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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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New challenges in soil management
Published September 5, 2018
Soil management represents two important tasks that are harmonization of the soil protection with demands of the crop to be grown on the given land under prevailing farming condition. Further goals are to preserve and/or develop the soil physical, biological and chemical condition and to avoid the unfavourable changes of the soil biological a...ctivity and the soil structure. Classical authors emphasised the importance of creating proper seedbed for plants. In the physical approach, tillage was believed to play an important role in controlling soil processes. Consequently, the period of several centuries dominated by this approach is referred to as the era of crop-oriented tillage (Birkás et al., 2017). The overestimation of the importance of crop requirements resulted in damaging the soils, which inevitably led to turn to the soil-focused tillage. Since the first years of climate change, as the new trends have raised concern, tillage must be turned into a climate-focused effort with the aim of reducing climate-induced stresses through improving soil quality.
The development of soil management has always been determined by the economical background. At the same time, deteriorating site conditions have contributed to the conception of new tillage trends by forcing producers to find new solutions (e.g. dry farming theory in the past or adaptable tillage theory nowadays). Győrffy (2009) recited the most important keywords were listed in 2001 and that seemed to be important in the future of crop production. These keywords (endeavours) were as follows:
− Biofarming, organic farming, alternative farming, biodynamic farming, low input sustainable agriculture;
− Mid-tech farming, sustainable agriculture, soil conservation farming, no till farming, environmentally sound, environmentally friendly, diversity farming;
− Crop production system, integrated pest management, integrated farming, high-tech farming;
− Site specific production, site-specific technology, spatial variable technology, satellite farming;
− Precision farming.
Győrffy’s prognosis proved to be realistic and the efforts mentioned above have mostly been implemented. New challenges have also appeared in soil management in relation to the last decades. The most important endeavours for the future are:
1) Preserving climate-induced stresses endangering soils.
2) Turn to use climate mitigation soil tillage and crop production systems.
3) Applying soil management methods are adaptable to the different soil moisture content (over dried or wet may be quite common).
4) Use effectual water conservation tillage.
5) Use soil condition specific tillage depth and method.
6) Adapting the water and soil conservation methods in irrigation.
7) Preserving and improving soil organic matter content by tillage and crop production systems.
8) Considering that stubble residues are matter for soil protection, humus source and earthworm’ feed.
9) Site-specific adoption of green manure and cover crops.
10) Applying site-adopted (precision) fertilization and crop protection. Considering the development in agriculture, new endeavours will occur before long.
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