Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Director’s preface

Research Institute in the Middle-Tisza Region

The Karcag Research Institute (KRI) deals mainly with the research of the development possibilities of farming on the heavy textured soils of the Middle-Tisza Region. The KRI was founded in 1947 and joined to the Debrecen Agricultural University in 1976. From that time it has an important role in agricultural research and education of Debrecen too. When it was founded, its sphere of action included Szolnok County and the Bihar region of Hajdú-Bihar County both with the high fraction of heavy textured and degraded soils.

The research activities of the KRI can be classified into 4 groups:

  • soil protection-, soil cultivation-, plant nutrition researches
  • plant breeding – seed production
  • grassland management – sheep keeping
  • soil utilization – rural development.


The participation in the solving of global problems and the covering of the practical requirements of the local environment are both very important indicator of the success of research. Soil degradation is endangering the supply of the people with safe and high quality food in all over the world in our days. Based on the traditions of the Institute, we consider the followings as our most important research tasks: to reveal the soil degradation processes (acidification, salinization, structure degradation, compaction) and to scientifically establish the chemical and physical amelioration and water regime control of soils.

Nowadays the research of the correlation of greenhouse gases and the climatic change is an emphasized issue of environmental protection. The reveal of the correlation of land use and CO2-emission from the soil is a newly introduced research task of the Institute. Our researchers take part in the work dedicated to the calculation of the national carbon stock inventory of the Hungarian croplands and grasslands.

Recently plant growing for energy production is a developing issue of agriculture. KRI has experiences in sorghum breeding and in the research of alcohol production from sorghum.

Being a regional research institute, KRI has tasks to cover the requirements of the local agricultural practice too. The most direct form of the connection with the practice is realised through the Central Laboratory. On the base of the analyses of the laboratory we provide expert advices in plant nutrition and soil reclamation for farmers.

KRI is in the market with seeds and animals bred by it promoting the dissemination of species and varieties accommodating the best to the ecological conditions of the region. We also contribute to the elaboration of rural development plans. The territory of more than 1000 ha of the Research Institute very well represents the agro-ecological conditions of the Middle-Tisza Region. This fact and the several experimental sites provide a good possibility for practical education.

The balanced rate between global and local researches and the enhancement of the research-education characteristic of the university we belong to altogether ensure the importance of the activities of KRI for the future too.

Dr. József Zsembeli
chief director


Brief history of Karcag Research Institute of RIEF

Founded in: 1947.

State Plant Breeding Site at Karcag (1947-1955)

 After the World War II., the leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture decided to establish a research institute dedicated to the research of the agricultural activities done under the unfavourable ecological conditions of the Middle-Tisza Region. Under the leadership of Dr. Ernő Vezekényi, an institution called State Plant Breeding Site at Karcag was established based on the buildings and partly the territories of the Karcag Agricultural Technical School.

 The main task of the institution was to breed the major crops characteristic for the region (fodder beet, chickling vetch, winter wheat etc.). By 1952 8 researchers, 2,300 ha area and 15 plant species were the characteristics of the institution. The research activities involved the agrotechnical development and the reclamation of salt affected soils too.


Nagykunsági Agricultural Research Institute (1955-1970)

  According to a former governmental resolution, the State Plant Breeding Site at Karcag was formed to a region specific research institute under the name of Nagykunsági Agricultural Research Institute in 1955. Its sphere of action included Szolnok county and the Bihar region of Hajdú-Bihar county. Its main task was to research the regional problems of plant breeding, plant production, animal husbandry and farm management. Two experimental sites (in Kisújszállás and Kunhegyes) were coupled from the Szarvas Irrigation Research Institute to Karcag in 1958, hence its duties were enlarged with the research of irrigation. That was the period when the new headquarters of the institute were established. The farm buildings were constructed in 1957, while the main building in 1960. The soil cultivation researches started in 1955. There was a great emphasis on the research of soil tillage, irrigation and other agrotechnical elements applied on salt affected and meadow soils that time.

Soil Cultivation Research Institute (1970-1976)

 At the end of the 1960-ies the profile of the major research institutes in Hungary was revised, hence institutes were formed that are specialised to a certain research area and suitable to implement tasks at national level. In correspondence with this trend, the Ministry of Agriculture changed the name of the Nagykunsági Agricultural Research Institute to Soil Cultivation Research Institute, and determined its main task as the complex research aiming the development of soil cultivation and soil reclamation systems and methods on different soil types at national level. Beside this task, the breeding and growing technology development of vetch-species, Sudan grass, millet and foxtail millet were still in the profile of the research institute. In this period the Soil Cultivation Research Institute elaborated and implemented the co-ordination of a national research programme entitled ‘Complex research of up-to-date soil cultivation and soil reclamation systems and methods’.


DAU Research Institute, Karcag (1976-1999)

 According to the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Soil Cultivation Research Institute joined to the Debrecen Agricultural University and became a partly dependent unit of it under the name of DAU Research Institute, Karcag in the June of 1976. The institute had a major role in the realization of such national research programmes as ‘K-9. Enhancement of soil fertility by the elaboration of basically new trends’, Breeding and variety maintenance of alternative fodder crops’ and ‘Complex research of the development of grassland management’. In the 1980ies, the active co-operation among the DAU Research Institute, Karcag, the Vocational Education and Research Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Institutions of Agricultural Research resulted in the elaboration and successful realization of the national programme entitled ‘G-9. Research and development for the scientific establishment of the enhancement of soil fertility and primer biomass production’. In the framework of this programme the co-ordination of the research institutions involved in the amelioration and soil cultivation projects was done by the Karcag Research Institute.


Karcag Research Institute of the Centre for Agricultural Sciences and Engineering, University of Debrecen (2000-2010)

 As a result of the reorganization of the institutional structure of higher education, the Research Institute was integrated into the organizational system of the University of Debrecen and lost its legal entity status in 2000. It was one of the founders of the Centre for Agricultural Sciences and Engineering of the University of Debrecen. Its research activity aimed mainly the problems of the agricultural utilization and soil protection of the Middle-Tisza Region. Accordingly the main research tasks involved the issues of plant breeding, agrotechnical development, soil reclamation, soil protection, soil cultivation, sheep keeping, grassland management and rural development. During the first decade of the 3rd millennium, the number of research and development activities of the Institute increased resulting in new researches of great perspectives in the area of bio-energy and the carbon cycle of the soils. The researchers of the Institute are more and more involved in teaching in the faculties of the CAES, and its sites have more and more important role in the practical education of the B.Sc. students.

Research Institutes and Educational Farm of the Centre for Agricultural and Economic Sciences, University of Debrecen (2010- )  

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University of Debrecen ¤ Research Institutes and Educational Farm ¤ Research Institute of Karcag
Address: 5300 Karcag, Kisújszállási Str. 166, Hungary ¤ Phone: +36 (59) 500-360 ¤ Fax: +36 (59) 500-151