THE INNOVATIVE, PRUDENTLY RISK TAKING, “GUTSY” COMPANY

About: Mr. Lajos SZABÓ

President and Chief Executive Officer.
Graduated from the Faculty of Animal Husbandry of the College of Food Industry in Hódmezővásárhely.
He is an honorary citizen of the Faculty of Animal Husbandry of the University of Szeged.
He is a member of the boards of several professional organizations.
In recognition of his outstanding economic and community building work in 2017, he was elected the Agricultural Man of the Year.
„We are a gutsy team” – he says of their company.
Under his leadership, the farming cooperative has developed into a recognized, modern, innovative and environmentally conscious company.
Their work has been recognized with several awards, including the Hungarian Quality Award, the Business Ethics Award, and the Top Enterprise of the Year Award.
They were given the Swedish Bisnode Award for their achievements the field of key performance indicators, novelties and innovations.

UBM thanked them for their high quality work in 2018 with the Diamond Partner Award.

 

– The unfavorable effects of the slowly decaying coronavirus were mainly experienced in the sudden changes in our work schedule and contact system.

Home office in multiple areas, small communities retreating into their offices, teleconferences, the increasing number of phone calls and internet connections indicated that much has changed.

We have missed each other!

During this period, the acquisition of input materials, seeds, fertilizers, chemicals, etc. has become more complicated and more uncertain.

We are slowly getting over it; with lessons learned.

We work with virtually all farm animal species except pigs.

The dairy and meat cattle sector, poultry, sheep and Furioso North Star, our horse breed that is protected for its historic value, complete our livestock.

We organize pheasant, rabbit and wild duck hunting and other touristic activities in our 8.5-thousand-hectare game management area.

Our star is the cattle sector. We work with 650 Holstein-Friesian cows and their breeds and, with our production results, we are among the best dairy farms in the country.

Charolais beef has been proving its exceptional properties for several years under practical conditions. Its grazing ability, herding, calf rearing results, feed utilization, growth, meat production, quality of end product and bony meat production are all excellent.

The increasingly severe drought situation is also endangering the basis of beef cattle breeding: pasture management and grazing.

The two main bases of beef cattle breeding in our company are pasture grass and farm by-products. The grass yield of the pasture is clearly declining, perhaps irrevocably. To complement this, we feed more beet slices, distillery by-products, as well as husks, cobs and dropped grains from sweet corn. If more hay, forage crops or even fodder were to be used to cover the shortage of pasture grass for a longer period of time, it would harm profitability.

We mostly work with animals that require fodder. Approximately two-thirds – or even more – of the productions costs are made up of feeding costs, so it is a determining factor efficiency.

We work with UBM across our entire feed management line.

We mainly buy high-quality premixes and protein carriers for our HCCP-certified feed production. We try out common recipes, test and utilize their advice in practice.

Our relationship has been going on basically since the time our company was established, i.e. more than two decades since our inception.

In difficult times, like this one, we can count on each other.

Drought is a major ecological factor in our firm. Our related innovation, development and environmental protection work is being expanded with new elements.

Special emphasis will be placed on the publication of our practical experiments and experiences that help drought management.

Csongrád county is the driest area in Hungary. Our lands in the region between Hódmezővásárhely and Makó are among the most drought-stricken areas in the county.

The climate change and the probability and frequency of extreme weather conditions are more pronounced in our region. The average temperatures in spring and summer increase, especially during the spring growing season. Its detrimental effects were especially strong this spring.

Our 2,000-hectare cereal sector produces seeds, improved wheat, winter and spring barley, rye seeds, and fodder forage. In addition, grain and silage maize, sunflower, peas, sugar beet, alfalfa and 150 hectares of pasture complete our crop production sector.

In addition to our traditionally grown plants, we are also constantly looking for new, promising plants that match our conditions based on their drought tolerance. We are constantly modernizing our crop structure due to this need.

We have been working with the Szeged Grain Researcher for several years.

With the participation of variety owners and breeding houses, we set up grain and silage maize, sunflower and sugar beet field experiments. Based on the results, we decide on the varieties to be grown next year.

The Pioneer Research Station tests state-of-the-art stress-, drought-tolerant corn and sunflower hybrids on our lands. Experimental work has been going on in our Szikács fields since 2008.

We provide research companies with the fields and excellent background work necessary for breeding. We irrigate from the wells, so the hybrid candidates are tested under both irrigated and drought conditions.

Our innovative research with the Szeged Cereal Researcher and the National Agricultural Research and Innovation Center (NAIK) under the Ginop program covers the entire range of cereal grains. In order to ensure the complexity and practical applicability of the program, we cooperate with Első Pesti Malom- és Sütőipari Zrt. and Szegedi Sütödék Kft.

Our experiments with triticale are yielding promising results. Due to the nutritional and physiological values of this plant, especially its protein and fiber content, it may play a greater role in feeding than before.

In the drought-prone areas of our farm, soil-friendly and moisture-conserving technologies play a key role.

We have been working successfully for almost two decades with no till technology that retains soil moisture. Our tools are heavy cultivators and soil disintegrators.

The use of organic matter, manure and stem residues is an important technological element. We use excellent formulations to improve the moisture holding capacity of our soils. Recently, the quality of manure has been improved by a bacterial culture.

In the virus disaster we rethink several things and we need to change some of them.

There are things that do not change: we respect the consumer, the animals, the land and the environment.

HÓDAGRO is still a prudently risk taking, innovative and gutsy company.