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Soil nitrogen undergoes a series of chemical and biological transformations, which influence their availability to plants and the leaching losses. Methods for measuring various forms of nitrogen in soil are important in order to improve N management and to minimize losses of essential nutrients in soils.  In the present study 0.01 M CaCl 2 extraction was used to determine the concentrations of ammonium, nitrate and N-organic forms, as these are closely related to the N mineralization potential of the soil and play a major role in nitrogen availability to plants. Improving the precision of nitrogen requirement estimation is essential for increasing the efficiency and minimizing potential losses of nitrogen in agricultural production. A better knowledge of the plant-availability of nitrogen may help improve the efficient use of fertilizers and organic manure. In the present study the amounts of N-NO 3 , N-NH 4 and N organic were studied in Westsik's crop rotation experiment. The crop rotation experiment was established in 1929, and is the best known and most remarkable example of continuous production in Hungary, enabling the study of the long-term effects of organic manure treatment, the development of models and the prediction of the probable influences of different cropping systems on soil properties and crop yields in the Nyírség (sandy soil) region of Hungary.  The study aimed the optimization of the fertilizer recommendation system by considering the soil N-organic content as a measurement of site-specific mineralization potential. The 0.01 M CaCl 2 extraction method measures soluble organic N compounds that are related to the mineralization of organic nitrogen in the soil.  The introduction of this concept can possibly result in a more environment-friendly nitrogen fertilization, without negative effects on the yield or the quality of produced crops. Taking practicability and costs into consideration, the 0.01 M CaCl 2 extraction method is suitable for the routine analysis of measuring easily available organic nitrogen. 

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Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are obligatory biotrophic symbionts living in the roots of most terrestrial plants. AM fungi (AMF) have a positive effect on plant growth and plant nutrition, especially under stress conditions.  The aim of the present study was to observe the relationship between the mycorrhizal dependency and nutrient uptake of host plants and the rate of AMF colonization in a pot experiment. The degree of host growth responses to AMF colonization is expressed as mycorrhizal dependency (MD).  The pot trial was set up with a sterilized calcareous chernozem soil from Nagyhörcsök (Hungary) in a growth chamber under controlled climatic conditions. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum L.) plants were inoculated with Glomus claroideum (BEG23) , Glomus fasciculatum (BEG53), Glomus geosporum (BEG11), Glomus mosseae (BEG12) strains and a Glomus mosseae AMF culture produced by authors. The dry biomass production, the micro- and macronutrient concentrations of the shoots and the parameters of the mycorrhizal infection were determined. Each AM fungi species or isolate caused different and distinct changes in host plant growth and nutrient uptake. The biomass production of tomato increased significantly in the presence of AM symbiosis. The mean values of MD, calculated from shoot dry matter, varied between 36% and 55%. Mycorrhizal inoculation improved the P, N and K uptake of tomato. The highest values for root colonization, frequency of infection or arbuscular richness were found in the root of tomato inoculated with the two Glomus mosseae strains. The highest MD and nutrient contents appeared in the shoot of tomato treated withour Glomus mosseae strain, which may indicate a stronger affinity (compatibility) between the symbiotic partners. The results confirmed that the selected AMF strains are applicable in sustainable horticulture.

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From Hernádszentandrás to BioSzentandrás

An example of a sustainable bio-farm in Hungary

Acta Ethnographica Hungarica
Author: Anikó Báti

: W. W. Northon and Company . Csete , László – Láng , István 2005 A fenntartható agrárgazdaság és vidékfejlesztés [Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development]. Budapest: MTA Társadalomkutató Központ. Csurgó , Bernadett – Megyesi

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infection, nutrient efficiency and plant growth by Azotobacter in wheat: Evidence of varietal effects. pp. 136–147. In: Narula, N. (ed.), Azotobacter in Sustainable Agriculture . CBS Publishers, New Delhi, India

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The application of commercial rhizobial inoculants to legume crops is proving to be an alternative to synthetic fertilizer use. The challenge for sustainable agriculture resides in the compatibility between crop, inoculants and environmental conditions. The evaluation of symbiotic efficiency and genetic diversity of indigenous rhizobial strains could lead to the development of better inoculants and increased crop production. The genetic variability of 32 wild indigenous rhizobial isolates was assessed by RAPD (Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA). The strains were isolated from red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) nodules from two distinct geographical regions of Northern and Eastern Romania. Three decamer primers were used to resolve the phylogenetic relationships between the investigated isolates. Cluster analysis revealed a high diversity; most strains clustered together based on their geographical location.

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Participatory maize breeding (PMB) was initiated in Portugal in 1984 by Dr. Silas Pêgo at Sousa Valley. The VASO project was intended to answer the problem facing small farmers, i.e. yield increasing without losing the parameters defined by farmers in polycropping systems maintaining the quality traits under a sustainable agriculture. This model is based on the Integrant Philosophy, which contrasts with the Productivist Philosophy. The Integrant Philosophy is intended to fit a multicrop agricultural system that corporate agriculture does not reach due to incipient market conditions. The present document intends to be a contribution to: 1) the study of 20 years of VASO; 2) methods used in PMB for Portuguese open-pollinated maize varieties and 3) present research.

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The cultivation methods used in the experiments resulted in marked differences in the weediness of maize and wheat. The least weediness was found in the conventional tillage treatment. The crucial question in the conservation and no tillage for sustainable agriculture is the weed problem, especially if the technology of weed controls is unaltered as compare to the traditional one. The lower yield in this cultivation system can be attributed to the competition of weeds. To clarify the question, investigations were carried out in the years 2005–2008 in a long-term field experiment set up on brown forest soil at the University of Pannonia, Georgikon Faculty Keszthely. The lowest yields were obtained in the wheat–maize no-tillage system in comparison to the others. This was valid at high and low levels alike (good and unfavorable years). On the average of years the yield decrease was 10–15% as compared to the traditional cultivation. In the spring survey of the weed cover (%) in the wheat trials it was found that the weed coverage increased parallel with the N fertilizer amounts, and then declined in the treatment above 200 kg N. The relation of weeds v.s. N fertilizer is similar to the second power equation of the yield curve. In case of the maize trials, there were no significant differences between the N treatments (25–30%) regarding weed coverage. The gained results call attention to the fact that with the propagation of the reduced soil cultivation systems it is necessary to modify and harmonize the practice of weed control and fertilization. Instead of the schematic weed control and fertilization process, the application of scientifically well-established methods should be urged. In sustainable agriculture the data collection of weeds, the survey of dominant species, special herbicide combinations and the means of precision agriculture have to be taken into consideration.

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., 2010. Impact of long term trials on crop production research and education. Acta Agron. Hung. 58 . Suppl. 1–5. Várallyay, Gy., 2003. Role of soil multifunctionality in future sustainable agricultural development

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The present investigation was conducted to investigate the impact of bio-inoculants on the magnitude and direction of gene effects and mean performance for root length density, root biomass per plant, AMF colonization in roots and micronutrient uptake (Cu, Fe, Mn, Zn) in wheat under low input field conditions. The material for study comprised three wheat cultivars, WH 147 (low mineral input), WH 533 (drought-tolerant), Raj 3077 (high mineral input) and six generations (P 1 , P 2 , F 1 , F 2 , BC 1 and BC 2 ) of three crosses, namely WH 147 × WH 533, WH 533 × Raj 3077 and WH 147 × Raj 3077. The experiment was conducted in a randomized block design with three replications having three treatments, i.e. (i) control; (ii) inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, Glomus fasciculatum ); (iii) dual inoculation with AMF and Azotobacter chroococcum ( Azc ). The fertilizer doses in all three treatments were 80 kg N + 40 kg P + 18 kg ZnSO 4 ha −1 . Root length density, root biomass per plant, AMF colonization in roots and Zn and Mn content were found to be maximum after dual inoculation with AMF+ Azc in all three crosses. Joint scaling tests revealed that additive-dominance gene effects were mainly operative in governing the expression of root biomass, Cu and Zn content in all three crosses for all three treatments (i.e. control, AMF and AMF + Azc ). Pedigree selection in crosses WH 147 × WH 533 and WH 147 × Raj 3077 could be effective for breeding pure lines of wheat for sustainable agriculture (low input genotypes responsive to biofertilizers such as AMF and Azotobacter ).

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