Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Institute of Crop Production

Department of Soil Management


Gödöllő H- 2103

Tel: +36-28-522-000/1671, 1675

Fax: + 36-28-410-804


Foundation of the department: 5 July 1990 (formerly department’s group)

Department of Soil Management was graded as ‘national excellent department’ in 1995.

Department’s staff

Name (email address)



Dr. Márta Birkás

university professor; head of department






·         Soil quality improving and maintaining tillage

·         Soil compaction – causes, consequences, prevention, alleviation.

·         Soil condition indicators.

·         Soil structure degradation – alleviation and prevention.

·         Decreasing harmful climatic effects (drought, water-logging) by land use methods.

·         Soil tillage history.

·         Quality assurance of soil tillage

Publication lists download from websites:


Scientific results from Marta Birkas


Dr. Csaba Gyuricza

associate professor

deputy dean of faculty in international relations




·         Production systems of soil condition improving (green manure) plants.

·         Production technology of energy plants

·         Alleviation of climate extremities (drought, water-logging) by land use methods.

·         Soil tillage, soil physics and biology.

·         Land use on poor arable sites.

·         Decreasing of carbon-dioxide emission.

·         Crop rotation improvement.


Dr. Attila Percze

associate professor

Integrated weed management.

Interactions between weed infestation and land use.

Environment conservation in fertilization.

Dr. Péter Mikó


assistant professor

Green manure plants impacts on soil condition


Katalin Bencsik

technical assistant

Land use impacts on soil conservation

László Nagy

technical assistant

Improvement and application of organic wastes for yield increase in field crop production

Gergő Péter Kovács

technical assistant

Determining the Brix Content in Sweet Sorghum Stalk


PhD students:

Zoltán Kakuszi



András Sallai



Tibor Kalmár

corresponding student

soil condition improvement on stubbles by tillage and biological methods


László Bottlik

corresponding student

role of surface mulch in soil conservation and decrease of climate harms


Nikolett Junek

corresponding student

investigation of the biomass of short rotation coppice of unfavorable field conditions


PhD degree were taken at the department: Tibor Fenyves (1997), Csaba Gyuricza (2000), Tamás Szalai (2000), Attila Percze (2002); Anikó Szerletics (2004), Mónika Gecse (2006), Apolka Ujj (2006), Péter László (2008), Attila Stingli (2008), Katalin Bencsik (2009), Péter Mikó (2010), Petra Földesi (2013).


Subjects of the Department

Name of subject



Soil management and land use


Dr. Márta Birkás

Soil Management


Dr. Márta Birkás

Bases of the Crop Production I.


Dr. Csaba Gyuricza

Elementary Soil Management


Dr. Csaba Gyuricza

Energy saving and soil conservation tillage


Dr. Márta Birkás

Sustainable crop production


Dr. Márta Birkás – Dr. Márton Jolánkai

Land use and crop production on 2nd-rate arable sites


Dr. Csaba Gyuricza

Weed biology and weed management


Dr. Attila Percze

Soil management


Dr. Csaba Gyuricza

Elementary Land use


Dr. Márta Birkás

Machine and tool application


Dr. Attila Percze

Adaptable soil tillage


Dr. Márta Birkás

Adaptable land use


Dr. Márta Birkás

Advices in soil tillage and land use


Dr. Márta Birkás

Quality management of tillage and production processes


Dr. Márta Birkás

Land use on unfavourable arable sites


Dr. Csaba Gyuricza

Soil quality conservation in the practice


Dr. Csaba Gyuricza

Crop production practice


Dr. Csaba Gyuricza


Textbooks written and edited by the department:

Birkás, M. (ed.) 2001. Soil tillage in sustainable management (Talajművelés a fenntartható gazdálkodásban). Akaprint Kiadó, Budapest

Gyuricza, C. (ed.) 2002. Schoolbook for Arable land use (Szántóföldi talajhasználati praktikum). Akaprint Kiadó, Budapest

Gyuricza, C. (ed.) 2001. Bases for Arable land use (A szántóföldi talajhasználat alapjai). Akaprint Kiadó, Budapest

Birkás, M. 2002. Environment conservation and energy saving tillage (Környezetkímélő és energiatakarékos talajművelés). Akaprint Kiadó, Budapest

Birkás M. (ed.) 2006. Soil management and land use (Földművelés és földhasználat), Mezőgazda Kiadó, Budapest

Birkás M. 2006. Environment conservation adaptable tillage (Környezetkímélő alkalmazkodó talajművelés). Akaprint Kiadó, Budapest

Birkás, M. 2008. Environmentally-sound adaptable tillage

Birkás, M. 2010: Soil tillage pocketbook (Talajművelők zsebkönyve)

Birkás M.- Mesic M. 2012. Impact of tillage and fertilization on probable climate threats

in Hungary and Croatia, soil vulnerability and protection. Hungarian – Croatian Intergovernmental S&T Cooperation 2010 – 2011: see webpage:


Birkás, M. 2012. Soil-School

Birkás M.-Jug D.-Kisic I. 2012. Book for soil tillage (in Croatian)


Topics for students diploma works for 2012-2013

 (BSc, MSc)


1. Soil tillage impacts on soil condition, soil conservation and arable crops.

2. Soil condition and surface cover (mulch) impacts on soil biological activity (earthworms, mellowing).

3. Evaluation of conventional and soil quality preserving tillage systems.

4. Interactions between land use (e.g. integrated, low input, intensive), soil tillage and soil state.

5. Occurrence and consequences of soil compaction (experiment, arable land).

6. Land use and soil tillage on less favoured sites (sand, heavy meadow/gleyic, alkalic, dry and water-logged).

7. Apply new soil tillage and sowing methods (seedbed preparation and plant, direct drilling, strip till and plant).

8. Energy saving and adaptable soil tillage solutions in family farms in different arable sites.

9. Strategy for sustainable / adaptable crop production and practical tasks

10.  Quality assurance in soil tillage.

11.  Interactions between land use, soil tillage, fertilisation and weed infestation (trials, arable fields) in small, mid- and big farms.

12.  Environmentally-sound and cost saving weed management systems.

13.  Impacts of land use (e.g. organic), soil disturbance, and surface cover on weed infestation.

14.  Noxious weeds (allergens, propagating-rooted) in any site or farm. Prevention and limit.

15.  Arable fields as habitats.




  • Considerable results in themes of soil compaction, soil condition, soil conservation and land use in international relation.
  • Theoretical and practical improvement in soil tillage.
  • Soil Tillage Research School foundation in Gödöllő.
  • Projects and long-term cooperation in national and international relations.
  • DSc (1) and PhD dissertations (13).
  • Student diploma works (4-6/year).
  • Advisory service and demonstrations.
  • Workshops in national and international relations.
  • Financial bases for research works and education.

Research projects

1997-1999: Soil tillage and crop production bases of the environment protection land use.

1997-2000: Soil tillage technologies impacts on water management and drought sensitivity of soils.

1998-2000: Land use bases of the sustainable crop production in Pannon basin in 21st century.

1999-2000: Soil amelioration with alginit – technology improvement.

1999-2000: Alleviation and prevention of the tillage-induced compaction.

1998-2001: Experiences with the impact of subsoil compaction on soil nutrition, crop growth and environment and ways to prevent subsoil compaction.

1999-2002: Protection and sustainable use of waters in agricultural practice.

2001-2004: Improvement of soil condition and preceding crops’ effect by the use of catch crops in crop rotation

2001-2004: Water-logged arable soils – Examination and improvement.

2002-2003: Production methods for arable sites suffered from water erosion.

2002-2004: Agro-ecology.

2003-2004: Environment conservation, EU-conform land use.

2004-2007: Integrated weed management and soil conservation for environmental sound crop production.

2005-2009:  Crop production technologies for alleviation of climatic harms

2005-2009: Climatic changes – Milieu – Risk - Society

Place of the long-term experiments: 1976-2002: on brown forest soil, Gödöllő; 2002-: on chernozem soil, Hatvan-József-major; 2005-: extreme poor arable site, Gödöllő-Szárítópuszta

Research goals in the beginning of the 21st century


1. Soil quality improvement and maintenance by soil tillage and land use methods


  • Soil condition harms – tillage-induced compaction, dust formation, clod formation, crusting – prevention and alleviation.
  • Decreasing carbon loss from tilled soils.
  • Alleviation of water and wind erosion harms.
  • Soil conservation and weed management in integrated crop production systems.


2. Improvement of soil physical condition and preceding creffect


  • Determining of production condition on catch crops and elaboration of cropping technologies to different arable sites.
  • Role of green manure crops and catch crops in soil condition improvement.
  • Elaboration of soil tillage and sowing systems on green manure crops considering the poor sites.


3. Alleviation of harmful climatic effects by soil tillage and land use methods


  • Interactions between soil condition and water management.
  • Alleviation of drought sensitivity of soils.
  • Tillage-induced water-logging – prevention, risk decrease, soil condition improvement.
  • Decreasing of carbon loss by adaptable soil tillage.
  • Mulch-till and mulch-seed – advantages, risks at different years.


4. AgroecologyAgroecosystems and land use

  • Interaction between soil, soil condition, precipitation and crop density.
  • Harmonization between crop rotation, soil disturbance and surface cover.
  • Tillage and production bases of water conservation.


5. Experimental sites and soils


  • Chromic Luvisol at Gödöllő region.
  • Calcic chernozem at Hatvan region.
  • Sandy loam, loam, clay loam and clay soils in different regions of the country, at 26 farms.


Research results


Scientific development


1. Land use


  • Extending of land use importance.
  • Determination of land use systems in Hungarian relation: early extensive, conventional, early intensive, modern intensive, integrated, modern extensive, ecological; and characterization according to main impacts.
  • Adaptable land use in the 21st century.
  • Elaboration of land use bases for sustainable crop production.
  • Summarising of soil quality deterioration and factors of the improvement.
  • Stating of interactions between soil quality and climatic extremities.


2. Soil tillage

  • Determination of soil tillage eras in Hungarian relation: Beginning; Intensive; Multi-ploughing; Adaptable; Conventional; Energy saving; Integrated.
  • Modern trends in national tillage practice.
  • Bases of new tillage strategies in environmental and economical viewpoints.
  • Stating of new taxonomies: conventional, energy saving, soil conservation, adaptable, maintaining tillage.
  • Determination of tillage-induced harms and their consequences.
  • Elaboration of quality assurance methods in soil tillage for decreasing of environmental harms.


3. Agroecological factors – Climatic effects


  • Analysing of land use factors on fields suffered drought and/or water-logging. Prevention and alleviation methods elaboration.
  • Examining of the agroecosystem factors.
  • Stating of interactions between climate, soil water management, soil disturbance and plant growth.
  • Determining interactions between soil disturbance and carbon-dioxide emission.
  • Strategy for decreasing of climatic harms.




Long-term tillage impacts on friable structure (Józsefmajor, 2005)




Trend in aggregate % over 4 years




Results for tillage and production practice


1. Soil tillage


  • Agronomical technique elaboration for improvement of subsoiling efficiency.
  • Demonstrating of heavy-duty cultivator use advantages on degraded and non-degraded soils.
  • Demonstrating of beneficial effect of stubble-mulch tillage on different sites.
  • Elaboration of agronomical technique at mulch-tillage.
  • Summarising of advantages and risks at mulch-seed technique.
  • Rationalization of the ploughing and decreasing of soil quality deterioration connected with ploughing.
  • Elaboration of tillage and sowing methods for extreme soil conditions (over wet and dry).
  • Water conservation tillage methods and systems elaboration.
  • Stating of soil tillage bases for integrated crop production systems.


2.  Improvement of soil tillage quality


  • Determination of soil compaction occurrence in tilled soils.
  • Modelling of soil compaction occurrence and extension.
  • Interactions between soil compaction, soil quality, precipitation and yield level.
  • Summarising of plough- and disk-pan compaction consequences (agronomical, energetical, environmental) on different arable sites.
  • Elaboration of the soil compaction alleviation methods.
  • Determining of soil structure and carbon conservation tillage bases.
  • Determining of soil quality improvement/deterioration factors.


3. Sowing and production methods


  • Ridge tillage practice for sloping sites.
  • Green manure crops planting systems elaboration.
  • Catch crops technologies for different arable sites.
  • Direct drilling technique elaboration.
  • Seedbed preparation and plant technique.





Soil Management Deparments at University Faculties of Agricultural Sciences in Budapest, Debrecen, Keszthely, Mosonmagyaróvár, Gyöngyös) and Mechanization departments in Gödöllő, Mezőtúr, Mosonmagyaróvár, Nyíregyháza.

Research Institutions: in Gödöllő, Karcag, Kompolt and in Budapest (RISAAC).


Production systems companies: IKR, KITE.

Agricultural firms: in Mezőhegyes, Bóly, Szerencs, Hódmezővásárhely, Pápa, Orosháza, Nagyszentjános, Siófok, Bicsérd, Jászapáti, Szolnok; Öcsöd, Kisújszállás, Karád;

Sugar industrial companies: in Hatvan, Kaba.

Agricultural machinery producers: AGRIKON, KÜHNE, SOKORÓ, VERTIKUM.


Agricultural development and trade companies: Agroszen-Szentgál, BASF Hungária, DuPont Magyarország, Fertilia, Lajtamag, Monsanto, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Profikomp, Saaten Union Hungaria, Summit-Agro Hungaria, Syngenta

Instrument developing and producing ltd-s: Mobitech Szarvas; T&Sz Kisújszállás

Small and mid-farms: in Bácsbokod, Mezőberény, Makó, Nagykőrös, Sándorfalva, Véménd, Lehota, Bakonypéterd, Agárd, Csorvás, Nagyvenyim, Lábod, Mezőcsát, Lovászpatona, Orosháza.

International cooperation

1975-: Slovak Agricultural University Nitra, Faculty of Agrobiology and Food Resources and Faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Engineering

1987-: Institute for Soil Science and Agrochemistry Bucharest

1993-: Institute of Crop Production, Piestany

1993-: Institute of Crop Production Praha Ruzyne, Agro-ecological Division

1996: BOKU Wien, Institut für Pflanzenbau und Pflanzenzüchtung

1996-: University Zagreb, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agronomy

1997-: University Novi Sad, Faculty of Agricultural Sciences Department of Agronomy

1989-: Soil Tillage Research Organization (Wageningen)

1993-: Agricultural Engineering Association, Agricultural Development and Advisory Service (UK)

1998-: ALTERRA Green World Research, Wageningen

2000-: Purdue University, West Lafayette, USA

2000-: Nat. Soil Tillage Lab. Ames, Iowa, USA

2000-: Strossmayer University Osijek, Faculty of Agriculture, Croatia

2004-: Crop Production Institute, Osijek, Croatia