Geographical description

The study site is located in Keszthely in western part of Hungary (46°44’ N, 17°13’ E, 112 m above sea level). The climate is semi-continental with maritime influences, is moderately warm, moderately humid, while the number of sunshine hours per year is high. The 100 year average annual precipitation was 683 mm, the long-term annual mean temperature as 10.8 °C. The main soil type is Eutric Cambisol (WRB, 2006). The texture of the soil is dominantly clay loam with medium soil hydraulic conductivity and high water holding capacity. The bulk density of the undisturbed soil was 1.53 g cm-3. The pH of the soil is slightly acidic, surface horizon does not contain calcium carbonate. The naturally available phosphorus content of the soil is low (ammonium-lactate [AL] soluble P2O5: 60-80 mg kg-1), the potassium content medium (AL-K2O: 140-160 mg kg-1) and the soil organic matter content fairly low (16-17 g kg-1). Land use type is arable land.

Pedo-climatic zone
Pannonian, brown forest soils. 

Tillage systems CropRotations fert
 Conventional and reduced soil tillage systems in Keszthely study site  Crop rotations and fertilizations in Keszthely study site

Cropping systems

Cropping intensity
Conventional, Conservation.

Types of crop
Crops: wheat, maize, winter and spring barely, alfalfa, red clover, rape, oat, sudan grass, vetch, pea and potato. The typical crop rotation is wheat – wheat – maize – maize.

Management of soil, water, nutrients and pests
Conventional tillage, no irrigation, different rates of organic and mineral fertilization, integrated pest management.

Soil improving cropping system and techniques currently used
Rotation, intercropping, green manure, mulching, minimum tillage.

Problems that cause yield loss or increased costs
Effect of cropping years, soil compaction, SOC decline, climatic parameters: rainfall
Coefficient of variation is 20-30% depending on the treatments.

External drivers and factors

Institutional and political drivers
The relevant and existing legislation and directives are in harmony with the EU legislation.

Societal drivers
The public opinion of farmers is positive about the improving of farm systems and last and not least because of monetary allowance.

Bio-physical drivers
Recently it is not proved yet, but the yearly variability of yields are getting higher and higher.