Authors:A. Mijić, I. Liović, V. Kovačević and P. Pepó
Oil crops constitute the second most important field crops worldwide and are important both in Hungary and Croatia. Among the oil crops, sunflower has a significant role in Hungary (∼550,000 ha) and Croatia (∼30,000 ha). The main aim of this study was to compare sunflower yields and their variation over years (2000–2007) in the eastern parts of Hungary and Croatia, with the emphasis on the impact of rainfall and temperature regime, and using a rain factor (RFm) calculated monthly as the quotient of precipitation (mm) and mean air temperatures (°C). The results showed that the year had a different effect on the yield of sunflower in the different counties of eastern Hungary and Croatia, because of their different soil conditions. The results proved that the highest yields of sunflower (2140–2710 kg ha−1) were obtained in years when the rainfall before and during the vegetation period was 110–130 mm and 350–420 mm, which was very similar to the 30-year mean data (82–108 mm and 305–346 mm, respectively). The strongest correlations (positive and negative r values) between meteorological data and sunflower yields were found in counties with unfavourable soil conditions. In counties with better soil fertility the correlation coefficients were smaller, indicating that better soil conditions can compensate for unfavourable year effects (especially temporary shortage of rainfall or unfavourable rainfall distribution).
Authors:J. Křen, K. Klem, I. Svobodová, P. Míša and V. Lukas
The processes of stand structure and yield formation of spring barley were studied under different weather conditions and crop management. The multifactorial small-plot trials focused on the combined effect of variety, sowing density and nitrogen nutrition were carried out in two years with contrast weather conditions for yield formation (2011 and 2013). Evaluation of the above-ground biomass and the segmentation of tillers into three groups was conducted in four growth stages (BBCH 25, 31, 39 and 75). The performed analyses confirmed that for effective use of inputs and high yield, it is important to create a sufficient number of strong tillers at the beginning of vegetation. In year with low proportion of strong tillers at the end of tillering (2013), the differentiation of tillers is delayed and their productivity decreases. In this year therefore, yield formation is shifted from the number of spikes to the number of grains in a spike. The comparison of barley genotypes revealed that high yield plasticity can be obtained especially in the variety Bojos, which is able to compensate effectively the changes in spike number by increased grain number in a spike. This variety is also able to create a high proportion of strong tillers even under unfavourable conditions. This knowledge could help to improve the breeding and management strategy in spring barley for the expected weather conditions in the near future, especially higher temperatures in early spring.
The carbon balance of the sandy pasture (Bugac) and the mountain meadow (Mátra) varied between −171 and 96 gC m−2 year−1, and −194 and 14 gC m−2 year−1, respectively, during the study period (2003–2009). Large part of interannual variability of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was explained by the variation of the annual sum of precipitation in the sandy grassland ecosystem, while this relationship was weaker in the case of the mountain meadow on heavy clay soil. These different responses are largely explained by soil texture characteristics leading to differences in soil water contents available to plants at the two grasslands. The grassland on heavy clay soil was more sensitive to temporal distribution of rainfall for the same reason. The mountain meadow therefore seems to be more vulnerable to droughts, while the sandy grassland is better adapted to water shortage. The precipitation threshold (annual sum), below which the grassland turns into source of carbon dioxide on annual basis, is only 50–80 mm higher than the 10 years average precipitation sum. In extremely dry years (2003, 2007 and 2009), even the sandy grassland ecosystem was not stable enough to maintain its sink character.
The aim of the study was to analyse the effect of atmospheric cadmium (Cd) pollution of atmospheric origin in maize compared to a control without Cd pollution. The plant parameters investigated were the timing of phenological phases, leaf area index (LAI) and yield, while radiation and water regime parameters were represented by albedo (reflection grade) and evapotranspiration, respectively. In treatments with and without irrigation, Cd caused a significant reduction in LAI, accompanied by lower evapotranspiration. The mean annual albedo in the Cd-polluted treatment only rose to a moderate extent in 2011 (in 2010 there was hardly any change), but changes within the year were more pronounced in certain phases of development. Cd led to greater reflection of radiation by plants during the vegetative phase, so the radiation absorption of the canopy was reduced leading to a lower level of evapotranspiration. In the dry, hot year of 2011 maize plants in the non-irrigated treatments showed a substantial reduction in grain dry matter, but maize yield losses could be reduced by irrigation in areas exposed to Cd pollution.
Authors:B. Sas, G. Domány, Ilse Gyimóthy, Katalin Gaál Kovácsné and M. Süth
The effect of free-range versus cage management system on corticosterone transfer into the eggs was studied in laying hens. Hungarian Yellow laying hens (age: 21 weeks, body weight: 2.0 ± 0.5 kg) were divided into two groups in the spring: Group I, free-range keeping (n = 15 layers, density: ≯ 0.5 bird/m2) in outdoor runs, with continuous access to a commercial layer feed; Group II, hens kept in battery cages (n = 17 layers, density: 2 birds/m2, natural light, continuous access to feed and water). Eggs were collected after a one-week adaptation period on days 2, 7 and 16. Corticosterone (CST) was extracted from homogenised egg samples using an ASE-200 Accelerated Solvent Extractor and then assayed by liquid chromatography linked with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) [Thermo Quest Surveyor high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) interfaced via Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionisation (APCI) ion source to Finnigan/Thermo Quest LCQ Deca MS/MS] using dexamethasone as internal standard with positive APCI ionisation. CST concentrations of whole eggs laid by free-range hens on days 2, 7 and 16 were 0.370 ± 0.218, 0.259 ± 0.066 and 0.915 ± 0.745 ng·g-1, respectively, while those of eggs laid by caged hens were 0.206 ± 0.157, 0.223 ± 0.165 and 0.184 ± 0.110 ng·g-1 at the above sampling times. It is concluded that in free-range laying hens the sharp changes of environmental weather conditions significantly increased the corticosterone content of eggs, while the environmentally controlled and closed battery cage management technology resulted in relatively uniform corticosterone concentrations in the whole eggs.
Dwarf bunt disease had been reported until 2009 from five of the fifteen wheat growing countries which imposed zero tolerance on the presence of T. controversa teliospores in imported wheat. Because of the possible export restrictions, Hungary has to do annual surveys to prove that the country is free from T. controversa. According to nation-wide surveys carried out between 2007–2009, 0% of the samples were contaminated with T. caries or T. foetida in 2007, whereas common bunt was detected in 12.77% and 15.24%of the samples in 2008 and 2009, respectively. In addition, hundred percent of the samples examined were free from T. controversa between 2007–2009. The possible reasons for the absence of dwarf bunt disease in Hungary are discussed.