ENGLISH » Czech chapter (inter)national meeting - 2020


The 2020 meeting of the Czech chapter took place this time in Valtice, a small town in the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic, on March 6. The venue for the meeting was the Centre of Excellence operated by The National Wine Centre (https://www.vinarskecentrum.cz/en/) and in the Secondary Winery School Valtice (https://www.svisv.cz/). The meeting was traditionally supported and sponsored by the Amagro (http://amagro.com/amagro.html) and Humatex (http://www.humatex.cz/) companies. Although some potential participants cancelled their participation due to the Coronavirus emergency, almost 40 attendees were present from both the academic and industrial sectors, including guests from Germany and Slovakia.


The meeting was opened by Miloslav Pekař, the Czech national coordinator, and Lubomír Rákos, Director of the Amagro company. The first session was run by Zora Špirakusová (Amagro), who presented the results of several field trials with Lignohumate MAX on spring barley. She demonstrated the positive effect of this product on the yield and qualitative characteristics of barley, despite unfavorable climatic conditions during the trials. Barbora Badalíková (Research Institute of Fodder Crops) talked about trials applying compost and compost with lignohumate in vineyards and apple orchards. Just the combination of the two materials was shown to be the best measure from the point of view of water retention in soil, organic carbon content, and organic matter quality. Tomáš Weidlich (University of Pardubice) reported on the pyrolytic treatment of solid residue from sewage treatment plants into biochar, which can serve as a sorbent of various pollutants and also, for example, in a mixture with some humic products, as a soil conditioner. Uwe Böhm (Agrostim, Germany) introduced his contribution with the motto “Health rests in healthy soil” and spoke about his company’s long-term experience with soil management using a minimum of synthetic products  and giving a strong preference to natural materials and molecules – for example liquid manure, mycorrhizal consortia, and also lignohumates. He demonstrated how linking this approach to animal farming cuts costs, including veterinary care costs. Jiří Smilek (Brno University of Technology) overviewed his young researcher project supported by IHSS, which he presented recently at the conference of the Commonwealth of Independent States IHSS chapter. Together with Petr Sedláček (Brno University of Technology), he reported on reflections and inspirations from the conference, titled Humic Innovative Technologies – Humic Substances and Living Systems, which took place in Moscow, October 2019. The morning session was closed by Jan Kowolowski followed by Lubomír Varga (both from the Secondary Winery School), who described their continuing experience with the application of Lignohumate MAX and Lignoactivator, and also, recently, Vitalic in vineyards and their effects on the characteristics of both harvested grapes and wine produced from them. Wine samples were provided for tasting and evaluation by the participants of the meeting. 

The afternoon session was opened by Dagmar Matějková from the Czechtrade agency, who reported on the support provided by this agency to Czech exporters of (not only) humic products. The second speaker, Z. Špirakusová, remained also on a general level, sharing her impressions – these somewhat pessimistic with respect to Czech agriculture – from the recent conference on the future of European agriculture, which was held in Prague in autumn 2019 and included representatives of EU organs. Aleš Hanč (Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague) shared his team’s experience with vermicomposting and described several practical examples on both the domestic and industrial scales. His contribution was taken up by Vojtěch Enev (Brno University of Technology), who presented results from the monitoring of horse manure vermicomposting by means of spectroscopic and other methods of chemical analysis. He demonstrated that florescence spectroscopy in particular enables vermicompost maturity to be monitored. Stanislav Janošík (STIMAP, Slovakia) summarized his long-term experience with the application of lignohumate preparations on corn and rapeseed during the pre-vegetative and vegetative periods, and stressed the effectiveness of his application technology also in the regeneration of variously damaged areas (by wildlife, flooding etc.).

After a short break, the afternoon session continued with a contribution by Martina Klučáková (Brno University of Technology) on the first results of a study on the interactions of selected pharmaceutically active substances with soil humic substances and the soil itself. Drugs penetrate into the environment, particularly as a fraction of waste water and bring increasing stress. For example, Ibuprofen bonding to the investigated matrices was revealed to be rather tight. Michal Kalina (Brno University of Technology) presented the results of a pilot project aimed at the interactions of selected pesticides with some soil conditioners (lignite, alginite), realized in cooperation with the European Landscape Water Retaining Institute. He pointed to synergic sorption effects of soil and the investigated conditioners. Following this, Vojtěch Enev (Brno University of Technology) shared his experience with a novel method for the analysis of humic products, originating in the USA and recently incorporated into the ISO standards. He spoke about the analysis of a Chinese product traded under the name HumiKey; the parameters reported by its producer corresponded to the findings obtained by the method. Ladislav Menšík (representing a team from the Crop Research Institute, Prague and its Jevíčko research station, and Mendel University in Brno) overviewed traditional applications of NIR spectroscopy in agriculture and reported on its extension to soil characterization (carbon content, organic carbon determination, contents and types of humic substances). He stressed the need for the reliable and careful calibration and validation of this technique as well as its simplicity in comparison with methods of wet chemical analysis. The last lecture was delivered by Jaroslav Záhora (Mendel University in Brno) and concerned the broad issues of  sustaining life in soil, organic farming, and respecting the intricate relationships between plants and soil microbiota. He also tackled related impacts on soil structure, nutrient flows, and their availability to both plants and microorganisms, especially with respect to the losses of such flows in conventional farming.


The meeting finally concluded with dinner in the wine cellars of the winery school, during which informal talks and discussions continued over wine and participants sang and danced to music provided by a traditional Moravian folk band.

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