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  • Author or Editor: Z. Zsubori x
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Twelve silage hybrids were included in field experiments in Martonvásár in 2007 and 2008 to compare the agronomic traits and chemical quality traits of leafy and non-leafy hybrids. The climatic data for the two experimental years differed considerably. The results reflected the differences in weather conditions. Thanks to the plentiful rainfall in 2008 the hybrids reached their genetically determined height (274.32 cm on average), while in 2007 the average height was only 238.03 cm. In both years a leafy hybrid was the tallest, while the shortest plants were non-leafy. The assimilation leaf area above the main ear was greatest for the five leafy hybrids in both years, with values of 0.35–0.45 m 2 per plant for conventional hybrids and 0.53–0.84 m 2 per plant for leafy hybrids, averaged over the two years. The larger leaf area in leafy hybrids could be attributed both to the larger number of leaves and to the fact that they were broader. The greatest ear mass per plant was produced by Mv Massil (198.66; 320.00 g), a leafy hybrid which also had the greatest leaf area above the main ear. In addition to large green mass (leaf, stalk), an ideal silage maize hybrid should also have satisfactory grain yield. Several of the leafy and non-leafy hybrids in the experiment gave favourable results. In the present experiment the highest starch content was recorded for a leafy hybrid, while the highest protein and oil contents were characteristic of early maturing, non-leafy hybrids. Nevertheless, three of the leafy hybrids had above-average protein content.

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Leafy hybrids represent a new direction in the breeding of silage maize. Not only does the increased number of leaves above the ear in these hybrids lead to an increase in dry matter production, but the large quantity of carbohydrates formed and stored in the leaves results in silage with better chemical quality. Many papers have been published abroad on this subject, but few data have been reported in Hungary.The present work aimed to examine the effect of genotype and year on six leafy and non-leafy silage maize hybrids over a period of four years (2002–2005), with special emphasis on the plant height, ear attachment height, leaf number, and fresh and dry matter yield.The results showed that the number of leaves above the ear was much higher for the two leafy hybrids (8.00 and 9.35) than the average of the other hybrids (5.56, averaged over the years). This trait was in close negative correlation (r 2 = −0.7346) with the ratio of ear attachment height to total plant height, a trait with strong genetic determination, little influenced by the year. In leafy hybrids the main ear was located far lower down, but the total plant height was similar to that of the other hybrids. The ratio of ear attachment height to plant height was 0.36 for the leafy hybrids, but ranged from 0.41 to 0.45 for the other hybrids (averaged over the years). In wetter years the hybrids were taller and had greater dry matter production per plant than in the dry year.

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Acta Agronomica Hungarica
Authors: Z. Hegyi, Z. Zsubori-Tóth, J. Pintér and C. Marton

Experiments have been underway in Martonvásár for many years to develop leafy silage hybrids, which have a greater aboveground mass than conventional silage hybrids. The best hybrids for biogas production would be those that produce a large quantity of biomass and are rich in starch. The chief characteristic of leafy hybrids is that they have more leaves than normal hybrids. Due to this enhanced leaf area above the ear, the vegetative period of leafy genotypes is shorter, while the grain-filling period is longer, which has a positive effect on both yield and grain quality. The results of the present experiment show that during the anaerobic fermentation of the silage, leafy hybrids produced more biogas (640 l per 1000 g dry matter) than conventional hybrids (606 l per 1000 g dry matter). There were no significant differences between the methane contents of the leafy and non-leafy hybrids tested in the experiment. A strong positive correlation was found between biogas yield and the starch content of the silage, and a moderate positive correlation between biogas yield and the sugar content. The correlation between biogas yield and the lignin and protein contents was negative, in accordance with other literary data.

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The European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis Hübn.), which is to be found almost universally in Europe and America, is an extremely important pest from the economic point of view. Losses caused by the pest range from 250-1000 kg/ha depending on the degree of infestation, the year and the yield averages. This fact justifies protection measures in Hungary on the whole of the seed production and sweetcorn fields and on 40% of the commercial maize sowing area. In addition to the direct damage, indirect losses are also considerable, since the injuries caused by the pest facilitate infection by Fusarium species. For the above reasons it is worth reviewing the habits of this pest, the extent of the economic loss resulting from the damage, and ways of controlling it.

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