Ökológiai Mezőgazdasági Kutatóintézet

Finally, a standardized domestic list of products acceptable for organic production!

Read more...In 2012, the Institute initiated the process of developing a standardized list of organic fertilizer and plant protection products for Hungary. After the first meeting organized on the topic, followed by a ministry-level discussion in early 2013, NÉBIH (the National Food Chain Security Office) agreed to take on coordinating the project.  In 2014 the Organic Working Committee was formed, tasked with developing and managing the standardized list. The Working Committee’s activity was important because such a list has never existed in Hungary that clearly defined the range of products permitted for application in organic production.

The Committee’s members include members of the governing bodies (experts from NÉBIH Directorate of Plant, Soil and Environmental Protection) as well as members of the domestic organic production industry, including advocacy groups such as the Association of Organic Producers of the Carpathian Basin (KÖSZ) and the Hungarian Bioculture Association, and also regulatory bodies such as Biokontroll Hungária Nonprofit and Hungária Öko Garancia, and research and development entities such as the Organic Agriculture Research Institute (ÖMKi). The Committee’s work is coordinated by NÉBIH.

5th Organic potato on-farm summary meeting

Read more...This year for the fifth time the Institute’s organic potato on-farm experiment’s producers met on December 9, 2015 in Gödöllő. The end-of-year evaluation event, usual to the season-closing, was open to others besides the participants as well. This year there were 32 participants of which 11 were expert advisers. 

One of the main goals of the event was to introduce the results of the on-farm experiment. In the 2015 production season, at 11 organic production facilities four different types of mid-season potatoes were tested, and three early-season types in  perforated-foil production. These results were explained by Orsolya Papp, the Institute’s horticultural expert.

On-farm research 2014: Our third annual report summary now available

Read more...The publication details the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture’s (ÖMKi) participatory, on-farm experiments from 2014. The goal of the experiments was to help strengthen organic agriculture in Hungary through cooperation, including developing and renewing applied technologies and helping disseminate knowledge. Along with all this our goal was to strengthen ties between the various sectors in organic agriculture and provide the opportunity for exchange of information.

The driving spirit of the on-farm research is cooperation. The selection, realization, evaluation and discussion of the experiments and their results ensure strong connections between the program’s participating producers – many of whom have decades of experience – and the participating experts, researchers and breeders. The meetings taking place throughout the year, as well as the on-site events, tastings and evaluation workshops provided the opportunity for community-building in the producer sector. The dialogue that developed among the participants made professional information more accessible and allowed mutual exchange of experiences and expertise, resulting in a multiplication effect that meant each participant could master new things that would not have been possible otherwise.

ICOAS 2015 – Our colleague, Zoltán Dezsény won the prize for best poster

Read more...Between October 14-17 the ICOAS 2015 conference was held in Bratislava, Slovakia which, as tradition dictates, started with the Summit for Professional Policy for Organic Production. This included contributions from representatives of the Slovakian Parliament as well as the Council of Europe, emphasizing the importance of research into organic agriculture. The following day the conference began with keynote speeches from Urs Niggli (FiBL) and Marco Schlüter (IFOAM EU). This year more than 40 scientific presentations and 60 posters were presented at the event, all on the theme of ‘Innovation in Organic Production.’ The nearly 100 participants heard many useful new research results and enjoyed access to many new professional contacts in the course of the event.

Dóra Drexler is this year’s recipient of the Peter Sárközy Memorial Medal

Read more...The Péter Sárközy Foundation for Organic Agriculture held its 13th Scientific Memorial Meeting on September 4 in Lakitelek in the Kölcsey House of the Népfőiskola Foundation. More than 90 people took part in the two-day event. Aside from many representatives of management, research and educational institutions there were also representatives present from the Carpathian Basin Organic Producers Members’ Organization.  This year’s presentations ranged from organic food production and the significance of organic products as well as quality issues. Presenters discussed their current achievements as well as the state of organic agriculture in various regions of the Carpathian Basin including Délvidék, Muravidék, Székelyföld, Felvidék, and the Karcag area. Per tradition, the awarding of the certificate and medal followed the lectures. This year’s recipient was Dr. Dóra Drexler, whose laudation was given by last year’s recipient, Dr. László Palik. The laudation mentioned that Dr. Drexler’s work at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture researching Hungarian organic production as well as her efforts at developing organic agriculture in Hungary are internationally recognized and considered exemplary.

Read more...We would like to thank the foundation’s board of directors and its president, Dr. Gábor Solti, for the honor of the award and recognition of Dr. Drexler’s work. The text of the laudation can be read in Hungarian here.

Heirloom Tomato Days at two locations this year

Read more...Since 2012 ÖMKi (Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture)`s tomato onfarm program has carried out research in cooperation with organic producers with the goal of developing production technology and gastronomic evaluation in several regions of the country.   This year`s event was aimed at showcasing the experiences of organic tomato producers as well as their technological practices and the horticultural experiments of the two farms giving home to the event.

A further goal was to share and have a critical debate around the practice-oriented research that we have carried out on the past three years on the production of heirloom varieties.  This summer on the morning of July 21st we visited the organic nursery of Aron Peto and Renata Bangha, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) project located in Szigetmonostor. This was followed by an afternoon visit, including lunch, to the Háromkaptár Organic Garden in nearby Tahitótfalu.

In the course of the day`s events Barbara Mirek greeted the participants and gave a brief introduction to the Institute`s heirloom tomato research including its up-to-date history, results and cooperations. She introduced the Institute´s newest publication, a technical manual entitled ‘Organic Tomato Production,’ the result of two years of professional labor.

Field organic production and soy production professional days under the aegis of the Institute

The Institute organized a professional development event titled `Current events in arable land organic production: spotlight on soy production’ on September 15-16 and September 22. The topic was justified by the fact that although domestic soy production has increased with the demand for GMO-free soy production and soy subsidies (in 2015 the country had more than 67,000 hectares in total) at the same time organic soy production is still less than 1000 acres. Production averages 1.6-2.3 tons per hectare, a wide range that makes profitability uncertain. For this reason both increasing production areas and stabilizing production are essential goals.

The first topic of discussion focused on the fact that the Institute`s two-day program on soy was incorporated into the by-now regularly-organized, thematically-grouped professional days series. The goal of this was that those producers and other professionals working in this area could be able to spend a significant amount of time on exchange of information and networking, discussing and debating topics in as broad a range of areas as possible.  In the interest of this on September 15, the first day of the two-day event, lectures were given in Tornyiszentmiklós where participants could also view growing experiments at Organic Food Inc.’s organic soy production farm. Following this was a professional meeting hosted by major domestic soy seed producer Lajtamag Inc.  On the next day participants could visit the Burgenland region of Austria, where they could tour two organic soy production facilities.

Organic potato production field day

Read more...The Institute organized a field day for producers involved in its organic potato farm on July 29. One of the participating producers, Levente Kovacs, hosted the other participants in  Szakály.

In the course of the morning Levente showed his parcels of potatoes, carrots, red onions and parsley, and gave a detailed description of his production technology. Because he produces several varieties of potato on a large area, his technology heavily emphasizes prevention, using conditioning agents on the foliage and regularly employing copper as  a preventative agent. In spite of proximity to Kapos he regularly irrigates in order to reach high average yields. Depending on variety and year he generally achieves 30 to 60 tons per hectare.  Among his varieties some of the most dominant include Desirée, but out of curiosity he tries new varieties each year. During the field excursion we were able to see 14 different varieties, among them two purple potatoes.

After viewing the fields we were able to see the machines, too – Levente has employed creative and budget-friendly solutions in this area, which were received with great interest by those of our colleagues with technical inclinations.

Potato peak IV – Evaluation meeting of the 2014 on-farm trials, planning of 2015 (20th January 2015)

Read more...A vivid co-operation in the organic potato professional workshop we have seen on the 20th January 2015 in Gödöllő, on the fourth on-farm organic potato meeting organized yearly by ÖMKi. The event had several objectives: presentation of the results of the 2014 growing season, summary of the results of the last three years and discussion of the purpose and forms of future cooperation. The meeting was quite successful and the afternoon ended with such an active exchange of views that will set common guidelines for the work of the next few years.

South Korean agricultural delegation's visit ÖMKi

Read more...We welcomed a South Korean agricultural delegation at ÖMKi on September 15, 2014. Most of the ten participants were directors or head researchers of state or county research institutes of the Asian country. Most of them execute advisory tasks too. The purpose of their visit was to learn about the European, including Hungarian organic research and development.