PRODUCTION OPTIMA AND SOIL UTILIZATION
In horticultural production it is highly important to attain production optima, an adequate intensity level and soil utilization which are primarily determined - besides environment and proper crop plants - by the financial situation and labour supply.
Some ways are presented how the rather poor sandy soils - originating from the Alps - between the rivers Danube and Tisza have been utilized in the last 300 years.
- As pasture, grazed by cattle and sheep could be taken as optimal from the point of view of rentability due to moderate investments and low labour requirement. It resulted, however, in deteriorating the quality of the soil and could not be maintained.
- Field crop production with similar moderate investments and low labour requirement was not profitable. Field crop production fell far of optimum in every point and soon it was driven into the background.
- Vegetable production with irrigation resulted in optimal rentability with high labour requirement and intensity besides improving soil fertility. High investment costs, however, handicapped its wide adaptation.
- An extensive intercropping of vine and fruit trees proved optimal for centuries due to its low investment costs, high - but cheap - labour requirement and good rentability. This practice also improved soil fertility considerably.
- In recent years labour supply declined and became expensive. Mechanization and up-to-date methods required a high level of intensity. Modern methods badly adapted did not result in acceptable rentability even in high investments. The large-scale vine-fruit growing came to a crisis.
- At present promising trials are carried on aiming at reliable, good rentability with moderate investment and intensity by stimulating personal interest. In this way there is hope to approach optima in several relations.
FRIGYESY, F. (1988). PRODUCTION OPTIMA AND SOIL UTILIZATION. Acta Hortic. 223, 152-155