ÖMKi held professional meetings in March for farmers participating in past on-farm arable crops research and those with an interested in the topic to sumarize the programs of last year and encourage participation in this year’s work. These experiments are based on producer practice and done in settings shaped in cooperation with the farmers. ÖMKi’s main task is realizing research that helps Hungarian organic agriculture.
Production of arable crop uses 50,000 of the 130,000 hectares of Hungarian certified organic production area. Although organic grassland has a higher proportion among land use forms, Hungarian organic arable crop farmers produce the greatest value by percentage of Hungary’s organic products. Despite having the higest economic value, these products are mainly merchandised abroad and as raw material, potentially missing extra value and income that could be added to the Hungarian economy. Due to its great importance in Hungarian organic farming, ÖMKi takes a special interest in the problems of arable crop production. Among the arable crops, cereals have significant importance as their production is traditional in Hungary and they are easily marketed goods. Therefore, the majority of our organic arable crops research deals with cereals in the four following topics:
- Testing of wheat species under organic production and comparison of organic and conventional wheat production technologies;
- Comparative testing of hulled cereal species and varieties;
- Treatment of seeds – ’organic dressing’;
- Testing of plant and soil conditioners.
Since 2012 we have had a focus on organic soybean production as there is huge market demand in Western Europe. Hungary has significant comparative advantage in organic soybean production Due to our prohibition against GMO seed. In spite of such strong market and production advantages, there is no suitable Hungarian organic soy variety offered and profitable production is hampered by several factors. Because of this, we started to study effective organic soybean searching for well suited varieties and testing cultivation methods included microbiological pre-treatment of seed.
On-farm experiments use volunteers with participants farming in various areas of the country. The first professional meeting in 2013 was held in Mezőtúr (most participant farmers lived in this region). This year’s meetings were again planned to be close to the farmers. The first location was Karcag. One important reason for the choice is a wheat variety from Karcag (KG Kunhalom) was quite successful in last year’s variety testing. Results of 2013 surveys were presented at the Karcag Research Institute with 60 people attending. Among the pioneers of local organic farmers, Imre Hubai Sr. shared his experience and he introduced their farm.
The second professional meeting location was Nagydorog, the same venue as for a meeting about organic producer groups last year. This meeting drew 20 participants to the building of the Mayor’s Office. We would like to specially acknowledge János Komáromi, a pioneer of organic farming in Nagydorog and Imre Veres, Mayor of Nagydorog for the venue.
We held a third meeting on the Mezőtúr Experimental Farm (part of College of Szolnok). Local organizers did their utmost again, especially Mihály Tar, who has been managing Hungary’s largest organic test farm for almost two decades.
At the meetings, participants could taste bread and bakery products made from the organic cereals being tested. Breads were made in the bakery of Hubai family from wheat, spelt and einkorn. Flours were ground by Lipiliszt Kft., einkorn was hulled by Fair-Trade Kft. (Békéscsaba).
Good news for those who were not able to come:
Our research summary will be downloadable for free from our website next month.