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Challenges – the impact of climate change on the nutritional management of Hungarian orchards
Published September 5, 2018

The agricultural sector is increasingly exposed to both environmental and economic risks due to the phenomena of climate change and climate variability. Fruit growth and productivity are adversely affected by nature’s wrath in the form of various abiotic stress factors. Climate change and extreme climatic events are predicted to increase in i...ntensity, frequency, and geographic extent as a consequence of global climate change. It is no doubt that frequency of unexpected climatic events and their growing rate result in an increasing amount of problems for fruit growers globally. Today, climate change impacts are the most serious problems for Hungarian fruit growers as well. It can be stated that the nutrient demand of fruit trees can be supplied only under even worse conditions.

Therefore, it is so important to know and apply adaptation and mitigation strategies in horticulture to improve fruit quality and yield. In the last ten years, at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management at University of Debrecen expanded studies have been made to prove the importance of groundcover management in horticultural applications. In this mini review paper, is presented, how the university's researches contributed to the expansion of knowledge of preservation of soil moisture and what advice we can provide for fruit growers to face the challenges of climate change.

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Changes of chemical composition and nutritive values of Reed Canary Grass (Phalaroides arundinacea) in first growth
Published December 1, 2010

Change in chemical composition and nutritive value of Reed Canary Grass (Phalaroides arundinacea) were investigated in springtime in 2004-2006. The nutritive value of Reed Canary Grass was observed between the end of April and the middle of June relating to the following parameters: crude protein, crude fibre, crude fat, ash, N-free extract, ne...t-energy growth, net-energy maintenance, Metabolizable Protein Energy dependent,
Metabolizable Protein N-dependent.
It was also analysed whether a relationship between the climatic factors affecting the growing period as well the chemical composition of grasses and the annual weather were looked for. For the estimation of weather conditions the climate index was calculated. A correlation can be detected between the change of parameters of nutritive value and the quality of the current year. Between 2004 and 2006, the result of the analysis of nutritive value indicated a significant difference with respect to each chemical composition at the rate of P<0.01 depending on the time when the samples were taken. According to the outlined data it can be stated that the change of the value of crude protein and ash show decreasing  endency agreeing the research literature. In parallel with the change of nutritive value, the amount of crude fibre and N-free extract increased. However, the value of Net-Energy maintenance revealed an alteration only in the first half of the observed period. The same alteration tendency can be detected
in the Net-Energy growth. 

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Impact of weather on the spring crops yield in Croatia with emphasis on climatic change and the 2014 growing season
Published October 24, 2016

Main field crops in Croatia are maize, soybean, sunflower and sugar beet. By these crops are covered (status 2014) close to 50% (385 234 ha) of utilized arable land. Global warming, have often adverse influence on field crop yields. Aim of this study was testing precipitation and temperature regimes on spring crops yield in Croatia in 15-year p...eriod (1999–2013) and elaboration of the 2014 growing season with aspect of climatic change.

Four growing seasons (2000, 2003, 2007 and 2012) were less favorable for maize because annual yield was bellow 5 t ha-1 (average 4.38 t ha-1), while in four more favorable years (2005, 2008, 2009 and 2010) annual yield was above 6.8 t ha-1 (average 7.32 t ha-1). Average precipitation and temperature for the April-September period in Osijek were 226 mm and 496 mm, 19.6 oC and 18.6 oC, for less and more favorable years, respectively. Yields of soybeans and sugar beet have mainly similar trend as maize yields in function of weather conditions, while sunflower is more susceptible to extremely moist growing seasons (for example, 2001 and 2005: 650 mm and 697 mm precipitation and very low yields in level 1.7 and 1.6 t ha-1, respectively). On the other side, under drought conditions of 2003, 2007 and 2012, yields of sunflower were above average in range from 2.5 to 2.7 t ha-1), while at same period yields of maize, soybean and sugar beet were drastically reduced.

Average precipitation in the April-September period of 2014 for eight selected sites of Croatia was 756 mm or for 68% higher in comparison with the long-term average 1961–1990 with variation among the sites from 520 mm in Osijek to 910 mm in Varazdin. On the other side, average air-temperature in 2014 was 17.8 oC or for 0.7 oC higher with variations among the sites from 17.2 oC in Daruvar and Varazdin to 18.2 oC in Osijek and 18.3 oC in Gradiste. Under these favorable weather conditions, annual yields of maize (8.1 t ha-1), soybeans (2.8 t ha-1) , sunflower (2.9 t ha-1) and sugar beet 63.6 t ha-1) were considerable higher than usual.

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The effect of climatic change on the rheological properties of winter wheat doughs
Published October 5, 2010

In present paper we have examined the effect of climatic change on the extensigraph characteristics of wheat-flours. The baking quality
of winter wheat is largely determined by cultivar, but it can be influenced by weather conditions during growing period. Flours were from 5
cultivars grown at one location in three cropping years. We have... found that the extensigraph properties of dough are affected by the weather
conditions, nevertheless, different cultivars distinctly react to the increase of temperature and decrease of precipitation. In generally, the
higher average day temperature and lower precipitation level is favourable to produce winter wheat flour with better quality

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The importance of millet production in regional production, with special emphasis on climate change
Published June 30, 2018
Regional production is a traditional production structure developed adjusting to the geographical, climatic, biological and soil conditions in given production regions, a certain territorial specification of agricultural production, and a type of farming that best fits the natural conditions and takes the needs of plant and animal species into account as fully as possible. The most probable element of risk in plant production is the changeable, extreme weather. That is the reason why the specific characteristics of the place of production and the characteristics of regional production should be considered to a greater extent. The establishment of the range of varieties appropriate for the place of production is the key issue in regional production. One of our historically grown cereal plants that perfectly fits regional production is millet. Due to its short growing season, favourable reproduction ratio and the fact that it is relatively undemanding, it used to be grown in larger quantities in the middle ages. Its good nutritional values made it an important food item, but over time, as a result of industrialisation and technological progress; it has been eclipsed by other cereal crops. In our country it is mainly used to cook porridge, but it is also used in the form of flour and as a base material in the spirit drinks sector. In the recent decades, millet has been applied only in a small area, mostly as a secondary crop in areas that dried out from drainage water in late spring, or as a replacement of extinct sowings due to its late sowing time. Water will be the most significant factor for the future of agriculture, especially considering climate change.
My examinations took place in the area of the Institutes for Agricultural Research and Educational Farm of University of Debrecen, in the Research Institute of Nyíregyháza, in a small-plot experiment with four replications in 2016.
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The impact of climatic factors on the relative chlorophyll content and yield of a maize hybrid in a long-term experiment
Published May 23, 2019

The impact of the climatic factors of crop year on the relative chlorophyll content of maize was examined for three years. The examinations were carried out on the Látókép Experiment Site of the University of Debrecen on calcareous chernozem soil in a small-plot, non-irrigated long-term field experiment with strip plot design. In addition to... a non-fertilised (control) treatment, nitrogen (N) fertiliser doses were applied as base and top dressing. The 60 and 120 kg N ha-1 base dressing doses were followed by two top dressing doses at the V6 and V12 phenophases.

Averaged over the different fertiliser treatments, SPAD readings increased in all three years as the growing season progressed. The highes SPAD value increase was observed in the average crop year (2017) at the V12 phenophase (11.8), which further increased at the R1 phenophas, by 3,7. No significant Spad value difference was observed between the average (2017) and the dry year (2018) at the V6 growth phase. However, in the wet crop year (2016), the V690 treatment provided the statistically highest relative chlorophyll content (46.8). At the V12 phenophase, the base dressing dose of 120 kg N ha-1+30 kg N ha-1 (V6150) showed to be successful in two years (2016 and 2018), while in 2017, the base dressing dose of A60 was successful. The impact of crop year on relative chlorophyll content can be clearly shown at the R1 growth stage. In all three years, the significantly highest relative chlorophyll content could be achieved at different nutrient levels: A60 in 2016, V6150 in 2017 and V690.

In a wet year (2016), higher yield could be achieved as a result of the 60 kg N ha-1 base dressing and 30 kg N ha-1 at the V6 growth stage (V690) as top dressing in comparison with 2017 and 2018, when higher fertiliser dose (120 kg N ha-1 base dressing and 30 kg N ha-1top dressing at the V6 growth stage) was needed to achieve a significant yield surplus.

Altogether, averaged over the different treatments, the highest yield (12.48 t ha-1) was observed in the wet year, when the relative chlorophyll content was also the highest (50.6).

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Local strategical tasks in the Hungarian fruit production with respect to the global economic and climatic changes
Published September 14, 2005

After identifying the problems, we have determined the local tasks which Hungarian fruit growing has to accomplish to remain competitive despite global market pressures and global climate change.
Fruit growing in the Great Plain is of determining importance in Hungary as 75% of fruit originates from the Great Plain. Therefore, the maintenanc...e of the competitiveness of fruit growing on the Great Plain is an important economic interest which is a difficult task to resolve, because the global economic pressure against local resources and climate change affect the fruit growers sensitively. 
In Hungarian fruit production, it is necessary to select/develop with great care the appropriate location, training system and methods of emergency technology which have to be harmonised.

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Evaluation of reaction to plant density of sunflower hybrids by regression and Kang’s stability analysis
Published December 21, 2008

The world production area and the total production of sunflower has significantly been growing. The harvested yield was 23.4 and 21.1 million ha in 2005 and 2001, respectively. The total sunflower seed production has also unexpectedly increased.
Although sunflower is produced on lower quality soils in Hungary, in 2005 the average harvested y...ield was 2.43 t ha-1, which was the highest in the world. 
Sunflower is a typical commercial plant and fits well in the crop structure. Since in terms of acreage the most significant crops are corn and cereals, the partial monoculture cultivation cannot be avoided. Sunflower production is a way to eliminate this problem, therefore it has an important role both in cultivation and ecological points of view.
Accordingly, sunflower has an important role in reducing the monoculture cultivation of some plants, as well as increasing biodiversity. Sunflower well adapts to Hungary’s climatic conditions and its production is easily practicable in our country.
The reaction of sunflower hybrids on crop density change is different. Some hybrids are more some are less sensitive to this parameter. In different crop years, the crop density optimums of the different genotypes are also different. In Hungary, the yield and quality is primarily determined by fungal infections, while viruses and bacteria are less important.
The research was conducted at the Látókép farm and Regional Research Institute of the University of Debrecen, Centre of Agricultural Sciences. The research institute is situated by Road 33,15 km from Debrecen in the Hajdúság. The duration of the experiment was seven years, 10 hybrids were examined in each year.
Two hybrids used every year, Aréna/PR and Alexandra/PR hybrids were tested by Kang’s stability analysis. We found that Alexandra/PR was most balanced at every levels of crop density. Both hybrids performed most stable yield at 65000 ha-1 crop density level and less balanced at 35000 ha-1 crop density level. As a result of improved environmental conditions, the yield increase of Aréna/PR was higher than that of Alexandra/PR.
Our regression analysis found that the maximum yield of Lympil, Louidor, Hysun 321, PR63A82 and PR64A63 hybrids were harvested at 47000-60000 plant ha-1 crop density level. The statistical analysis showed that the highest yield was harvested from Lympil and Hysun 321. As regards the crop yield, the most stable hybrids were Louidor and Lympil. The optimum crop density interval of Rigasol/PR and Larisol (58000 plant ha-1) was wider than that of Diabolo (46000 plant ha-1). The maximum yield of Larisol was higher at the optimal crop density level. As regards yield, Diabol was the most stable hybrid.
The statistical analysis on the stability of the yield of Alexandra/PR and Aréna/PR showed that Aréna/PR is more stable, and its optimal crop density level is lower than that of Alexandra/PR.

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Comparative study of a winter wheat variety and hybrid sown after different pre-crops on chernozem soil
Published May 23, 2019

Wheat production is a determining branch within Hungarian crop production (produced on nearly one million hectares). Weather anomalies caused by climatic change confirmed the importance of the biological background (variety, hybrid) in wheat production. The adapting ability and reaction of different wheat genotypes towards nutrient supply were ...studied in a long-term field experiment on chernozem soil type in the case of different pre-crops (sunflower and maize). According to the experimental results of the vegetation of 2017/2018, the yield of the variety Ingenio sown after the sunflower as previous crop ranged between 4168 and 8734 kg ha-1, while in the case of maize as previous crop, this value ranged between 2084 and 7782kg ha-1, depending on the applied nutrient supply level. The studied genotypes produced rather significant yield surplus as a response to the application of mineral fertilization (4.6–5.1 t ha-1 after sunflower and 5.7–6.3 t ha-1 after maize). Optimal mineral fertilizer dosage was determined by both the genotype and the pre-crop. N-optimum values of wheat genotypes was determined using regression analysis. In the case of the variety Ingenio sown after sunflower, the optimum range was N144-150+PK, while after maize, it was
N123-150+PK, respectively. For the hybrid Hyland, these optimum ranges were N114-120+PK, just as N150-153+PK, resp. The application of optimal mineral fertilizer dosages improved water utilization of the studied wheat genotypes to a significant extent. WUE values of the control, unfertilized treatments ranged between 4.1–8.3 kg mm-1, while in optimal fertilizer treatment, it ranged between 15.5 and 17.4 kg mm-1.

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Examination of drought stress of two genotype maize hybrids with different fertilization
Published May 20, 2020

In the growing season of 2019, we analysed stress resulting from climatic factors on maize hybrids of different genotypes, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the physiological responses of each hybrid, which might support the elaboration of a cost-effective irrigation plan.

Our experiments were carried out at... the Látókép Experimental Station of the University of Debrecen on calcareous chernozem soil in a small-plot long-term field trial with strip plot design. In the scope of the experiment, N-fertilizer doses were applied as basic fertilizer and top-dressing in addition to the non-fertilized (control) treatment. The 60 and 120 kg N/ha doses applied as basic fertilizers in the spring were followed by top-dressing in the V6 phenophase with a +30 kg N/ha dose. Measurements were carried out with the involvement of the Renfor early (FAO 320) and Fornad (FAO 420) late maturity hybrids-

The stomata of the plants became more and more closed with the progression of the phenological phases; their stomatal conductance decreased. However, the hybrids responded differently to environmental stress. In the case of the Renfor hybrid, the highest conductance (669 mmol/m2-s) was recorded in the V12 phenophase with the 150 kg N/ha treatment. The stomata were more open due to the high turgor pressure, allowing plants to evaporate properly. The plant was in its worst physiological condition on 2nd July, at the time of the appearance of the last leaf in the case of the 120 kg N dose (224 mmol/m2-s). The value measured in the V12 phenophase has already shown that the stomata were closing due to the self-regulating system of the plant. It would have been necessary to dispense irrigation water following the measurement. This confirms the finding that water stress can be prevented by measuring stomatal conductance.

In the case of the Fornad hybrid, stomatal conductance was the highest on 12th June (630 mmol/m2-s) in the 90 kg N/ha treatment and it was the lowest (183 mmol/m2-s) in VT (emergence of the last leaf) phenophase in the 60 kg N/ha treatment. In this case, the appropriate time for applying irrigation water would have been early July, when the conditions for the plants were still adequate. Subsequently, the stomata began to close due to a reduction of the water resources available to them.

There was a significant correlation between soil moisture and stomatal conductance, as well as between temperature and stomatal conductance.

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The significance of biological bases in maize production
Published March 20, 2013

...5); font-variant-ligatures: normal; font-variant-caps: normal; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; text-decoration-style: initial; text-decoration-color: initial;">The comparative trial has been set up in the Demonstration Garden of the Institute of Crop Sciences of the University of Debrecen, Centre for Agricultural and Applied Economic Studies, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and Environmental Management in 2012, with 24 hybrids with different genetic characteristics and growing periods. The soil of the trial is lime-coated chernozem, with a humus layer of 50–70 cm.

The weather of the trial year was quite droughty; the monthly average temperature was 3–4 oC higher than the average of 30 years. High temperature, together with lack of precipitation occurred during the most sensitive phenophases of maize (flowering; fecundation, grain saturation).

The following characteristics have been observed: starting vigour, date of male and female flowering, plant and cob height, dry-down dynamics during maturation and the change of yield composing elements has also been quantified. The yield was recalculated to 14% moisture content grain yield after harvesting.

The beginning of the growing period was advantageous, therefore the analysed hybrids could grow a high (above 300 cm) and strong stem. The yield of the hybrids changed between 10.33 and 11.87 t ha-1, but as a result of the unfavourable climatic extremes, their genetic yield potential prevailed only at a rate of 30–40%. However, moisture content by the time of harvesting was good despite its early date (12th September); it remained under below 14% in most cases. Dry-down was measured on a weekly basis between 14th August and 5th September.

The analysis of the qualitative parameters of the maize hybrids (protein %, oil % and starch %) resulted in significant differences. The most significant difference has been observed in the case of protein content (LSD5%=2.01). Oil content was the most advantageous in the case of hybrids belonging to the mid-late growing group (FAO 400). The X9N655 and 36V74 hybrids had the highest oil content (around 4%), while hybrids P9915 and 37F73 had significantly lower oil content. Starch content was above 70% in the case of every hybrid.

Hybrid selection is highly important in terms of yield and yield security of maize, as well as the application of modern biological fundamentals and hybrid specific technology for the improvement of the level of cultivation technology.

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