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The energy balance of maize production – alternative approaches
Published June 30, 2018
59-63
Agricultural production is a crucial area, perhaps the most important for humanity. This is the only area which cannot be avoided. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to know how sustainable the system is in the long run as regards energy consumption. We have chosen the maize production sector as the main focus ...of this study. This crop is especially important all over the world, therefore; it requires significant input also in terms of energy. Currently, the system of maize production (as with the others) operates as an open energy system.
This study aims to examine how much of the agricultural land’s energy demand could be met with the help of the byproducts of 1 hectare of agricultural land - operating as a closed system, using only the remaining maize stalk and cob byproducts for energy - under the conditions of Hungarian maize production.
Energy demand is largely determined by the land’s fertilizer requirement, followed by the input factor of the energy demand of the machinery during earthwork and transport.
The study assumes that the energy from the byproducts of maize production will be used exclusively with biogas technology. This can even be implemented on a county level. The final question is whether the maize production system will be able to sustain itself solely by using its own byproducts.
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Energy production systems of phototroph microorganisms (classification of photobioreactors)
Published December 22, 2010
35-39

In the field of alternative energy sources there is an argue in the comparison of its effects on the benefits and disadvantages to the economics and the environment. New studies are born which are in contradiction with each other. The demand for bioenergy feedstock is growing rapidly however there are the environmental problems caused by the ex...tending energy crop plantations. There is such a significant need for land to grow traditional energy crops on (rape, soy, palm-oil, sugarcane, etc.) that the food purpose agricultural capacity could be in danger. Probably the extensively
growing energy crops play a role in the very high prices of food. In some countries like China for example laws prohibit the use of food based crops such as corn for energie production. In the case of corn based ethanol production the cost only for the feedstock itself is over 60% of the whole preparation costs which significantly effects the entire economy of the energy productions process.
The microalgaes however have a huge biotechnological potential and their production is notably cheaper then the traditionaly grown food crops growing expenses. They play a significant role as feedstocks in todays industrial production in such fields as comestible production, cosmetics, pharmaceutics and biotechnology especially in biofule production. In the field of economy the major aspects here are also the technological designs
and the construction. For the future industrial production the closed type systems seem to have more advantages compared to the open, pond-type systems. For high value material production the more innovative and more easily developed closed photobioreactors are the profitable regardless the vast techological designs used in the construction. 

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Bioenergy production: are the objects realistic??
Published July 28, 2008
53-58

Currently we do not have the possibility to define our energy reserves, since we do not know the magnitude of extant material resources. The known petroleum (crude) supply will be sufficient for about 100 years at the longest, and according to the latest estimates in 2008 we will reach and even exceed the maximum level of oil extraction, and af...ter this it is going to decrease.
Hungary has good givens to go upon the way of sustainable energy economy according to experts, however a coherent government policy that lasts for not just one period is essential, and a sound economic- and agricultural policy is needed as well. According to the FVM’s under-secretary in Hungary more than 1 million hectares can be disposable for energy crop production. This would mean that 20 percent of the fields would be taken away from food production and on these fields energy crops would be grown. But we also have to take into consideration that the increase in energy plant production could happen at the expense of food production. If we would like to ensure the food for Hungary’s population from national sources we have to make calculations in determining energy need. In my research I set out the objective to determine the level of that specific turnover and marginal cost which supports the profitability of grain cultivation. With these indicators it is possible to analyze the economy and competitiveness of growing energy crops in the region of the North Plain. The alternatives of using cereals and rational land use should be also considered. A developing bio-fuel program can be a solution for the deduction of excess grain that is typical in Hungary for several years in the cereals sector. The pressure on the national market caused by excess grain can be ceased or moderated, and therefore the storage problems would decrease as well.

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Economic questions of maize production on different soil types
Published November 13, 2012
289-292

The requirements and objective of cultivation are in constant change. For example, different cultivation systems are developed for the purpose of soil protection, the preservation of its moisture content and on soils with various precipitation supply or production site conditions. Traditionally, one of the most important cultivation aims is cro...p needs. Further cost saving in fertilisation and crop protection can only be achieved by reducing the quality and quantity of production or it cannot be achieved at all. Furthermore, the costs can be significantly reduced by means of the rationalisation of cultivation. Energy and working time demand can also be notably reduced if ploughing is left out from the conventional tillage method. The key requirement of economicalness is to perform the cultivation at the optimal date, moisture level and the lowest possible cost.
Within production costs, the cost of cultivation is between 3–17%, while they are between 8–36% within machinery costs. It is the vital condition the usability of each technological method to progressively reduce costs. Our evaluation work was carried out with the consideration of the yield data obtained from cooperating farms and the experiment database of the Institute for Land Utilisation, Regional Development and Technology of the Centre for Agricultural and Applied Economic Sciences of the University of Debrecen. Three technological methods (ploughing, heavy cultivator and loosening tillage) were used on several soil types which differ from in terms of cultivability (chernozem, sandy and sandy clay soils) from the economic/economical aspect. We examined the sectoral cost/income relation of maize production as an indicator plant. The maize price during the analytical period was 45 thousand HUF per t. On chernozem soils, the production of maize can be carried out on high income level, while maize production on sandy soils has a huge risk factor. The role of cultivation is the highest on high plasicity soils, since they have a huge energy
demand and the there is a short amount of time available for each procedure in most cases.

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Caliometric characterisation of crop production byproducts
Published February 25, 2014
55-58

By the decreasing tendency of the fossil energy resources more emphasis put on the usage of renewable energy resources. The consideration of environmental protection and the efforts of the European Union make current the widespread usage of renewable energy within biomass energy. One of the determinative trends of biomass energy is the direct c...ombustion of biomass. Characteristically woody stocks are produced for this aim, but there is a considerable potential in several byproducts of growing herbaceous plants or of other processes.

In our study three byproducts of plant production have been investigated which appeared at the harvest. The Higher Heating Values of wheat, maize and sunflower byproducts have been determined by an IKA C2000 Basic adiabatic calorimeter. According to the statistical analysis of the measured data the HHV of the byproducts are different, and these values are in a negative correlation with the amount of ash in % (R2=0.873) appeared by the combustion.

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Nutrient Uptake of Miscanthus in vitro Cultures
Published May 12, 2002
23-24

The large biomass production and the low necessary input fertilizer make Miscanthus an interesting, potential non-food crop with broad applications, e.g. for fuel and energy, for thatching, fiber production, for the paper and car industries, as well as for ethanol production.
Axillary buds of Miscanthus x giganteus were placed on a shoot ind...ucing nutrient solution (modified Murashige and Skoog, 1962), basic medium supplemented with 0,3 mg l-1 6-Benzylaminopurin. After 40 days of culturing, the axillary buds produced three times more shoots than could normally be harvested. The nutrient content (N, P, K, Ca, Mg) was measured several times during culturing. The results showed that, after 35 days, nitrogen and phosphate were nearly completely taken up. From that time, shoot growth was not observed.
After shoot propagation, the plants were transfered into a nutrient solution for root formation (modified Murashige and Skoog, 1962), basic medium supplemented with 0,5 mg l-1 Indole- 3-Butyric acid, and could be potted in soil after about 14 days.

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Alternatives of sewage sludge use in the crop production
Published May 16, 2012
83-87

The produced plants reduce the greenhouse effect because they fix CO2 that contributes to the causing of the greenhouse effect with about 50%. The production of fertilizers is not only a costly process but it needs a considerable energy at the same time. Nowadays, the reduction of the proportion of the fertilizer is significant. One ...of the reasons of this is that during the production such by-products are produced in a big quantity in which the necessary vegetal nutrients can be found in a considerable measure these enrich the organic matter of soil. The latter is essential condition for the microorganisms in the soil, without which the sustainable plant cultivation can not be achieved. Besides high prices of artificial fertilizers the utilization of the wastes is economically justified. Finally the other reason for the reduction of a usage of artificial fertilizer is that the wrong use of the fertilizer may cause environmental pollutions. I examined the cultivation application of the sewage sludge in laboratory circumstances during my work.

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Comparison of the physiological responses of an oil-pumpkin cultivar and hybrid under different nitrogen supply conditions
Published December 15, 2019
65-69

Cucurbita pepo var. styriaca is known as a medicinal crop among other cucurbits. The benefits of cucurbits fruits are very important in terms of human health, purification of blood, removal of constipation, digestion and supplying energy. The mutant styrian oil-pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L. convar. Pepo var. styriaca Greb.) exposes a complete lack... of lignification of the seed testa. For this reason, this kind of naked pumpkin seed is more consumable as snack than other seeds. The vegetative growth of plants is crucial for fruit production. Nitrogen is the most imperative element for the proper vegetative growth and development of plants which significantly increases and enhances yield and its quality by playing a vital role in the biochemical and physiological functions of plants.

Field studies were conducted to study the effect of nitrogen nutrition on certain physiological parameters and their differences between the styrian oil pumpkin hybrid and cultivar (Gleisdorfi Classic cultivar and GL Rustical hybrid). The small block experiment was carried out based on a factorial experiment with a completely randomised block design and four replications in the Research Institute of Nyíregyháza during the summer period of 2017 and 2018. Three different concentrations of nitrogen fertiliser was applied at sowing. Photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll-a, -b and carotenoids) were analysed as one of the basic factor of efficient photosynthesis. The yields of two genotypes were also measured in all treatments as seed-weight. The contents of photosynthetic pigments were higher in the oil-pumpkin hybrid, mainly the carotenoids in 2018. The vegetation period of 2018 was drier than in 2017, the hybrid oil-pupmkin was more efficient in stress tolerance than the cultivar with higher carotenoids pool. The obtained yield was more pronounced in the oil-pumpkin hybrid than the cultivar in all examined years. The hybrid GL Rustical was more sensitive to nitrogen treatment than the cultivar Gleisdorfi Classic.

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Current Conditions and Opportunities of Biofarming in Hungary
Published May 4, 2004
150-156

The aim of organic farming is not to maximize income, but to achieve optimal product quality. It is completed by the tightest possible material, and energy flow within the farm. Organic agriculture significantly reduces external inputs by avoiding the use of chemo-synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Instead it works with natu...re to increase both agricultural yields and disease resistance. Total independence of external resources can not be achieved in Hungary due to the small-scale of organic animal husbandry. Some materials in limited quantities can be purchased from external resources, though the group of these materials is strictly regulated. Organic farming harmonizes with the concept of European multifunctional agriculture, because besides farming, it includes social considerations, as it helps to maintain natural resources and the relationship between people and their environment, and provides a living for those living in the region.
As regards organic farming the fertility of the soil and the health of vegetation can be influenced in various ways. Farmers have to be highly skilled and able to manage a farm with great expertise. Generally it can be stated that as the use of non-organically produced products is limited, the opportunities to correct failures made by the farmer are minimal, contrary to conventional farming. Farmers must be intent on developing the tightest material- and energy flow. This means that organic farms ideally have both animal husbandry and crop production. This energy and skill demanding system of farming is compensated by state subsidies, growing market share and relatively high prices for organic products.

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Assessment of Environmental Susceptibility/Vulnerability of Soils
Published December 10, 2002
62-74

Soils represent a considerable part of the natural resources of Hungary. Consequently, rational land use and proper soil management – to guarantee normal soil functions – are important elements of sustainable (agricultural) development, having special importance both in the national economy and in environment protection.
The main soil fu...nctions in the biosphere are as follows: conditionally renewable natural resource; reactor, transformer and integrator of the combined influences of other natural resources (solar radiation, atmosphere, surface and subsurface waters, biological resources), place of „sphere-interactions”; medium for biomass production, primary food-source of the biosphere; storage of heat, water and plant nutrients; natural filter and detoxication system, which may prevent the deeper geological formations and the subsurface waters from various pollutants; high capacity buffer medium, which may prevent or moderate the unfavourable consequences of various environmental stresses; significant gene-reservoir, an important element of biodiversity.
Society utilizes these functions in different ways (rate, method, efficiency) throughout history, depending on the given natural conditions and socio-economic circumstances. In many cases the character of the particular functions was not properly taken into consideration during the utilization of soil resources, and the misguided management resulted in their over-exploitation, decreasing efficiency of one or more soil functions, and – over a certain limit – serious environmental deterioration.
Soil resources are threatened by the following environmental stresses:
– soil degradation processes;
– extreme moisture regime;
– nutrient stresses (deficiency or toxicity);
– environmental pollution.
Environmental stresses caused by natural factors or human activities represent an increasing ecological threat to the biosphere, as well as a socio-economic risk for sustainable development, including rational land use and soil management.
The stresses are caused by the integrated impacts of various soil properties, which are the results of soil processes (mass and energy regimes, abiotic and biotic transport and transformation and their interactions) under the combined influences of soil forming factors. Consequently, the control of soil processes is a great challenge and the main task of soil science and soil management in sustainable development.
The efficient control of these processes necessitates the following consecutive steps:
• registration of facts and consequences (information on land and soil characteristics, land use, cropping pattern, applied agrotechnics, yields, with their spatial and temporal variability);
• evaluation of potential reasons (definition and quantification of soil processes, analysis of influencing factors and their mechanisms);
• assessment of the theoretical, real, rational and economic possibilities for the control of soil processes (including their risk-assessment and impact analysis);
• elaboration of efficient technologies for the „best” control alternatives (best management practice).
Scientifically based planning and implementation of sustainable land use and rational soil management to ensure desirable soil functions, without any undesirable environmental side-effects, require adequate soil information. In the last years such data were organized into a computer-based GIS soil database in Hungary, giving opportunities for the quantification, analysis, modelling and forecasting of the studied environmental stresses and for the efficient and scientifically based prevention, elimination or reduction of environmental stresses and their unfavourable ecological and economical consequences.
Special attention was paid to the assessment of various soil degradation processes, as: (1) soil erosion by water or wind; (2) soil acidification; (3) salinization and/or alkalization; (4) physical degradation (structure destruction, compaction); (5) extreme moisture regime: drought sensitivity and waterlogging hazard; (6) biological degradation; (7) unfavourable changes in the plant nutrient regime; (8) decrease of natural buffering capacity, (9) soil (and water) pollution.
The actions against undesirable environmental stresses and their unfavourable consequences are important elements of sustainable, efficient, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound crop production and agricultural development. These are joint tasks of the state, decision makers on various levels, the land owners, the land users and – to a certain extent – of each member of the society.

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Economic questions of precision maize production on chernozem soil
Published November 13, 2012
293-296

It is one of the main topical objective to establish the conditions of sustainable farming. The sustainable development in crop production also calls for the harmony of satisfying human needs and providing the protection of environmental and natural resources; therefore, the maximum consideratio of production site endowments, the common impleme...ntation of production needs and environmental protection aims, the minimum load on the environment and economicalness. Precision farmin encompasses the farming method which is adjusted to the given production site, the changing  technology in a given plot, the integrated crop protection, cutting edge technologies, remote sensing, GIS, geostatistics, the change
of the mechanisation of crop production, and the application of information technology novelties in crop production. Modern technology increases efficiency and reduces costs. The efficiency of crop production increases by reducing losses and the farmer has access to a better decision support information technology system. In addition, we consider it necessary to examine the two currently most important economic issues: “is it worth it?” and “how much does it cost?”. During the analysis of agricultural technologies, we used the precision crop production experiment database of KITE Zrt. and the Institute for Land Utilisation, Regional Development and Technology of the Centre for Agricultural and Applied Economic Sciences of the University of Debrecen.
During our analytical work, we examined three technological alternatives on two soil types (chernozem and meadow). The first technology is the currently used autumn ploughing cultivation. We extended our analyses to the economic evaluation of satellite navigationassisted ploughing and strip till systems which prefer moisture saving. On chernozem soil, of the satellite-based technological alternatives, the autumn ploughing cultivation provided higher income than strip till. In years with average precipitation supply, we recommend the precision autumn ploughing technological alternative on chernozem soils in the future. On meadow soil, the strip till cultivation technology has more favourable economical results than the autumn ploughing. On soils with high plasticity – considering the high time and energy demand of cultivation and the short amoung of time available for cultivation – we recommend to use strip till technologies. 

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Application of AquaCrop in processing tomato growing and calculation of irrigation water
Published June 30, 2018
183-187

The area and volume of processing tomato production is increasing in Hungary. Irrigation is crucial for processing tomato growing. To save water and energy, it is important to know exactly how much water is needed to reach the desirable quality and quantity. AquaCrop is a complex software, developed by FAO, which is able to calculate irrigation... water needs, several stress factors and to predict yields. A field experiment was conducted in Szarvas in processing tomato stands, under different irrigation treatments. These were the following: fully irrigated plot with 100% of evapotranspiration (ET) (calculated by AquaCrop), deficit irrigated plot with 50% of ET (D) and control (K) plot with basic water supply was also examined. Dry yield, crop water stress index and soil moisture were compared to modelled data. The yields in the plots with different access to water were not outstanding in the experiment. The model overestimated the yields in every case, but the actual and modelled yields showed good correlation. AquaCrop detected stomatal closure percentages only in the unirrigated plot. These values were compared to CWSI – computed from leaf surface temperature data, collected by a thermal cam in July – and showed moderately strong correlation. This result suggests that Aquacrop simulates water stress not precisely and it is only applicable in the case of water scarcity. Soil moisture data of the three plots were only compared by means. The measured and modeled data did not differ in the case of K and ET plots, but difference appeared in the D plot. The obtained results suggest that the use of AquaCrop for monitoring soil moisture and water stress has its limits when we apply the examined variables. In the case of dry yield prediction overestimation needs to be considered.

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