Responsible partner:
»University of Pannonia (UP) 
Authors: Gergely Toth, Tamás Hermann, Tamás Kismányoky, Zoltán Tóth
iSQAPERiS editor: Jane Brandt

 

Contents table
1. Videos and infographics
2. Study site description
3. Participation of stakeholders in the iSQAPER research programme
4. Research tasks
5. Long-term impact of iSQAPER's research programme in the study site

1. Infographics and videos

A Zala megyei mintaterületen dolgozó csoport egy rövid videót és egy infografikát készítettt, amelyekben a terület jellemzése mellett a talajminőség javítása érdekében a helyben alkalmazott különböző gazdálkodási gyakorlatokat mutatják be.

A short video and an infographic were made by the Zala County study site team to describe the area and the way in which a number of locally used management practices benefit soil quality.

  Videl  Video
video 23 screenshot sq

»Zalai mintaterület, Magyarország
A Zalai mintaterület Magyarország egyik sokszínű ágazati szerkezettel rendelkező, a Balatonnal határos meghatározó mezőgazdasági területe. A tó védelme érdekében intézkedéseket hoznak a talajerózió csökkentése, valamint a tápanyag visszapótlás megfelelő és mérsékelt alkalmazása céljából.
(angolul)

»Zala County study site, Hungary
Zala County study site is in a dominantly agricultural part of Hungary boardering Lake Balaton. To protect the lake, measures against soil erosion are taken as well as appropriate and moderate use of fertilizers.
(in English)

  Infografika

Infographic

video 04 screenshot sq

»Földművelés Zala megyében
Zala megye Magyarország délnyugati részén található. A sokszínű talajhasználati gyakorlat magában foglalja a szervestrágya, a gyepsávok, a szintvonalas művelés, az évelő és takaró növények, valamint a minimális talajművelés használatát. A terület nagyrésze a Balaton vízgyűjtőjén helyezkedik el. Mivel az itteni talajerózió hozzájárul a tó eutrofizációjához, az erózió elleni védelem elengedhetetlen.
(angolul)

»Land management in Zala County
Zala County is in the southwest of Hungary. Farming practices include the use of manure, grass strips, contour tillage, permanent and cover crops and minimum tillage. Most of its area belongs to the catchment of the lake Balaton. Since soil erosion contributes to the eutrophication, protection against erosion is essential.
(in English)

 2. Study site description

Location

The case study area is situated within the 5765 km2 Balaton catchment area in western Hungary. The climate is moderately warm, moderately humid, while the number of sunshine hours per year is high. Mean annual temperature of the region of Lake Balaton is about 10 ˚C. The average rainfall (600-700 mm/year) nationally means a medium rainfall zone. The center of the pilot area of 744 km2 has the following coordinates: 46°50'0.99" N, 17° 6'14.68" E. The entire pilot area (744 km2) has available DEM (5x5 m GRID), topographical maps with 0,875 m/pixel accuracy, orthophotos with 0,5 m/pixel accuracy and cadastral maps. There are 1:10 000 scale soil maps available from about 20 000 ha. The main environmental objective being the reduction of pollutants (phosphorus and other plant nutrients) loads of into Lake Balaton, where anthropogenic eutrophication is the main issue of concern. Lake Balaton, with its nearly 600 km2 area, is the largest shallow lake in Middle Europe. The lake and surrounding area form very important natural (ecological, water and landscape) resources and are one of the major target areas of water related recreational tourism in Europe. 

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Main farming systems and typical agricultural management activities in the study area

Over 37% of the total catchment area is arable land, which is much lower than the national average; while 27% is forest, which exceeds the national average. Some 15% of the land is suitable for grassland management, 5% horticulture, 3% pomiculture, 2% viticulture, 1% for reed management and fish farming. The „Kis-Balaton” nature conservation area, is situated within the Balaton Catchment area. The „Kis-Balaton” wetland habitat is under protection of the Ramsar Convention.

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Characteristic soils and soil quality monitoring practice

The distribution of soil types in the area is given in Figure 10. There are several ways to assess soil quality in the case study area. Essentially, the cadastral maps from the case study area contain soil quality information according to the national land evaluation system, namely the „Gold Crown System”. However, a new land evaluation system (D-e-Meter System) has been developed in Hungary which is suitable to use for soil quality assessment in different farming systems within the case study area. The newly developed system applies large scale (1:10 000) digital soil maps, data on soil nutrient status and includes land evaluation algorithms to assess the production potential of agricultural parcels.

Previous research and innovation actions on soil improvement and monitoring

Long-term field experiments have been running since the 1960-ies in which the effect of different rates and forms of fertilizers, soil tillage and crop rotation as well as different systems of organic matter and crop residue management can be studied.

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National research and innovation activities:

  • GVOP no: 2004-05-0001/3.0 – The possibilities of use of the D-e-Meter land evaluation system in the practices especially on the ecological farming and the Less Favoured Areas
  • NKFP no: 4/015/2004 - 4F, Land Quality, Land Evaluation and Sustainable Land Use in the European Union
  • NKFP no: 3/004/2001- The D-e-Meter intelligent land evaluation system

International research and innovation activities:

  • FP7-ENV-2007-1, DIGISOIL, Integrated system of data collection technologies for mapping soil properties, no: 211523
  • FP7-SPACE-2010-1, MYWATER, Merging Hydrologic models and EO data for reliable information on Water, no: 263188

3. Participation of stakeholders in the iSQAPER research programme

The local stakeholders listed in Table 1 were involved throughout the duration of iSQAPER in a number of research tasks including: providing experimental sites for the soil quality assessment and agricultural management practice evaluation; testing and evaluating SQAPP; attending demonstration workshops; and providing venues for and hosting the field visits for an iSQAPER plenary meeting.

Table 1: Local stakeholders involved in the iSQAPER research programme

Stakeholder type Locations Institution  Number and gender M/F Role
Farmers, land managers 60 sites Farm 70 M, 20 F Landowner, -manager, -user and -worker (majority) as well as product retailer and service provider
Advisors Budapest, Budakeszi, Tanakajd, Szombathely, Veszprém, Zalaegerszeg, Zalalövő, Zalaszentgrót Chamber of Agriculture, Extension Service, private consultants  8 M, 5 F Supporting farmers with information and advice related to adaption of technologies, nutrient management, rules and regulations, as well as application for subsidies
Policy-makers Budapest, Zalaegerszeg Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture, Agricultural and Rural Youth Association 2 M,  Regulation and enforcement, representing and lobbying for farmers’ interests 
Researchers Badacsony, Keszthely Research Institute of Enology and Viticulture, University of Pannonia 5 M, 3 F Researcher, lecturer

4. Research tasks

Soil quality assessment and agricultural management practice evaluation

Based on WOCAT database (www.wocat.net), iSQAPER selected 18 promising agricultural management practices (AMPs) with potential to improve soil quality (»Agricultural management practices in the iSQAPER study sites). Fourteen examples of a number of these AMPs were identified in the Zala County study site that conformed to the following criteria:

  1. the promising management practice has been implemented for at least 3 years;
  2. at least 2 different soil types are represented; and
  3. at least in 2 different first level Farming Systems (arable, permanent, grazing) are represented.

For each AMP plot, nearby control plots were also identified where the practice has not changed.

Table 2: AMPs identified in the Zala County study site. Climatic region: southern sub-continental

Plot number Farming system  Farming system detail Soil type AMP general description AMP number*
7.1 Permanent Vineyards Cambisols Leguminous crop; Residue maintenance / Mulching  5-8
7.2 Arable Non irrigated arable land - Cereals; Maize; Oil crops Luvisols Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; measures against compaction 7-8-9-10 
7.3 Arable Non irrigated arable land - Cereals; Maize; Oil crops Cambisols Min-till; Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Cross-slope measure; Measures against compaction 2-7-8-9-10
7.4 Permanent Vineyards Cambisols Residue maintenance / Mulching; 8
7.5 Arable Non irrigated arable land - Cereals; Maize; Oil crops Luvisols Min-till; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 2-8-9-10
7.6 Arable Non irrigated arable land - Cereals; Maize; Oil crops Cambisols Min-till;Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 2-8-9-10
7.7 Permanent Vineyards Cambisols Manuring & composting; Cross-slope measure 7-11
7.8 Arable Non irrigated arable land - Cereals; Maize; Legumes; Oil crops Luvisols Min-till; Leguminous crops; Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction; Water diversion and drainage 2-5-7-8-9-10-13
7.9 Arable Non irrigated arable land - Cereals; Maize; Oil crops Cambisols Cover crops; Green manure / Integrated soil fertility management; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 4-6-8-9-10
7.10 Arable Non irrigated arable land - Cereals; Maize; Oil crops Cambisols Min-till; Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; measures against compaction; 2-7-8-9-10
7.11 Permanent Vineyards Cambisols Cross-slope measure 11
7.12 Arable Non irrigated arable land - Cereals; Maize; Legumes; Oil crops Luvisols Min-till; Leguminous crops; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 2-5-8-9-10
7.13 Arable Non irrigated arable land - Cereals; Maize; Oil crops Cambisols Min-till; Permanent soil cover / Removing less vegetation cover; Leguminous crops;Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 2-3-5-7-8-9-10
7.14 Arable Non irrigated arable land - Cereals; Maize; Oil crops Cambisols Min-till; Permanent soil cover / Removing less vegetation cover; Leguminous crops;Manuring & composting; Residue maintenance / Mulching; Crop rotation / Control or change of species composition; Measures against compaction 2-3-5-7-8-9-10

*Note: see »Assessing effect of management practices on soil quality - experimental framework for the full list and descriptions of the 18 promising agricultural management practices.

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A first field campaign was conducted in 2016 to evaluate the soil quality in each of the paired AMP-control plots, using visual soil assessment methods (»Visual soil and plant quality assesment). The results from this and all the other study sites were combined to determine which AMPs can be shown to have a proven positive effect on soil quality, see »Assessing effect of management practices on soil quality - experimental results.

Those practices that are innovative for Hungary were also described and added to the WOCAT database

Demonstration workshops

On 6th June 2019 a demonstration event was organised in the Zala County study site at the University of Pannonia and the Demonstration Farm owned by the university in Keszthely and at farmers’ fields in Karmacs village to present the major findings of iSQAPER to stakeholders and to demonstrate farmyard manure application as a management practice of proven benefit to soil quality. The event was attended by around 120 participants.

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The results from this demonstration event and those held in the other study sites are summarised in »Demonstrations of recommended agricultural management practices in the study sites.

A leaflet describing the AMP organic amendments - farmyard manure application was prepared to accompany the demonstrations.

AMP SS06 EN a AMP SS06 EN a AMP SS06 EN b  AMP SS06 EN b

 »Farmyard manure application, Hungary

4. Long-term impact of iSQAPER's research programme in the study site

Taking account discussions with the stakeholders and feedback from the various research tasks and events in which they took part, it is anticipated that the iSQAPER research programme could have a lasting legacy in the Zala County study site as indicated in Table 3.

Table 3: Activities in which iSQAPER's research programme could potentially have a lasting impact in the Zala County study site

Activity Impact level: 0 - no impact, 1 - barely noticeable to 5 - important visible impact     
0 1 2 3 4 5
Research results influencing farming practice         x  
Uptake of recommended AMPs       x    
Regular use of SQAPP       x    
Development of new or enhancement of existing stakeholder networks         x  
The involvement of new stakeholder types in existing networks       x    
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