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Group Title: Agrifest
Title: Agrifest : agriculture and food fair of St. Croix, Virgin Islands. 1979.
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 Material Information
Title: Agrifest : agriculture and food fair of St. Croix, Virgin Islands. 1979.
Series Title: Agrifest : agriculture and food fair of St. Croix, Virgin Islands.
Physical Description: Serial
Publication Date: 1979
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Subject: Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: United States of America -- United States Virgin Islands -- St. Croix -- Caribbean
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Bibliographic ID: CA01300011
Volume ID: VID00012
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
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Resource Identifier: oclc - 20948561

Table of Contents
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Full Text
2 .


9 TH VYirn Islnds GSovmt
ANNUAL 1919

,. AGRICULTURE
MILK III^ I
AND
FOOD FAIR
OF THE
VIRGI l'
S. ISLANDS

1979
JOINTLY SPONSORED
by
R l V.I. Department of Agriculture
College of the Virgin Islands
Cooperative Extension Service


VAD 1.3:co
2 /57








TABLE OF CONTENTS






Message from Juan Luis
Governor of the Virgin Islands ................................................... ..

Message from Commissioner Oscar E. Henry
President of Agriculture and Food Fair................................................ 3

Message from Dr. Arthur A. Richards
Acting President, College of the Virgin Islands ..........................................5

Public Evidence For A Vigorous Agriculture Program .................................. 9

Developing A Viable Agricultural Industry In The U.S. Virgin Islands ...................... .13

Agricultural Policy In A Scarce And Fragile Environment. .............................. 17

Tea Leaves Of St. Croix.......................................................... .21

The Potential For Commercial Vegetable Production In The Virgin Islands ................. .23

Soil Water ................................................................... 27

How To Get Started In Food Production .............................................29

Sheep And Goat Production In The U.S. Virgin Islands ................................. .36

Tantan (Leucaena Leucocephala): An Unexploited Crop Plant
With Promising Economic Value For The Virgin Islands ................ ............ . 39

A Prospectus For Cage Culture Of Fresh Water Fish In The U.S. Virgin Islands ............... 41

Freshwater Shrimp ........................... .. .............................. 45

Ciguatera Fish Poisoning: A Much Misunderstood Problem. ............................. .49

Bougainvillaes: A Thorny Bush Or A Beautiful, Flowering Vine ............................ 52

Clothing For The Elderly ....................................................... 53

Energy Extension Work In The Virgin Islands.................................... .... 55

Basic Information About Culicoides Biting Midges ..................................... 57


EDITOR
Dr. Darshan S. Padda










































THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands


Message from Honorable Juan Luis
Governor of the Virgin Islands

The Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair has
impacted in renewing community interest in agriculture
especially among our young people. This ninth annual
Fair promises to be the best ever of its kind. The Fair is a
showcase of activity for the dedicated men and women of
our islands who are involved in the most important service
to mankind, providing food for the family table. It offers
us a chance to pay tribute to these individuals for their
hard work and achievements.
Our islands, indeed the whole world, has experienced
the reality of ever increasing food prices and dwindling
food supplies. We have been fortunate to have a steady
supply through our imports but common sense tells us
that a day may come when that supply may drop to a
detrimental level.
The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture and the
College of the Virgin Islands, in co-sponsoring this Fair,
have demonstrated thei- capabilities and dedication toward
increasing local food production. Their daily efforts of
providing technical services, education assistance, regulatory
functions and research into new potentials offers the hope
of food in abundance for our islands.
This Agriculture and Food Fair is symbolic of the
potential which exists for expanding agriculture signifi-
cantly in the Virgin Islands. I commend the Board of
Directors, Commissioner Henry and the V.I. Department
of Agriculture, Dr. D. S. Padda and the College of the
Virgin Islands and all those individuals whose efforts
contribute to this event. May each visitor find enjoyment
in this Fair and take from it the realization that is achiev-
able by an implementation of a worthwhile agricultural
program for the Virgin Islands.


V Q 2 9 39


4







.LM NUGENT FARMS
The Quality U
of
Our Beef
and
Dairy Products




Reflects the clean shore breezes that freshen our
pastures and blue sea that frames them.
Our healthy flocks of cattle give St. Croix the taste
treat and eye appeal to please islander and tourist alike.
SUPPORT ALL LOCAL AGRICULTURE
CASTLE NUGENT
FARMS GASPERI

CASTLE NUGENT FARMS

Home of the
Purebred Senepol
Registered Holsteins
and the big
White Cows...







Message from Commissioner Oscar E. Henry,
President of the Agriculture and Food Fair


The Ninth Annual Agriculture and Food Fair is the
fourth fair since I became the commissioner of agriculture.
In my judgment, it should be a good point to look back and
evaluate the progress made during these years in the agricul-
tural industry and in the fair.
The People's Community Garden program was started
on St. Croix in two locations during 1975 to provide gar-
dening opportunities to the residents. This program was
reorganized to concentrate growing in one area on St. Croix
in 1977. There are 321 plots under cultivation and the
demand for additional plots continues.To demonstrate the
feasibility of producing the animal feed locally, the farmers
have been encouraged to grow sorghum. The East End
Sorghum Growers Association, comprised of several farmers,
were assisted to "learn by doing" experimental planting of
156 acres. Forage sorghum has become a popular crop with
our livestock growers. I have consistently advocated a self-
help philosophy to the farmers. With my encouragement
and assistance, one farmer has already harvested grain
sorghum successfully. This is abig step towards achieving
self-sufficiency in animal feed.
The small livestock farmers had always complained
about the shortage of green chop during summer and this
problem became severe in 1977 when a harsh drought hit
the islands. Rather than tackling the problem piecemeal and
finding a short-term solution, I called upon various local
and federal agencies and formulated a comprehensive plan
to solve the immediate problem and to prevent the recur-
rence of such a situation in future years. The grass cutting
program is organized in such a fashion that emergency
situations do not arise.
Animal health is a major function of the department
of agriculture. Within my short tenure, I have arranged the
services of two full-time veterinarians on St. Croix. Addi-
tionally, I was successful in securing a federal veterinarian
for St. Thomas. The story about the Senepol development
is known to everybody. By working jointly with Dr. Padda,
we not only formed a Senepol association comprised of
local breeders but also a research program, publication of
an informative bulletin, and performance testing programs
have been developed. Through our effort Senepol is no
more a beef breed but a local resource of great economic
value. Quarantine facilities that met local and federal
standards for the export of animals were completed. These
facilities made it possible to export 23 animals to the
mainland.

I am very proud of the various agricultural services
we have been able to provide to our residents. However, the
highlight of my achievements is developing a closer working


relationship between the V.I. Department of Agriculture
and the College of the Virgin Islands' land-grant programs.
The results of this relationship are very evident and need
no explaining.
I have encouraged and assisted the college staff to
put out excellent pieces of literature and plans are under-
way to publish a comprehensive manual of agricultural
enterprises in the Virgin Islands.
The agriculture and food fair is a successful com-
munity function. Whereas the fair was in existence before
I arrived on the scene, my main contribution has been to
put it on a business-like basis. The progress of the fair is
well documented and can be readily seen in the fair book.
The book does not only serve as a local "journal" for
agriculture but generates considerable revenue. More than
90% of the advertisements are paid in advance and this
reflects the confidence of our community in this activity.
Finally, let me say that I enjoy serving my com-
munity and please enjoy your visit to the fair. If you have
any suggestions for improvement, please let me hear them.









CASTLE NUGENT FARMS .. MARIO GASPERI
CORN HILL FARM ......HENRY NELTHROPP
WINDSOR FARM .............STACY LLOYD
MON BIJOU FARM ...........OLIVER SKOV
SIGHT FARM.......... CHARLES SCHUSTER



N ISLANDS DAIRY N'S ASSOC.

VIRGIN ISLANDS DAIRYMEN'S ASSOC.


Fresh Grade "A"

Milk

For Your Table








Message From Arthur A. Richards
Acting President, College of the Virgin Islands



Agriculture is Basic .. The theme for this year's
Ninth Annual Agriculture and Food Fair sums up as well
the philosophy behind the land-grant programs operated
by the College of the Virgin Islands in cooperation with
: the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Agriculture is basic to our island lives. It reduces
our dependence on costly imported food supplies, jobs
for island residents, and improves the landscape of our
rural areas. Most importantly, it allows us to develop our
individuality among the many tropical areas of the world,
producing fruits, vegetables, field crops and livestock
particularly suited to our unique geography and climate.
SThe College of the Virgin Islands is proud of the
S achievements of its Agdcultural Experiment Station and
Cooperative Extension Service. The Agricultural Experi-
ment Station on St. Croix has developed technology for
improved horticultural varieties, forage and grain sorghum
strains, development of the native Senepol cattle breed
and freshwater fish culture. The Cooperative Extension
Service has expanded its information delivery system with
a new office on St. John, newspaper columns and radio
Programs on home and garden topics, popular publications
Such as Native Recipes and History and Development of
Senepol Cattle, and a 4-H youth program which reaches
thousands of young Virgin Islanders each year.
The third, and most recent component of the College
962 of the Virgin Islands land-grant system is the new two-year
curriculum leading to an Associate of Arts degree in agri-
culture. This long-awaited degree program will supply
properly-trained personnel to assist in the continuing
development of Virgin Islands agriculture.
On behalf of the entire College, and in particular the
COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS agricultural programs that co-sponsor the fair, I am pleased
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT to have this opportunity to congratulate all food fair
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands participants on their enthusiasm and interest in the
agriculture which is so basic to the happiness and prosperity
of our home, the U.S. Virgin Islands.




~Z^c






Courtesy
of


We are proud to be an active growing
citizen of the Community working
daily for Better living of the Virgin
Islanders through agriculture,
education and industry.


Fuii~~r






VIRGIN ISLANDS AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF



PRESIDENT
Honorable Oscar E. Henry


VICE PRESIDENT
Dr. Darshan S. Padda


FAIR SUPERINTENDENT
Eric L. Bough




EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
Preston D. Sides


TREASURER
Elisha R. Daniel, Sr.



DIRECTOR
ST. THOMAS/ST. JOHN ACTIVITIES
Horatio A. Million
(Assisted by Colville C. Lewis)


DIRECTOR
FACILITIES AND SERVICES
Huan C. Van Putten

DIRECTOR
FOOD EXHIBITS
Olivia H. Henry

DIRECTOR
RULES AND AWARDS
Otis F. Hicks, Sr.

DIRECTOR
FARM EXHIBITS
Dr. Duke L. Deller

DIRECTOR
PROMOTIONS
Laurence P. Huntley

DIRECTOR
SPECIAL ACTIVITIES
Lauritz H. Schuster


IV-1;07













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Public Evidence For A Vigorous Agricultural Program


By Frank L. Mills
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas


In a territory that is largely characterized by a moun-
tainous landscape, long and severe periods of droughts, an
unreliable and inefficient underground water-distribution
system, and an absence of a strong agrarian dimension, it is
at first astonishing to learn that there is overwhelming
public sentiment in the Virgin Islands for a strong agricul-
tural program. Even though per capital income and levels of
living today are much higher than they were during the
period in which the mainstay of the economy was based on
sugar cane, and much of the former arable land has been
given over to residential, commercial and industrial uses,
most residents still perceive that there is a dire need for a
back-to-the-land movement. This article first addresses the
question of the possible reasons for the strong support for
a revived agricultural program. It then looks at the nature
of the evidence for this support, and finally, it presents an
agricultural development goal and a number of objectives
recommended to government based on the expression of
the public.
There is little doubt that a majority of the residents
of these islands perceive a number of advantages to be
derived from an expansion of agricultural activities in the
territory. Perhaps the first of these is the return to the
plough of several hundred acres of arable land of relatively
high capability that are being held for speculation or are
just left unproductive. Second, employment opportunities
in sowing, reaping, marketing and processing would certainly
increase, especially on St. Croix, where unemployment
levels are probably highest in the territory. Third, the need
to include freight costs in the price of imported food
articles is said to be largely responsible for the very high
food costs in the territory, especially on St. Thomas. An
agricultural substitution program would most likely not
only lead to lower food costs, but the freshness of food
items would be beneficial to health. Fourth, the continual
flow of capital from the territory would be stemmed consi-
derably, and that capital would be reinvested in local
agricultural enterprises. Fifth, much of the land that is now
given over to unplanned residential areas, or more accurately,
to urban sprawl, would be either reincorporated into the
agricultural sector or it would inhibit further residential
encroachment on to agrarian land. Unrelated to the above
benefits but significant in terms of the boost given to
agricultural activities in the islands is the impact of the
Rastafarian doctrine of inner-body cleanliness on youth.
Many who espouse this religion have rejected traditional
food items and now seek a largely-vegetarian diet. One
consequence of this is that.these enterprising young people


are buying increased quantities of fruits, nuts and vegetables
and the entrepreneurs among them are cultivating their own
garden plots.
The evidence for strong public support for a vigorous
agricultural program comes from two main sources. One of
these is a public-opinion survey conducted in 1976 in rela-
tion to the Coastal Zone Management Program, and the
other in relation to a household survey in 1978 in relation
to the Economic Policy Guidelines. Both surveys covered
the {hree islands, and the respondents in the households
sampled were mostly the heads of dwellings.
In the earlier public survey, the questions were largely
concerned with the coastal environment and how it should
be used. However, since ecological practices almost any-
where on the islands have an effect on the coast, this latter
term is assumed to embrace most of the islands. The specific
question that dealt with agriculture was: "If economic
growth does occur, and you could choose, which ... of the
following types would ou favor first- heavy manufacturing,
light industry, agriculture and food processing, tourist
industry, fishing?" In the territory as a whole, the use of
the (coastal) lands for agricultural and food-processing pur-
poses was selected by more household heads than for any
other economic development purpose. Indeed, in the entire
survey, only two other questions concerning the coast had
more household heads agreeing on them than the one on
agriculture. In the Virgin Islands as a whole, 35.4 percent of
the respondents advocated the use of the coastal lands for
agricultural and food-processing purposes. In St. Thomas,
41.5 percent of the respondents, the largest percentage in
the survey on any one question on the island, felt this way
on the subject. In St. Croix, 31.2 percent agreed with this
and on St. John, 24.1 percent felt likewise.
The second public survey was conducted for the
primary purpose of getting representative public input into
ten areas of concern identified for special treatment regard-
ing economic development. Three of these areas which had
questions relevant to agriculture were: diversification of the
economy, import substitution, and the budgetary process.
It is instructive to note that after the opinions of the public
were known, it was found necessary to add the topic of
agriculture as an additional major area to the other ten as
one deserving special attention for economic development.
Under the first area of concerning-diversification of
the economy-the interviewer was told that the government
is working to attract new businesses to the territory, and of
those-agricultural businesses (vegetables, poultry, cattle
raising), tourism activities, light manufacturing, scientific
work, heavy industry, service industries-he was asked to
indicate (in the manner shown in the following table) his
opinion.






TABLE I.
The Importance of Attracting Agricultural Businesses to the Territory

Very Not Too Not No
Important Important Important Important Opinion


Virgin Islands 64 30 4 0 2
St. John 80 20 0 0 0
St. Thomas 56 37 5 0 2
St. Croix 73 22 3 0 2



respondents indicated that agricultural businesses should be
From Table I, it is seen that 94 percent of the total respon- respondents indicated that agricultural businesses should be
given higher priority over all others, including tourism
dents consider agricultural businesses important to the given higher priority over all others, including tourism
economic development of the territory. On an insular level, activities.
all St. Johnian respondents are supportive of the idea; Under the second area of concern-import substitu-
93 percent St. Thomians and 95 percent Crucians also share tion-respondents were given five statements relating to the
that view. In addition, each respondent was asked to rate local economy, and they were asked to respond to them in
the six business activities (given above) in terms of which the manner indicated below. Three of these questions were
is considered the most important. Forty-five percent of all relevant to agriculture.

TABLE II.
Government Support for Agricultural Enterprises

Strongly Strongly No
Agree Agree Disagree Disagree Opinion


a) Government should give special
help to local producers of vege-
tables, fruits and fish 55 35 5 1 4
b) Government should encourage
people to buy local beef rather
than imported beef 44 34 11 3 8
c) Government should give special
help to farmers to produce more
local crops and livestock 60 32 4 1 3


The Ninth Annual Agricultural and Food Fair, to be
held at the V. I. Department of Agriculture Estate Lower
Love, on February 17, 18 and 19. Rotary West Club
will participate with food exhibits conducted by members
of Rotary West. We asked the Public to come and meet
Rotary members ...


W BEST WISHES FROM


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TABLE III.
Importance of the Efforts of Government in Expanding Agriculture

Very Not Too Not No
Important Important Important Important Opinion


Virgin Islands 57 34 3 2 4
St.John 54 44 0 2 0
St. Thomas 50 41 4 1 4
St.Croix 65 23 3 3 6


In each case, an overwhelming majority approved the idea
for more government support to the producers of vegetables,
fruits and fish, to the production of the other local crops
and livestocks, and to the consumption of locally-produced
beef. The strength of feeling for these actions, indicated by
the large percentage of "strongly agree" on each question,
provides an additional dimension of public support for
agriculture.
As part of the budgetary process, seven topics were
identified as areas where the government might expand
most of its effort over the next few years. Among these was
the expansion of agriculture. The data in Table III represent
the distribution of the responses given in the territory as a
whole and in the islands individually. In the three islands
collectively, a majority of the respondents consider the
expansion of agriculture "very important". Of the seven
topics requiring the efforts of the government, more
respondents-57 percent-named agriculture among the
"very important" category than among any of the other
'six. It is to be noted that St. Johnians feel more strongly
about this issue than any of the other islanders and the
same can be said of their opinions concerning the importance
of attracting agricultural businesses indicated in Table I.

The overwhelming support for a developed agricul-
tural industry led the drafters of the Economic Policy
Guidelines to include agriculture as an additional area of
concern and to propose the following goal: to increase
local agricultural products and integrate them into the
economy by modern marketing techniques either for local
consumption or for servicing the growing tourist sector.
Two objectives were linked to this goal. First of these is
the expansion and development of the agricultural sector to
enable it to supply local food demands, to integrate it with
tourism and other economic activities, and for it to provide
a meaningful alternative to unproductive land use. Second
is the formulation of an agricultural development plan in
the territory that will encompass related components such
as research and development, the utilization of modern
agricultural technology and modern marketing methods.


Governor Luis has publicly spoken of his support for
agricultural development in the territory, and he has
publicly endorsed the Economic Policy Guidelines recently.
The evidence clearly shows that the public at large is willing
to respond positively to any program geared to the expan-
sion of the agricultural sector. With this kind of popular
support, both executive and legislative action could well
return agriculture to its primacy in the economy that it
once held.


Cokea z.., food





Compllments


of
GRAND UNION


eQ


The IIAL Supermarkets in
the Virgin Islands







Developing A Viable Agricultural Industry

In The U.S. Virgin Islands


By Darshan S. Padda
Director
Cooperative Extension Service and
Agricultural Experiment Station
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix

Assuring an adequate food supply is one of the basic
responsibilities of government. Unlike many places where
agriculture is underdeveloped, the primary problem in the
Virgin Islands is not one of hunger or inadequate food but
rather the high cost and sometimes poor quality of the
imported produce on which we are dependent. Malnutrition
remains prevalent in the Virgin Islands, and several agencies,
such as the CVI Cooperative Extension Service, continue to
combat this problem through public educational programs.
This article is concerned with increased production of good
home-grown food for island residents.
No justification is necessary for developing the
agricultural industry in the Virgin Islands as all of us realize
the need for it. What is important is that the right choice of
alternatives for such development is made. Like concerned
people everywhere, Virgin Islanders want to maintain a
proper balance of technology, sociology and ecology. They
want to use the modern techniques of agricultural produc-
tion and marketing, but do not wish to forget its effect on
social and environmental factors. Once we accept this
premise as a guiding principle we can proceed with a
responsible, agricultural development plan.
It would be wrong for me to present a rosy picture
and say that further agricultural development in the Virgin
Islands will be easy. There are many constraints to expand-
ing agriculture and food production in the Virgin Islands,
yet at the same time adequate means exist for alleviating
some of these constraints. Several obstacles to further
agricultural development include the following:

Lack of Available Land
There are many young islanders who want to farm
but do not have the land available for this purpose. Hope-
fully, recent actions by the V.I. government to purchase
lands for agricultural use will offer some solution to this
problem.

Lack of Adequate Credit Facilities
Virgin Islanders do not have access to adequate credit
facilities and have limited resources to buy needed food
production inputs which are often high priced and not
readily available.


Lack of Trained Personnel
Agricultural graduates from the mainland United
States and Canada often lack experience with the crops and
environment of the Virgin Islands. Well qualified graduates
from the University of the West Indies have not been avail-
able. The College of the Virgin Islands has recently initiated
a degree program in agriculture and hopefully the program
will justify further development so that sufficiently trained
people will become available in the Virgin Islands someday.

Labor Shortage
Lack of available farm labor limits the size of farm
operations.

Lack of Proper Technology
Farm technology designed to meet the local needs is
not available. Systems of cultivation are outmoded. Tests
of cultivar adaptation, pest control, and soil and water
management are needed. Studies by scientists of the CVI
Agricultural Experiment Station indicate that increased
agricultural production in the Virgin Islands on a sustained
basis is possible. Promising approaches to increased produc-
tion include intercropping and multiple cropping schemes,
minimum tillage techniques, mulching, use of improved,
high-yielding, pest- and disease-resistant crop cultivars,
and selection of improved crop varieties with tolerance to
adverse soil and drought conditions. One of the most
important needs of all is the development of improved hand
tools, small machines, and appropriate technology that is
accessible to the small farm owners who constitute the
majority of the Virgin Island farmers.

Lack of Adequate Water Supplies
A lack of water available for irrigation is the most
important constraint to the development of intensive
agriculture in the Virgin Islands. Rains are erratic and
undependable. A rain-fed farming system can be developed
but the high cost of land and the constantly increasing
demand of land for non-agricultural purposes precludes
The economic justification for non-intensive agricultural
methods. Supplemental irrigation systems using minimal
amounts of water need to be implemented. CVI Agricul-
tural Experiment Station scientists are testing such systems
and once suitable irrigation methods are established, catch-
ment areas can be improved to utilize rain water for supple-
mental irrigation.

Insufficient Marketing Facilities
The development of agriculture will be dictated by






the demand for agricultural products. While surplus produce
can be exported, I strongly believe that Virgin Islanders
should develop their agriculture industry to achieve self-
sufficiency in food production as their primary goal. A
local market exists for a variety of items and we should give
priority to growing those products first.
Although constraints are numerous, there are some
favorable factors for agricultural development in the Virgin
Islands. These include suitable temperature and day-length
ranges throughout the year for crop production, and the
existence of local markets for the produce. Agricultural
endeavors that should be further developed in the Virgin
Islands include the following:

Food Crops
We can never produce all the food items that we use
for everyday consumption. However, we can produce some
of them. Crop preference should be based on suitable grow-
ing conditions, family consumption patterns and produce
freshness.
Many Virgin Islanders with their West-Indian back-
grounds prefer to grow root crops such as sweet potatoes,
yams and cassava, as these crops constitute their main
staple food. All of these can be grown in the Virgin Islands
successfully. Pigeon peas are another readily consumed and
easily grown Virgin Island crop. Insects are sometimes a
problem with pigeon peas, but they can be controlled
with the proper use of pesticides.

From the freshness point of view salad crops should
receive preference. Being leafy vegetables they can be
successfully grown in tropical conditions. Lettuce generally
heads the list of salad crops. It is actually a cool-season crop,
but heat resistant varieties of bo.l head lettuce and leaf
lettuce can be grown in the Virgin Islands. Tomatoes,
peppers and cucumbers can be easily grown here. The
choice of cultivar, however, is especially critical as varieties
developed for temperate climates do not grow well under
tropical conditions. Tropical crops such as okra and egg-
olant can be grown with little input and effort. For larger


truck farm operations, onions and carrots should be consi-
dered as they require only one harvest and have fewer pest
problems, making them less labor intensive crops.
A discussion of food crops would be incomplete
without mentioning fruit trees. Mango, papaya and avocado
are probably the first three choices of fruit trees for the
Virgin Islands. If citrus fruits are preferred, lime and grape-
fruit should be considered. Orange and tangerine can
be grown in certain parts of the islands but they require
much more management care. Other tropical crops like
guava, sugar apple and banana can be grown here for home
consumption.
The CVI Agricultural Experiment Station and the
Cooperative Extension Service are developing a series of
popular fact sheets on various crops that can be easily
grown in the V.I. They should serve as ready references
for prospective gardeners and farmers.

Feed Crops
Livestock production plays a very important role
in the agricultural industry of the Virgin Islands. The
main constraint to the further development of livestock
production is a lack of local feeds. Imported feeds are
very expensive and add to the cost of production. To
solve this problem, animal feeds must be produced locally.
Sorghum offers great promise for this purpose. Significant
success has already been demonstrated. Most of the com-
mercial livestock farmers are producing forage sorghum.
Grain sorghum production is the next step and one farmer
under the guidance of CVI Agricultural Experiment Station
scientists has already demonstrated that high quality grain
can be produced locally. About 2,000 acres of grain sorghum
could produce enough grain to make importation unneces-
sary. Through future joint efforts of the CVI Agricultural
Experiment Station, the V.I. Department of Agriculture
and the local farmers; self-sufficiency in animal feed through
forage and grain sorghum production can become a reality.
The CVI agronomic program is not only involved in testing

the cultivars and production methods of sorghum, sudan-
grass, and sorghum-sudangrass hybrids, but it is also intro-


In the Virgin Islands everybody needs

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during new crops like millet and soybean that will be
used as feed ingredients to improve the quality of locally
produced feeds.

Cattle Industry
Milk and beef production are the most viable agricul-
tural enterprises in the Virgin Islands. Fluid milk is theonly
agricultural commodity in which we are self-sufficient. In
order for dairy farmers to become more efficient, the CVI
Cooperative Extension Service has initiated a dairy herd
improvement program. Through this program the dairy
farmers will be taught how to maintain records on each
animal and to use these records to implement a more effec-
tive herd management and breeding stock improvement
program. By reducing the cost of increased production, we
hope the savings will be passed on to the consumers.
The story of beef production through Senepol cattle
is well known. I feel that Senepol cattle improvement is a
success story of which Virgin Islanders can-be proud. Future
development of Senepol cattle as our local agricultural
resource promises to be a high paying animal breeding
industry. In addition it can provide locally produced beef
for residents. With the assistance of the College of the
Virgin Islands, the V.I. Senepol Association has already
expanded its membership by 300 percent.

Sheep and Goats
Sheep and goats definitely have a place in the agricul-
tural economy of the Virgin Islands. Most Virgin Islanders
readily consume the meat of these animals. Raising sheep
and goats can combine a supplemental meat source for the
small farmer with a small annual cash income. Sheep and
goats eat local forages and do not require an imported feed.
The white-haired sheep of St. Croix may hold potential as a
source of exotic genetic stock for breeders in parts of the
United States. The CVI Cooerative Extension Service has
already received inquiries from various states and an improve-
ment program similar to Senepol cattle is being developed
for sheep. In order to provide sheep and goat producers
with proper management information, an Extension bulletin
is being prepared. It will provide information on breeds,
nutrition, management, and parasite control. The CVI
Cooperative Extension Service is also promoting 4-H
projects on sheep and goats so that future farmers may
acquaint themselves with these animals.

Poultry and Swine
There is a good market for poultry meat and eggs on
the islands. Although profitable poultry and swine opera-
tions require imported feeds, expansion can be realized
through local production of sorghum grain. When sorghum
grain production becomes a viable enterprise there will be
more opportunities for small, part-time farmers with limited


land resources to become involved in moderate-sized poultry
or pork production systems. Because of the premium price
commanded for local eggs in the supermarkets, poultry
farming is becoming popular and it is hoped that further
expansion of this industry will occur. The V. I. Department
of Agriculture maintains a small piggery for providing
breeding services for swine producers. There is a need to
explore ways and means of upgrading the genetic potential
of the boars used at the piggery.
The development of agriculture and food production
in the Virgin Islands is difficult and complex. The con-
straints- enumerated earlier need to be at least partially
removed. However, before any worthwhile effort is initiated
to develop agriculture, the following steps are prerequisites:

Official Agricultural Policy
There is no official agricultural policy for the Virgin
Islands. At the time of elections, residents heard a lot about
agricultural development but as soon as elections were over
the echo of agricultural development died. Technical and
professional people can conduct studies and develop
proposals, but unless the executive and legislative branches
of government adopt a policy. and wholeheartedly support
its implementation, studies and development plans are time
wasting exercises. We need an agricultural development





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OF ST. JOHN, INC.
REALTOR' U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS


ST. JOHN INSURANCE AGENCY
GENERAL AGENTS
REAL ESTATE P.O. BOX 40, CRUZ BAY
(809) 776-6776 ST. JOHN, US. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00830





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policy defining both the long and short-range goals. The
alternative approaches available to achieve these goals need
to be carefully chosen. The implementation responsibilities
need to be assigned to various agencies. Through these
approaches cost-benefit ratios for various activities can be
worked out and developmental progress can be monitored
at governmental levels. The CVI Cooperative Extension
Service sponsored an agricultural development study for
the U.S. Virgin Islands. It might, at least, serve as a guide-
line for an official V.I. agricultural policy.

Incentive Programs
The Virgin Islands government has legislated some
incentive programs. Land used for agriculture is exempt
from 95 percent of real property taxes. There is a provision
for a 90 percent tax reduction on income derived from
agriculture. A sorghum subsidy program at the rate of
$40.00 per acre is available. There is a need for production
subsidies for all approved agricultural enterprises. There
should be subsidies available for vegetable crops, fruit tree
orchards, and fish farming. If the Virgin Island government
is serious about encouraging local production, a comprehen-
sive and uniform production subsidy program should be
legislated. In the age of technology, mechanization of
agriculture is a must. There should be subsidies for pur-
chasing farm machinery, farm tools, and farm equipment.








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Additionally, there should be subsidies for agricultural
inputs like agricultural chemicals, fertilizers, and improved
breeds of plants and animals. Finally, there should be
scholarships available for Virgin Island students who want
to pursue a college education in the fields of agriculture
and food sciences.

Special Help for the Small Farmer
The commercial farmers in the Virgin Islands have
contributed heavily to the maintenance of an agricultural
component in the Virgin Islands economy. Although small
in number, these commercial farmers need to be commended
and supported. However, the future development of agricul-
ture in the Virgin Islands has to come through the small
farmers because they provide the greatest portion of locally
produced supplies of fruits and vegetables and small live-
stock, mainly sheep and goats. Increased production of
these items will reduce the Virgin Islands' dependence on
imported food and should help to reduce food costs. Addi-
tionally, by developing small farms, we will involve a signifi-
cantly larger number of families in agriculture. This approach
is important socially because any component of the economy
limited to a narrow population base never receives broad
acceptance from the community. The latest census of
agriculture identified 373 farms in the Virgin Islands. Only
37 of these farms exceeded 100 acres in size and 203 farms
were less than 10 acres. If the Virgin Islands decides to
expand its agricultural industry, it must promote small farm
development by helping the farmers become more efficient
in their operations through related research and extension
work as well as government incentives.

Continued Support for Research and Extension Activities
The CVI Agricultural Experiment Station must
continue to produce research information applicable to
Virgin Island agricultural resources. The Cooperative
Extension Service must expand its operations so that
information transfer can be made available to all Virgin
Islanders.







Agricultural Policy In A Scarce And Fragile Environment


By Jerome L. McElroy
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas

External food dependence for essential staples is a
recent, post-colonial phenomenon largely the result of bulk
transport technology and the learning curve of agricultural
specialization. Today, despite the vogue-like preoccupation
with self-sufficiency, any measurable return to a prestine
balance between national populations and natural resources
seems remote because of a seemingly irreversible inter-
national process. Agriculture is becoming increasingly
dominated by transnational capital and far-flung agribusiness
corporations which are gradually transforming global
production, processing, and distribution systems along
vertically integrated company lines rather than along
national political boundaries.

Likewise, any significant expansion of Virgin Island
food production is questionable because of a long-standing
complex of both internal and external forces. In addition
to small size, the major ones include: the traditional high
volume export-import orientation embedded in the colonial
economy; a combination of relative affluence, urbanization,
and supermarket tastes; territorial status and geographic
proximity providing easy access to and penetration by an
abundance of comparatively low-cost US suppliers; a fragile
environment which is intensely specialized and segmented
because of highly variegated and uneven topography and
which, because of tropic sun, wind, and rainfall patterns
yields arid, nutrient-poor, and erosion-prone soil; and
finally economic policy coincidental with the 1960's
phase-out of commercial sugar which directly alienated
prime growing districts for heavy industrial location and
which indirectly spawned widespread suburban sprawl by
sponsoring labor-intensive tourism, federal highway con-
struction, and laissez-faire finance and realty practices.
The effectiveness of this anti-agricultural policy is
apparent from the almost annual declines recorded in the
number of farms in operation and in the amount of acreage
under cultivation. This is clear evidence that the existing
system of tax incentives and subsidized in-kind services
and input prices is inadequate to control encroachment and
the inevitable turnover of land from farming to residential-
commercial use. To stave off this secular marginalization,
a deliberate and resourceful countervailing policy must be
mounted to resist institutional bias and the play of market
forces.
Ironically, the situation of Virgin Island agriculture
is critical today because, in a sense, history has been turned
upside down. Contemporary agricultural policy pales in


comparison with the heavy-handed agrarian tradition of
the past when sugar was king and the plantocracy dominated
the Municipal Councils and controlled the allocation of
resources. The suggestions below are offered to alter this
historical imbalance to some degree by articulating a new
policy directed towards (1) re-assessing development
options, (2) facilitating the search forviable crops, an-d
(3) defending thi viability through coordinated, broad-
based involvement in the decision-making process.

Development Re-assessment
Policy requires priorities, priorities imply choices,
and choices demand information and analysis. First, high
on the research agenda must be a broad re-examination
of the current model of development which controls
overall economic priorities. This model focuses on con-
tinuous growth, rising per capital incomes, and Western
mass consumption stand ds with emphasis on individual
initiative, social mobility, and urban life-styles. To support
these rising levels requires Western technology as well, and
consequently for small islands, a high degree of specializa-
tion, resource exploitation, and import dependance.

An alternative to this traditional model is the basic-
needs strategy which focuses on adequate food, nutrition,
housing, and health levels as primary priorities with empha-
sis on rural values, social stability, and popular participation
in decision making. In this model, the goals and preferences
of the community control and constrain commercial pro-
cesses. After sufficient achievement of basic economic
security, stress can be placed on improving life quality,
aesthetic and spiritual satsifactions, and communal and
cultural values. Specific policy involves creating the incen-
tives and institutions which will expand people's capacity
to continuously enhance life quality, self-expression, and
community solidarity.
This general re-assessment of model options and
delineation of the basic-needs strategy in no way implies an
intent to fundamentally redesign the structure of the
present economic system, an objective which is neither
feasible nor desirable. Rather on the one hand it seeks more
modestly to re-establish man and the human community at
the center of the development effort, and on the other
hand to shape decision-makers' consciousness with an
appreciation of the unstable, over-dependent, and over-
growth implications of the traditional model and also to
provide an appealing framework for carefully scrutinizing
the long-run viability and development potential of new
economic opportunities as they arise in'the future.
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phy is that any policy favoring agriculture simultaneously
maximizes general long-run well-being. Because of the very
tight subsectoral interdependencies endemic to small island
systems, a cumulative, self-sustaining process surfaces
whereby successful farming/mariculture improves aesthetic
values and recreational activities, enhances life quality and
social cohesion, and thus facilitates political consensus
and decision-making. Moreover, insofar as the domestic
productive base is expanded, the field of internal self-
determination is extended, and likewise the influence of
external forces is weakened.

Crop Selectivity
A second major research task is to scientifically
choose a package of crops which are environmentally
compatible in the short run and potentially enriching
in the long run. This demands a detailed quantitative
examination of the status of existing activities including
their economic and environmental impacts. More impor-
tantly, it also requires developing a set of selection criteria
from which to judge the comparative superiority of existing
practices with the introduction of other tropical crops
already under analysis or proposed for future inspection.
As a first approximation for establishing selection
procedures, an inventory of desirable crop properties must
be identified. A non-exhausive list would include varieties
and agricultural activities with the following favorable
supply characteristics: heavy reliance on domestic demand,
local and/or recycled inputs; high receptivity to multi- and
inter-cropping, contour cultivation, minimum tillage, and
organic fertilizer; strong resistance to pests and climatic
variability; elastic potential for internal processing, entre-
preneurial mobility nutritional improvement, and scenic
amenities; and low requirements for land and labor, applied
chemical nutrients, moisture, electric power and physical
infrastructure in general. In the best of all possible worlds,
such crops would also exhibit high profitability and low
risk ratios as well as moderate capital and technical require-
ments to facilitate ease of entry and to allow, where neces-
sary, full utilization of on-island expertise.
Once these criteria are explicated, weights can be
assigned to each according to the long run achievement in.
say, basic nutritional levels and the balance between the
mutually supportive claims of a viable economy and a
stable resource base. Thus, relative importance would be
attached to those environmental criteria, on the one hand,
which maximize the natural, self-protective energies of the
soil and preserve the productivity of underground aquifiers
and, on the other hand, to those input factors which maxi-
mize domestic value-added, strengthen internal linkages,
and positively affect balance of payments, income, and
price levels.
By inserting these criteria with their relative weights






into a matrix, and then individually scoring expected
performance according to a pre-determined rating scale,
an overall "viability index" or "development quotient" can
be derived for each crop under observation. Practical
application of the matrix as an evaluative tool should yield
a ready recognition of the strengths and weaknesses of
single crops, a special insight into the inter-crop economic/
environmental trade-offs, and, with an analysis of compara-
tive scores, a clear idea of the most promising choices.
In addition, the contours of a small-scale vertically
integrated agribusiness industry may become more defined,
i.e. a sorghum-based complex involving cattle, sheep, and
poultry with perhaps some food processing. Ancillary
activities might include manufacturing compost and mulch
materials from waste residuals and fresh water production
from treated wastewater. Whatever actual networks are
revealed, they deserve careful exploration since exploitation
of only a few interfaces can noticeably reduce the risk of
single enterprise failure and enhance the cumulative, self-
sustaining viability of the entire effort. In short, because
of these many advantages, use of the matrix should help
guarantee objective decision-making, improve crop selec-
tion, and increase the probability of long-run economic
success with the attendant benefits of amenity retention
and a more stable environmental identity.
The third major thrust rounding out a coordinated
agricultural policy involves concentrating educational and
research-diffusion efforts in the most influential zones of
government and industry. The two-fold purpose would be
to vividly represent the negative results of past rural neglect
on the present status of the environment in general and of
agriculture in particular, and to spell out the kinds of
durable contributions a small but viable farming sector
could make in the future. Because of the highly com-
mercial, interdependent, and coupled nature of the insular
landscape, and the growing popular concern over land-use
issues, in part this political approach demands an active
stance in a wide variety of decision-making forum. For
example, it requires providing input at hearings concerning
re-zoning applications, industrial sitings, infrastructural
improvements, large-scale commercial developments, public
housing and private condominium proposals and so on.
One channel for such input is to devise agricultural impact
statements for such proposals, i.e. analyses which would
quantify their likely effects on farming and/or fisheries
production and rural employment and income.
Another direction for this active component of policy
is to seek direct legislative redress. This would include (1)
encouraging public purchase of land and cays to be held in
escrow for potential agri- or mariculture use in the future;
(2) proposing a stronger benefit package to protect existing
agricultural resources; (3) and/or arguing for weaker incen-
tives for the more developed and favored non-farming


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sectors to equalize competitive resources pressures where
market forces, in conjunction with a biased incentive struc-
ture, have distorted values to the detriment of primary
production. Hopefully, such initiatives might result in the
further expansion of community garden schemes with
positive output, nutrition, and price impacts. Moreover,
they may also stimulate environmentally-protective styles
of residential gardening and landscaping which aim at
stabilizing top soil and reducing run-off.
Finally, effective policy must come to grips with the
political realization that decision-taking in small, insular,
socially-diverse communities is more of a balancing act -
an exercise in compromise and conflict resolution to
promote tranquillity than a search for the most rational
optimum. In these compact societies, hard decisions sur-
rounding land-use patterns are rarely taken because they
markedly impinge upon life-styles and commercial prac-
tices, and are usually perceived as limiting population
potential and growth.
In such a climate, the appropriate policy response
calls for a coalition of concern which marshals together
the common interests of disparate groups, agencies, cor-
porations, and volunteer organizations. Certainly this


integration strategy could match to some extent specific
agricultural needs with, for example, some aspects of the
Coastal Zone Program, the historical restoration and fish/
wildlife policies of the Conservation Department, the
tourism industry, and the extension of the National Park
system. Perhaps it is only through such broad-based alle-
giance and cooperation that a critical sense of urgency can
emerge and a threshold of awareness spill over into action
and implementation.
Though few of these suggestions are novel, the value
of this comprehensive policy involving model re-assessment,
crop selectivity, and political participation is precisely in
packaging all three ingredients together to maximize the
impact. Obviously, the anchor of the program is the belief
that a small but viable agriculture will in the long run tend
to stabilize the social system, preserve the environment and
the recreational and commercial activities which are amenity-
intensive, and enrich the natural physical identity of the
islands and thus improve the general quality of life. This is
another way of saying that the scale of policy and the
intensity of its application must match the size of the
expected benefits and the degree of anticipation tied to
their realization.


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'Tea Leaves Of St. Croix

By Olivia H. Henry
Home Economics Program Leader
CVI Cooperative Extension Service, St. Croix

Not very many years ago "Tea" on St. Croix meant
using leaves plucked from a wide variety of trees, bushes,
vines and weeds in backyards or gathered from fields or
woods. To a large extent teas made from these leaves
supplied the hot beverages for the morning and evening
meals, or were stimulating drinks in-between. Not only
were teas used as flavorful drinks, but also as folk medicines.
Many of the teas enjoyed for flavor were also used to allevi-
ate discomforts of minor ailments such as colds, fevers and
strains.
Nutritionally these teas were full of the water-soluble
vitamins available from the leaves. Therefore, bush teas, as
they were called, were healthful drinks.
Time changed, and it brought about significant social
and cultural changes, which in turn altered habits and cus-
toms. The cup of "bush tea" that was so solidly a part of
every day life is seldom heard of. Could this be due to the
uncertainty as to which leaves are usable? Or, is it that
homemakers are not as frugal as they used to be? Whatever
the reason this is a good time to take a backward look.
Recently there is lot of talk in favor of herb teas.
An herb is defined in part as "a plant or plant part valued
for its medicinal, savory or aromatic qualities." Using this
definition as a guide it is safe then to say that local "bush
teas" are nothing less than herb teas. Therefore why not
utilize local leaves as herbs for making teas: they are
offered free by nature, they are safe, healthy, flavorful
and inexpensive.
Give it try. Start collecting and using the tropical
leaves for teas. Use them green or dried.
There are three ways of drying leaves:


Sun Drying
Spread leaves openly on trays and set in sun to dry.
This may take several hours or several days.

Oven Drying
Spread leaves on cooking sheet and set in warm oven
for several hours.

Refrigerator Drying
Wrap leaves loosely in brown paper bags or spread
loosely on trays and set on lowest shelf of refrigerator for
several days. Be sure to keep leaves dry.

The length of time necessary for drying by any
method will depend upon texture of leaves. Test for dry-
ness by feeling leaves. They should be crisp and brittle.
Refrigerator dried leaves always retain more greenness than
oven dried or sun dried leaves.
After leaves have been dried they can be bottled in
clean, dry, jars, covered tightly and kept on a cool shelf for
several months.
Why not use what we have? We have a lot available.
Included is a listing of some leaves that are useful for
making teas.

Commonly Found Types
Sweet Balsam
Jumbie Balsam-Mosquito Balsam
Garden Balsam
Belly Ache Bush
Cotton
Ginger Thomas-Yellow Cedar
Hibiscus Blooms
Heite
Horse Wiss
Jumbie Pepper Bush
Lemon Grass
Maiden Apple
Sage- Salvia or White Sage and Black Sage




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SALES & SERVICE
Refrigerators Washers
Freezers Driers
BOX 52 TEL: 776-6747
CRUZ BAY, ST. JOHN, V.I. 00830

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Sarsaparilla
Spanish Needle
Sugar Apple
Sweet Scent
Tamarind
Turpentine
Wild Okra
Wild Senna-Creole Senna
Wild Thyme
Worry Wine-Worry Vine
Yellow Plums-Spetember Plums

Less Prevalent Types
Cane-peice Balsam-Wall Balsam
Bay Leaf
Black Wattle
Bull Tongue
Christmas Bush-Fountain of Youth
Chiggernet-Chigganett
Gooseberry
Inflammation Bush
Jumbie Bead
Marshmallow
Pasture Fiddle
Pap Bush-Pop bush
Pissy Bed
Plante
St. John Bush
Wild Coffee-Hidionda


Worm Grass
Yarba
A great deal of information on local leaves was
obtained by talking with several senior citizens and going
on nature-trail walks with them. It was pointed out that
many plants with usable leaves that once were abundant
have become scarce. But in spite of this there is still a
very wide variety of plants with leaves that are usable
for making teas.
There is a good display of local leaves at the Extension
Home Economics booth at the Fair. Visit the Booth and get
a sample of the leaves that were dried and packaged by the
Home Economics staff. Let us know how you enjoyed your
tea.




POSTERS
.BUMPER STRIPS
t.croix S
DECALS
jilk TEXTILES
T-SHIRTS
screen
CERAMICS
GLASS
128 PORT TERMINAL CHRISTIANSTED PLASTICS
773-4553


VIRGIN ISLAND SENEPOL ASSOCIATIONOF ST. CROIX
BOX 969, CHRISTIANSTED. ST. CROIX U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS PHONE (809) 773-1508

A PERFORMANCE BREED FROM THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS


The Senepol Breed is Noted for Being:


Fertile
Heat Tolerant
Early Maturing


Good Foragers
Good Meat Production
Good Milk Production


All interested producers with Senepol Cattle are strongly encouraged to
become members and register their cattle with the Senepol Association.


Polled
Maternal
Adaptable







The Potential For Commercial Vegetable Production

In The Virein Islands


By John M. Gerber
Vegetable Specialist
CVI Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Croix

In recent years there has been an increasing cry to
support producers of fresh vegetables in the Virgin Islands.
The reason for the interest is clear to anybody who must go
to the local food markets and spend a healthy portion of
their weekly budget on food. Although fresh vegetables
supply important vitamins and minerals in our diet, most
people don't consume tomatoes and peppers because they
contain vitamin C. We eat vegetables because we like them
and we probably will continue to consume some vegetables
regardless of price. Local production of fresh vegetables
could be an important boost for our economy as well as a
direct benefit to the consumer. A local industry should
result in both better quality vegetables and reasonable
prices.

The pessimist will claim that we have a water problem,
a labor problem, a marketing problem, and there is little
good land available for production. The pessimist is correct.
Although these problems exist, they can be overcome with
a lot of hard work by the College of the Virgin Islands and
support from the people and government of the Virgin
Islands.
In order to develop a viable vegetable production
industry, three ingredients are necessary. We need a buyer,
a producer of high quality produce, and a means of getting
the produce from the producer to the buyer ( a marketing
system). Let's examine each of these ingredients separately,
analyze the problems and hopefully propose some solutions.

The Buyer
Of the three necessary ingredients, the buyer is the
one we have in abundance. The buyer or consumer of fresh
vegetables is you and I. We are presently buying tons of
produce from off-island sources at prices inflated by han-
dling and shipping costs. The primary vegetables purchased
by the more than 100,00 residents of the Virgin Islands are
tomatoes, lettuce, onions, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers,
various root crops and melons. If a supply of locally grown
produce of superior quality was available at reasonable
prices, buying of fresh vegetables would increase.
Other major buyers of produce include the hotels and
restaurants, which are so important to our economy.
Visitors to the Virgin Islands expect fresh fruit and vege-
tables, regardless of cost. We should be able to provide


tourists with meals superior to those available in stateside
restaurants.
The public school system should be a major buyer of
locally produced vegetables. The best way for the Govern-
ment of the Virgin Islands to show its support for local
production is to purchase Virgin Island products. This
would not only help our economy but provide our children
with a more tasty and nutritious meal.

The Producer of Quality Produce
The key to development of a vegetable industry is the
ability to grow large quantities of high quality vegetables.
There are many problems which must be solved before
Virgin Islands farmers can successfully compete with main-
land producers. The farmers must have the capital to get
started, must be skilled and knowledgeable in their chosen
occupation and must be willing to work very hard. Farming
is not an easy life. The hours are long and the vacations are
short. Unfortunately, at present there are only a few quali-
fied commercial vegetable growers in the Virgin Islands.
Most home gardeners have had varying degrees of
success growing vegetables. The professional grower can't
afford to be a part-time success. His livelihood depends on
his ability to grow vegetables. He must be able to recognize
the insect pests before they defoliate his crop. He must
know which diseases are likely to be a problem and how to
prevent them. He must know how to use the proper herbi-
cides to control the luxuriant weed growth that is always
a problem in the tropics. The grower must be able to
operate and repair farm machinery. He must be able to
predict market trends so that he knows what and when to
plant. The commercial vegetable grower must be a well
trained and knowledgeable individual in order to be a
success.
The Collect of the Virgin Islands is offering a new
agriculture curriculum to high school graduates this year.
This curriculum should provide students with the basic
knowledge necessary to get started on a career as a pro-
fessional grower.
College courses can only provide a beginning for the
new farmer, additional help will be needed throughout his
career. There are always new problems to be faced which
may require different and innovative solutions. The Co-
operative Extension Service of the College of the Virgin
Islands is available to provide this continuing service to the
farmers.
In order for the College and the Cooperative Exten-
sion Service to provide these educational services, basic
information must be available on vegetable growing in the







Virgin Islands. The College of the Virgin Islands Agricultural
Experiment Station has the responsibility of providing that
information. Research conducted at the Experiment Station
will establish the most appropriate means of growing
vegetables in the Virgin Islands.


The Many Problems

Of all the production problems facing the vegetable
grower, perhaps the most serious is pests. The grower is
actually competing with insects, disease organisms and
weeds for his crops. He must choose between accepting
varying degrees of damage to his crops and fighting pests
with the best available technology, primarily pesticides.
When consumers are willing to purchase brown lettuce,
and share their tomatoes with an occasional fruit worm,
the grower can use fewer agricultural chemicals. However,
at present, production of blemish-free vegetables requires
the use of some pesticides. In spite of past mistakes and bad
publicity (which was probably deserved), today's agricul-
tural chemicals are safe to both the applicator and consumer
if used properly. Only misuse of pesticides is dangerous.
Ongoing research at the Agricultural Experiment Station
will provide information on the safest, most effective
agricultural chemicals.
The second biggest problem in the Virgin Islands is
water; either too much or too little. Flooding of fields can
be prevented by using the best well-drained soils and


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planting on raised beds during the rainy season. Research
on trickle irrigation and mulches should provide future
growers with the means of minimizing water utilization
while maximizing production.
Experiments will be carried out on mechanical
planting, spraying and harvesting of vegetables. The cost
of labor in the Virgin Islands is too high to grow vege-
tables by hand. Reasonably priced vegetables cannot be
grown with a hoe and machete production system. A
trained professional should be able to operate a 15-20 acre
family farm with a 40 horsepower tractor and a few tractor-
drawn implements.
Other areas of research include variety testing and
fertilizer evaluation. Results of these experiments and
others will provide the Virgin Islands vegetable grower with
the best, up-to-date information adapted to local conditions.
This information will be made available to farmers, either
through the Cooperative Extension Service or by attending
agriculture classes at the College.
Although the various divisions within the College are
preparing to provide an educational service to the farmer.
even the most educated grower is helpless if he doesn't have
the land upon which to practise his skills and the capital
with which to get started. It remains up to the Government
of the Virgin Islands to provide suitable land and to promote
a lending policy that helps qualified individuals to get
started.


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A Marketing System
The present marketing system in the Virgin Islands
could easily handle locally grown produce if it was available
in any quantity. Roadside markets that now buy from off-
island sources could buy from local growers whenever
produce was available. A single distribution point such as
a farmers' market would make it easier to get the produce
from the grower to the buyer. Under proper management
the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture Marketing
Building could be used as such a distribution point. Growers
could bring produce to the market on specified days and
retailers and consumers would have a choice of vegetables
to buy. This type of market works quite well when it is
properly organized.
Large supermarkets require a constant supply of
fresh vegetables year round. It may be possible to produce
high-value crops such as tomatoes, cucumbers and melons
year round with proper management and capital inputs.
These vegetables could be grown during the dry season
with trickle irrigation and plastic mulch. The cost of
irrigating would probably not be more than the cost of
shipping perishable vegetables from the mainland. Crops
that can be stored and shipped in bulk such as carrots,
onions and potatoes would be cheaper from off-island
than produced here during the dry months.
Marketing is usually less of a problem than people
imagine. In a situation where there is a producer of quality
merchandise and an eager buyer, a marketing system will
often develop on its own.
The Future
There is a potential for development of a vegetable
production industry in the Virgin Islands. However, develop-
ment of this industry will require support from several
public agencies. The government exists to serve the people
of these islands, but it is the responsibility of the people to
demand results from their elected officials. If the residents
really want an agriculture industry in the Virgin Islands,
they will have to ask the senators to support agricultural
development. Without development of Virgin Islands
agriculture, food prices can only increase.


Your Family's Health

Is In Safekeeping

With ST. THOMAS

DAIRIES


ST. THOMAS



DAIRIES



INC.


TEL: 774-0529


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COMPETITIVE PRICES
P.O. Box 63
Frederiksted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00840







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Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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PHONE 772-2521
Mon. thru Thurs. 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Open Sunday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.


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Soil Water


By Robert W. Peebles, Director
Water Resources Research Center
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas

The water that falls on the land as rain eventually
becomes streamflow, ground water, is used by plants or
evaporates. But first the rain wets the soil and becomes,
for the agricultural engineer and hydrologist, soil water.
The complex relationships between the soil and the water
that moves into it determine the availability of water to
plants, animals and man. This is a brief discussion of some
terms and concepts that describe and explain these complex
relationships.
Soil is made up of a matrix of framework consisting
of mineral and organic matter fragments with pore spaces
that are filled with air or water. This description is illustrated
in Figure 1 which shows a hypothetical soil structure and a
diagram representing the relative proportions of these three
soil constituents. The proportions change widely from one
soil type to another, particularly the proportions between
solids and pore space, which is occupied by air and water.
Two widely used terms, field capacity and wilting point,
are used to describe the quantity of water in a soil.

Field Capacity
If a volume of soil is saturated with water and allowed
to drain by gravity, it is said to be at field capacity. A value
for field capacity is simply the percentage of pore space
that continues to hold water after the soil has drained.
Field capacities vary from 10% in coarse sands and gravels
to 90% in some clays.
There is a rough correlation between field capacity
and grain size in a soil. Field capacity is related to soil
specific surface, which is defined as the surface area of all
soil particles in some fixed volume of soil. As grain-size
decreases, surface area and field capacity increase. In the
example given above, coarse sand has a much smaller
specific surface than clay and, hence, a smaller field capac-
ity. Thus a flowerpot will retain more water when filled
with clay than when filled with sand.

Wilting Point
The water that remains in a soil at field capacity is
held by a force called soil moisture tension and, to remove
additional water, some effort must be expended to over-
come this tension. As the water content drops, moisture
tension increases and it becomes more difficult to remove
water. A tension of 15 atmospheres (about 225 pounds per
square inch) is called the wilting point. This term came into
use because, in general, plants wilt at 15 atmospheres


tension, for they are no longer able to remove water from
the soil.
The difference between values of field capacity and
wilting point indicates the ability of a soil to store and yield
water to plants. Low field capacity means a soil, after
draining, retains little water in storage and high moisture
tension means that most of the water stored in a soil is not
available to plants. A good agricultural soil such as a clay
loam has a field capacity and wilting point of roughly 70
and 30 percent.
Of special importance in understanding the relation
between soil and water is the interaction between soil clays
and water. Clays have the tendency to adsorb water and, in
some cases, incorporate water molecules in their structure.
Both of these mechanisms cause the soil to swell as water
content increases and shrink as it decreases.
One important consequence of the shrink/swell
phenomenon is that port space fraction changes with water
content. In the illustration of relative proportions of soil
constituents in figure 1, the line between solids and pore
space would move as water content increases in a swelling
soil, effectively decreasing pore space. This phenomenon
is put to practical use in sealing leaks in ponds and dams
with a clay material known as bentonite. When wetted,
bentonite swells and becomes impermeable as the clay
particles become dispersed.


Figure 1. Illustration of soil structure and constituent
proportions.



Many Virgin Islands soil types exhibit pronounced
shrinking and swelling because they are rich in clay. This
has a strong effect on the ability of a soil to adsorb rainfall
for larger amounts of rain can move into a dry soil that has


































MANY THANKS TO

THE DEPARTMENT

OF AGRICULTURE

Produced Daily On St. Croix ,
From Six Purebred Dairy Herds


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Non Fat Skim Milk
Fresh Whipping Cream
Chocolate Milk
Buttermilk
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made fresh daily
Orange Juice


Ask for Island Dairies Products at your local grocery store
or stop at THE GOLDEN COW in Christiansted.

ISLAND

DAIRIES
ST. CROIX, VIRGIN ISLAND


cracked through shrinking than into a soil that does not
shrink. As a shrinking soil dries, more surface area is exposed
to the air as cracks form and evaporation rates are increased.
The flood and drought cycles with which we are all
familiar in the Virgin Islands tend to be aggravated by this
soil property. Rainfall on dry soils causes them to swell and
become drastically reduced in permeability as cracks close.
The result is that surface runoff rates increase sharply
during longer storms. During dry periods, soil water losses
through enhanced evaporation in shrinking soils hasten the
onset of drought conditions.
Water moves in soil in response to gravity and forces
that result from moisture content differences in the soil
(moisture gradients). Gravity acts continuously and in a
single direction and is responsible for movement of soil
water to ground water. Moisture gradient forces, such as
capillary forces and the adsorption of water on soil parti-
cles, can act in any direction. These forces cause water to
flow laterally through an unsaturated soil to plant roots and
upward through the soil to the surface where evaporation
can take place.

Water flow rates through a soil are not constant but
are complicated by the fact that the ability of a soil to
carry water (soil permeability) changes with water content
once a soil is no longer saturated with water. Measurements
and estimates of evaporation from a soil are very difficult
to make because even though the rate at which water can
be removed from the soil is known, the rate of supply is
continually changing because of soil permeability changes
associated with water content changes. Thus, as a soil dries.
the rate of drying is continually changing.
It is the occurence and movement of soil water that
determines all aspects of the hydrologic regime that are of
fundamental importance to man. Stream flow and ground
water characteristics, evapotranspiration and its effect on
rainfall, global energy budgets and agricultural production
all depend first on soil water.


American


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For passenger reservations and information A
St. Thomas or St. Croix call 774-7111
or see your travel agent.


{







*How To Get Started In Food Production


By Franklin W. Martin and Ruth Ruberte
Mayaguez Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico 00708

Why not produce your own food? What is the obstacle,
economic, physical, or psychological that keeps you from
doing so? Virgin Islanders have a long tradition of self-
sufficiency when in good times and in bad, folks had to
produce for themselves. Times have changed, you might tell
me. Now we have an abundance of food in the supermarket,
and no need to produce our own. "Oh yeah," I shall answer,
"and how long will this phase last?"
If history teaches anything it is that change is inevi-
table. Good times come and bad times follow. During good
times one is lulled into the illusion that good times will last
forever. If they don't, those who can produce their own
food will have leverage, abilities to preserve their health and
happiness in spite of difficulties. It is fine to have a govern-
ment job or to cater to tourists, but I for one want more
than that, a little piece of land and the knowledge of how
to use it for producing food for me and mine. This gives
real security.
So why not produce your own food? You can if you
wish. You can begin on a very small scale, learn techniques,
and develop confidence. You will probably discover other
values, the light exercise is great, a reverence for life de-
velops. Gardens unite families in home-centered activities,
and add purpose to life.
There are few, very few persons who cannot produce
at least part of their own food. Roughly speaking, all per-
sons can be divided into two classes, those that have land,
and those that do not. Even those who do not have land
can often borrow the use of a small plot. It doesn't take
much, and perhaps one can pay for the use of the land by
sharing the food produced.
But those that have no land need not consider the
situation hopeless. Wherever there is sun, food plants can
be produced in containers. Containers of vegetables can
be placed on the balcony, a window sill, on a roof, or can
be suspended by ropes. I shall never forget the beautiful
sight of a wall of vegetables consisting of individual con-
tainers suspended from a beam, each carefully tended to
give a constant and varied supply of vegetables. See the
table for our recommendations.


Vegetables recommended for growing in containers:
Leaf Vegetables:
Basella alba


Amaranthus sps.
Celosia
Lettuce, Local Mignonette, Slobolt, Royal Oak Leaf,
Oak Leaf, Burpee's Ice-Loosehead, Early Prizehead-
Loosehead
Mustard, Loose Kaichoy
Collard, Vates strain, Georgia Southern
Endive (Escarolle), Full Heart Batavian, Green curled
-Kale, Dwarf Blue Curled Vates Strain, Dwarf Siberian
Indian lettuce (Lactuca indica)
Spices or condiments:
Parsley
Bunching onions
Chives
Basil
Hot chile peppers
Tomatoes:
Small Fry, UFN-Hybrid
Jung's improved
Toy boy
Tiny Tim
Sugar Lump
Peppers:
Sweet Cherry
Improved Yolo Wonder
Del Ray Bell

Those with land should not despair due to the jungle
that dominates, the steepness or roughness of the land, or
the small size. Does that land of yours support any plant life
at all? Chances are that any piece of land can be productive.
So you have the resources. Why not produce your
own food?

Get something into the ground. As a first step, plant
something, almost anything, and take care of it. Watch it
grow, and you will be growing with it. You will fail some-
times, but you will often succeed. For a very small start
plant bean seeds in sand, harvest the small plants one or
two days after they germinate, and cook them as a side dish.
They are easier to cook and more nutritious fixed this way.
For something easy to grow obtain beach lettuce,
Sesuvium that familiar succulent that grows to the very
edge of the water. Or, find purslane, Portulaca, also a succu-
lent edible weed.
But you want something conventional, perhaps. Then
try the vegetables that I will send you, a truly tropical leaf
lettuce, Lactuca indica (Figure 1) or the easiest to grow










COMPLIMENTS


OF


WA~~ Y;Ja'IA~ffi5F~ Y:II.*w~E


ST. CROIX, U.S.V.I.




GR O WIN G your way ....





spinach, Basella. Cut off a piece of sweet potato. While you
wait for the tuberous roots, you can eat the leaves as
spinach.























Figure 1. A truly tropical leaf lettuce.

Not all the food produced grows as plants. Buy some
baby chicks. Feed them the scraps from your table and a
little purchased food. They need to eat well to grow well.
Then learn the tricks of the butcher; how to kill a young
chilken, to loosen its feathers in hot water, and how to
pluck and clean it. It is easier than you think.
But the most important part is to start. Once started
you will learn, you will accumulate experience, and most
probably you will want to do even more.
As a second step, care for wild and neglected food
resources. There is already a treasure of edible foods around
you that you are probably not entirely familiar with. Let's
not kid ourselves into believing that there is enough food
for all, but there is some food for those who want it. Now,
where should you go to find that wild, neglected food
resource? Go to the backyard. Get acquainted with what
already grows there. You might need help at first. Search
out that expert or that old lady who knows the weeds.
Maybe the library can help you. If you can get the scientific
name and you are not sure of the edibility, send me a letter
with the name, a few dried leaves, and a self-addressed


E JI t^^^__


CLEMENTE

SANTISTEBAN, INC.
G.P.O. Box 2140
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936
Ponce de Leon 103 Pda. 27Y2
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
753-6471 753-6472 753-6053 753-6893

I\EW HOLLAI\D


Compliments of



MANNASSAH

BUS LINES,

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16 CONSTANT
CHARLOTTE AMALIE






envelope. I'll tell you if the plant is edible, and how it is
used.
Now, those edible plants are not likely to put fruit
on your table. For every plant that produces an edible
fruit or seed, there are two or more that produce edible
leaves. Leaves give you vitamins A and C, protein and
vegetable fiber. Just what you need.
What kind of plants are most likely to be edible?
First, the weeds (Figure 2). They are old partners of man-
kind that have evolved with him, followed him around,
furnished him with food while thriving on his garbage heap.
There are thousands of them, but each must be known
before it is tried. A few weeds are poisonous. By the way,
young leaves and pods of wild tamarind, Leucaena, can be
eaten. The leaves of the Indian mulberry Morinda citrifolia,
a common plant near beaches, are among the best.


Figure 2. Six edible weeds: Amaranthus, Urena,Commelina,
Peperomia, Emilia, and Quamoclet.


A second class of neglected foods are those grown for
one purpose that can be used for another. Look through
the following list of plants you know in the Virgin Islands.


Common plant

Coconut



Mango

Quenepa
Tamarind

Papaya


Uncommon usages

Sap from inflorscence as wine
Heart
Roots inside nut after sprouting
Tender leaves
Seeds
Seeds
Young leaves
Seeds
Well cooked young leaves, roots, soft stem
Cooked unripe fruit
Seeds


There are many more uses. Any plant that already
produces food should be investigated to see whether it
can also produce another.

When useful edible plants are located they can be
encouraged by removing weeds around them, by placing
any rotting plant materials available at their base, and by
giving them the dishwater once in a while.
To really garden, improve your soil. Now, if you
have really decided that you want to garden, you ought
to improve your soil. Let's say that you have selected a
spot, a place with lots of sun where humans and animals
won't disturb. In the Virgin Islands you might have to
protect this site from excessive drainage, from loss of
water. You can do this two ways, by installing in the soil
or even under the soil plastic cloths that will physically
impede the loss of water. Thus, a good technique for a
permanent garden spot is to excavate at first, and to line
the hole with plastic cloth. The cloth should have some
small holes. You don't really want to have a lake during
the rainy season.
When you replace the soil you can then add and mix
in the other ingredients a small garden needs, sand as a
source of calcium from corals (unless your soil is sand
already) and most important, rotten plant material, com-
post, or manure. You may have trouble getting enough to
start with. That's why I favor small animals as part of the
food production scheme, so that manure can be obtained
for the garden.
A good mixture for the small garden would be 2
parts of soil, one part of compost or manure, and one
part of sand. Mix it well and if possible, screen it before
you put it into the garden.
Start with an established plan. When you have
prepared the garden site you are ready to plant. It is
easy to plant too much or the wrong varieties. Therefore,
do not plant without knowledge. Do not plant seeds from
the supermarket. Do not plant anything that someone else






has not tried first. You are not an experienced station. We
have spent a lot of effort in trying and selecting appropriate
vegetables, and what we recommend have a better chance
of growing well than what can normally be acquired. The
best available to us has been put together in a plan, avail-
able free, with advice on pest control as well.
If you can get better advice, take it. You will find
scattered throughout your island people who know a little,
people who have some special seed that does well, mini-
experts who can help you. As you get to know these people
you will make valuable friends as well.
As soon as possible, add animals to your system.
Probably nothing gives the satisfaction of food production
quite as much as do animals. Small animals with their rapid
life cycles and their interesting habits as well as malicious
behavior if not controlled are constant sources of conversa-
tion and pleasure. Furthermore, small animals are easy to
raise. They give a lot of food for the efforts involved.
Animals are desirable in a small food production system
for they do much to improve the diet.

Without doubt, the most useful animal is the chicken.
If managed carefully a small flock of chickens can be very
useful in producing food. Hens will yield economic units of
high quality food each day, eggs. When hens are no longer
laying (2 2% years) they can be cooked for two hours and
then the tender meat has many uses at the house.
There are several important points in producing
chickens for eggs or meat. First, build your cage before you
get your birds. I prefer a traveling pasturing cage (Figure 3),


'W w '


Figure 3. A pasturing cage for chickens that is moved over
the lawn.

a cage that can be moved every 2-3 days so that the chickens
can eat the weeds, grass scratch the soil, etc. Then get good
birds for your purposes, produced under the best of condi-


tion. Feed and protect them well when they are small.
Design feed and water systems so that the birds cannot
dirty them. Give the birds roosts for the night, and ample
nesting boxes. You will need one nest for each 5-6 hens.
Never let the chickens run free for they will destroy other
parts of the garden and if with parasites or diseases, will
carry these to every corer. If you pasture your animals,
rotate them over an area large enough for 34 weeks between
repeated uses.


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FOREIGN AND AMERICAN AUTO PARTS

Alignment (Electronic) Brake Service
Tune-Up -Wheel Balancing
Tire & Tubes Batteries
Accessories

"What we don't have in stock we will order"
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IN-FLITE, V.I., INC.
P.O. BOX 86, KINGSH ILL
ST. CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00850
Catering for all occasions.
778-1822 778-0830









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Hannah's Rest, Frederiksted
6A La Grande Princesse, Christiansted


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When you buy straight rum chicks (males and females
mixed), buy 4-5 times as many as the number of eggs you
will need daily. This allows for eating the roosters, a few
deaths, and a few extra eggs. Don't forget to begin to
replace hens two years after the first purchase. Old hens
can best go to the cooking pot.
For those with very limited space, eggs and meat can
still be produced. Coturnix quail (Figure 4) make the
perfect mini-system. These small birds begin to lay after 6
weeks of age, and each female lays as many or more eggs
as a chicken. One needs 5 of these eggs to equal in quantity
a hens egg. A complete egg and meat production system can
be devised for a 3 by 5 foot window. These birds like high
quality food, but you can feed them table scraps, some
greens, ground seeds, meat scraps, or what have you.


Figure 4. Coturnix quail and its eggs, as compared to a
chicken's egg.

When you are ready, branch out. One of the most
satisfying aspects of home food production is to watch
the hobby grow. After two years you will be feeling like
an expert. You might want to made every inch of your
property count. You can ornament with edible plants.
You might want a small incubator to hatch your birds,
and then maybe you will trade vegetables and birds to your
neighbors. With time you might want to produce corn, and
with corn make corn bread. A milk goat is a great luxury
(or need?) for a home production system. Why not? Once
you are on your own you will eat differently, you will feel
differently, and you will think differently. Goodbye food
stamps and supermarkets.






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AND MERCHANT'S ASSOCIATION

Salute the Virgin Islands Department of


Agriculture on the occasion of the

1979

AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR


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LERNERS
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CLEOPATRA'S GIFTS
MINNI SHOP
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ANTILLES BROADCASTING


BENJAMIN'S SECURITY
KINNEY'S SHOE STORE
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LOGAN'S PET SUPPLY
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JSheep And Goat Production In The U.S. Virgin Islands


By Harold D. Hupp, Animal Scientist
CVI Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Croix
and
Duke L. Deller, Veterinarian
V.I. Department of Agriculture, St. Croix

Sheep and goat raising has long been the traditional
livestock enterprise for the small landowner in the Caribbean
area. The demand for goat meat and mutton in the Virgin
Islands is not likely to be met by a large scale commercial
operation. The flocks/herds are usually small and supple-
ment other income activities.
Under the best possible care and management, sheep/
goats will produce more meat (or income) per acre compared
with cattle on pasture. However, the initial cost of fencing,
the risk of theft, wild dog damage, and the threat of para-
sites and diseases are greater. Sheep and goats, when on
land that is not overgrazed, will do well most years without
imported or specially raised feed. Sheep are more productive
than goats; however, sheep are less tolerant of disease,
parasites and wild dogs.
In the 1975 Agriculture and Food Fair booklet,
Dr. Richard Bond elaborated on the pros and cons of each
breed. The objective of this article is to present the major
factors dealing with sheep/goat production.
In managing a sheep/goat operation there are certain
basic management factors to consider, namely, goals, farm
plan, shelter, fencing, pasture management and records. The
goals that are decided upon for the operation are important.
Is the operation purely for personal use, consisting only of
a few sheep or goats? Perhaps it is a hobby or school/club
project. Then again the operation could be a source of
supplemental income or the major income for an individual.
The goals will dictate how the animals are to be managed,
how accurately the records are to be kept, how much time
is to be spent with the animals, and if it is to be a money-
making project. The most important thing is to set goals or
objectives and then work to accomplish them.
To help realize these goals or objectives, each opera-
tion should have a farm plan. The basic farm plan consists
of the general map of the farm, the resources, the general
procedures and the timetable. The graphic layout should
include fencing, water sources and location of working pens
and shelters. The general procedures and timetable should
depict the "how-to's" for reaching the goals that have been
set and the time when each should be accomplished. The
graphic layout will be helpful in making management
decisions and in keeping track of the livestock. Ideally,
the pens and shelters should be located in the central part
of the farm with the pastures on the outside perimeter.


This will maximize the control of the livestock and utiliza-
tion of good water accesses.

Sheep and goats need shelter from excessive sun and
rain. They do not need to be elaborate but they must be
clean, dry and sanitary and provide adequate light and
ventilation. Corrals should be strong enough to hold the
animals in while keeping predators out during the night.
The corrals should provide 10-15 square feet per mature
adult, half of which should be a shelter to protect the
animal from the environment. All newborn animals should
be kept dry and out of the sun until they are able to move
around. Working pens and chutes are great labor savers for
sorting, treating and most other management jobs.
Every producer should provide a good, sturdy, well-
constructed fenced area in which the animals can graze.
At least the boundary fence, if not all fences, should be of
woven wire, a minimum of 48" high with 4" stays, or goat
wire. Another two strands of barbed wire on top of the
woven wire at 4-6 inch intervals is recommended for
boundary fences. Corner posts should be 4x4 by 6 feet
wolmanized lumber with two diagonal brace posts. These
corner posts should be 24-30 inches into the ground. A
sturdy fence line should consist of fence posts at 6-7 foot
spacings. All wire should be taut but not stretched to the
point that it is about to break. The woven wire should have
the narrow spaces at the bottom and the wider spaces at
the top.
One of the worst problems in any livestock produc-
tion is overgrazing the pastures. Therefore, the key to this
problem is proper pasture management. Pastures should
consist basically of 85-90% forage grass and the rest pala-
table weeds, legumes (e.g. tantan under control) and shrubs
which are relished by the livestock. Heavy, dense shrub
growth should be kept at a minimum. Large shade trees or
other shade should be provided in the grazing areas for
livestock protection.
Rotational grazing is used as a pasture management
tool. Depending on the number of animals and the available
land, the grazing area should be subdivided into sections or
paddocks. Pastures in good shape can be grazed for 2-3
weeks, allowing the livestock to graze the forage down to
6-8 inches. At this time the livestock is rotated to another
section. This allows the grass to come back and reduces the
chance of killing the grass by eating it too close. Another
advantage is parasite control. If each section is to remain
empty for 6-8 weeks most parasite larvae will have died
from exposure, thus reinfestation is prevented. A third
advantage is that one or two sections can be held in reserve
for drought conditions.






It is essential that every enterprise keep accurate
records. Small livestock management records do not have
to be elaborate and time consuming. A simple looseleaf
notebook can be subdivided to meet one's needs, but it is
necessary to keep accurate, complete and useful records.
Information which should be recorded can be divided
into three areas, namely, (1) Items Purchased; (2) Sales of
Produce; and (3) Animal Records. Items Purchased can be
broken down into four areas, which are: (a) Animals,
(b) Feed, (c) Animal Health, and (d) Miscellaneous Supplies.
Sale of Produce is what the produce (animals) is sold for.
The difference between Items Purchased and Sale of
Produce, if records are kept, will tell the owner if his enter-
prise is making or losing money.

Just as important as the first two categories of records
are the animal records in respect to their individual produc-
tion. These records help the owner evaluate his animals. All
animals must be permanently identified to maintain indi-
vidual animal records. This can be done with eartags,
tattooing or other techniques. All breeding females should
have individual records such as lambing/kidding dates,
number of lambs/kids, sex of offspring and their progeny's
productivity.
Production is a very important aspect of managing a
sheep/goat operation. The main items to consider are selec-


tion of breeding stock, reproduction, feeding, and a health
program.
The selection of breeding stock is greatly benefited
by the use of individual animal records on breeding females
and males. The only way the non-productive animals can be
identified is through records. Those females with rebreeding
problems, low number of offspring at birth, slow growing
offspring and structural problems should be culled. The
bottom 1/4 to 1/3 of the breeding females each year should
be culled.
Replacement selection will take some time and effort.
Each year the top 1/3 of young females should be kept,
that is, those that are the largest, strongest, healthiest and
thriftiest. A continual culling program through maturity is
necessary for these females. The final selection should be
made at breeding time. Replacement selection differs for
males. Selection for male replacements should be much
more strict, since males contribute one-half of the genetic
material to the flock/herd and only one male is needed for
every 40-60 females. The breeder is advised to start by
keeping three times as many young males as those to be
replaced. Thus, if one fluck/herd sire is replaced each year
at weaning, select three young males for potential flock/
herd sire. The culling process is continual until the male is
to be used for breeding. He should be the best male replace-
ment. Flocks or herds consisting of less than 100 breeding







females require flock/herd sires from other breeders. In
this way the poor practice of inbreeding will be avoided.
Inbreeding, if it occurs, will reduce productivity and quality
and increase the instances of genetic defects. Serious
inbreeding matings are those matings between brother and
sister or parents and offspring. The flock/herd sires should
be replaced every 2-4 years.
Once the breeding population has been selected the
owner must concentrate on maximizing his flock/herd's
capability. The name of the game is reproduction. If a
breeding male or female refuses to produce, for whatever
reason, that means a loss of profit for the owner. Thus a
decision must be made on various reproduction problems.
Perhaps medical treatment or better nutrition would solve
the problem. If not, the only solution left is to cull the
animal. Of course, the best solution to any problem is
prevention. This would mean a breeding preparatory
schedule for the individual animal.
About one month before breeding, visually check
males and females and their records. Cull the unsatisfactory
animals. Treat the remaining animals for parasites and
worms and trim their feet if necessary. In large flocks it is
best to divide the females into groups and rotate the males
between these groups. However, if the females are kept in







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a large group, rotate the males in and out of the female
group. This allows some males rest, rather than turning all
males in at the same time. It is important that in a combina-
tion sheep and goat operation, the two species are kept
separate during the breeding season. Otherwise futile
matings will occur, thus disrupting the ewe's or doe's breed-
ing cycle.
Another important factor to consider is feeding. The
animals should always have access to salt minerals and a
clean supply of water. Ideally, the range grazing should
provide an adequate supply of food. However, during
drought conditions, the dry grass will not necessarily supply
all of the protein and energy needed. To cut back on energy,
protein and vitamins, the owner must realize that these
practices will cost more in the long run, compared with the
intermediate savings. If the protein source is deficient, this
will retard the appetite so that the animal will not consume
enough feed to meet its nutritional needs. A pregnant or
nursing female needs additional feed and protein to main-
tain herself and the young she is either producing or nursing.
Parasite control and a health care program are essen-
tial. Watch for signs of illness or peculiar behavior. Home
treatment may help some sickness, however, most of the
time a veterinarian will have to be called to treat the animal.
Prevention of parasites is much better and easier than the
cure. Parasites can be controlled by several methods, which
are: (1) treat (drench) at least 3-4 times a year for internal
worms; (2) have medicated salt and minerals available;
(3) dip for lice, mange, mites, ticks and other external
parasites when needed; and (4) use pasture rotation to help
control parasites.
The decisions to be made in the management and
production aspects of running a sheep/goat operation are
challenging and satisfying to the professional breeder as
well as to the amateur stockman. No matter what an
individual's goals and objectives are for his particular
operation, the major factors discussed in the text of this
article will, hopefully, prove beneficial.


COMPLIMENTS OF

JOHN A. BERNIER, JR.






J
Tantan (Leucaena Leucocephala): An Underexploited Crop

Plant With Promising Economic Value For The Virgin Islands


By John Conje, Agronomist
C.V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Croix

Leucaena leucocephala, or Tantan as locally known,
is a tropical legume found commonly growing in the Virgin
Islands. Although it has been found adapted to island
conditions, its full economic potential has been largely
untapped.
Tantan was used 2,000 years ago by Mayans and
Zapotecs of Central America, but only in the past two
decades has suggestion of its promise become apparent.
Of all tropical legumes, Tantan probably offers the widest
assortment of uses. Through its many varieties, Tantan can
produce nutritious forage, firewood, timber and rich
organic fertilizer. It has been used to revegetate hillsides, and
to provide windbreaks, firebreaks, shale, and ornamentation.

THE PLANT
Tantan has many varieties which differ immensely in
size and form. Over 100 varieties are known but they can
be classified broadly into these three types:
(1) Hawaiian type -short, bushy varieties to 15 feet
in height and flowers when very young (4-6 months old).
Its yield of wood and foliage is low. Its value lies particularly
in its ability to revegetate tropical hill slopes. This type is
found commonly growing in the Virgin Islands.
(2) Salvador type tall, tree-like plants to 65 feet in
height, having large leaves, pods and seeds, and thick,
Sbranchless trunks. Produce high yield of wood.
(3) Peru type tall plants to 45 feet, like the Salva-
dor type but with extensive branching even low on the
trunk. They produce little trunk, but extremely high quan-
tities of foliage grow on their branches. Highly productive
forage varieties.
While still very small, Tantan seedlings develop a
substantial taproot to reach water before the vulnerable
young plant is caught by drought. The roots carry nitrogen-
fixing Rhizobium nodules capable of annually fixing more
than 500 pounds nitrogen per acre. This is equivalent to
2,500 pounds ammonium sulphate per acre per annum.
Seeds can be successfully planted by hand or by machine.
The plant readily ratoons.

USES
Animal Feed young or mature, green, dry or
ensiled, the foliage is relished by livestock as well as wildlife.
Succulent, young Tantan foliage is mainly used to feed


cattle and goats which are less affected by mimosine (an
uncommon amino acid that is toxic to nonruminants at
levels of 10 percent in the diet) than other animals. It can
be harvested or carried fresh to the animals, dried into a
leaf meal or fermented to silage. Cattle can be allowed
to browse the standing brushes.

Tantan can be cropped for forage several ways. It
can be grown as a range plant in scattered untended stands,
in intensively cultivated pastures, in small plots, or along
fencelines and roadsides. The plots can be browsed by free-
ranging cattle or hand harvested and hauled to the cattle
shed. They can also be mechanically harvested, using
machinery developed for bulk handling other forage.
Cattle should not be fed solely on Tantan for extended
periods because of mimosine toxicity. However, feeding it
up to approximately 3 months does not usually cause
problems. It is advantageous to incorporate grass into the
diet by rotating the animals between Tantan and grass
pastures. Tantan can be grown interspersed among fast-
growing pasture grasses. Its leaves allow sunlight to filter
through to the grass, and the combination makes a highly
productive two-level pasture. Established Tantan is com-
patible with pangola and guinea grass and under heavy
grazing the combination remains well-balanced so that
neither Tantan nor the grass dominates.
Annual yield of dry matter in good sites is between
6-10 tons per acre. This is equivalent to the annual produc-
tion of 800-4300 pounds of protein per acre. The whole
leaf contains both nutrients and roughage and makes a
more-or-less complete ruminant feed, pretty much compar-
able to alfalfa forage (Table 1). The leaf stems make a high
protein feed for they contain 27-34 percent protein.
Leucaena protein is of high nutritional quality. Amino acids
are present in well-balanced proportion. Tantan is also a
rich source of carotene and provitamin A. Because the
protein content is so high, leaflets are being sun-dried in
Malawi, Thailand and the Philippines for local use and
export to Japan.
Sheep are less able to tolerate mimosine in their diets.
Hogs are sensitive to mimosine but in Papua, New Guinea
and the Philippines, Tantan leaf meal has been used satis-
factorily to supplement rations (up to 10 percent) for
growing pigs. The leaf meal supplies protein, minerals
and vitamins. Four to six percent leucaena leaf meal in a
poultry diet restores health to chicks (and pigs) suffering
from vitamin A deficiency. Research in Hawaii has shown
that feeding hens leucaena leaf meal can dramatically
39







increase the proportion of their eggs that hatch. Compared
with alfalfa meal, leucaena leaf meal has about twice as
much riboflavin and vitamin K, both of which enhance eggs
hatchability. Leucaena leaf meal is also rich in xanthophyll
pigments, which color egg yolks and broiler skins a brilliant
yellow.

Wood Products The Salvadorean type is the one
used mostly for the production of lumber, pump, paper and
fuel. The straight trunks of leucaena grown in dense planta-
tions can be used directly as round wood for fence posts
and trellis for agricultural crops.

Soil Improvement Tantan benefits the soil in which
it grows by:
a) Increasing the nitrogen content
b) Increasing the organic matter, rebuilding tilth and
surface texture
c) Breaking up compacted surface layers
d) Improving water absorption
e) Reducing moisture evaporation
f) Providing a forest cover to protect the surface
against sun, rain, and wind.

Other Uses In some parts of the world, leucaena is
used for food: young leaves and small pods are eaten raw or
cooked in soups, tacos, etc., mature seeds are roasted, and
young, dry seeds are "popped" like popcorn. In Central
America, dye is extracted from leucaena to color wool,


cotton, fishing lines, etc. Pods or wood are boiled in water:
young pods produce red colors, old pods and wood give
varying shades of brown. Extracting leucaena seeds with
hot water also produces a gum which is used to thicken and
emulsify foods, such as mayonnaise, ice cream and candies,
as well as cosmetics, such as hand lotions and face creams.
In some areas, leucaena's shiny, dark-red seeds are used to
make decorative necklaces and household items. Various
parts of the plant are reputed to have medicinal properties
ranging from control of stomach diseases to use for contra-
ception and abortion. Leucaena, with its cascades of emerald
leaves and fragrant flowers, has long been used around
dwellings as an ornamental.

RECOMMENDED PLAN OF ACTION
(1) Make funds available to conduct studies which
will help determine leucaena's overall potential for the
Virgin Islands.
(2) Collect seeds of varieties presently growing in the
Virgin Islands.
(3) Introduce and test new varieties, particularly the
low mimosine type.
(4) Study management systems for grazing, small-
farm holdings, mechanized harvesting, or hedgerow produc-
tion (optimum cultivation methods, harvest time, cutting
heights, rotation, etc.)
(5) Establish pilot project on dehydrated leucaena
leaf meal.
(6) Feeding trials to animals.


Table 1. Comparative Compositions (dry weight basis) of Alfalfa and Leucaena


Leucaena Leaf


Alfalfa Leaf


Total Ash (percent) 11.0 16.6
Total N (percent) 4.2 4.3
Crude Protein (percent) 259 269
Modified acid detergent fiber (percent) 20.4 21.7
Calcium (percent) 2.36 3.15
Phosphorus (percent) 0.23 0.36
Beta carotene (mg/kg) 536.0 253.0
Gross energy (kj/g) 20.1 18.5
Tannin (mg/g) 10.15 0.13


Source: National Academy of Sciences







A Prospectus For Cage Culture Of Freshwater Fish

In The U.S. Virgin Islands


By Robert L. Busch, Aquaculturist
C.V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Croix

The Aquaculture program of the C.V.I. Agricultural
Experiment Station conducts research in freshwater fish
culture utilizing two species of tilapia, the Java tilapia
(Tilapia mossambica) and the blue tilapia (Tilapia aurea).
The Java tilapia was brought to St. Croix as a sport
fish from Trinidad in 1953. It was not well suited for that
role, and because it quickly overpopulated the ponds
producing thousands of small fish, it soon fell into disfavor.
Today this tilapia occurs in many ponds and guts on St.
Croix, but it is little utilized. The Java tilapia is originally
from Africa, but has been introduced throughout much of
the tropical world as a food fish. While the species has been
heartily accepted by local populations in some countries,
it has often been rejected in others. When consumer accept-
ability is poor it is thought to stem from such factors as the
fish's external appearance (dark color and duck-billed upper
lip common to large males), occasional "off-flavors" associ-
ated with wild populations from certain waters, and its
small size often encountered in unmanaged populations.
The blue tilapia is originally from Israel, and was
introduced to St. Croix from Puerto Rico in 1974 specifi-
cally for fish culture research purposes. The blue tilapia is
thought to have a more pleasing external appearance to
consumers and is considered to be less susceptible to condi-
tions influencing "off-flavors". This tilapia also readily
reproduces in tropical, freshwater ponds and unmanaged
populations can quickly overpopulate their environment.
Overall these tilapias are good fishes for fish culture
in the tropics. They are especially tolerant to handling by
novice fish farmers. They are resistant to diseases even
under conditions of high stocking densities and less than
favorable water quality conditions. Both the Java and blue
tilapias are herbivorous filter-feeders (can eat phytoplank-
ton) to some extent, but will readily consume a variety of
commercial feed materials and agricultural waste products
as well. Under proper culture conditions they are fast
growing and will produce a good quality, fine tasting, high
protein flesh.
The tilapias belong to the family of fishes called
Cichlidae. Both species on St. Croix are mouth-brooders.
Once the female tilapia spawns and her eggs have been
fertilized by the male, she picks up the eggs in her mouth
and incubates them until hatching. Thereafter, the fry
(newly hatched fish) are maintained in the female's mouth


for several days. This high degree of parental care insures
maximal fry survival. Coupled with their small size at sexual
maturity and the favorable spawning conditions throughout
most of the year, tilapia can rapidly overpopulate a pond
environment. This excessive reproduction remains the
major obstacle to open pond (the fish are loose in the pond)
cultures of tilapia. Most small-scale open water culture
systems attempt to reduce excessive reproduction through
fish culture management.
There are several management practices the fish
farmer can use to inhibit tilapia reproduction:'
(1) Tilapia can be visually sexed at a small size as the
external characteristics of the sexes differ. Thus, the farmer
can stock fish of only one sex into his culture system
(monosex culture), eliminating reproduction.
(2) Control of fish densities and habitat manipulation
by the fish culturist have successfully inhibited tilapia
reproduction in some culture systems.
(3) Various predator species when introduced into
tilapia ponds eliminate the young tilapia produced.
(4) When tilapia are raised in floating cages reproduc-
tion is essentially eliminated at spawning if the eggs fall
through the cage before the female picks them up.
The total spectrum of resources including manpower,
equipment needs, water quantity and quality, fertilizer and
feed availability and market preferences determines what
management techniques a particular farmer will utilize.
Most Virgin Islanders are unaware of the potential
freshwater pond resources presently available in the islands,
especially St. Croix. The Virgin Islands government has
conducted a pond construction program for many years.
A 1975 inventory listed 225 ponds on St. Croix that were
constructed or renovated between 1920 and 1975.. These
ponds were constructed to provide water storage for live-
stock and wildlife, limited irrigation, ground water recharge,
flood prevention and fire protection.
CVI aquaculture personnel have visited approximately
50 ponds on St. Croix. The majority of these ponds typically
have less than two surface acres (.8 hectare) of water at
spillway level. They are usually steep-banked, deep,infertile,
and often choked with filamentous algae, rooted or floating
aquatic plants and/or encroaching terrestrial vegetation.
Many of these ponds suffer severe water level fluctuations
depending on the annual rainfall and the water holding
characteristics of their watersheds. Water levels and volumes
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one-half their spillway levels during the course of a year. In
dry years some ponds will dry out completely. Terrestrial
vegetation often encroaches the pond's receding water edge
in summer. When the water level rises again in the fall this
vegetation is killed, but it remains in the pond for long
periods of time, creating underwater obstacles for pond
seining. Both the drought and flooding conditions common
to St. Croix ponds can deteriorate the overall water quality
to levels only the hardiest fish species can tolerate. Addi-
tionally, flooding ponds usually contaminate lower ponds
in the watershed with wild fish.
While the St. Croix ponds passively perform their
intended uses as envisioned at construction, the majority
of the ponds as they exist today are not well suited for
open pond tilapia culture. This is not to say that a manage-
ment plan cannot be formulated for each particular pond.
It does infer, however, that in most cases any management
plan would entail extensive pond renovation and/or modifi-
cation. This has led the C.V.I. aquaculture program in the
direction of tilapia cage culture.
Cage culture of tilapia offers several advantages to the
prospective Virgin Island fish farmer. The system is immedi-
ately applicable to the majority of ponds existing on St.
Croix with no pond modification necessary. The system is
modular. The farmer can begin with one or several cages
as determined by his available resources. A minimum
amount of equipment is needed. The fish can be easily fed,
sampled and harvested. Tilapia reproduction can be elimi-
nated. Coupled with the overall hardiness of tilapia, the
system affords a minimal initial investment and ample
margin for error as the prospective farmer learns to handle
and grow his fish crop.
No culture system is flawless and cage culture does
have its disadvantages. Tilapia held in cages do not have
access to the pond's available array of natural fish food
organisms. Consequently, all nutritional requirements of
the caged fish must be satisfied by any natural foods
entering the cage and the artificial feed supplied by the
fish culturist. It must be assumed that the nutritional
benefit 'gained from the natural food organisms entering
the fish cages will be minimal, and, therefore, a nutritionally
complete, pelleted fish feed enriched with a vitamin-mineral
packet should be used as a supplemental feed. Such feeds
are more expensive than conventional pond fish feeds
which depend on nutritional supplementation from natural
food organisms available to the fish in the pond.
When water quality deteriorates in the pond fish held
in cages are more susceptible to loss due to crowding and
restricted water flow within the cages. The possibility of
loss due to thievery is increased in cage culture and this
deterrent will no doubt restrict cage culture to areas that
can be relatively secured by the owner.
Fish culture cages can be constructed from hardware






cloth, commercially available plastic netting, or nylon
webbing as used in seine or net construction. The mesh
should be sufficiently small to retain the fish, but large
enough to allow good water circulation. We prefer a mini-
mum 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeters) mesh material although
1/4 inch (6 millimeter) mesh is satisfactory. Thirty five
cubic feet (1 cubic meter) square cages are a size easily
handled, yet sufficiently large to grow a number of fish.
This size cage measures approximately 40 inches (1 meter)
on a side and 40 inches (1 meter) deep. Each cage should
have a top made of 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeters) wire mesh.
The top prevents fish from escaping and birds from preying
on the fish within the cage. The 1/2 inch (1.25 centimeters)
mesh allows the farmer to feed through the top without
having to open it. We use a floating fish cage installation.
We float our cages with collars constructed with 3 inch
(7.6 centimeters) diameter PVC drainage pipe. In 1978 the
water level in our research pond decreased from a spillway
level depth of 13.5 feet (4 meters) to 5.5 feet (1.7 meters)
at the end of the dry season. After sufficient rain the water
level rose to spillway level again within a 24 hour period.
Our cages simply rose and fell with the water level. It is not
necessary to float the cages as they can be placed on the
pond bank in shallow water and moved as the water level
changes. Occasionally, however, non-floating cages are lost
in ponds when rapid water rises occur.
The easiest method to obtain fingerlings (small fish)
for cage stocking is to stock the open pond with a few adult
tilapia and use the resulting reproduction as the source of
fingerlings. Such fish can be trapped from the ponds when
needed for cage stocking, and the farmer can sell his surplus
fingerlings to others as a demand develops. Obviously the
largest fingerlings available should be stocked into the grow-
out cages to shorten the feeding time to harvest. Fingerling
tilapia greater than 5 inches (12 centimeters) total length
can be accurately sexed by external observation. As male
tilapia grow much faster than females it is to the fish
farmer's advantage to sex his fingerlings and use the males
for his grow-out cages. A safe stocking rate for the 35 cubic
feet (1 cubic meter) capacity cages is 200 fish per cage.
This rate allows a safety margin during the dry season and
subsequent flooding period when water quality may become
a problem and caged fish may be approaching a harvestable
size. We have experienced fish kills due to water quality
deterioration in cages stocked at higher fish densities.
The most important aspect of cage culture is proper
feeding. The fish farmer should use the most nutritionally
complete feed he can afford. For cage culture of fish this is
generally considered to be a vitamin and mineral enriched
pelleted fish feed with at least a 30% crude protein content.
Either floating or sinking feeds can be utilized. If a sinking
feed is used, the bottom mesh of the cage must be suffi-
ciently small to retain the feed. Floating feeds allow the


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farmer to evaluate his fish daily through feeding response
and general observation. Sinking feeds are usually cheaper
to buy. Other feeds such as chicken laying mash have been
used with some success but the commercial fish feed should
be the first choice of the novice fish farmer for optimal
fish growth in a cage culture system.
The rate of feeding is very important. Daily feed
allotments by weight are determined as a percentage of the
estimated total weight of the fish being fed. For example,
100 pounds (45.5 kilograms) of fish receiving feed at a 2%
feeding rate would be allotted 2 pounds (.9 kilogram) of
feed per day. As the fish grow it is important that the fish
farmer readjust the daily feed allotment to maintain the
correct feeding rate. This requires the farmer to weigh a
sample of fish at 2-4 week intervals and estimate the new
total weight of fish receiving feed. From that estimate a
new daily feed allotment is calculated.

An optimum feeding rate provides ample food
beyond the fish's maintenance diet to insure good fish
growth with a minimum of wasted feed. The optimum feed-
ing rate is determined by observing the conversion ratio
(weight of dry feed divided by the weight gain of fish) of
the feed, the cost of the feed, and the time interval necessary
to grow the fish to a harvestable size. A conversion ratio of
2 means that 2 pounds (.9 kilogram) of feed is required to
grow 1 pound (.45 kilogram) of fish. Economical conver-
sion ratios for commercially prepared fish feeds are usually
less than 2.
Research in 1978 with the cage culture of blue tilapia
receiving a complete floating fish feed showed that 2% or
3% feeding rates were good. Blue tilapia with an average
weight of .02 pound (12 grams) at stocking grew to .2
pound (90 grams) average weight after 109 days of feeding
at a 2% feeding rate. At an overall conversion ratio of 1.22
and a feed cost of $.24/pound ($.53/kilogram), the cost of
feed was $.29 to produce 1 pound of tilapia ($.65 per
kilogram of tilapia). At a 3% feeding rate, tilapia grew to
an average weight of .26 pound (122 grams) with a conver-
sion ratio of 1.66. At the 3% feeding rate a feed cost of
$.39 was required to produce 1 pound of tilapia ($.86 per


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kilogram of tilapia), but at harvest these fish were 30%
larger than those fish fed at the 2% rate for the same period.
If the farmer can receive a minimum of $1.00 per pound of
live fish ($2.20 per kilogram) the economics of the feed
cost does not seem prohibitive at this stage of our research.
The cost per pound of fish listed here only represents
the cost of feed. It does not include any costs for finger-
lings, cage materials or labor. These costs and the market
value and acceptability of tilapia will ultimately determine
the economics of tilapia culture for the Virgin Islands.
Current research in cage culture is comparing the Java
tilapia and the blue tilapia under similar growing conditions,
Additionally, a detailed market study utilizing fish grown
in our research installation is under development at the
time of this writing.

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Freshwater Shrimp


By Barnaby J. Watten
Assistant Aquaculturist
CVI Agricultural Experiment Station, St. Croix

Several species of freshwater shrimp, with their large
size and huge claws, never fail to arouse the interest and
curiosity of those who encounter them. Sometimes referred
to as "cammaron," "gut lobster," or "kribeshee," these
shrimp are common inhabitants of the West Indies.
Shrimp are members of the class of organisms called
Crustacea (shelled ones). Within this class most of the shrimp
species are separated into either the sections Penaeidea or
Caridea. Freshwater shrimp are included in the section
Caridea, while the commercially exploited marine shrimp
belong to the section Penaeidea.
The freshwater shrimp found in the Virgin Islands
require warm water temperatures throughout the year.
Accordingly, zoogeographers believe that the progenitors
of the West Indian shrimp originally migrated from the
South and Central Americas. Once established, several genera
responded to the wide variety of habitats encountered, and,
through the process of adaptive radiation, new species
evolved. It is interesting to note that three species endemic
to the West Indies occur in the Virgin Islands.
Two families, five genera and nine species of Caridean
shrimp have been reported for the Virgin Islands. The
majority of the species occur on St. Croix, with fewer
numbers on St. Thomas and St. John. This uneven distribu-
tion of species between neighboring insular communities
may be explained by the number and diversity of fresh-
water habitats present. St. Croix, largest of the islands, has
a wider range of suitable habitats and therefore is able to
accommodate a greater number of species. Some species
of shrimp in one of the families present, the Palaemonidae,
are capable of reaching a large edible size and are therefore
important as a'natural resource to Virgin Islanders.
The largest and most spectacular freshwater shrimp
found in the ponds and guts of the Virgin Islands belong
to the genus Macrobrachium. The name of the genus means
"long arms" and rightfully so. Usually one-half of a speci-
men's total length can be attributed to the pincher-like
claws it uses to grab and tear food or foe. One species,
Macrobrachium carcinus, is capable of attaining a weight of
3 pounds and a length of over 24 inches.
Because of their large size and delicious flavor, two
species of Macrobrachium shrimp are sought by local
residents. Several techniques are used, one of which involves
the use of a fishing line baited with small pieces of shrimp
or earthworm. Virgin Islanders have also had luck using


baited pot traps and hand nets to catch these highly
esteemed creatures. Most freshwater shrimp are wary and
consequently, attempts to catch them are often unsuccess-
ful. However, the few individuals that are persistent are
oftentimes rewarded with a delicious catch.
The freshwater shrimp are covered by a tough,
jointed exoskeleton termed the cuticle. This exoskeleton
effectively provides protection and enhances the shrimp's
mobility. The cuticle itself does not grow. Consequently,
it must be shed periodically and replaced as the shrimp
increases in size. This process is known as molting, or
ecdysis, and usually occurs in adults every 20 to 40 days.
Molts are recurrent crises in the lives of shrimp, as the new
cuticle takes several hours to harden. During this period
even the largest shrimp are vulnerable to predation and
will often be attached if not adequately hidden. As a
protective mechanism, shrimp have developed the ability
to willfully drop their legs or large claws from their bodies.
A leg, if seized by a predator, is severed at the "breaking
joint," enabling the shrimp to escape. The missing limb
is soon regenerated in miniature and will regain normal
size after several molts. Shrimp are also able to change
their color patterns with the aid of specialized body cells
(chromatophores) and effectively camouflage themselves
by blending with the colors of their surroundings.
Freshwater shrimp usually walk about using 3
pair of their leg-like appendages (pereiopods). However,
when disturbed, they can quickly escape by using rapid,
successive thrusts of their tails. They are also able to swim
by synchronously beating specialized abdominal appendages
pleopodss). The various modes of locomotion enable the
freshwater shrimp to migrate inland against strong water
currents and numerous environmental barriers. Several
species have been reported to travel as far as 160 miles
inland and have reached altitudes of 2500 feet.
Most freshwater shrimp are nocturnal (active at night)
and remain hidden during the daylight hours. At night large
numbers of shrimp can be observed clinging to rocks or
actively walking about pool areas in search of food. Gener-
ally, the smaller species are more abundant in pools of the
small feeder guts or in the shallow rocky areas of the larger
streams. Larger species characteristically frequent the quiet
waters near the mouths of guts or in widened areas of
streams. The larger shrimp are undoubtedly masters of their
domain and will only begrudgingly tolerate the presence of
others.
The adult shrimp have a wide adaptability in their
feeding habits and will eat whatever suitable plant or
animal material they are able to find. Generally, they are
omnivorous scavengers and not predacious. However, they
will on occasion attack such organisms as worms, crippled
fish, or even other shrimp.
Depending on the species, spawning activity occurs







in freshwater, usually during the rainy season. For the
freshwater species Macrobrachium rosenbergii, mature male
shrimp are able to breed at any time. However, females
must undergo a premating molt. After molting, the vulner-
able female is protected by the male for the few hours
before she becomes sexually receptive. The male, using his
clawed appendages, holds the female on her back while
depositing sperm in grooves on her genital area. As the
female extrudes her eggs, they are fertilized by the sperm.
The female then carefully attaches the eggs among the
swimming appendages of her abdomen. There the eggs
ripen, changing in color from bright orange to slate grey.
Typically, a mature female weighing 2.6 ounces will produce
60,000 eggs. The fecundity (producing young in abundance)
of these shrimp is needed because few will probably survive
the following migration.
After 20 days of incubation the eggs hatch and the
minute larvae (which differ markedly in appearance from
the adult) are swept down the freshwater guts towards
the sea. For the first 10 days the larvae are gregarious in
behavior and are found in large numbers just beneath the
water's surface. Although the shrimp larvae are active
swimmers, they are dependent upon prevailing currents to
carry them to new freshwater areas. These freefloating
larvae are thought to be responsible for the distribution of
freshwater shrimp throughout the West Indies.
The larvae exist on a rigid diet consisting of zooplank-
ton (suspended, often microscopic, aquatic animals).
During the period of larval development, it is essential that
adequate food be readily available. If enough food is not
present, cannibalism will surely occur. Shrimp larvae pass
through several morphological stages in brackish waters
before becoming juveniles with adult-like proportions and
anatomical details. Now, no longer dependent on ocean


currents, the juveniles drop to the sea floor to continue
feeding and begin their migrations inland to waters of lower
salinity.

The commercial development and general desiccation
of the Virgin Islands has resulted in undesirable changes of
our freshwater environments. The shaded permanent streams
that used to exist are now intermittent arroyos, flowing
only during rainy periods. The larval migration downstream
into brackish waters, followed by the juvenile movement
upstream to headwater areas, is often disrupted by the wet-
dry nature of our freshwater systems. During drought
periods large numbers of shrimp are concentrated into the
few areas that contain water throughout the year. Unfortu-
nately, those that become stranded in the drying ponds and
guts soon perish. This may explain the decline in numbers
and species of freshwater shrimp that has been observed in
the Virgin Islands.
The culture of freshwater shrimp is now a subject
of great interest to aquaculturists in many parts of the
world. A significant breakthrough occurred in 1965 when
Dr. Shao-wen Ling, of Penang, Malaysia, succeeded in con-
trolling the full life cycle of Macrobrachium rosenbergii
in aquaria. Dr. Ling's work led to the development of
economically feasible, mass shrimp larvae culture techniques
required in commercial ventures. Macrobrachium rosen-
bergii, so far, has proven to be the most suitable species for
freshwater shrimp culture. Although it is not found here, a
number of researchers have cultured the two larger species
of Macrobrachium that do occur in the Virgin Islands.
Unfortunately, both were shown to be unsuitable for com-
mercial culture due to comparatively slow, erratic growth
in one, Macrobrachium acanthurus, and extreme aggression
and territorialism of the other, Macrobrachium carcinus.
To date, a variety of methods have been used to
culture freshwater shrimp. The most successful techniques
used thus far have been developed in Hawaii by the Anuenue


Figure 1. Macrobrachium carcinus, the largest freshwater
shrimp found in the V.I.





Fisheries Research Center. There, hatchery-reared juvenile
shrimp are stocked into shallow earthen ponds at the rate
of 65,340 per acre of pond substrate. The ponds used
generally have fresh water flowing through them continu-
ously and have structures which facilitate drainage. The
shrimp are fed at night a daily ration of chicken broiler
starter or various commercial fish feeds with protein levels
near 20%. Shrimp grown in the dense populations of
the culture ponds exhibit what is called the "bull-runt
phenomena." This means that the individual growth rate
varies considerably, with few shrimp reaching a harvestable
size at any one time. It is suspected that the growth of
smaller individuals is suppressed by means of a social
pheromone released by the larger "bull" shrimp. Phero-
mones are substances secreted by glands and released
into the external environment, where they influence the
behavior of other members of the same species. To the
shrimp culturist this means that the bull shrimp must be
selectively harvested in order to permit the growth of the
rest of the population. Consequently, shrimp culturists
begin harvesting the larger shrimp weekly by selective
seining 7 months after the initial stocking. Using these
labor intensive methods, 50% survival is expected and an
annual production of 2500 to 4000 pounds of shrimp per
acre can be obtained. Generally, harvested shrimp are
chill-killed, blanched and iced before being sold whole.
The size and type of market for freshwater shrimp is
not well known. However, it is considered a high-quality
product and therefore commands premium retail prices
($4.00 to $4.50 per pound).
At first glance, freshwater shrimp culture may seem
to be a lucrative business. Unfortunately, solid economic
information is very limited and many production problems
must be solved before small scale ventures (a must in the
Virgin Islands) become economically feasible. If current
research trends continue, however, it soon may become
an applicable alternative to fin fish culture.


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Ciguatera Fish Poisoning: A Much Misunderstood Problem


By J. P. McMillan
Assistant Professor of Biology
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas

As native and long-term residents of the Virgin Islands
are aware, many species of local fish, which are usually
wholesome and delicious, may on occasion and without
warning contain ciguatoxin and cause the devastating
symptoms of ciguatera fish poisoning. The symptoms are
immediate (usually within 6 to 8 hours), painful (nausea,
diarrhea, vomiting), and often prolonged (muscular weak-
ness and joint and muscle pain). There are also complex
neurological manifestations, such as itching, burning or
tingling sensations, which distinguish ciguatera from fish
poisoning by other causes such as spoilage. Thus the appar-
ent benefits of local fish, their abundance, nutritional value,
low cost and delightful taste, are counterbalanced by the
risk to public health.
Presented here is a review of recent research findings
and the current scientific thinking on the ciguatera problem.
Because the problem has afflicted people living on tropical
islands around the world for centuries, folklore on the
subject abounds. Most of it is unverified, unreliable, poten-
tially dangerous, and often blatantly wrong.
It has recently been shown that ciguatoxin originates
in a species of microscopic, single-celled plants called
dinoflagellates which grow on coral reefs. Fish which graze
on reef organisms consume the dinoflagellate and its cigua-
toxin. The toxin accumulates within the fish, in the flesh
and especially the liver, so that the more such dinoflagellates
that the fish's diet contains the more toxic the fish becomes.
Curiously, the fish appear to be unaffected by the toxin.
The toxin is known to persist in the fish for at least many
months and probably for the duration of its life. These
herbivorous and detritus consuming-fish are prey to carnivo-
rous species such as barracuda, kingfish, jacks, and snappers.
The toxin then has its location in the food chain changed to
the flesh and liver of the carnivore. This creates a more
dangerous situation, however, because of a kind of biologi-
cal amplification. Carnivorous fish eat reef-grazing fish
which have accumulated the toxin in their bodies. The
predatory fish therefore receives an already concentrated
dose of the toxin and concentrates it further with each
toxic prey item consumed. For this reason fish-eating fish
are often several times more toxic than their prey, and
consequently may cause significantly more severe cases of
fish poisoning when consumed by the top carnivore at the
head of the food chain, man. It is thus not an old-wives'-
tale but rather a fact learned through painful experience
and shared as local wisdom in the community that large


(older) carnivorous fish should not be eaten, especially if
they are caught in the areas of known or suspected toxicity.
The facts concerning the biological origin of ciguatoxin
and its transmission and concentration up the food chain
are much better understood than why one area is toxic and
another, similar area, not toxic. Clearly, for a reef to be
toxic, the ciguatoxin-producing microorganisms must occur
there in substantial numbers. Because of the very recent
discovery of the toxigenic dinoflagellate, there remain
many questions about its biology that are unanswered,
including why it grows one place and not another. A partial
answer to this seems to be that it occurs on dead coral.
There have been numerous cases where catastrophes, man-
made (eg., dredging) or natural (severe storms and seas),
have been followed by the death of a reef and a ciguatera
outbreak. In view of the continued alteration of the marine
environment by human activities in the Virgin Islands (ship
channelling, airport runway extension, and so forth) further
investigation of the "reef disturbance hypothesis" is very
important.
In addition to knowing where the toxin comes from,
how it gets into the fish we eat, and why dead coral harbors
the toxic microorganism, it would be enormously helpful if
some simple, reliable test were available to determine the
toxicity of fish. At present there is no test for toxicity
which can be easily and confidently performed by a fisher-
man or a consumer. And, unfortunately, for several reasons,
the development of such a test is many years away, if it
can be accomplished at all.
Even the most toxic, carnivorous fish, which would
cause severe human ciguatera fish poisoning if consumed,
contains a very small absolute amount of toxin. Ciguatoxin
is simply an incredibly toxic substance. This means that it is
extremely difficult to obtain adequate quantities of the
toxin for various scientific studies. In fact, because of its
natural occurrence in such very low concentrations, the
elucidation of the precise chemical structure of ciguatoxin
has not been possible to date. Clearly, the structure of the
toxin must be known before there is any realistic chance of
devising a simple, reliable test. Hopefully, in the near future,
massive artificial culturing of the ciguatoxin-producing
dinoflagellate will provide a sufficiently large supply of the
toxin for structural determination.

Our principal source of ciguatoxin at the C.V.I.
laboratory is the remaining portions of toxic fish supplied
by poisoned victims in the community. When these samples
are run through the preliminary but elaborate and time-
consuming extraction procedure the yield is quite small
(200 mg per 200 g of flesh, or 0.007 oz per 7 oz sample)










UI


P-
i*


- 4'


Figure 1. C.V.I. student and research associate performing
a part of the ciguatoxin extraction procedure.


and, at this stage, very impure. Bio-assays, tests for cigua-
toxicity using laboratory animals, must be developed and
constantly improved. This will relieve our dependence upon
remnants, from victims, who regrettably have performed a
kind of human bio-assay, and permit laboratory testing of
fish samples from field surveys. In other words, it is diffi-
cult to reliably test for ciguatoxin even in a laboratory
devoted to the task.
For more sophisticated work, the crude toxic extract
must undergo extensive purification, and these techniques
are also involved and slow. Further problems then arise.
First, purification by chromatographic procedures results in
purer and more toxic residues but the amount of material
diminishes as well. A purified extract has been obtained by
scientists at the University of Hawaii that was incredibly
toxic, 0.025 mg would kill fifty 20 g mice. But 200 g of
toxic fish flesh yielded only 1 mg (0.00035 oz) of purified
toxin. Second, before extraction and purification ciguatoxin
is surprisingly stable in fish flesh. Toxic fish may be dried,
salted, refrigerated or frozen, then fried, baked, boiled,
broiled, or marinated it will still poison humans. There
is some evidence, however, that after extraction and during
subsequent purification steps the toxin becomes progres-
sively less stable. It must be treated very cautiously and
used in studies immediately or stored under carefully con-
trolled conditions. Even then it may decompose and lose
toxicity.


Ciguatera fish poisoning is thus a devilish problem.
Ciguatoxin-contaminated fish cannot be distinguished from
non-toxic ones on the basis of their appearance, texture or
taste. Yet ciguatera causes a significant public health problem
and doubtlessly has a negative impact on various aspects of
the economy. Scientific progress on the problem has been
very slow and no quick-fix solution is likely in the short-
run. Recent progress, especially the identification of the
biological source of the toxin, has been encouraging none-
theless. Given patience and diligence, adequate time and
resources, this much misunderstood problem will succumb
to understanding and resolution.


NOTICE

THE COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS IS
CONDUCTING RESEARCH ON CIGUATERA
POISONING. IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU
KNOW BECOMES ILL AFTER EATING LOCAL
FISH, PLEASE 1) PLACE THE REMAINING
PORTIONS OF THE FISH IN A PLASTIC BAG
AND FREEZE THEM, AND 2) PHONE, AS SOON
AS POSSIBLE, THE DIVISION OF SCIENCE,
C.V.I., 4-1252, EXT. 360. A MODEST PAYMENT
IS OFFERED.






















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Bougainvillaes: A Thorny Bush Or A Beautiful,

Flowerinpi Vine


By Christopher Ramcharan
Extension Agent Horticulture
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix

It has been said that the ABC's of landscape gardening
in the tropics are the Aralias, Bougainvilleas and Crotons.
Here in the Virgin Islands this is as true as in any other
tropical area where these plants are an important part of
the landscape.
In St. Croix, Bougainvilleas are widely grown but
seem to produce much vegetative growth with little flower-
ing. With some care and attention, and selection of the
better cultivars, these straggling vines can become one of
the most floriferous plants. They can be grown in containers
and be profitable nursery plants, with the right technique.
Bougainvilleas were first collected in Brazil by Com-
merson who named them in honor of the French navigator,
L. A. de Bougainville, with whom he travelled around the
world during 1766-1769. These plants are strong,bushy
shrubs or woody climbers, native to tropical and subtropi-
cal South America. The genus Bougainvillea belongs to the
Four O'Clock family, Nyctaginaceae. Flowers, in groups of
three, are inconspicuous, tubular, and each is subtended by
a large, showy, heart-shaped bract that gives the decorative
value of the plant.
Bougainvillea glabra and Bougainvillea spectabilis are
widely used species and most Bougainvillea cultivars are
thought to have originated from these two species.
Bougainvillea glabra grows to over 10 feet with bright
rosy-red bracts that are distinctly veined. This species is free
flowering, often dwarfed and grown in pots. Several cultivars
developed from Bougainvillea glabra include 'Sander,'
'Crimson Lake' and 'Afterglow' with yellow to orange
bracts; 'Variegata' with variegated leaves; and 'Purity,'
'Moonlight' and 'Madonna' with white bracts.
Bougainvillea spectabilis has larger bracts that are
deep rose in color. This species also has hairier leaves and
stem, and flowers predominantly in dry periods.

Propagation
The flowers of Bougainvilleas are self-sterile and rarely
produce seed so that layers or cuttings are used for propaga-
tion. Usually 6-12" lengths of old wood of uniform diameter
are used for rooting. Rooting hormones, such as Rootone
and Hormodin, have been found to improve rooting. For
pot production, 3-4" long tip cuttings can be rooted in 4


weeks under a mist system of propagation. Cuttings started
in April or May and put in containers in early fall will
bloom in spring. For earlier blooms, plants can be kept in
pots through summer and cut back in fall. With some culti-
vars it is possible to obtain a full flowering plant in 11-15
weeks using a combination of pruning and growth retarding
compounds.

Cultural Requirements
Though Bougainvilleas grow in a wide variety of soils,
plants in moist soils with good drainage grow fast and
once established can tolerate drought. Plants do better
in full sun but are slightly shade tolerant. Old and dead
wood should be pruned and old plants can be rejuvenated
by cutting back severely. For best growth and flowering,
a complete fertilizer, such as 10:10:10, should be applied
4 times per year at about 1/2 pound for a fully developed
vine. Iron and manganese deficiency symptoms occur in
alkaline soils such as those in the Virgin Islands and applica-
tion of a chelated minor element mix containing iron and
manganese is recommended for optimum growth and
flowering.

Landscape Use
Cultivars with purple and deep-colored bracts tend to
mask the effects of red, pink and other clear-colored kinds
when planted close together. These deep-colored Bougain-
villeas are best used on a grand scale climbing tall trees,
rambling freely on the sides of a moderately high house,
or along the upper part of a back wall. All kinds make
desirable subjects for covering verandas, arches and trellises.
Since they are drought tolerant and can withstand heavy
pruning, they make colorful hedges. Most species can also
be grown as standards, isolated shrubs, or as container
plants. Because of their relatively simple cultural require-
ments they could produce good landscape plants for
highways.



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Clothing For The Elderly


By Myrilin Y. Blake
Home Economics & 4-H Assistant
CVI Cooperative Extension Service, St. Thomas

It is not unusual in this day and age for people to live
past 65 years of age. People are living much longer now than
they have in past years.
Looking and feeling attractive is very important in
one's elderly years. Although the elderly are faced with such
problems as changing bodily characteristics and a decrease
in physical strength and energy, there is no reason why they
can not look attractive.
Having a "perfect fit" in clothes becomes a big problem
for the elderly person because of the change in their physi-
cal characteristics. As one grows older; the figure usually
changes in size and proportion. There is often an increase in
weight which is usually accompanied by a general thickening
through the hips, thighs, waist, chest, shoulders and upper
arms. And a decrease in height which occurs due to a pro-
gressive bending of the spine and a reduction of cartilage in
the spinal cord. All of this creates serious problems in fit-
ting, since the standard measurement for patterns are based
upon measurements of younger men and women. Other
physical changes which tend to make clothing for the elderly
a problem is a decrease in energy, strength; the stiffening of
muscles and a change in hair color, facial features and skin
texture.
There are several ways in which an elderly person can
accommodate these problems and still look and feel attrac-
tive. The following suggestions taken from "Designs on
Older Women", Cooperative Extension Service, Purdue
University, West Lafayette, Indiana were selected to accom-
modate possible physical changes which might occur during
the older years of both males and females. These suggestions
can be equally important to aging men.
1.) The person who has a large neck can accom-
modate this problem by wearing garments that have neck
fullness and do not fit snugly around the neck.


2.a.) If you have a large back shoulder, you may
need garments which give you extra length, width and
shaping.


A.










b.) Darts, soft fullness, and the diagonal seams of
raglan sleeves help if person has a rounded back and
forward shoulders.







I .









3.) The person with a dropped bust line can use
garments which have soft fullness, tucks, or darts which do
not require the crown of the bust to be well defined.







4.) If you have a large waistline it is suggested that
you wear garments that do not have a waistline seam or belt.


5.) Persons who have a flattened derriere (buttocks)
need very little shaping in the back skirt section. The length
required in the back, from lower hip level to waist, may be
relatively short.






) A






6.) Fullness in the sleeve is needed for persons who
have a full upper arm.
















Because the elderly are faced with a decrease of
energy and strength, garments should be designed for ease
of dressing and undressing, with long openings and easy-to-
use fasteners. Fasteners which reduce the effort in dressing
are:


1. Full-length openings at the front of the garment.
2. Large zipper tabs that are easy to handle.
3. Touch closures (such as Velcro tape, magnetic
fasteners and grippers), which permit simple contact and
separation of parts to close and open shirt, skirt, blouse and
dress openings.
4. Large buttons that can be grasped easily.
5. Fairly large buttonholes through which buttons
can slip easily.





SIULL TAW' Fo


SLAvOE FLAT mUTTON
WAT THMAD BAN"


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HOOM AMS


Because of modem industry, there are many different
types of fabrics and detergents that can be very irritating to
an individual's body, especially for elderly persons due to
the changes in their skin texture. Because of this sensitive
reaction to the new types of fabrics and detergents, an
elderly person should be very selective in the type of fabric
his/her garments are made of. Usually smooth, soft, and
absorbant fabrics are most satisfactory.
Clothing can help elderly persons look and feel attrac-
tive if the garments accommodate the physical limitations
and needs of the wearer. Clothing which fulfills the needs
of an elderly person requires thoughtful planning, thinking
and effort that in time will be most beneficial to the wearer.


WHY NOT FIND OUT TODAY
All That A Civil Air Patrol Cadet's Life
CAN BRING YOU?


Your Local Unit Is -
ST. CROIX V.I. SQUADRON
P.O. BOX 3681
CHRISTIANSTED, ST CROIX, V.I.
For further information contact
V.I. National Guard.







Energy Extension Work In The Virgin Islands


By An Painter
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas

There's a new kid in town, an addition to the
Extension Service Family. This year the Virgin Islands
Government has an Energy Extension Service grant to
study how and where an energy outreach program will fit
in the Virgin Islands. The College of the VI, at CRI, is
responsible for the study which concludes in mid-April
1979.
What does an Energy Extension have in common with
the Agriculture and Food Fair? In many places which
already have an energy extension service, such as New
Mexico and Texas, the energy outreach staff is working
with the agriculture programs. In many places the EES staff
works with consumers to get top value for agriculture
products at low energy rates.
The Energy Extension Service is an outreach organi-
zation just like the Cooperative Extension Service; we
work with community groups and with individuals with
small-time energy consumers. The Energy Extension
Service has been created in order to pass on information
about energy conservation and alternative sources of energy,
such as solar and wind energies, directly to people and
groups who will most benefit from this technology. Pro-
grams stateside have involved community groups which
"sun-proof" mobile homes, build greenhouses to grow food
for elderly and shut-in citizens, work on farms and ranches
to put up wind-powered irrigation pumps and solar-powered
dairy operations.
In the Virgin Islands there are exciting possibilities
both to save energy now being squandered (and to save
money and water, at the same time) and to switch from
undependable, costly petroleum to sun power and wind
power. The Energy Extension Service in the Virgin Islands
is a study team in 1978, scheduled to become a full opera-
tion in mid-1979. Dr. Michael Canoy, at CRI on St. Thomas,
heads the study, and An Painter and Stephanie Oliverio are
staff. This year we listen to you. You tell us your ideas and
suggestions and plans. Each state's and territory's EES
program is special, and appropriate.
We have some ideas we've gathered in listening to
Virgin Islanders so far. A car care clinic how to save
dollars (and gasoline) on some of the roughest-driving road
around. We think VI drivers would like to learn some tips -
regular drivers, taxidrivers, and truck drivers too. Energy
and nutrition-bringing in all the twice-thawed fruit from
Puerto Rico cost a fortune- in energy! Will tips and guid-
ance on kitchen gardens be helpful? We think so you've


told us so.
Housing-there are lots of ways to make a too-hot
home more liveable. The Energy Extension Service can
bring some answers to Virgin Islanders and can help Virgin
Islanders discover answers to island problems as well.
Solutions to tropical island energy problems will be useful
(and wanted they've asked us) to Pacific Islands, Hawaii,
Florida, and Puerto Rico.
We are learning that energy-conservative principles in
construction are one kind of knowledge with a great market
in the Virgin Islands. Not only are people interested in roof
color, window ventilation, air-conditioning efficiency for
homes, but also businesses and offices are looking for clean,
efficient, ways to use less energy. New building design,
using forgotten principles which were understood by the
Carib, Arawak, Yoruba, Dongo, Balinese, Fijian, and today's
South sea people, is coming full circle to incorporate these
concepts. Construction methods are changing and so are
construction materials. Landscaping is important to new
building design, particularly for thrifty Virgin Islanders.
Much of the Extension Service Study focus is on tropical
architecture which the Virgin Islands can demonstrate to
other territories, states, and nations.
Another area we are exploring is the use of agricul-
ture waste products to produce energy. In many states this
process, a form of bioconversion, is producing power as
steam or methane gas or methanol for use in farming.
Agricultural wastes can be recycled with home wastes and
provide small-scale energy for individual farms also.
On St. Thomas, at the Caribbean Research Institute,
we have opened our Energy Information Room. There are
over 500 books and pamphlets for anyone to look through.
Subjects include solar water heating, conserving gasoline,
building a solar food dryer, the nation's energy policy, wind
power, and future energy sources like fuel cells and ocean
currents. We call it the Information Room because if you
have a question, we'll find the answer. (The U.S. Dept. of
Energy backs us up when we don't know.)
Energy use and savings touches islanders' lives at
many points: utility bills, cars, produce, home comfort, bus
and boat transport, fishing, imported food stuffs, air-
conditioned businesses. The energy extension agent, already
in the field in ten states, will soon be in the field at Tutu,
East End, Cruz Bay, Kingshill, Frederiksted anywhere
energy can be saved, used more efficiently, or used in a
more appropriate form -like the 350 days of sun each year
in the V.I., or the constant 12 mph wind.
Of all the towns for this new kid to move to the
Virgin Islands has some of the best opportunities around.















WE WISH THE 1978

AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
SUCCESS

AND THAT'S NO BULL


CHASE


Courtesy of
ABRAMSON TRANSIT-BUS LINE
Hannah's Rest
Frederiksted







'Basic Information About Culicoides Biting Midges


By Daniel L. Kline
Insects Affecting Man and Animals Research Laboratory,
AR, USDA, SEA, Gainesville, Florida 32604

Biting midges or sandflies (Culicoides spp.) are serious
pests of man and livestock throughout the world. Our
knowledge of their importance as vectors of pathogenic
organisms is still fragmentary. They are, however, proven
vectors of filarial worms, certain groups of viruses (e.g.,
bluetongue of sheep and cattle, horsesickness, and button-
willow virus), and malaria-like protozoa including Haemo-
proteus of birds, Leucocytozoon of chickens, and Hepato-
cystis of monkeys. Biting midges have gained their greatest
notoriety, however, by their annoying attacks in tremendous
numbers of beaches and in coastal swamps throughout the
world. Recreation areas in the mountains also have their
quota of these pestiferous biting midges. Only the female
midges bite.
Only a limited amount of information is available
about the biting midges on the Virgin Islands. Most of this
information has been obtained by haphazard collecting. Six
species of biting midges have been collected from the
islands: C. furens (Poey), C. hoffmani Fox, C. jamaicensis
Edwards, C. loughnani Edwards, C. phlebotomus (Williston),
and C. trilineatus Fox.
C. furens and C. phlebotomus appear to be the two
most prevalent species. The ideal breeding places for
C. furens are brackish areas of waterlogged sand mixed with
humus, not subject to actual flooding by any except
unusually high tides, and covered with a growth of man-
groves. Within the mangrove swamps, C. furens breed in
greatest abundance about the meeting-place of the red
mangrove (Rhizophora) and the black mangrove (A vicennia)
patches, and to a greater extent in the shade of the former
than of the latter. Numerous C. furens larvae have also been
found in mud samples taken from the banks of ponds,
situated close to the sea, which contained brackish water
even though they were not connected directly to the sea.
C. phlebotomus breeds in low depressions which receive sea
water by seepage at high tide, along the margins of tidal
streams, and the sandy margins of lagoons.
Knowledge of the biting habits of the species under
consideration for control is important. All the species
found on the Virgin Islands except C. loughnani have been
reported biting man. Most species perfer to bite at sunrise,
sunset, and/or throughout the night, but some bite during
the day even in bright sunshine. Of the two major pest
\ species in the Virgin Islands, C. furens has been reported
biting both in the daytime and at night but usually is
most numerous around sunrise and sunset. In contrast


C. phlebotomus has only been reported biting during the
daytime.
The generalized life cycle of Culicoides consists of
four life stages. They are as follows: egg, larva, pupa, and
adult (Figure 1). Brief descriptions of the four stages follow.


HII
: A : -


EGG


LARVA


Figure 1. Generalized Culicoides life cycle.

Egg. Typically the eggs are laid within a week to
10 days after a bloodmeal or within 5 days of emergence
if no blood meal is required to mature the eggs. The eggs
are laid on a moist substrate, such as mud or sand in areas
such as swamps, river banks, margins of lagoons and ponds,
etc. When the eggs are first laid, they appear white, but
after a few hours they turn dark brown. The eggs hatch in
2 to 4 days.
Larva. The next stage is known as the larva. It is
white and almost "worm-like" in appearance. The body is
divided into two distinct regions. There is a separate head
region; the rest of the body is divided into 12 segments.
From the last segment protrudes a breathing (brush-like)
structure.
In the process of maturing the larva passes through
four developmental stages (instars). Each succeeding stage






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becomes a little larger. With proper training, all four instars
can be recognized by the naked eye. The size range is from
2 mm to 1 cm (12 to 13 laid end to end per inch). The
larvae can often be seen swimming of the surface of the
water with a snake-like motion. The larvae come to the
surface to breathe.
Pupa. The larva shrinks and its internal organs
undergo changes to become the pupa. The pupa of biting
midges is dark brown. Its body consists of two distinct
regions: cephalothorax and abdomen. Two respiratory
horns are on the top of the cephalothorax. Each pupa
measures about 5 mm (6 pupae laid end to end measure an
inch). The pupae are found in the same general place as
larvae.
Adult. The body consists of three body regions:
head, thorax, and abdomen. On the head appears a pair of
compound eyes, a pair of antennae, and mouthparts. The
adult male may be distinguished from the adult female by
the appearance of the antennae. The antennae of the male
appears to be bushy whereas that of the female is bare.
On the thorax appears a pair of wings, a pair of halteres
(small knob-like structures), and three pairs of legs. The
wings may be marked with a pattern of light spots against
a darker background (e.g., C. furens, the most important
pest species in the Virgin Islands), or they may be un-
marked. This wing pattern is an extremely important
identification character. Another important character is
whether or not the legs are banded. The abdomen is the
region bearing the reproductive organs. Male and female
reproductive organs are important identification characters
used by trained taxonomists.
In most species the adult female requires a bloodmeal
to mature her eggs. In some species the females are able to
mature a batch of eggs without a bloodmeal (this is called
autogeny). The males of all species feed only on plant
juices.
Control of these biting midges is difficult. The
currently used control measures are those adulticide spray
applications approved for mosquito control. Used as
recommended for mosquito control, these sprays have done
little to alleviate the biting midge problem. Failure may be
due to poor timing of spraying, inadequate dosage, and/or
inadequate droplet size of the insecticide.
Some success has been achieved in preventing these
biting midges from entering houses by applying either mala-
thion or methoxychlor to window screens. This type of
control appears promising, and needs further study with
different insecticides.
For personal protection outdoors, personnel at the
USDA, Insects Affecting Man and Animals Research
Laboratory, Gainesville, Florida, have conducted tests on a
lightweight jacket impregnated with the repellent diethyl-


LEOCADIO CAMACHO, INC.

P.O. Box 817 Tel. 773-3354
ESTATE PEARL, #4
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820

Wholesale & Reitail


LUCY'S MARKETS

Box 3155

St. Thomas, V. I. 00801

















Very best wishes from


VIRGIN ISUNDS TELEPHONE CORPORATION


toluamide deett). This jacket (Figure 2) has provided
excellent protection against several species of biting midges.


Figure 2. Lightweight jacket impregnated with deet.



A major reason for ineffective control of Culicoide,
has been the lack of a good biological foundation on which
to develop a sound control program. Little is known of the
breeding habitats, seasonal and daily cycles of activity,
distribution of the various species, and the existence of
parasites, disease, and/or predators of these biting midges.
These basic biological studies are essential before effective
control can be expected.




Editor's Note: The Cooperative Extension Service of the
College of the Virgin Islands is initiating an educational
program to control sandflies in the U.S. Virgin Islands.


=1s=BE1afe=ITI F KS..;h-I BitF5-do11. pe







SERVICES INC.
and

F. E. D. S.


FOOD EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTORS
& SERVICES


SION FARM COMMERCIAL CENTER
and
SUB BASE NO. 21
ST. CROIX Phone 773-7272
ST. THOMAS Phone 774-5225
EPHRIM A. BENJAMIN
General Manager


FELIX

PITTERSON

CATTLE FARM

Raising Cattle in St. Croix since 1934


*Will Buy and Sell Beef Cattle




Post Office Box 68
Frederiksted, St. Croix
U. S. Virgin Islands

Tel. 772-0412


OCHOA
FERTILIZER CO., INC.

G.P.O. BOX 3128
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 00936
Tel: 723-3705
FERTILIZERS HERBICIDES
INSECTICIDES FUNGICIDES
SULFURIC ACID AND OTHER
INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS









II



ST. CRIX*.S. VIGI ISAD

NE OK* BOSTO
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Breakfas seve evry m" Om ,]in 8 0 o 10 0


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Electrical Supply
Where Bright Ideas Spark"

LAMPS WIRE BREAKERS HEATERS
FIXTURES FANS PANELS WATER PU


P.O. Box 2872, St. Thomas,
Virgin Islands 00801
Sub Base, St. Thomas, V.I.


MPS


774-3002


BRYAN'S PLANTS &

GARDENS SUPPLY


FERTILIZER
INSECTICIDE
POTTING SOIL
PEAT MOSS
DECORATIVE PLANTS


SEED
HAND TOOLS
SPRAYERS
PLASTIC POTS
CLAY POTS


PLANT FOOD
HANGING BASKETS, VARIOUS TYPES
AND SEVERAL COLORS.

FOR ALL YOUR GARDEN NEEDS CALL
BRYAN'S 774-1136 ST. THOMAS, V.I.
ESTATE DOROTHEA
OPEN 7 DA YS A WEEK


Compliments of


SOLITUDE FARMS

ThP The Home of


Fresh Grade AA Eggs

*

Estate Solitude Star Route 00864

Christiansted, St. Croix

U. S. Virgin Islands 00820


(809) 773-4474- 773-4192
773-1346
RICHARD ROEBUCK, JR.





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Come and see us .. there are the nice people in Frederiksted too!
302 KING STREET FREDERIKSTED 772-0939
And our shop too at Gentle Winds Beach Resort














































































1978 "Farm Family of the Year" award winners Mario and Carolyn Gasperi with Governor Luis.

63









SALUDOS Y MUCH EXITO


IS OUR WISH DURING THE CELEBRATION OF THE

AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR.


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P. O. BOX 836
CALLE ORENSE FINAL, URB. VALENCIA
HATO REY, PUERTO RICO

THE BIGGEST SUPPLIER IN VETERINARY

PREPARATIONS AND EQUIPMENT IN THE CARIBBEAN.

ANY ITEM YOU MAY NEED, WE HAVE IT.

DISTRIBUTORS FOR:
BIO-CEUTIC LABORATORIES, INC.
BURNS-BIOTEC, INC.
COOPER, WILLIAMS & SONS
CUTTER-HAVER LOCKHART
DIAMOND-SYNTEX LABS.
EATON LABORATORIES (VET. DIVISION)
EVSCO LABORATORIES, INC.
PITMAN MOORE, INC.
SCHROER COMPANY INT'L. DIVISION
THOROUGHBRED REMEDY CORP.



TELEPHONE 767-3072 765-7680 765-7688 765-7685








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