Ökológiai Mezőgazdasági Kutatóintézet

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.

Gastronomic ratings of organic potato

Read more...On 24th of September, chefs of the Hungarian Gastronomy Association (MGE) tasted seven items (Balatoni Rózsa, Bettina, Big Rossa, Chérie, Démon, Hópehely, Tiamo) of the 2014 harvest of the organic potato variety trials. The palette was widened by two additional species of the Keszthely Potato Research Centre (Somogyi Kifli, White Lady conventional cultivation) and Csaba Salamon also ran a breed (called Porvai Kék) from his own garden. The result is encouraging. According to MGE’s founder, Tamás B. Molnár, the category winners touch on the world standards. Especially interesting was, that the Somogyi Kifli, recorded as type 'A'- potato for salad - achieved rating among the fried samples. The winners are:



- I. Démon

- I. Hópehely

- II. Hópehely

- II. Démon

- III. White Lady

- III. Somogyi kifli

Between the first two finishers here the race was very close.


ÖMKi received foreign experts in the framework of the Leonardo project

Read more...ÖMKi organized a two-day professional meeting and workshop for the foreign partners of the Leonardo Da Vinci project OFEOF on 11-12 September 2014. On the event „The on-farm research and training in the organic potato cultivation” there were participants (organic producers, breeders, researchers and consultants) from the Austrian FiBL, from IBLA in Luxembourg and from the Czech Bioinstitut. The topic of professional visit was the on-farm research of organic potato production.

Tasting landrace tomatoes with the main actors of the Hungarian gastronomy

Read more...On August 27, 2014 in the afternoon in a downtown restaurant called Lacipecsenye gathered the crème de la crème of Hungarian haute cuisine, for no other reason than to taste the local varieties of this year's crop from ÖMKi’s tomato research, exactly 29 special tomato varieties. In the selection we had Hungarian varieties, requested from the Centre for Plant Diversity (NöDiK) and re-introduced to organic cultivation and in addition, five specialities as well, that were the seeds received for trial from the president the Hungarian Gastronomy Association, Tamás B. Molnár. Furthermore, chefs tasted three landrace varieties from Nyárádmente (Transylvania), an American and a Spanish land race as well.

Tomato local varieties – professional field day

Read more...On the 26th of August 2014, ÖMKi organised the yearly organic tomato field day on the organic CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm of Áron Pető and Renáta Bangha in Szigetmonostor. Since 2012, within the framework of our on-farm research we have been dealing with cultivation technology and culinary evaluation of landrace tomatoes in several regions of the country. Complementing to this, through our scholarship programme tomato and nutritional values ​​of local varieties of tomatoes research have been undertaken in collaboration with several faculties of the Horticultural Sciences Department the of Corvinus University of Budapest. The Szigetmonostor organic garden venue is part of our on-farm program and the nutrient supply experiment as well. The aim of the event was to share with participants the organic tomato production experience of the farm, technology practices and present and discuss the results of tomato research so far. The program as a whole, including the technical reports was held on the field, thus aiming the practice-oriented reality.

Organic arable cropping Days, March 2014 and 2015

Read more...The ÖMKi arable cropping field research demonstration workshops (3-3 conference) took place in March 2014 and 2015 as well. In addition to the on-farm partners also many other farmers were interested in participating. The presentations focused on two major research topics, presenting the results so far. Research of cereals is still significant, as these are the most popular ones among the arable crops in organic cultivation. Wheat and spelt are grown on the largest certified area​​, which together make up one-quarter of the organic arable lands. A futher research topic was in the focus: organic soybean production. Not only the demand for conventional non-GM soya has increased, but there is a growing demand for European-produced organic soya, which acreage currently reaches only a maximum of two percent of the organic arable land in our country. On the events in 2014, there was an opportunity to taste different pastries and breads made of organic cereals of our research. In 2015, we presented an internet-based trading initiative (o-tx.com), which is already well-known in Europe, to better enforce organic farmers’ market. ÖMKi is motivated to promote this site to widen market acquisition opportunities to support Hungarian certified organic producers. The sales opportunities on the online market interface are now available in Hungarian as well.