Táplánszentkereszt is situated close to Szombathely near the western border of Hungary. Its climatic conditions differ from those in Szeged being more humid and slightly cooler, which gives a chance for maize and wheat breeders to select under different environmental conditions and contributes considerably to the good yield potential and yield stability of our varieties.
Besides maize and wheat breeding, spring and winter barley breeding is of vital importance. Winter rapeseed, red clover and millet are traditionally major crops in that part of the country, and their breeding and seed production have had a long-standing tradition at our research station. The soybean breeding was a real success during the past decade resulting in superb cultivars.
The wheat breeding project in Táplánszentkereszt includes an own breeding program and a program carried out jointly with the breeders in Szeged, the so called regional testing of wheat stocks. The goal of the wheat breeding team in Táplánszentkereszt is to broaden the wheat variety assortment by utilising the ecologic conditions of the sub-Alpine region. The wheat breeding program done at the research station has resulted in five patented (GK Őrség, GK Pinka, GK Csörnöc, GK Répce, GK Kapos) and ten registered (GK Őrség, GK Pinka, GK Csörnöc, GK Répce, GK Marcal, GK Mura, GK Lendava, GK Rába, GK Kapos, GK Szala) wheat cultivars domestically. Three wheat varieties (GK Pinka, GK Mura, GK Lendava) were registered in Slovenia. The seeds of GK Rába, GK Marcal, GK Kapos and GK Szala are on the market to date.
Wheat breeding focuses primarily on improving the disease resistance, the yielding ability, and the grain quality of the varieties. Breeding for disease resistance is an important tool to make the positive traits of cultivars well established.
Besides the breeding program, the research work covers the following areas:
- testing the yield stability and grain quality of winter wheat varieties
- testing male sterility from the viewpoint of hybrid seed production
- testing the resistance to stem and leaf rust diseases
- conducting wheat production technological experiments for testing the specific features of the varieties and to fix their positive traits.
Our main breeding targets in barley breeding are improving the yield potential, stiff straw, disease resistance, tolerance to abiotic stresses caused by hard winters and drought. Earliness for the winter types and malting quality for the spring types are of crucial importance. The well integrated barley breeding program is carried out jointly in Táplánszentkereszt and in Szeged. The breeding of hybrid barley and investigating of male sterility in barley are novel issues.
The maize breeding program of Gabonakutató is conducted at two research locations, Táplánszentkereszt and Szeged/Kiszombor. The researches constitute an organic and inseparable unit and the results are diverted into a single channel. The Maize Breeding Department in Táplánszentkereszt has had an extremely important role in the progress of maize breeding program of Gabonakutató.
The two experimental locations differ in the climatic and soil conditions. The climate in Táplánszentkereszt is cooler, more humid and less extreme than in Szeged. The differences advance the selection of high yielding and competitive maize hybrids with good ecological adaptability.
The climate and the homogeneous soil with deep humus layer in Táplánszentkereszt enable the testing of maize hybrids for disease resistance to Helminthosporium maydis, Kabatiella zeae, leaf rust, Ustilago maydis, Fusarium ear rot and stalk rot under natural conditions.
The colleagues in Táplánszentkereszt have tremendously contributed to the development of super-early and very early maize hybrids with very short vegetation periods, such as TK 175, TK 195 and Sarolta, which are also competitive north of Hungary in the European and CIS countries.
Their involvement in the development of early, medium and late maize hybrids, just to mention GKT 372, GKT 376 and GKT 414 has also been remarkable. Actually, the inbred lines bred in Táplánszentkereszt can be found as the parental components in each registered maize hybrid of the present assortment and each hybrid candidate tested in the official trails to date.
Winter Rapeseed Breeding
The aim of the winter rapeseed breeding has been to develop double low cultivars, being exempt from erucic acid and having low glucosinolate content combined with increased yield potential and outstanding agronomic properties such as winter hardiness, earliness, good stalk strength and disease resistance. The breeding purposes have also been realized in our varieties, which are erucic acid free, have low glucosinolate content, and exhibit important positive traits, namely, outstanding winter hardiness and tolerance to stalk diseases. Recently we have succeeded in developing hybrid rapeseed cultivars, which perform well in the Ukraine, and after registration they may enter a large seed market.
We can offer the seed of highly productive winter rapeseed hybrids to the domestic farmers from international cooperation, too. Our winter rapeseed hybrids and lines are tested in a trial network in Europe, and they are highlighted by good winter hardiness and disease resistance. GK Gabriella has kept its leading position on the domestic seed market. Our winter rapeseed program and the resulting improved varieties and hybrids were awarded with Product Award on the Farmer Expo in Debrecen.
Besides the breeding program, the research and development work covers the following areas:
- introducing more up-to-date techniques for the analysis of nutrition value;
- breeding of high oleic varieties;
- development of the hybrid seed production and conditioning.
The soybean breeders launched an intensive breeding program in 2000 in order to develop highly productive soybean varieties with broad adaptability. The first result of this work is the soybean variety Pannónia kincse, which presented excellent results in the state variety trials and may deliver outstanding yields under farm conditions as well. Besides, its seed, conditioned and certified in our own seed plant, is available in premium quality on the market. This remarkable piece of innovation is grown on 30% of the domestic soybean growing area to date. It was awarded with the Agricultural Development Award on the 75th National Agriculture and Food Exhibition (OMÉK) in 2011 and the Grand Prize of Hungarian Crop Production on the exhibition Animal Husbandry and Farmer Days of Great Plain in Hódmezővásárhely in 2012.
We have been introducing soybean varieties with low trypsin inhibitor activities into the domestic market since 2012. Aires, Bahia and Hilario are compatible soybean varieties; give a promise of high yield and profitable production. The novel soybean varieties are assumed to become the determining base to support the extension of domestic soybean production. The development of allergen free and herbicide resistant soybean varieties on non-GMO basis are among our future goals.
Alternatve crops: Red Clover, Millet, Hungarian Millet and Buckwheat Breeding
Herbage crops are important in Hungary, in particular, red clover, which is widespread in the western part of the country. The climate is very favourable for herbage plants and their seed production as well. The diploid herbage plants perform better under dry conditions and the tetraploid ones in regions with higher humidity, like the western part of Hungary and Western Europe. Good disease resistance, improved yield capacity and longer life have had a big emphasis in our breeding work. Our red clover seed production provides a good opportunity for seed exports to Western Europe.
Three millet varieties were registered as a result of our millet breeding program. Fertődi–2 has yellow, GK Alba white and GKT Piroska red grains. These varieties are suitable to meet the various demands in human nutrition and animal feeding. The Hungarian millet breeding program has the purpose to widen the spectrum of bird-food. GK Erika is a dual-purpose cultivar, grown for its grain and as green forage. It is worth mentioning that Hungarian millet as well as millet has outstanding drought tolerance.
The buckwheat variety Oberon is the basic substance of reform and functional foodstuffs. Buckwheat is highly suitable for organic production: it is a specifically useful green manure crop after cereals with early harvest. Its value can be ranked with that of other cultivars and no pests or diseases are known to damage it. Its grains are not dormant in the soil; therefore it does not cause weediness. It combats the weeds owing to good early vigour.