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  • The effect of sulphur and nitrogen supply on the growth and nutrient content of spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
    Sulphur is an essential element for plants. Decreasing sulphur deposition from the air, and the use of more concentrated phosphate fertilizers, which contain no sulphur, has led to reports of sulphur deficiencies for wheat. Sulphur deficiency significantly affects yield and also the quality of wheat. The pot experiment was set up on calcareous chernozem soil at Látókép, Hungary, test plant was spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L). Seven treatments were used where nitrogen and sulphur were supplied as soil fertilizers in increasing rates (NS1, NS2, NS3) and in foliar fertilizer as well (NS1+fol., NS2+fol., NS3+fol.). Plant aboveground biomass production was determined in samples taken in the stages of development BBCH 29-30, 51-59, 61-69, 89. The nitrogen and sulphur content of straw and grain were measured. N/S ratios of grain and straw were calculated. The weights of grain were ranging between 8.6–16.1 g/pot. NS2 and NS2+fol. treatments produced the highest values. Foliar fertilizer had no further effect on grain. Analysing the values of the straw, it was observed that tendencies were similar to values of grain. The NS2 treatment produced the highest weight of straw and the NS3 rate already decreased that amount. The obtained results show the unfavourable effect of excessively high rate applied in NS3 treatment. The supplementary foliar fertilizer had no significant influence on the weight of straw. Both N and S-uptake of plant was very intensive at the stem elongation stage, then the N and S-content of plant continuously decreased in time in all treatments. The N-content of grain ranged between 2.215–2.838%.
    The N-content of grain slightly increased with increasing of nitrogen doses. In the higher doses (NS2, NS3) foliar fertilization slightly increased the nitrogen content of grain, although this effect was not statistically proved. The N-content of straw varied from 0.361 to 0.605%. The growing dose of soil fertilizer also considerably increased the nitrogen content of straw. Foliar fertilization further increased the nitrogen content of straw. The S-content of grain ranged between 0.174–0.266%. The lowest fertilizer dose (NS1) significantly increased the sulphur content of grain. The further increasing fertilizer doses (NS2, NS3) did not cause additional enhance in sulphur content of grain.
    The foliar fertilizer also did not change the sulphur value of plant. The increasing amount of soil fertilizer and the supplementary foliar fertilizer had no effect on the sulphur content of straw. The treatments influenced the N/S ratios of grain and straw. On the basis of experimental results it can be concluded that the examined nitrogen and sulphur containing soil fertilizer had positive effect on the growth and yield of spring wheat grown on the calcareous chernozem soil. The soil fertilizer application enhanced the grain nitrogen and sulphur content. The highest rate of fertilizer (600 kg ha-1) proved to have decreasing effect on the yield. The sulphur and nitrogen containing foliar fertilizer did not have significant effect on the yield parameters but slightly increased the nitrogen content of plant.
  • Grain yield and quality of maize hybrids in different FAO maturity groups

    An improvement in the quality of maize grain by increasing the level of components responsible for its biological value is possible
    by using genetic means. However, a change in the genotype, together with improving the nutrient properties of the grain, also has some
    adverse consequences connected with a fall in yield and in resistance to diseases.
    Field experiments were conducted during three years (2003, 2004and 2005) to evaluate environmental effects on grain yield and
    quality responses of maize hybrids. Twenty one hybrids of various maturity groups (FAO 150-400) were planted to achieve an optimum
    (60-70 000 plants per hectare) plant populations and grown under the medium-N (80 kg N ha-1) fertilization. Environmental conditions
    significantly affected maize hybrid responses for grain yield, starch, oil and protein contents, and consequently, starch, oil and protein
    yields per hectare. Hybrids of flint type, which have a short vegetation period, had high protein and oil content but the yield averages
    were low due to the slower rate of starch incorporation. Hybrids of the dent type have a longer growing season and more intense
    carbohydrate accumulation, but low protein and oil contents. In wet years there was a higher rate of starch accumulation, while dry
    years are favorable for protein and oil accumulation. Positive correlation existed between starch content and grain yield and 1000-
    weight as well as between oil content and volumetric weight among tested hybrids. Negatively correlation existed between grain oil and
    starch content as well as between oil content and grain yield and 1000-weight. Thus, end-users that require high quality maize may need
    to provide incentives to growers to off set the negative correlation of grain yield with oil and protein content.

  • Effect of different sources and doses of sulphur on yield, nutrient content and uptake by spring wheat

    The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of two sulphur forms (sulphate and tiosulphate) in combination with three different N:S ratios on the yield of spring wheat and total N- and S-content and uptake by the aboveground biomass on chernozem and sandy soil. In the greenhouse experiment, the effects of two sulphur forms were compared: sulphate (SO42-) and thiosulphate (S2O32-). The sulphate was applied as potassium-sulphate (K2SO4) and thiosulphate as ammonium-thiosulphate ((NH4)2S2O3). Increasing doses of both sulphur forms (24, 60, 120 kg S ha-1) were used with the same nitrogen dose (120 kg N ha-1) which caused three different N:S ratios background (1:0.2, 1:0.5, 1:1). Nitrogen was supplied in the form of monoammonium-phosphate (MAP), ammonium-nitrate and ammonium-thiosulphate. Plant samples were taken in three different development stages of spring wheat based on the BBCH scale: at the stage of BBCH 30–32 (stem elongation), BBCH 65–69 (flowering) and BBCH 89 (ripening). The total nitrogen and total sulphur content of plant at different development stages and also wheat grain were measured by Elementar Vario EL type CNS analyser. The nutrient uptake by plant and grain was calculated from the yield of spring wheat and the N and S content of plant.  The grain yield on chernozem soil ranged between 6.31 and 12.13 g/pot. All fertilised treatments significantly increased the grain yield compared to the control. The highest yield was obtained in the case of the application of 120 kg N ha-1 and 60 kg S ha-1in sulphate form. The grain yield on sandy soil varied from 2.53 to 6.62 g/pot. The fertilised treatments significantly enhanced the yield compared to the control. The highest yield was observed in the case of the application of 120 kg N ha-1 and 60 kg S ha-1 in thiosulphate form. On chernozem soil the increasing doses of sulphur (24, 60, 120 kg S ha-1) with the same N dose (120 kg N ha-1) increased the N-content of spring wheat at all development stages and in the grain. The treatments with different sulphur sources did not cause further changes in the N-content. On sandy soil in the most cases the N-content did not change significantly as a result of increasing sulphur doses. The treatments with sulphate form basically resulted higher nitrogen-content than treatments with thiosulphate form. The treatments with increasing sulphur doses resulted higher S-content on both of chernozem and sandy soil in the case of all development stage. Comparing the effect of the applied sulphur sources on the S-content it can be stated that at the stage of BBCH 30–31 and 65–69 the treatments with sulphate form resulted higher sulphur-content. At the stage of BBCH 89 there was no significant differences in S-content of grain as a result of different sulphur-sources.

  • Impact of environmental changes resulting from different sowing dates on maize yield

    Three Debrecen maize hybrids of different genotypes (Debreceni 285, Debreceni 377 and Debreceni 382) were examined on chernozem soil in a field experiment. During the two years of the experiment (2009–2010), we wanted to get to know how the examined hybrids reach to different sowing dates and what impact early, optimal and late sowing has on yield.

    In 2009, balanced soil and air temperature resulted in steady emergence. However, the low temperature in early April and the cooling down in mid-May 2010 caused a delayed emergence.

    The grain moisture content at harvesting and the high yield showed a strong crop year effect. In 2010, yield was much lower (1.664 t ha-1) and grain moisture was significantly higher (34%)than in 2009.

    In 2009, early sowing resulted in yield decrease (P<0.05), but it also significantly reduced grain moisture at harvesting (P<0.05). Although late sowing slightly increased yield (not significantly), but grain moisture at harvesting increased by 9.2%. In 2010, optimal sowing date was shown to be the best alternative from the aspect of yield, but there was no significant difference in comparison with early and late sowing. Grain moisture at harvesting greatly increased (13.3%).

    The Debreceni 382 maize hybrid reacted to sowing dates flexibly, neither early, nor late sowing affected its yield significantly and the grain moisture at harvesting showed 12% increase in the case of the late sowing date. In 2009, maize hybrids Debreceni 285 and Debreceni 377 reached their highest yield in the case of the sowing date which was shown to be optimal (23rd April), while the different sowing dates had no effect on yield in 2010.

  • Grain Moisture of Maize Hybrids in Different Maturity Groups at Various Harvesting Dates

    The experiments were designed to determine the extent to which late harvesting helped to achieve low grain moisture content. The grain moisture contents of 24 hybrids from each of four different maturity groups were recorded during the last decade of September and the first decade of November over a period of three years (1999-2001).
    The data indicated that late harvesting led to a substantially smaller difference between the hybrids. While in late September the difference between the grain moisture content of the earliest (FAO 200) and latest (FAO 500) hybrids was 8.9%, this value dropped to 1.5% over the average of three years when measurements were made in early November. With the exception of the earliest group, the grain moisture content in all the maturity groups declined during October. The later the hybrid, the greater the decline.
    This change in the grain moisture content during October exhibited a considerable year effect. When the weather in October was warm, with little rain, the decrease was greater, while in cool, wet years the grain moisture content declined to a lesser extent, or in some cases even increased.

  • Study of drought stress correlation on yield and yield components of maize cultivars (Zea mays L.)

    This article was investigated to study the correlation and analysis of drought stress regression on maize cultivars' yield and components. The variance analysis results showed a significant difference between drought stress levels in terms of plant height, total dry weight and number of seeds per row, the total weight of cob, grain yield, harvest index, stem diameter, and cob weight with protective leave. Also, there was a significant difference in ear weight without protective leaves, ear diameter, ear length, plant weight, 100-seed weight, and seed per ear on hybrid treatments. There were statistically significant differences between cultivars in plant height, leaf area, ear diameter, ear length, number of seeds per row, number of seeds per ear, the total weight of cob wood, 100-seed weight, harvest index, plant dry weight. The results of the correlation of traits for the mean levels of drought stress showed a positive and significant correlation between plant yield and plant height, seed per row, ear length and weight of 5 pieces of wood and also with a total weight of cob wood, ear weight with bark showed the highest correlation. There is a significant correlation between leaf area and stem diameter, plant weight, total dry weight at the probability level of 0.05. Correlation coefficients between traits in non-stress conditions showed a positive and significant correlation between grain yield and height, ear length and grain in the row, which was a significant increase compared to stress conditions. The correlation of traits under full stress conditions also showed that the correlation coefficient between cob length trait and positive height was positive and significant. From the study of correlation coefficients between maize traits in non-stress conditions, it can be concluded that the most important components of grain yield are cob length and grain per row. While the correlation coefficients under moisture stress conditions show that the grain trait in the row has a positive and significant correlation with yield, under stress conditions in the cob stage did not show any traits with correlation yield.

  • The influence of fertilization and tillage method on the formation root system capacity and grain production of spring barley

    To evaluate the interaction of year x variety, year x tillage method and year x fertilization on the grain yield and root system capacity (RSC) of spring barley, we ran polyfactorial field trials in agroecological conditions of a warm corn production area in Slovakia, at  Malanta, in 2009 and 2010. The RSC measurements were done using LCR - meter at a frequency of 1 kHz and they took place in four growth stages: at leaf development in the stage of four leaves (RSC1), in full tillering (RSC2), in the stage heading (RSC 3) and at the stage of ripening (RSC4). The values of grain yield, RSC1, RSC2, RSC3, RSC4 reached in 2009 comparison to 2010 were significantly lower. The highest yield in 2009 was reached by variety Marthe (4.49 t.ha-1) and by variety Bojos (7.19 t ha-1) in 2010. The highest values of RSC in observed growth stages were achieved by variety Bojos in 2009, and in 2010 also besides RSC1. Within both years, difference in yields between tillage methods was not observed. The values of RSC in growth stage of 4 leaves and tillering was higher at conventional tillage, butthe values of RSC3 and RSC4 were higher with minimized tillage. The highest grain yield and values of RSC in every growth stage were achieved on the fertilization variant “c“ in 2009 and on the fertilization variant “b“ in 2010. The correlation relationships between grain yield and RSC were significant and positive in every growth stage. The strongest relationship was found among grain yield and RSC (r=0.6047).

  • Trends in Dry Pea (Pisum sativum L.) Production

    Dry pea is an important, cool-season grain legume, which is grown worldwide on over 6 million hectares. The major producing countries outside Europe are China and Canada, followed by India, Australia, and the United States. France, Canada and Australia produce over 2 million hectares and are major exporters of peas. During the 1980’s, in developed countries of the European Union, pea production rose yearly by 6-10%, which represents a significant increase in both area and yield. Europe accounts for 50-75% of world pea production. In the 1990’s, the European Union produced 4-5 million tonnes of dry pea, of which 3-4 million tonnes were used for feed and 1 million tonnes for export. At the end of the 20th century, the growth in production was low, mainly because of the absence of support measures, and the better returns offered by other crops. In the countries of the former Soviet Union, dry pea was primarily used as feed and pea production dropped, due to a trend in livestock raising.
    Food consumption of dry pea is concentrated in developing countries, where grain legumes represent a useful complement to cereal-based diets as a relatively inexpensive source of high quality protein. As a result, human consumption of grain legumes fell from 2,2 kg/capita in 1961 to 0,5 kg/capita in 1999. The importance of grain legumes in food protein supply decreased, while that of cereal products increased. Shortage of grain legumes has adverse effects on the nutritional standard of poor people in developing countries.
    World dry pea production reached 16,7 million tonnes in 1990, with 3,7 million tonnes used as food, 11,4 million tonnes used as feed, and 1,0 million tonnes used as seed. Dry pea production was 10,9 million tonnes in 1999, and 3,5, 5,8 and 0,8 million tonnes was used as food, feed and seed, respectively. In the coming decades, world grain legume production and utilization as feed are expected to expand at a slower rate than in the 1980’s. Most of the increase is expected to occur in Eastern European countries, Canada and Australia, where production is anticipated to grow at 2% annually. The projection for the new millennium was derived from adjusted trends in area and yield over the period 1961-2000, based on FAO statistical data.

  • Integrated nutrient supply and varietal difference influence grain yield and yield related physio-morphological traits of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) varieties under drought condition

    The ever-growing world population entails an improvement in durum wheat grain yield to ensure an adequate food supply, which often gets impaired by several biotic and abiotic factors. Integrated nutrient management, such as nitrogen rate × foliar zinc × sulphur fertilization combined with durum wheat varieties were investigated in order to examine the dynamics of yield and yield related physio-morphological traits under drought conditions. The four durum wheat varieties, three-level of nutrient supply (i.e. control, sulphur, and zinc), and two nitrogen regimes (i.e. zero and 60 kg ha−1) were arranged in split-split plot design with three replications. Zinc and sulphur were applied as foliar fertilisation during the flag leaf stage, both at a rate of 3 and 4 liters ha-1, respectively. Results showed existence of genetic variability for grain yield, plant height, NDVI, SPAD and spike density. Foliar based application of zinc and sulphur at the latter stage improved the plant height. Nitrogen fertilized varieties with lower spike numbers showed to better yield formation. Co-fertilization of nitrogen and zinc improved grain yield of responsive varieties like Duragold by about 21.3%. Spikes per m2 were statistically insignificant for grain yield improvement. It could be inferred that the observed positive effect of sulphur, nitrogen and zinc application on physio-morphology and yield formation substantiates the need to include these essential nutrients in the cultivation system of durum wheat.

  • Effect of sowing technology on the yield and harvest grain moisture content of maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids with different genotypes

    From the aspect of the efficiency of maize production harvest grain moisture content shall be considered beside the amount of harvested grain yield. Hybrids with different genotypes and vegetation period length lose their moisture content different that is affected by row spacing and plant density – among agrotechnical production factors – depending on the given crop year. In the present research work three crop years with different weather conditions were studied (2013, 2014, and 2015). The small-plot field experiment was set up at the Látókép Field Research Centre of the University of Debrecen, Centre for Agricultural Sciences with four replications on a chernozem soil type. The effect of three factors was analysed in the experiment on yield amount and its moisture content. Factors were row spacing (45 and 76 cm), plant density (50, 70 and 90 thousand plants ha-1), while hybrids were of very early (Sarolta: FAO 290), early (DKC 4014: FAO 320, P 9175: FAO 330, P 9494: FAO 390) and medium (SY Afinity: FAO 470) ripening.

    In the crop year of 2013 the highest yield was produced – regarding the average of the hybrids – by the application of a row spacing of 45 cm (4.5%, 673 kg ha-1), however there was no significant difference between the yield of the populations of different row spacings. Significant difference (14.9%, 1751 kg ha-1; 6.3%, 583 kg ha-1) could be found in case of yield between different row spacing applications in 2014 and 2015. The effect of insufficiently distributed low amount of precipitation and lasting heat days in 2015 could be revealed in yield amounts and harvest grain yield moisture content results that were lower than in the previous years. In 2015 grain yield moisture content varied between 10.3 and 13.9% in case of a row spacing of 45 cm, while by 76 cm between 11.0 and 13.9%.

  • Using crop analysis in the precision nutrient supply system of maize

    The effect of the N, P and K supplies of soil on the grain yield and N, P and K status of maize was studied in a long-term mineral fertilisation experiment between 2001 and 2008 and nutrient supply limit values were determined to plant analysis. Based on the interaction between the N concentrtion of maize leaves measured at the beginnig of tasseling and grain yield, the satisfactory limit value of N supply to reach 10–14 t ha-1 yield was between 2.0–4.0%. Leaf analysis at the beginning of tasselling indicated that better P and K supplies were associated with a higher P and K concentration in the maize leaves. Correlation analysis on the P concentration of the maize leaves and the grain yield showed that at a grain yield level of 10–14 t ha-1 a P concentration of 0.20–0.37% represented a satisfactory P supply level. The satisfactory K supply limit value to reach 10–14
    t ha-1 grain yield was 1.5–2.6%.

  • Leaf reflectance characteristics and yield of spring oat varieties as influenced by varietal divergences and nutritional supply

    Inadequacy of nutrients in the soil and sufficient inaccessibility to nutrients is caused by factors that affect production and productivity of spring oat varieties. Exogenous application of nutrient and real time nutrient assessment can therefore reverse these associated negative consequences. A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the response of spring oat varieties to sulphur and silicon based fertilisation. Eight spring oat varieties, four level of nutrient application was arranged in a split-plot design with three replications. The obtained results showed that foliar application of sulphur improves the grain yield of most nutrients responsive varieties by about 34.7%. However, application of silicon had shown a diminishing return association to grain yield of variety GK Kormorán, GK Pillangó, Lota, Panni. LAI, thousands grain weight, SPAD, NDVI was significantly (p < 0.05) influenced by genetic difference of the tested varieties, developmental plasticity, and nutrient application. Significantly higher grain yield was obtained from the variety Mv Pehely than the other tested varieties. Therefore, it could be inferred that a combined use of nutrient responsive spring oat varieties and sulphur containing fertilisers could be important agronomic practice to improve grain yield and to develop climate resilient oat varieties.

  • Evaluation of dry matter accumulation of maize (Zea mays L.) hybrids

    The increase of the grain yield of maize is closely correlated with its seasonal dry matter accumulation. Dry matter is accumulated into the grain yield during the grain filling period. The following maize hybrids were involved in the experiment: Armagnac FAO 490, Loupiac FAO 380 and Sushi FAO 340. In order to determine dry matter content, two samples per week were taken on the following days: 22nd, 25th, 28th, 31st August, 4th, 7th, 14th, 18th, 22nd, 25th, 29th September and 2nd, 6th, 9th, 13th October. In the course of sampling the weight of 100 grains from the middle section of 4 ears was measured in 4 replications. Dry matter content was determined after drying to constant weight in a drying cabinet at 60 °C. Harvesting was performed on 13th October 2017.

    The daily precipitation sum was determined by local measurements, while the daily radiation and temperature data were provided by the Meteorological Observatory Debrecen of the National Meteorological Service in Budapest. Among the agrometeorological parameters, an analysis was made of the precipitation during the growing season, effective heat sums during the vegetative and generative phase, and the water supplies. The daily heat sums were determined using the algorithm proposed.

    The amount of precipitation in the winter period before the 2017 growing season was 210 mm. The soil was saturated until its field capacity. The rather dry and warm March and April had a favourable effect, but there was no worthy amount of precipitation until May (51 mm) due to the condition of the dried seedbed. Sowing was performed on the 5th of May 2017 in a randomised small plot experiment. There was favourable precipitation and temperature during the growing season, thereby providing ideal conditions for maize development, growth and yield formation. There was near average amount of precipitation in each year. The total amount of precipitation in the summer period is 342 mm. Temperature was mostly above the average, but there was no long and extremely warm period.

    The Armagnac hybrid reached its highest dry matter mass 126 days after emergence. Physiological maturity was reached sooner (on the 119th day) in the case of Loupiac, and even sooner in the case of Sushi (116th day). The thousand grain weight of Sushi (which has the shortest ripening period) was 286 g at the time of physiological maturity, while that of Loupiac was 311 g. Compared to Sushi, Armagnac showed 12 g more dry matter accumulation (306 g). In the case of all three examined hybrids, physiological maturity was preceded by an intensive phase, when the dynamics of dry matter accumulation was rather quick. On average, Sushi gained 2.8 g dry matter per day between 103 days following emergence and physiological maturity, while the same values were 3.2 g for Armagnac and 3.3 g for Loupiac. The aim of the regression line slope is to predict the behavior of the dependent variable with the knowledge of the values and characteristics of the independent variables using the regression line equation. Furthermore, to determine how the location affected the dynamic of dry matter accumulation in the Armagnac, Loupiac and Sushi hybrids. In regression analysis, the coefficient of explanation showed that the effect of day in the Armagnac was 97%, in the Loupiac 94%, in the Sushi 90 %. The determination coefficient (R2) is useful in determing how the regression equation fits. But, as we have seen, the determination coefficient alone is not sufficient to verify the model’s accuracy, in addition to the determination coefficient (R2), the normality of the data or the residuals, the variance of the variables at different levels, the independence of the data relative to time and non-oblique. Observations are evaluated for the correctness of the fitted model.

    Dry matter values decreased evenly and slightly following physiological maturity. According to our research results, it was established that physiological maturity is followed by a moderate dry matter loss. Until harvesting, Armagnac lost 40 g of its thousand mass weight in 29 days, while the same value pairs were 69 g in 36 days for Loupiac and 29 g in 39 days for Sushi. Loupiac – which had the highest weight at the time of physiological maturity – lost the most of its dry weight; therefore, Armagnac and Sushi had higher values at the time of harvesting.

  • Investigation of combining ability and superiority percentages for yield and some related traits in yellow maize using line × tester analysis

    Combining ability estimation is an important genetic attribute for maize breeders in anticipating improvement in productivity via hybridization and selection. This research was carried out to investigate the genetic structure of the 27 F1 maize hybrids established from nine lines derived from Maize Research Department and three testers, to determine general combining ability (GCA), determine crosses showing specific combining ability (SCA) and superiority percentages for crosses. Nine lines, three testers, 27 F1 hybrids and two check commercial hybrids (SC162 and SC168) were studied in randomized complete block Design (RCBD) with three replications during 2016. The results of mean squares showed that significant and highly significant for most studied traits (days to 50% tasseling, days to 50% silking, plant and ear height, ear position, ear length, no. of kernels per row, 100-kernel weight and Grain yield). Estimates of variance due to GCA and SCA and their ratio revealed predominantly non-additive gene effects for all studied traits. Lines with the best GCA effects were: P2 (line 11) and P6 (line 21) for grain yield, for testers Gm174 and Gm1021 had significant GCA effects for grain yield. The hybrids P5×Gm1021, P6×Gm1021, P7×Gm1021, P8×Gm1002, P9×Gm1002 had significant and negative SCA effects for grain yield. Crosses P1×Gm174, P2×Gm1002, P5×Gm1021, P6×Gm174, P6×Gm1021, P7×Gm1021, P8×Gm1002, P9×Gm1021 were the best combinations manifested and significant superiority percentages over than check varieties (SC162 and SC168) for most studied traits. Therefore, these hybrids may be preferred for hybrid crop development.

    Abbreviations: GCA general combining ability; SCA specific combining ability

  • Effects of plant density on photosynthetic characteristics and yield of maize under irrigation condition

    Maize plant response to plant density is an essential agrotechnical factor used for determining grain yield. Three plant densities (60,000 ha-1, 72,500 ha-1, and 85,000 ha-1) were used in this study to ascertain the effect of photosynthetic parameters and grain yield. Results show a significant difference in the photosynthetic parameters (SPAD, NDVI, LAI) and plant height for plant density of 85,000 ha-1. Grain yield and stem diameter were not significantly affected between the different plant densities.

  • Harnessing diversity in durum wheat (Triticum turgidum L.) to enhance climate resilience and micronutrient concentration through genetic and agronomic biofortification

    Huge consumption of wheat-driven food products with low bioavailability and small concentrations of zinc is responsible for zinc-induced malnutrition and associated health complications. The contemporary durum wheat varieties have inherently tiny zinc concentrations in developing grain, which cannot meet the daily human zinc demand. Despite the fact that over two billion people are suffering from iron and zinc-induced malnutrition, various intervention measures have been deployed to reverse the effect of zinc-induced malnutrition on humans. There are evidences that agronomic and genetic biofortification approaches can increase grain yield and nutritional quality (i.e. zinc, iron, protein, and vitamins) of durum wheat to a greater extent. However, there is a lack of direct empirical evidence for which the influence of both biofortification approaches on improving human health. Application of micronutrient-containing fertilizers either in the soil or foliarly is effective in combination with NPK, organic fertilizers coupled with efficient durum wheat varieties, emphasizing the need for integrated soil fertility management (ISFM). Although genetic biofortification is a cost-effective and sustainable approach, agronomic biofortification provides an immediate and effective route to enhancing micronutrient concentrations in durum wheat grain. The application of zinc-containing fertilizers is more effective under drought conditions than in normal growing situations. Hence, this article provides a key information for agronomists and breeders about the potential of biofortification interventions to improve durum wheat yield and enrich the grain qualitative traits to ensure food and nutritional security of the ever-increasing world population.

  • Changes in the Sulphur Content of Winter Wheat in a Field Experiment

    The use of superphosphate as P-containing fertiliser decreased in the last years in many countries in accordance with strict air pollution laws, and the S-deposition decreased from the atmosphere to the soil as well.
    Winter wheat is the one of the S-demanding plants. Recently, the gradually increasing S absence endanger the formation of required average yield of winter wheat, and has bad effect on its quality.
    We examined the effect of treatments on the sulphur-, nitrogen content and the N/S ratio of winter wheat in the whole upperground plant and in the grain and straw at harvest in a arable land sulphur fertilization experiment on brown forest soil (Agricultural Company of Felsőzsolca).
    We analysed the samples from spring to harvesting, in the critical phenophases. In this study we discuss only the values from the stooling and stalking and the results of analysis of grain and straw in the harvest.
    We experienced that the concentration of sulphur in the whole upperground parts of winter wheat showed increase to the end of vegetation independently of fertilization. The N/S ratio was between 8% and 12% in the beginning of the growth period in the whole upperground plant, while the ratio in the grain at harvest was between 13 and 14%. When we examined the whole upperground plant, stalk and leaf at stalking, we got the highest sulphur content in the leaf. Mostly the middle level sulphur fertilization dose (4 l/ha) increased the sulphur accumulation in the green plant. At total maturing, the greatest part of accumulated sulphur is in the grain, but then the effect of fertilization is less glaring.

  • Sequence stability at SSR, ISSR and mtDNA loci of common millet (Panicum miliaceum) from the middle ages

    Seed remains of medieval millet, recovered from a 15th century layer (King’s Palace, Budapest, Hungary), showed reddish yellow grain color after rehydrating on tissue culture medium that was close to grain color of modern cultivar Omszkoje. aDNA of medieval c. millet was extracted successfully, analyzed and compared to modern common millets by ISSR, SSR, CAPS and mtDNA. Analyses of fragments and sequences revealed
    polymorphism at seven ISSR loci (22 alleles) and at the 5S-18S rDNA locus of mtDNA. CAPS analysis of the 5S-18S rDNA fragment revealed no SNPs in the restriction sites of six endonucleases TaqI, BsuRI, HinfI, MboI, AluI and RsaI. Sequence alignments of the restriction fragments RsaI also revealed
    consensus sequence in the medieval sample compared to a modern variety. Morphological characterization of twenty common millet (Panicum miliaceum L., 2n=4×=36) cultivars and landraces revealed four distinct clusters which were apparently consistent with the grain colors of black, black and brown, red, yellow, and white. In the comparative AFLP, SSR and mtDNA analysis modern millet cv. ‘Topáz’ was used. AFLP analysis revealed that extensive DNA degradation had occurred in the 4th CENT. ancient millet resulting in only 2 (1.2%) AFLP fragments (98.8% degradation),
    compared to the 15th CENT. medieval millet with 158 (40%) fragments (60% degradation) and modern millet cv. ‘Topáz’ with 264 fragments (100%). Eight AFLP fragments were sequenced after reamplification and cloning. Microsatellite (SSR) analysis at the nuclear gln4, sh1, rps28 and rps15 loci of the medieval DNA revealed one SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) at the 29th position (A to G) of rps28 locus compared to modern millet.
    Mitochondrial (mtDNA) fragment (MboI) amplified at the 5S-18S-rDNA locus in the medieval millet showed no molecular changes compared to modern millet. The results underline the significance of survived aDNA extraction and analysis of excavated seeds for comparative analysis and molecular reconstruction of ancient and extinct plant genotypes. An attempted phenotype reconstruction indicated that medieval common millet showed the closest morphological similarity to modern millet cultivar Omszkoje. 

  • Rye plant parameters in the Westsik crop rotation experiment

    Our research work was carried out in the Westsik crop rotation field experiment in 2018. The main research purpose was to analyse the effect of the different organic and chemical fertilizers on parameters of rye. Our results revealed some differences between the different fertilization methods. One spike weight, grain weight of one spike, rye plant height, rye plant weight per m2 and 1000 seed weight in crop rotations VII, XV and VIII were different from the data of all crop rotations. This finding can be explained by the fact that crop rotations VII and XV were non-fertilized, only 23.3 t ha-1 straw manure (VII) or green lupine manure was applied as a second crop (XV). In addition, crop rotation VIII consists of four parts where we apply chemical fertilization with green lupine manure as a main and second crop. There is a positive close correlation between rye plant height and other studied characters (rye plant weight per m2, spike length, weight of one spike, grain weight per spike, spike weight per m2, grain weight per m2 and 1000 seed weight).

  • Surface polishing method application to reduce micotoxin content of mill wheat

    The fungi causing the infection and most of the harmful toxins they produce are concentrated in the bran of the grain, thus the intensive surface cleaning, the so-called debranning operation could allow the reduction of contamination in the milling technology. The essence of the PeriTec technology – originally developed by SATAKE, a Japanese company, to clean rice – is that it gradually removes the bran layers of the grain by mechanical means before further processing. We modeled the PeriTec technology with a laboratory size, batch-operating, horizontal debranning machine by SATAKE. The flour, milled grain after grinding 40 sec, the initial toxin content was only a small proportion (~15–20%) measured. The results showed that below the limit of DON toxin contaminated wheat (DON: 1.15 mg kg-1) during the grinding surface of the detached bran toxin contamination shows a very high (6.16 mg kg-1). The 40 seconds debranning before grinding shows lower DON toxin content than without debranning. So it is importance before the grinding. The toxin contamination of the bran fractions is significantly reduced, which is importance to the feeding point.  As a result of debranning, the toxin content of the grinding fractions decreased, which justifies that that PeriTec method is suitable for the reduction of toxin contamination. 

  • Bioenergy production: are the objects realistic??

    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 after 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.

  • Examination of the impact of sowing technology models on the ear, constiuent and yield parameters of the yield formation elements of maize hybrids of different genotypes

    Production year 2012 has been characterised by climatic extremities. The weather of this year can be considered very contradictory in terms of maize production. The droughty conditions of the winter and spring months had a negative effect on both germination and starting vigour. The favourable weather of May-July created ideal conditions for intensive growth and generative processes; however the lack of precipitation in August and September had a damaging effect on the development of yield composing elements and grain saturation processes as well. Under such circumstances, the sowing date models caused significant differences in the yield and quality of the hybrids belonging to different growth periods. The growing period of the maize hybrids has been shortened as a result of the unfavourable climatic conditions.

    Based on the trial results, it is verifiable that short growing period hybrids can be securely sown in draughty years even with a later sowing date, however using a later sowing date in the case of longer growth period hybrids may result even in a yield loss of 2–3 t ha-1. In the case of early and average sowing dates, with given yearly conditions the hybrids of the observed FAO 370-390 hybrid group provided the best result (12.40 t ha-1, 10.99 t ha-1), while in the case of the third, late sowing date the yield dominance of the FAO 290-350 hybrid group is the most significant (10.08 t ha-1).

    The analysis of the yield composing elements found that the P9578 hybrid has the highest shelling ratio, while its cob is the shortest. The P9494 hybrid has a high yield and the highest thousand grain weight, while the DKC 4983 has the longest cob and its thousand grain weight is above 300 g.

    The results confirm the fact that DKC 4590 has the highest yield potential and starch content, while in terms of oil and protein content the Szegedi 386 and NK Octet hybrids are the most important.

  • A genetic study regarding the number of grains in spike in winter wheat

    Grain number per spike was studed in 6 winter wheat varieties and all their 30 direct and reciprocal F1 hybrids. Parents
    included 4 released Romanian variety, the old american Atlas 66 and a dwarf breeding line, Oradea 79. This line has a low number of
    grains/spike, but is important in breeding program for here reduced height. General and specific combining abilities were computed and
    genetic effects were estimated using Griffing’s method 1, model 1, as modified by Cabulea (1983).
    For this diallel crosses, gene interactions and the interaction between cytoplasm and nuclear genes were highly significant and
    the ratio of additive and non-additive effects was close to one.
    The variety Fundulea 29 showed the highest general combining ability and it is recommended as a good parent for increasing
    grain number/spike. Mid-parent heterosis was significant in 9 out of the 30 cases, mostly in hybrids involving the breeding line Oradea 79.
    In 3 cases the number of grains/spike of F1 hybrids was significantly lower than the average of the parents. The breeding line Oradea 79 had
    a significant negative general combining ability, but showed significant positive specific combining ability in most crosses, as well as a
    significant positive effect of its cytoplasm. These results are considered to indicate that there are chances of improving the grain
    number/spike in some crosses with Oradea 79.

  • The effect of hybrid, nutrient-supply and irrigation on the grain moisture content at harvest and the starch-content of maize (Zea mays L.)

    Maize is a worldwide dominant plant. According to nowadays plant production principles it is important to investigate and optimize the site-specific nutrient-supply and other production factors, such as hybrid and irrigation, in the case of this plant as well.
    At the Research Institute of the University of Debrecen, Center of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering, at Látókép the effect of nutrient-supply and irrigation on the quantity and quality parameters of different hybrids were investigated in a small plot long-term field experiment. In this paper we introduce the results regarding the corn moisture-content and the starch content of the yield.
    We have chosen three maize hybrids – that have been bread in Martonvásár – for our investigations. The effect of macronutrients is investigated in this experiment on five levels. The half of the experimental area can be irrigated during the vegetation period – whenever it is needed – by linear irrigation equipment, but on the other half only the water amount originating from the precipitation can be used by plants.
    In the year 2008 the hybrid affected the grain moisture content at P=0.1% level, while nutrient-supply had an effect at P=10% significance level. We haven’t revealed either any effect of irrigation or of interrelationship between production factors. It can be stated that there are differences between the hybrids on each nutrient-supply and on both irrigation levels. The grain moisture content increased parallel to the longer vegetation
    The starch content of maize is mostly affected by the hybrid,
    so on P=0.1% significance level. Regarding our results, it can be
    stated, that the starch content shows a decreasing tendency
    parallel to the longer vegetation periods.

  • Determining factors of test weight in maize (Zea mays L.)

    Most domestic maize production products are sold on markets abroad. Among the increasingly restrictive quality requirements, the demand for the measurement of test weight has also appeared. This measurement is not unfamiliar in the case of other cereals, such as wheat and barley, but it has not been applied widely in maize. It is likely for this reason that we have such little information and research available on this topic. In this study, we show the current state of this field with references from domestic and international literature.
    The density of maize is the weight of a particular volume and the most frequent unit is the test weight (kg/hl). This physical quality factor plays important roles in the storage, transport and mill industries. The value of test weight is influenced by many factors. The most important ones are the moisture content of grains, drying temperature, drought, precipitation, early frost, and the hybrid characters of a given genotype (grain type, FAO number). In general, the grain with higher moisture content has lower test weight and the higher temperature during (above 82°C) desiccation also leads to unfavourable values. Factors such as a drought interval after flowering, early frost in the case of hybrids with higher FAO numbers, injuries by insects, as well as fungal infections also influence the structure and moisture content of the maize grain.
    In the future, broader studies (hybrid testing, application of new agrotechnical elements) will be needed for understanding of the factors effecting test weight.