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Long-term trials have a twofold role in life sciences, acting as both live laboratories and public collections. Long-term trials are not simply scientific curios or the honoured relics of a museum, but highly valuable live ecological models that can never be replaced or restarted if once terminated or suspended. These trials provide valuable and dynamic databases for solving scientific problems. The present paper is intended to give a brief summary of the crop production aspects of long-term trials.

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Most Hungarian ecosystems are agro-ecosystems dominated by crops. In these agroecosystems small game has a secondary, but nevertheless very important role. On the one hand, the wild fauna figures are an indicator of the sustainability of a system. On the other hand, game management and hunting are traditional activities. Hunting can be regarded as a special kind of agriculture and small game management takes place on agricultural land, so more should be known about the connection between ecosystem components, such as climatic factors, crops and small game populations, for example that of hare. Data on the land use in Hungary were collected between 1960 and 2006. The area and yield of 30 field crops and various meteorological parameters were examined, as well as hare populations. The results suggest that in general the magnitude of crop areas had a stronger effect than the yield, while weather parameters had the weakest impact on the hare population.

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Acta Phytopathologica et Entomologica Hungarica
Authors: M. Jolánkai, Á. Tarnawa, K. Kassai, H. Nyárai, and Zs. Szentpétery

Agriculture is highly affected by climate change. Climate change impacts may influence almost all fields of agricultural activities; production efficiency, quantitative and qualitative deterioration of crop yields produced for alimentary purposes, and determine post-harvest manifestation of agricultural products inducing hazard in the field of food safety, transport, storage and distribution. Soil-climatic conditions, amount and distribution of precipitation, anomalies and extremities of temperature as well as various manifestation of air movement from stand still to storms are some of the main factors that may influence agriculture. Pollution has been considered solely as the presence of unfavourable alien matter in the environment, but in reality pollution is far more than that. Agri-environmental pollution is largely independent of mankind, since many pollution or degradation processes may begin with no direct relationship to human activities. Soil degradation, or irreversible damage to natural ecosystems by climatic factors (drought, flood, water logging, salinity) are the most frequent consequences. Biological pollution, like weed infestation, epidemics and gradations, pollen allergy, the poisonous effect of mycotoxins on farm animals and humans, new pests and diseases, the emission of greenhouse gases, and biological factors which cause quality deterioration represent an increasing pressure on agri-environment. This paper is intended to give an overview of some research activities and their results in relation with climatic aspects of agri-environmental pollution in Hungary.

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Cereal Research Communications
Authors: Zs. Szentpétery, M. Jolánkai, Cs. Kleinheincs, and G. Szöllősi

The effects of nitrogen (N) applications on Hungarian, French and Serbian winter wheat cultivars were studied in field trials, which were conducted from 1996 to 2003 in a central Hungarian region, Hatvan-Nagygombos. Nitrogen fertilizer rates of 0, 40, 80, 120, 40 + 40 and 80 + 40 were applied at tillering and after anthesis fazes (Feekes 3 and Feekes 10.5.). The nitrogen used was 36 % ammonium-nitrate in. Split-split plot design with four replications was used. In the experiment we analysed the changes of quantity and baking quality of yield. Amount of rainfall during the vegetation period had a significant effect on wheat yield. Differences in rainfall during the vegetation period — especially in April and May — had a significant effect, too. It turned out that in drought periods nitrogen top-dressing has a great importance. In the dry 2001–2003 years even the 40 kg/ha dose resulted in extra yield. 80 and 120 kg/ha fertilizer rates was even more effective. The increasing dose of nitrogen top-dressing and its division resulted in this trial in an outstanding quality improving effect in spite of the unfavourable ecological circumstances. Especially great improvement was observed in the case of foreign varieties. Nitrogen top-dressing stabilized the falling number values.

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Water supply of crop plants is the most essential physiological condition influencing quality and quantity performance of grain yield. In a 12-year experimental series of winter wheat agronomic trials run at the Nagygombos experimental site (Hungary) the effect of water availability has been studied. The location represents the typical average lowland conditions of the country, the annual precipitation of the experimental site belonging to the 550–600 mm belt of the Northern edges of the Great Hungarian Plain, while the average depth of groundwater varies between 2 to 3 metres. Crop years with various precipitation patterns have had different impacts on crop yield quality and quantity. Yield figures were in positive correlation with annual precipitation in general. Water availability had diverse influence on quality manifestation. Good water supply has often resulted in poorer grain quality, especially wet gluten and Hagberg values have been affected by that. Drought reduced the amount of yield in general, but contributed to a better quality manifestation in some of the crop years.

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