenance were measured and determined and their yields per unit area were calculated. We found that all the treated plots produced significantly higher yield than the control ones, and in some cases the yields were almost three times higher. However, the optimal compost dose varied, depending on the examined parameter. Based on the evaluation of the experiment results along with rainfall data, it was concluded that, with higher precipitation, the positive effect of the compost application was bigger. The difference between the natural and enriched compost is remarkable, but it has to be mentioned that even the natural compost showed good results; therefore, it is also effective in improving the fertility of grassland.
With the decreasing number of grazing livestock in Hungary, the role of the turf cultivation is also significantly decreasing. The proportion of the under- and non-utilized turf is increasing. In the research conduced at the University of Debrecen, IAREF Research Institute Karcag, we studied four types of turf utilization in three replicates on... a salt field with timothy grass. We determined the flora composition of the experimental area, measured the soil moisture and the carbon-dioxide content of the soil.
We analysed the effect of the sheep grazing, the grass cutting and mixed utilization methods on plant composition, yield and live-stock keeping capacity of extensive Achilleo-Festucetum pseudovinae grassland in the 1996-2000 research period. Analysing the extensive utilizations effects on chanching of the plant composition of extensive grasslan...d established that due to the cutting utilization method the area covering rates of gramineous and usefull weeds were the highest while the grazing utilization-method caused the briggest area covering rate for legumes and unusefull weeds. Analysing the utilized fibrin-fodder yield established that the single utilization methods could not produce the maximum yield and live-stock keeping capacity on the treathea grassland type. Because of things mentioned above we must use the mixed utilization methods to save the maximum phytomass.
The role of turf serving animal husbandry is significantly declining with the decreasing number of grazing livestock in Hungary. Accordingly, the area of under-utilized or non-utilized turfs is increasing. At the University of Debrecen, Institutes for Agricultural Research and Educational Farm, Karcag Research Institute we studied four type...s of turf utilization in three repetitions on a salt meadow with Alopecurus pratensis. As a result of the performed examinations, we identified the composition of the flora structure on the investigated area and we measured carbon-dioxide circulation and soil moisture.