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Agronomic benefits of long-term trials

Jolánkai, M., Tarnawa, Á., Nyárai, H. F., Szentpétery, Z., Kassai, M. K.
Agrokémia és talajtan 2018 v.67 no.1 pp. 161-167
gardens, plant nutrition, soil, trees, Hungary
Long-term trials are established in order to explore and observe plant and soil interrelationships in situ. Long-term trials can be described as live instruments providing ceteris paribus conditions in temporal sequences. This review provides an introduction to major long-term trials in Hungary and in other parts of the world. It gives a brief summary of the origins of plant nutritional research, beginning with some data from Homer and the willow tree experiment of van Helmont, as well as the discovery of physiological processes by von Liebig, Lawes and Boussingault. The most profound long-term trials, like the Orto Botanico in Padova, the Linné Garden in Uppsala and the Broadbalk in Rothamsted are presented in the paper. The agronomic, educational and scientific benefits of the major Hungarian long-term trials are also discussed, from Westsik (1929) to Martonvásár and the National Plant Nutrition Trials (OMTK) set up in 1963. There is a list of experimental sites giving information on the most important recent long-term trial locations and their activities.