The target of the maize breeders is first of all to develop maize hybrids that can be grown successfully under the climatic and farming conditions and on the soils of Hungary.
Hundreds of new lines are developed annually and from their crossings, thousands of new hybrids originate. The breeding work is realized in proper integration in Szeged (in the Great Hungarian Plain with arid conditions) and in Táplánszentkereszt (in western Transdanubia with cooler and wet conditions). The trials under different environmental conditions permit selecting ideal combinations with broader adaptability. Parameters, like the change of the grain moisture content during ripening, the chemical composition of grains, the disease resistance of plants and ears and the herbicide tolerance are also assessed.
From year to year, new maize hybrids are registered in Hungary and abroad, recently in Romania, Slovakia and the member states of the former Soviet Union. Domestic and international cooperation is an important issue and enhances the testing of our maize hybrids abroad.
The certified seed of the maize hybrids belonging to the very early, early, medium and late maturity groups is multiplied and conditioned by the seed plant in Kiszombor and distributed by the Marketing Department. In our catalogue, production technological guides based on extensive agronomy research and crop production experiences accompany the maize hybrids offered to the farmers. Our maize breeding program has been adjusted to the need of the market. We not only focus on the most valuable hybrid combinations, but also try to find optimum solutions for the special utilisations of maize.
Our research workers participated and are open to participate in the future as well in funded R&D projects with research and business partners.
Maize production technological trials
An integral part of our activities is conducting production technological trials with maize genotypes, in which, among others, the responses of maize genotypes to various plant densities and fertiliser doses are tested. Field trials with herbicides are also carried out, and they inform not only about the efficiency of weed control, but also about the susceptibility of hybrids. The parameters, mainly variables, observed in the crop production trials are valuable in estimating the stress tolerance of maize hybrids. Production technological guides are based on the results, which are included in our variety catalogue and handed over to experts working in practical farming to ensure their competitive maize growing.
DEPARTMENT OF FORAGE SORGHUM BREEDING
Our grain and silage sorghum hybrids are profitable forage crops, because they have excellent drought tolerance and grow well on poor soils. Forage sorghum species have importance as renewable energy sources, namely, grain sorghum and silage sorghum for the production of biogas and bioethanol, and Sudan grass for the production of biogas.
Our breeding work generally concentrates on disease tolerance, stalk strength, adaptability to environmental conditions, and quality traits. Specific breeding goals for grain sorghum: lower tannin and higher protein content; for silage sorghum: increase in sugar content; for Sudan grass: minimum cyanide content.