l a n
THE V.I. DEPARTMENT OF AGRU LTURE .
THE COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
COOP TIVE EXTENSION SERVICE
,O 13 VA,.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Message from the Honorable Juan Luis,
Governor of the Virgin Islands .............................................1
Message from Commissioner Rudolph Shulterbrandt,
President of Agriculture and Food Fair.......................................3
Message from Dr. Arthur A. Richards,
President, College of the Virgin Islands. .................................... 5
Agriculture and Food Fair Administrative Staff .. ................... ............ 7
Agricultural Potentials and Constraints in the Virgin Islands........................ .9
Comparative Considerations Between United States
and Caribbean Farming Systems ...........................................13
Rural Renaissance in the U.S. Virgin Islands .................................... 17
Our New Agricultural Policy ................................................25
A Look at the Remarkable Cassava............................................27
Coping with Sand Flies in the Virgin Islands.....................................33
Some Current Research Approaches on Ciguatera Fish Poisoning ................... .37
Try Gardening for Food, Fun and Physical Fitness ...............................40
The Importance of Dissolved Oxygen in Fish Culture .............................41
Recommendations On Pasture Management ................................... 45
From Our Photo Album ................................................. 51
The Singing M mosquitoes ................................................... 59
A Priceless Heritage The St. George Village Botanical Garden ..................... 63
Canine Parvovirus Infection What You Should Know About It ................... .65
Genetic Control of an Insect Pest of Pigeon Pea ................. .............. .69
Water Quality and Agriculture.............................................. 73
Whim Greathouse History For Everyone.................................... 79
Weed Control in the Garden .............................................. 81
Research on Papaya Decline ................................................85
Fish Culture and Hydroponics in the Virgin Islands ......................... .. .. 87
Caring and Sharing With Animals -The 4-H Way ............................... 91
Compact Living & Mini-Farming........................ .................. .95
E energy !!! ............................................................ 99
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
At this Eleventh Annual Agriculture and Food Fair celebrated
here in St. Croix, we have only to look around us to see what a
long way we have come in such a short time toward improving and
expanding Agriculture in the Virgin Islands.
For this we must give due credit to the efforts of many people
and agencies, especially the two sponsors of this great annual cele-
bration, the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture and the Col-
lege of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service.
The theme of the Fair this year is especially appropriate in a
time of rising prices, increasing awareness of wholesome food and a
healthier environment. "Make Ends Meet Grow What You Eat" is
an apt slogan around which to focus the exhibits to be shown at
Agriculture has a high priority in my Administration. I am
proud that for Fiscal 1981 I was able for the first time to obtain a
significant budget for Agriculture which will help implement the
new agricultural policy which farmers themselves helped shape. It
includes $1 million for the purchase of heavy equipment to help
farmers. New farms are being established and others expanding,
and these farmers are being greatly assisted by the Department of
Agriculture and the Extension Service. In addition, in the coming
months we will commence the designs for the construction of a
new abattoir on St. Croix.
As young people continue their interest in agriculture we have
encouraged their aspirations by making land more readily available
to them. Another plus in these days of inflation, is the trend to-
ward backyard gardens with perhaps a fruit tree or two which gives
shade as well as food. Fresh produce is a welcome addition to the
table and does help cut the grocery bill.
On behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands, I wish to com-
mend all the participants in this biggest Agriculture and Food Fair
yet and to congratulate all those who have worked so diligently to
make it a success.
Very best wishes from
VIRGIN ISLANDS TELEPHONE CORP.
A- .;W .
Message from Commissioner Rudolph Shulterbrandt
President of the Agriculture and Food Fair
WELCOME TO OUR 11TH ANNUAL AGRICULTURE AND
FOOD FAIR. We are all in this together.
Our Fair is a pooled mixture of Food Production, Agricultural
Science, Food Science Technology, Education, Business, and
Handicrafts surrounded by a wall of recreation.
Each year our pool gets deeper, and its ripples become wider
and wider as they increase in number. Our Fair is a tiny mirror of
what can be done and what needs to be done in agriculture, if we
truly want to accomplish our goals of significantly increasing food
production in the Virgin Islands.
I am happy that so many of you are now seriously considering
the importance of food production in a positive way. Your re-
sponses to our communications and your demands for services is a
strong indication of your desire to become involved in a public
commitment to agriculture development.
Our Governor, Juan Luis, demonstrated his sincerity by in-
creasing the budget of our Department by over 40%. Though this
will not suffice our needs, it did.however, make it possible for us
to initiate portions of our new agricultural policy. When this policy
becomes fully implemented, the Virgin Islands will have one of the
best frameworks for agricultural development under the U.S. flag.
On behalf of our Board of Directors, I wish to thank all of our
participants, advertisers and entertainers; the Grand Union and
Pueblo Supermarkets for their cash contributions; Our Governor,
Juan Luis; the 13th Legislature; the employees of our Department
of Agriculture and the land-grant programs of the College of the
Virgin Islands; and the general public who enthusiastically come to
the Fair each year.
v.t GRAND UNION
The 1~OAL Supermarkets in
the Virgin Islands
I -I _I ----II- -~---rr.~a%-R-I"... -
COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Message From Arthur A. Richards
President, College of the Virgin Islands
The people of the Virgin Islands have shown serious concern
about the exorbitantly high cost of food as well as about the poor
quality of fresh produce imported into the territory.
The cost of shipping to our islands, largely due to the energy
crisis and the lengthy time involved in moving goods from main-
land producers to local outlets, are some of the basic reasons for
the high prices and poor quality of food items available in our is-
lands. In view of these factors, the theme of the 11th Annual Ag-
riculture and Food Fair, "Make Ends Meet, Grow What You Eat",
is most appropriate. This theme correctly underlines the emphasis
that must be placed on greater food production locally.
At the College of the Virgin Islands, our main functions are in-
struction, research, and public service. Our land-grant programs are
actively pursuing these three avenues as a means of strengthening
the agriculture sector of our economy. The basic objective of our
Associates of Arts degree in agriculture is to offer our students
both formal classroom instruction and informal laboratory learning
experiences in the area of food and agriculture. Research is being
conducted at the Agricultural Experiment Station in six areas.
Agronomy research continues to develop the potential of sorghum,
forage grasses, and legumes as island-grown sources of high protein
animal feeds. Horticulture involves both fruit and vegetable pro-
duction studies, varietal improvement and the development of
minimum water use information. Our animal scientists continue to
improve our unique breed of Senepol cattle by collecting breed in-
formation and by on-the-farm performance testing. Aquacultural
researchers are developing fresh water pond fish culture systems
and "back-yard" fish-farming methods. Investigations are in pro-
gress to determine the nature of ciguatoxin, fish poisoning, and to
develop a reliable test for its ciguatoxicity. Pest and pesticide man-
agement research is directed toward providing a locally relevant
strategy of alternatives in pest control.
The Cooperative Extension Service offers public services to all
Virgin Islanders through its offices on St. Croix, St. Thomas, and
St. John. Presently the extension service offers its educational pro-
grams in the area of farming and natural resources, community de-
velopment, human nutrition, home and family living, 4-H clubs,
integrated pest management and agricultural energy. The emphasis
in the farming programs is to encourage local production through
helping home gardeners and commercial farmers. Encouragement
of cooperatives and the production of materials relating to eco-
nomic development are areas of emphasis in the community devel-
opment program. Expansion of 4-H clubs in schools and housing
projects is providing services in areas of human nutrition, family
financial management, and clothing construction. Comprehensive
survey of pesticide use patterns in the Virgin Islands; training for
certification of the many users of restricted-use pesticides; and pro-
viding assistance in energy conservation methods in a Virgin Islands
farm environment are some of the other areas that the extension
staff is pursuing.
I urge all citizens to visit the College of the Virgin Islands
booths at the fair and learn more about our programs and services.
The College is pleased to co-sponsor the Annual Agriculture and
Food Fair. I commend the board of directors and all the other per-
sons who worked diligently to insure the success of this 1981 An-
nual Agriculture and Food Fair.
ANNALY FARMS ST. CROIX
BOX 1576, Frederiskted
Tel. 772- 2209
"Breeders Of Purebred Senepol Cattle"
Bulls for sale
"EAT FRESH ISLAND BEEF"
AGRICULTURE and FOOD FAIR ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF
PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT
Commissioner Rudolph Shulterbrandt Darshan S. Padda, Ph.D.
Eric L. Bough
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY TREASURER
Kwame Garcia Carl Andrews
DIRECTOR STT/STJ ACTIVITIES DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES & SERVICES
John Bernier, Jr. Donald Pickard
DIRECTOR OF FOOD EXHIBITS DIRECTOR OF RULES AND AWARDS
Ruth Lang Otis F. Hicks, Sr.
DIRECTOR OF FARM EXHIBITS DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL ACTIVITIES
Duke L. Deller, DVM Lauritz Schuster
DIRECTOR OF MEDIA & PUBLICATIONS DIRECTOR OF PROMOTION
Liz Wilson Bob Soffes
DIRECTOR OF CARIBBEAN PARTICIPATION ARTS & DESIGNS
Bill Bass Leo Carty
ADVERTISING FAIR COORDINATION RECORDING SECRETARY
Ophelia Turner Erica Henry
PRECISE PLANT FOOD
SOLBAN SHADE CLOTH
CLAY AND PLASTIC POTS
S HANGING BASKETS
SOLD IN GARDEN CENTERS -
DEPARTMENT STORES AND SUPERMARKETS
Avenue Fernandez Juncas Parada 10
Box 5157 San Juan, P.R. 00906
TRO ICAL A
im Carden Green
Agricultural Potentials and Constraints in the Virgin Islands
By Darshan S. Padda
Director of Agricultural Experiment Station
and Cooperative Extension Service
College of the Virgin Islands
Agriculturally, the Virgin Islands are a paradox. Only a small
portion of the agricultural potential is being realized. The con-
straints on agricultural development are such that it will require
almost total cooperation throughout the government, the College
of the Virgin Islands, and on the part of the people of the Virgin
Islands to significantly improve agricultural development.
Presently, because of the increased awareness to diversify our
economy among the general public, it appears the time is right to
bring about significant improvements in the agricultural sector.
The degree to which this can be done will depend largely upon
our ability to unify all the people of the Virgin Islands in support
of agriculture. The case for increasing agriculture production in
the Virgin Islands is augmented further by aesthetic consideration.
When St. Croix was an island of neatly manicured sugar cane fields,
it was much more scenically attractive than in its present condition
of abandoned farmlands covered with scrub vegetation. A viable
agriculture on all three Virgin Islands would greatly enhance the
natural beauty of the territory.
POTENTIAL FOR VIRGIN ISLANDS AGRICULTURE
The potential for agriculture production and marketing in
the U.S. Virgin Islands exists in several areas. Small scale vegetable
production and backyard farming is very feasible on all the three
islands. In an effort to encourage vegetable production, the College
of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Service has published
23 factsheets written by scientists at the Agricultural Experiment
Station, and this locally developed informative literature is avail-
able to all V.I. residents free of charge. Also, in addition, possibili-
ties regarding ornamental horticulture and foliage plant nurseries
on St. Thomas and St. John as a profitable enterprise are being
Due to the lack of large, flat tracts of land, terrace farming
production of vegetables, 'rrs, specialty crops, and controlled
environment ciop production re more suitable methods of farm-
ing for St. John al;j Si Thomas. Poultry farming and small live-
sti,'. production n "i A! being practiced needs to be improved in
qu:l, :, as well a quaiLy. New breeds of animals and farm man-
agement methods are available that can increase the efficiency of
production. An exciting possibility exists to produce fuel alcohol
(ethanol) on the farms to meet the energy needs of our specialized
agricultural industry. Small scale stills are available that can be
used under our conditions.
"-_.The topography of St. Croix offers the possibilities of large
scale aicultural production. Anima husband is hemosvie
agricultural enterprise in the islands at the present time but is
'iflifcT-'wTflivery high cost of feed grains. It has been demon-
sfraiteTthat sorghum will grow very well on lan'rforerusei for
sugar cane. Successful production of forage typ~e varieties of
sorghum has m-ireienti 'rieIiel eto meet the local need for
"silage. However, the grain types have not been prouc n a large
i~alenrid utilized in feed rations. The technical ifi iff6tion Tir this"
enterprise has already been developed by CVI's experiment station.
It should be possible to grow 800 acres of grain sorghum to supply
all needs of dairy herds. Additional production of grain sorghum
would open many possibilities. Among these would be the fol-
^- I. Locally available feed for increased production of poultry,
hogsaad beef to provide meat for the residents and visitors. If all
livestock and livestock products consumed in the islands are
"prolduced locally, a boost in the economy of up to $100 million
per year is a real possibility.
2. Possible export of feed grains to neighboring islands which
are also importing concentrates at the present time.
3. Enhancement of the islands' beauty by replacing unsightly
brush with an attractive crop.
While the potential for the islands' agriculture appears to be
favorable for expanded production of livestock produclts-based,
upon grain sprghum production it should be recognized tbhat
i'fsT`i aile potentil also exists for commerciQ dl oduction of
-Tood crops and fish for domestic use as well as fopxport. The
'Tresh produce should beused locally and processed 'food through
sa l manning industries shoulbeJ g targjeTe o J t. r "
well planned cropping scheme implemented on 2,000 acres can
yield enough produce to fulfil our reqguiements. In my opinion,
the real potential for agriculture growth lies in our commercial
'\ploitaiion of less common tropical fruits like soursop, genep,
guava, tamarind, tropical plums, sapodilla, sugar-apple, custard-
apple, and pomegranates, to name a few. Additionally, potential
exists to profitablly grow and market papaya, mango, avocado,
and certain types of citrus. The success of grape research at CVI
can open up a whole new industry covering the spectrum from
table grape production to wine production. Crops such as im,_.
papaya, and aloe, produced for pharmaceutical products, an~
j -a find sunflower for industrial purposes offer real potential
raso.j 'iesepoientials --to-be realized -- need a carefully thought-
out expansion plan for the islands' agriculture,
CONSTRAINTS ON REACHING AGRICULTURAL POTENTIALS
The numerous constraints that present difficulties in reaching
the potential include a shortage of water dung "certain ties gf
the year; th e y uraLpj-
Sa tight agricultural labor supply; high cost and lack of
dependahle m tnn-jori arma mairviceir l gc
and lQg aLnonavailabiljity of jgriculturjl inputs; and a limited num-
ber of younger practicing farmers. -
Of all the constraints, water supl~ _is. the most critical in
vegetable and fruit farming. Although the total rainfall isin excess
f att neeldl fn agricultural purposes it coiniioradiQclly.d
makes agricultural production uncertain.Also, the evapotranspira-
f-fateis very high.A few ears agoi oked certain that one
million gallons ofiwatier per would be available from the
'seWagTiifatment plant on-St. Croix. This could provide water for
stpp entWtlirgation for ircutural production. Unfortunatlefy
I tkas neVer apned. There are a considerable number of far
ponds and impoundments with a total storage capacity of about
50_mill 'gaon ons. But additional, large impoundments of water
need to be bujiltoesume equate supply of irrigation water to
supplement the erratic natural rainall
SThe second major problem o lack of lncad can only be_
solved if the Government of the Virgin sianas ca.n tmd some
method for releasing the land that is being held for speculative
purposes. The government should either purchase or lease large
Suits of land wad thendistribute or sub-lease that land to individual
-farm operators. I-
The problem of obtaining sufficient labor of satisfactory!
quality for agricultural operations is a significant constraint and&
,difficult to solve.1 The only solution that the author sees is either
toipromote family or cooperative farming so that no outside labor
is needed, or that consideration be given to expansion of those,'
'agicuturie' it-erprises which are not labor intensive. The machi-,
'ieriy and agricultural input problem can be solved through pro-,
moting farm cooperative and agri-business with or without assis-
tance from the government.
Of greatest concern, perhaps, is the fact that the majority
of our farmers are advanced in age. The average age of the Virgin
Islands' farmer is 54. The second generation of farmers is not there
to provide continuity to some very successful agricultural enter-
prises. True, there is an interest and some enthusiasm among
young people but they need training and experience necessary to
be a successful farmer in this competitive world where a winning
combination of technology and proper management is a must.
This situation of requiring training and support to the new genera-
tion of farmers poses a real challenge to educators and community
leaders. At the College of the Virgin Islands, we welcome the
challenge and are ready to do our part to the best of our capability.
AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
I --n~-- I L-- -i ----..II--.
-- -- -- -- LI-a~
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.
_ I __
_ I ~
Comparative Considerations Between United States
and Caribbean Farming Systems
By Frank L. Mills
Assistant Professor of Social Sciences
College of the Virgin Islands
The role of agriculture in the development of economies has
,received considexablefa.ttention since the 1950's. Several develop-
ment economists from the advanced countries and some Third
"-World political economists argue that the prosperity of most
underdeveloped iess directly dependent on abundance.
in.agriculture, and that low levels of production and productivity
lead to overall depressed economic conditions. Examples from the
developed countries have shown that as those nations developed,
the productivity of labor in agriculture increased, and that labor
generally transferred from agricultural activities to other industries.
The current status of agriculture in the United States is that the
farm population has decreased constantly over time, output has
increased progressively, personal income levels from farming
have continued to rise and the overall contribution to national
income remains considerable. This is the kind of growth model
that agrarian Caribbean territories have been encouraged to adopt,
but even with substantial adaptations there are differences which
are crucial enough to contribute to ultimate failure when applied.
One may summarize these differences between United States and
Caribbean agriculture under six topical areas: attitudes,to farmin,
average size of the production units (farms), availability and
_quality of labor, income-rom farming, marketing arrangements
and level of technology.
The first set of Europeans who migrated to the North Ameri-
can mainland were primarily engaged in agricultural activities.
Eor a long time farming was a prosperous activity, especially
with the opening up of the corn fields in the midwest and the
wheat fields further west. Many farmers were able to climb from
the lowly position of an unpaid family worker to a hired laborer
status, then through tenancy and finally to owner-operator status.
In the early stages of United States farming, this was considered
the ideal way to get started and to Acquire wealth. American
farmers today have achieved a firm po.ilion in the nation's social
hieir~Tcri'-t and they are in no doubt as to their contribution to
their country's well being. On the other hand, the attitude of
the vast majority of Cabbean farmers to agricultural work has
been conditioned by their coercion into it from the very beginning.
Farming in the region was built upon slavery, was maintained by
it, grew prosperous upon it until well into the nineteenth century,
and continued to do so after the abolition oi'slaveiry by the ex-
"ploitation of the agricultural workers. The impact of the legacy of
slavery on the mental attitude of Caribbean farmers is a major
reason for the general negative attitude of most workers to farm-
ing. The very persistence of plantations in the area today is an acid
reminder of the sordid conditions that were the hallmarks of
agricultural production. The rigid pattern of social stratification,
together with racial discrimination that created and fostered it,
inhibits the development of the full potential of the region's
human resources in agriculture activity. The conditions have caused
'our youth to associate farming with poverty and low social status.
and it severely inhibits their willingness to consider farming as .1
wholesome occupation. Even if attitudes to farming were more
positive, the size of production units would still be a deterring
development factor when compared with American farms.
While one would normally expect U.S. mainland farms to he
more numerous and larger than Caribbean farms, it would still be
worthwhile to examine some of their characteristics. Recent data
on most regional farms is not readily available, hence statistics on
U.S. Virgin Islands farms are presented for comparative purposes
(see Table 1). About one-quarter (24%) of the farms in the Virgin
sandsa-re7ess than 3 acres4and about six in ten are ess than 10
acres. The table shows that, on the other hand, less than one in
COMPARATIVE STATISTICS FOR U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS FARMS '
Farm Size (acres):
Less than 10
More than 10
Tenure (in %):
Average Age of Operator
Sales Under $2,500 (in %)
U.S. Virgin Islands
Source: 1974 and 1978 U.S. and V.I. Census of Agriculture.
ten of mainland farms are below 10 acres in size. The table also
suggests that Virgin Islands farms tend to become smaller in size
over time, while other information indicates that mainland farms
are increasing in average size. In some other Caribbean territories
the percentage of small farms is even larger and still tending to
further subdivision. This great range in size of production units
between both areas holds some clues to the differences in agri-
cultural performance. Many studies have investigated the relation-
ship between farm size and the level of production, and it is
commonly held that as farms increase in size, increasing returns
to scale prevail, while fragmentation into smaller units causes
decreasing returns to scale. This view appears quite simplistic,
and it certainly would not explain the persistence of family farms
on the mainland or small farms in the Caribbean. It has been
suggested as an alternative that economic dynamics of risk and
uncertainty may be the final determinant of farm size in agricul-
ture. Nevertheless, there is little doubt that the scale of operations
in terms of financial investment, machinery, labor and other
factors that must be applied to mainland farms would be most
inappropriate for Caribbean farms of much lesser size and where
physical and many other relevant farming conditions are quite
different. Perhaps one of the most crucial of these conditions is
the availability of labor.
As technology has improved in the United States, farming
has benefited from such improvement. The introduction of modern
machines that perform tasks from automatically furrowing and
sowing seeds to airplanes that apply insecticides have reduced the
need for human labor. The salutary effect on farming is that it
reduced labor costs while it has increased production and pro-
ductivity levels. The displaced farm labor has drifted to urban
areas and have mostly been employed in farm-related industries.
The skilled labor required for the modern farm machinery is not
in short supply because wages for such tasks are very attractive.
On the contrary, one finds that in the Caribbean in general, one of
the main problems in agriculture has been that of securing ade-
quate supplies of labor. The anomalous situation exists where
there is a shortage of labor both for the plantations and small-scale
farms alongside massive unemployment and underemployment.
Reference was made earlier to the very low social status that is
accorded farm work because of the past stigma of slavery. In
addition, wages are too low to be attractive to youth or the skilled
laborers. And even for the unskilled and unemployed, farm work is
often repulsive enough so that one prefers "to lime" rather than
work in the sun with one's hands. Yet it is quite clear that Carib-
bean farm workers can, and do work well when the conditions
are more favorable. An outstanding example of this is the recruit-
ment of seasonal workers by U.S. labor contractors in Jamaica,
Haiti, Barbados and other territories to work in Florida and Texas
to cut cane, pick oranges or pick tomatoes. This suggests that
income is a major determinant in the willingness of farm workers
to produce at satisfactory levels.
The plantations throughout the Caribbean have a long.
documented history of exploitation of agrarian workers. Wherever
they exist, the majority of the workers remain in unenviable
poverty with the exception of management and the land owners.
The majority of the farmers do not own the land which they
cultivate, and in most cases the land tenure arrangements serve as
direct deterrents to higher production levels. An indication of the
low levels of income that prevail in regional farming may be
te-aned from the market value of agricultural products sold shown
hin-the-table. In 1978, 84.1 percent of Virgin Islands farms had
annual sales of less than $2,500. Certainly the income derived
from such sales is hardly enough to sustain a normal family of
average size, and such families must turn to other sources to
supplement their income. The pattern is the same on the sugar,
banana or coffee plantations in the region. Farm operators must
combine their farm activities with working on the plantations,
fishing, or working at odd jobs to supplement their farm income.
Mainland farming, characterized by larger farming units, have
much higher sales in farm produce. While only 12.4 percent of
Virgin Islands farms had sales of over $2,500 in 1974, the com-
parable figure in the U.S. was 71.9 percent. No Virgin Islands
farm was recorded with sales over $40,000, while on the main-
land 20.6 percent of the farms exceeded this value in 1974. One
may therefore expect that such levels of sales contribute substan-
tially to income and partly explain the favorable social status of
farmers and their ability to attract investment capital when needed.
One factor that has' contributed to high sales and corresponding
income levels on the mainland is the high level of marketing
The unbroken history of agricultural contribution to the
development of the nation's economy attests to the high level
of organization of its many component parts. The continual
improvement of communications by road, rail, water and later by
air has enabled farm produce to reach its destination in good time.
The fact that the U.S. mainland is a contiguous entity alone does
not explain the great success farmers have had in marketing their
goods. Considerable entrepreneurial skill was applied to this
aspect of the industry, and despite the fact that retail prices are
much higher than farm-gate prices, in most cases the consumers
still purchase the produce without protest. There is little doubt
also that American technology has helped much in all aspects from
harvesting the produce mechanically in many areas to wrapping,
bottling, or canning the final product. In some cases, the relatively
low prices have enabled American producers to market their goods
abroad due to highly competitive price structures. The case of
hotels and restaurants in the Caribbean importing fresh vegetables,
milk, fish, beef and the like, from the U.S. mainland in territories
which produce these goods is well known. It is one of the severe
shortcomings of Caribbean non-plantation farming that marketing
is still at a very low level of development. Part of this stems from
the fact that marketing was originally designed to facilitate the
export of agricultural raw material and not to foster the internal
or regional movement of domestically grown food. The current
result of these historical marketing arrangements is that internal
island economies have become easily penetrable by importing
foodstuffs, hence such agricultural products have become readily
available substitutes for locally produced food. Even though the
widespread higgler marketing system is disorganized, in many ways
it is effective. Until provisions for credit, financing, and other
The Pride of Frederiksted
RESTAURANT T l
On the Caribbean. in Prince PhilIps Passage
Strand & Fisher Streets, Fraderiksted
production service supports such as prices, subsidies, transport,
storage facilities and shipping are designed to assist the marketing
of non-plantation produce in the region, the present system seems
destined to remain with all its weaknesses. And agricultural pro-
gress is unlikely to take place without some improvement in
In many Caribbean economies, a large proportion of the
labor is devoted to the production of food crops. It is thus impor-
tant that technological improvements be made in the production
process so as to free labor for the production of other goods. This
may be accomplished by increasing the productivity of labor so
that a smaller proportion of the agricultural workers is needed to
produce the .food necessary for subistence. Unfortunately, this is
not so readily effected. Many aspects of Caribbean farming militate
against the easy transference of the advanced technology of U.S.
farming. Small farm size may rule out the use of some machinery,
while the steep to precipitous slopes of some territories may make
them useless. Energy costs are very high and may be a deterrent,
and spare parts and maintenance services may not be readily
available. High daily temperatures, high humidity, salty air and
infertile soils are environmental factors that may damage machi-
nery. Regional farmers rightly associate an increase in risks with a
change in technology. Since many have little wealth and exist on
low incomes, they are unwilling to risk the loss of their wealth
to try out new methods which have not proved superior to the
ones previously used. Again, because of the prevailing small size
of production units, and because most innovations --like fertilizers,
pesticides, insecticides -- involve additional expenditures, total
costs are likely to be increased at lower levels of output as a result
of technological changes.
The foregoing paragraphs do not exhaust all the meaningful
comparisons that may be made between mainland agriculture and
Caribbean farming. However, an attempt was made to focus on a
select few of the more significant ones. A few others of equal
significance may include land and soil capability, weather patterns,
financial arrangement, capital investment processes, land tenure,
specialization versus diversification, and crop insurance. In addi-
tion, the tradition of farming as a respectable and wealth-producing
occupation on the mainland is not similarly regarded in the Carib-
bean, and this works to the detriment of the latter. The myriad of
farms throughout the region are often too small to operate as
viable economic units, and the unavailability of farm labor in a sea
of unemployment is an anomaly of the region. Caribbean business-
men have not come forward with entrepreneurial skills to organize
marketing to any degree approaching that of North American
farmers, and higglering remains the closest to any organized struc-
ture. The adoption of some aspects of the technological innova-
tions that have kept mainland production levels high is desirable
for increasing regional productivity and releasing labor, but envir-
onmental, financial and institutional factors appear to conspire to
deny these benefits to the region.
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Rural Renaissance in the U.S. Virgin Islands
By Jerome L. McElroy
Associate Professor of Economics
University of Notre Dame
In the post World War II era, the tourism growth and indus-
trial diversification which have taken root in several small Carib-
bean islands have inevitably been associated with noticeable
declines in agricultural activity. The expanding and relatively high
Income opportunities offered by these two newly emerging dyna-
mic economic sectors have invariably competed resources, especi-
ally land and labor, away from traditional rural uses.
The U.S. Virgin Islands is no exception to this general pat-
tern. According to Table 1, during the two decades of most rapid
expansion, 1950 to 1970, the number of farming units fell by 542,
a loss greater than the total count of farms in existence in 1960
(501). The proportion of-total land area in farm acreage declined
from 74% to 24% over the same period. The absolute loss in farm
acreage was approximately 42,000 with almost half of this decline
occurring between 1964 and 1970. This period coincided with the
most intense growth in tourism in St. Thomas/St. John, the estab-
lishment of heavy industry in St. Croix, Amerada Hess and Harvey
Aluminum (later Martin Marietta), and the phase-out of commer-
cial sugar production. For example, the average acreage loss be-
tween 1950-64 was 1,612 acres per year. In contrast, between
1964-70 the average annual loss rate was 3,178, or nearly double
the previous mean yearly decline.
Furthermore, the loss in land used for crop raising -- gener-
ally a very strong barometer of farm effort -- was more severe than
the drop in grazing acreage. In the former case, harvested cropland
declined from 5,564 acres in 1950 to only 737 acres in 1970, an
87% less. In the latter case, grazing lands fell from 30,329 to
7,583, a 75% decline. During the same time frame, the percentage
of total labor force actively engaged in agriculture/fisheries drop-
ped from 20% to less than one percent. What is even a more
dramatic index of waning viability, the proportion of farm opera-
tors working 200 or more days off the farm increased from 28%
to 53 percent. This indicates that by 1970 agriculture in the Virgin
Islands had become not only a relatively insignificant sector but
also a secondary occupation and not a primary income source
for those few so engaged. For in 1970 more than half of the
farmers were spending two thirds of their time in off-farm pursuits.
Undoubtedly, this growing marginalization stemmed directly from
the economic adjustments and redeployment of resources required
by the two new export sectors of tourism and manufacturing in
conjunction with residential/commercial construction and a bur-
geoning local government.
On the positive side, however, Table 1 also demonstrates the
remarkable rural resurgence which has taken place since 1970.
Although the causes of this expanded agricultural activity are as
yet unclear, the trends towards increased farm effort and produc-
tion are unmistakable. For example, total land area in farms rose
from 24% in 1970 to nearly 30% in 1978. The number of new
farms increased by 166, a jump of 78% over 1970. Total farm
acreage grew by approximately 4,000 acres or at an annual rate of
500 new acres per year. Acreage in harvested cropland rose by 60%
while grazing lands grew at a phenomenal 150% with over 1,400"
acres on the average being added each year between 1970-78.
Certainly this growth in pastureland represents a strong indication
of the livestock direction of recent agricultural growth. In addition,
increases in other measures of farm effort, while not as dramatic,
are nonetheless impressive. These include (see Table 1) visible
increases in mechanization (tractors and trucks) with an attendant
decline in the share of farms using hired labor, as well as growing
proportions of farms purchasing feed for livestock and poultry,
and purchasing fertilizer.
The patterns of agricultural production closely parallel the
MEASURES OF FARM EFFORT, 1950-1978
% Land in Farms
200 days off-farm
% Farms with:
Source for this and other tables: U.S. Census, U.S. Department of Commerce, US.
for 1959, 1964, 1969, 1975, 1978.
Census of Agriculture
performance previously sketched: severe deterioration between
1950-70 followed by noticeable reversals during the 1970 decade.
According to Table 2, for example, the number of farms producing
cassava declined from 102 in 1950 to 13 in 1970, but increased
to 67 in 1978. Bean growers fell from 103 to one between 1950-
70, but rose to 38 in 1978. The identical story is repeated for corn
(114,10,37), sweet potatoes (270,9,72), taniers (130,5,45), and
yams (210,10,47). In all cases, acreage in the production of the
respective field crops behaved analogously to the farm variable.
Finally, production trends are less smooth but fairly supportive of
the same general picture. As a summary indicator of this escalating
interest in field crop production, with only one exception (yams),
there were absolutely more farms in 1978 growing such crops
than in 1960.
From the data available, it does not appear that vegetable
production has undergone the same buoyant expansion charac-
teristic of field crops. Although for every type of vegetable selected,
the number of farms exactly parallels the V-shape trend of con-
tinuous declines before and increases after 1970 (see Table 3),
the respective acreages often do not conform during the 1970
decade. For example, the number of acres in carrots, cucumbers,
peppers, and tomatoes actually declined between the 1970-78
years. In addition, the increases in acreage recorded for cabbage,
eggplant, okra, and squash were quite modest, ranging from 1-5
acres and averaging less than three. As a result, the total acreage
in this selected list of vegetable crops in 1970 was 54, which was
double the planting in 1975 (26) and 50% higher than the level
reported in 1978 (36). This evidence of more vegetable farmers in
PATTERNS OF FIELD CROP PRODUCTION, 1950-1978
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combination with fewer acres planted implies that the agricultural
resurgence of the 1970s contains a shift away from the production
of traditional vegetables for sale and perhaps a renewed emphasis
on growing for home consumption. In point of fact, this conten-
tion is supported by the strong increase in the number of farms
producing exclusively for home consumption, i.e. from 103 in
1970 to 202 in 1978. This represents ajump within the short space
of eight years from 46% to 53% of the total farms in the Territory.
The time series data in Table 4 for fruit/nut production dis-
play trends similar to vegetable behavior with some variation. On
the one hand, there are definite declines in the number of farms
and quantity harvested before 1970 followed by sharp increases
in farm growers after that date combined with reduced production
in half of the categories selected. To illustrate, for every one of the
nine crops, the number of farms in 1978 was more than double
the 1970 level. In fact, in seven of nine cases farm numbers in 1978
exceeded levels achieved as far back as 1950; and in the other two
cases (avocados and bananas), they were only a fraction (3%) less.
In four of the selected crops, output increased approximately
PATTERNS OF VEGETABLE PRODUCTION, 1950-1978
(Z) Indicates less than half a unit reported.
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double between 1970-78 paralleling the behavior of farm numbers.
In the remaining five cases, however, production levels fell during
the 1970 decade. The main reason for these decreases involves
the fact that many of the new growers did not yet have trees and
plantings sufficiently mature in 1978 for harvesting. For example,
in every one of these five instances there were substantially more
"trees (plantings) not of bearing age" in 1978 than in 1970;
bananas 8,573 to 1,629; grapefruits, 158 to 88;mangoes, 1,681 to
758; oranges, 359 to 193; and plantains, 589 to 108. Although
other factors may also have played some part in the output de-
clines -- weather, pest control problems of specific crops, pilferage,
and perhaps even some data reporting distortions introduced by
the timing of the agricultural census taking -- the maturity factor
undoubtedly is central, and it certainly bodes well for future out-
The familiar V-shape patterns in farm number and produc-
tion growth are uniformly evident in the livestock sector. For
example, according to Table 5 the number of farms with cattle
dropped from 258 in 1950 to only 53 in 1970, and then rose
to 119 by 1978. This was the same pattern for the number of
farms with hogs, sheep, goats, horses, chickens, and other poultry.
PATTERNS OF FRUIT/NUT PRODUCTION, 1950-1978
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The 1978 levels in all cases except horses/mules were approxi-
mately double the 1970 levels. Likewise, production trends gener-
ally followed the same cycle. As a typical example, the number of
cattle on farms declined from 11,342 in 1950 to 5,645 in 1970,
and then rose above 6,000 by 1978. Most of the increases in
production between 1970-78 were uncharacteristically large.
For example, the number of goats increased 115%, hogs and
chickens grew 108% and 98% respectively, while other poultry
(turkeys, ducks, geese) expanded over 500 percent. In fact, the
number of goats, hogs and other poultry achieved in 1978 sur-
passed previous levels as far back as the American Transfer in 1917
from Denmark. Such gains are very indicative of the overall
strength of the livestock recovery in recent years.
In summary, this analysis of farm numbers and production
figures for particular field crops, vegetables, fruits and nuts, and
livestock broadly supports the basic encroachment thesis men-
tioned at the outset, i.e., that tourism and manufacturing develop-
ment in small island systems is usually associated with rapid
agricultural retrenchment. Two additional corollaries follow:
first, that rural declines are most dramatic during periods of most
rapid economic diversification; and second, that continuing en-
croachment is not inevitable.
The first is confirmed by evidence previously cited (Table 1)
of most intense acreage loss occurring during the 1964-70 tourism/
manufacturing boom period. In addition, a cursory examination
of Tables 4 and 5 demonstrates that for the most commercial and
economically viable enterprises fruits/nuts and livestock --
the most serious declines in farm effort as measured by farm
PATTERNS OF LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION, 1950-1978
*Principally turkeys, ducks, and geese.
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ST. CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, 00820
TELEPHONE 773 7827
numbers coincided over these same years. For example, according
to Table 6, the average annual loss of farms for a combined group
of seven fruit/nut classes was 8.3 farms per year between 1960-64
and 13.2 between 1964-70. The average losses per year for a
selected set of six livestock classes was 8.4 and 11.8 farms respec-
tively. Finally, this same pattern is reflected in the aggregate data.
To illustrate, the average loss of farms for the Territory was 8.8
farms per year between 1960-64 and a striking 42.3 between
1964-70. For St. Croix, the comparative figures were 6.0 and 24.8
respectively for the two periods. For St. Thomas and St. John,
the figures were 1.5 and approximately 8.0 respectively.
Concerning the second proposition -- that rural deterioration
can be reversed given the possibility of economic stagnation in
the export sectors plus excessive unemployment and inflation
such as that experienced in the Virgin Islands during the 1970s, it
does not seem unreasonable to expect the kinds of increases in
farm activity recorded above. These include relatively rapid in-
creases in agricultural effort and output since 1970 with above-
average growth in livestock and field crops, more modest gains
in fruits and nuts, and some acreage decreases noted in vegetable
production. It is no mystery that these gains, remarkable in the
context of historical declines, took place during the recession-
ridden 1970s, a period characterized by very marginal growth in
tourism until 1978 and a plateau in manufacturing activity reached
in the early years of the decade.
There are other telling signals, however, hinting indirectly
that the recent agricultural renaissance depicted in these buoyant
trends may be more fragile than the figures indicate. Two pre-
viously discussed factors which are obviously related include:
(1) the increasing percentage of farm operators spending 200 or
more days per year in off-farm work; and (2) the growing per-
centage of farms producing exclusively for home consumption.
Third, the average age of farm operators has essentially held con-
stant at 54 years throughout this century. This suggests that, on
the whole, the rural sector is as yet unable to demonstrate suf-
ficient dynamism to attract new young entrants. Fourth, average
farm size has noticeably decreased from 85-90 acres per farm in the
decades before 1970 to 64.5 acres in 1978.
AVERAGE ANNUAL LOSSES IN THE NUMBER OF FARMS FOR
SELECTED FRUITS/NUTS AND LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS
FOR THE 1960-64 AND 1964-70 PERIODS
Source: Computed from Tables 4 and 5.
IN MEMORY OF
BETTY M. RYAN
The contours of this decreasing size are sketched in Table 7
which shows the long-period changes in farm size distribution.
These figures reveal a striking increase in the percentage of the
smallest class (less than 20 acres), from 62% in 1950 to 77% in
1978. As a result, all large-sized farms decreased in importance.
The greatest decline was recorded for farms of 100-500 acres,
the scale usually considered to be the most economic and profit-
able. This size decreased from 11.4% in 1950 to 6.6% in 1978.
In addition, the acreage contained in these middle-sized farms fell
from 35% to 24 percent. On the other hand, large-scale farms
of 500 acres and over, though decreasing in numerical importance,
increased their acreage from 50% to 60% of the total. Thus, these
data portray the emergence of two divergent trends over the past
three decades: an increasing cluster of very small, highly diversi-
fied, and relatively uneconomic family-type farms at one end of
the size scale, and a concentration of a very small number of very
large, and most likely highly specialized (livestock) farms at the
opposite end. The outcome has been a steady squeeze on the
medium-sized farm, traditionally considered the most commer-
The potentially negative impacts of these changes on agri-
cultural viability are intuitively apparent. For example, though
they represented 77% of the total number of farms in 1978, farms
of less than 20 acres accounted for the following: 91% of all
farms earning less than $500 per year; 87% of farms producing
exclusively for home production; 85% of all operators who re-
ported nonagricultural work as their main occupation; 84% of
operators who spent more than 200 days per year in off-farm
work; and 80% of farms employing unpaid (family) labor. Hence
it is safe to conclude that any increasing tendency toward smaller
farms is associated with decreased farm income and productivity,
a drop off in commercial sales, and a weakening effort in general.
Finally, the size question seems all the more serious since the most
rapid growth in farm numbers has occurred in the smallest cate-
gory of all, namely those units under three acres. Between 1950-78,
the share of such garden-type farms grew from 6% to 24% of total
farm units. In 1978, these miniature units represented over 50%
of all farms earning less than $500 annually.
In summary, the evidence points to a measurable renaissance
in agriculture for the Territory in the 1970s. In broad outline, this
rebirth involves strong livestock and field crop components, a
fruit and nut sector which should blossom as recent plantings
reach maturity, and a waning vegetable sector. Taken together
these trends sharply reverse the historical slide since the advent
of tourism and manufacturing diversification. Yet the weaknesses
emphasized -- declining farm size, production for sale, and full-time
effort indicate on the one hand the potential fragility of the
rural base, and on the other hand, the need for a forceful and
well-integrated farm policy to sustain this take-off through the
1980s and beyond.
CHANGES IN FARM SIZE DISTRIBUTION, 1950-1978 (Acres)
Less than 3
500 and Over
All figures in percentages.
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CASTLE NUGENT FARMS.. MARIO GASPERI
CORN HILL FARM ......HENRY NELTHROPP
WINDSOR FARM ............ STACY LLOYD
MON BIJOU FARM ...........OLIVER SKOV
SIGHT FARM.......... CHARLES SCHUSTER
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Fresh Grade "A"
For Your Table
Our New Agricultural Policy
By Rudolph Shulterbrandt
Commissioner of Agriculture
When the funding for our new agricultural policy becomes
available, this policy will challenge the skills and sincerity of far-
mers, and should stand as one of the best agricultural policies of
the world, with Virgin Islands farmers benefiting greatly from this
kind of support from their government.
For many years the question has been asked as to what the
Virgin Islands Government is doing to help farmers and agriculture.
According to this new policy, many of the programs are directly
aimed at assisting farmers. Most important of these is the program
of incentives through which the government will give assistance
in the form of cash as a subsidy for productivity or food crops
The Administration of Governor Juan Luis recognizes and
feels strongly that government must support whatever agricultural
development is necessary today and in the future. This is the same
principle that mandates government to support the services of
health, education, welfare and other agencies. In the case of
agriculture it is necessary to assure a food supply at home and to
achieve this, monies must be appropriated to meet the need.
Our new policy aims to do this.
The new policy was developed by a task force comprised of
Virgin Islands farmers, agricultural technicians, and government
officials. The document met with the approval of Governor Juan
Luis, and is presently in the hands of the printers.
This policy recognizes the importance of creating healthful,
REVITALIZING VIRGIN ISLANDS AGRICULTURE
A NEW AGRICULTURAL POLICY
INCREASED FOOD PRODUCTION
Produce Own Seed
Livestock Feed Program
Preserve & Process Local Crops
Accelerate Soil & Water Conservation
Production Incentives Cost Sharing
Improve Agricultural Services
Youth Programs, Secondary School Projects & Dropouts
STAIRWAY TO AGRICULTURAL SELF-SUFFICIENCY
I Through I
positive attitudes in the youth of the islands. A major goal would
be the reintroduction of school gardens at secondary schools where
land facilities will permit vegetable production programs. Many of
our young people have shown interest and desire to become
actively involved in agriculture and recent experience has shown
us that emphasis is needed in this area.
In order to maximize the potential usage of our fruit and
vegetable crops, our policy recommends the development of a
food preservation laboratory to enable and teach our people to
can and preserve juices from under-utilized crops such as soursop,
limes, tamarind, acerola, mango, papaya, pineapples, and many
others. Many of these crops are only used as fresh produce, but
there are at least another half dozen ways in which they can be
converted to food and other useful purposes.
Our policy recommends the development of marketing
facilities and market organizations in conjunction with the devel-
opment of the expanded food production programs.
A massive outreach program to assist citizens with home or
backyard gardens is another program of this new policy. This is in
conjunction with our former "Produce at Home' slogan and this
year's "Make Ends Meet. Grow What You Eat" slogan. An expan-
sion of the existing agricultural services of the Department of
Agriculture has also been recommended.
What government is doing more for its farmers anywhere?
Here's a policy that offers support, and in addition, discounts
95% of the farm's real estate tax assessment, and 90'7 of the
taxable income. It's the Virgin Islands Government, of course.
A Look at the Remarkable Cassava
By Adriano Navarro
CVI Agricultural Experiment Station
Of all the plants man has brought into cultivation, cassava is
undoubtedly one of the most extraordinary. Cassava has long been
known as a "supermarket" plant because all of the parts are useful.
The cassava roots or tubers provide staple food for millions of
people around the world. Cassava tubers are also an important
Full cassava plant showing leaves, main stem with leaf scars and
source of animal feed and used as raw material for the manufacture
of various industrial products. The stem is used for firewood and
fencing material, in addition to other uses, and the leaves of the
cassava make good vegetables.
Cassava is one of the easiest plants to grow. Ease of produc-
tion is one factor which has promoted the rapid spread of the
cassava to various parts of the world. Once planted, cassava is
usually left intended until it is ready for harvest. Even if it suffers
from considerable neglect, cassava still produces the highest amount
of food per unit area of land planted -- more than any other
Another remarkable trait'of the cassava is its drought toler-
ance. There is no crop known that produces under relatively dry
conditions as many food calories per unit area per year as the
cassava. This characteristic has made cassava a popular crop in
areas of the world which have changing and uncertain climates.
Resistance to pests and its ability to give good yields on poor
soils are two other advantages of the cassava.
As one gets familiar with the outstanding qualities of the
cassava, it would be noted that cassava comes close to being a
perfect plant for the Virgin Islands. Plant crop production in this
area has been hampered by problems such as lack of labor, uncer-
tain climate, prevalence of pests and diseases, and the lack of
water for irrigation. These production problems have also been
partially responsible for the decline of the island's agriculture.
Cassava may be one of the solutions. With cassava, there is a
chance to "green up" and turn into production once more, the
many acres of idle land in the Virgin Islands.
THE CASSAVA PLANT
Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz or Manihot utillisima
Pohl), also known as tapioca, manioc, yuca, balinghoi, or kamun-
teng kahoi, belongs to the plant family Euphorbiaceae. It is a
perennial shrub, although in agricultural production it is harvested
during the first or second year. Abandoned stands of cassava may
continue to grow for several years.
Cassava plants may grow as high as four meters (13 ft.). The
surface of the stem may be grayish or purplish. The stem is com-
posed of the outer bark; the wood, which comprises most of the
stem; and the small area of pith at the very center of the stem.
The leaves are palmate and spirally arranged on the stem.
Each cassava leaf tends to live only for a few months, then it is
shed. When the leaf falls, it leaves a leaf scar on the stem. Older
portions of the stem have a leaf scar at each node.
The cassava root of commerce is a tuber with less than ten
fibrous roots of each plant becoming tuberous. Most of the fibrous
roots remain thin and continue to function in nutrient and water
Cassava cultivars are classified either as sweet or bitter
depending upon the amounts and distribution of prussic acid in
the tuber, a substance which is poisonous to humans. In the sweet
varieties, the prussic acid is low and confined mostly to the peel.
Sweet varieties can safely be eaten raw or boiled. In the bitter
varieties, the prussic acid is of higher concentration and is dis-
tributed throughout the tubers, requiring processing to reduce
prussic acid content before they can be safely consumed.
Cassava tuber formation starts at two months after planting.
With time, tubers continue to increase in size by deposition of large
amounts of starch. Very young tubers have less starch than older
tubers. However, when the tubers become much older, they tend
to become more fibrous and lignified and the starch contents tend
to decrease. It is therefore best to harvest cassava at a time when
tubers are just old enough to have stored sufficient starch, but
not old enough to have become woody or fibrous. The exact
time to harvest depends very much on the cultivar. Sweet cultivars
mature from 6-9 months, while the bitter varieties require 12-18
months to reach maturity.
As Human Food The presence of a poisonous substance in
the tubers of some varieties has been responsible for its slow
acceptance as a food crop. However, world demand for more food,
combined with the development of processing techniques and
better understanding of the nature of the cassava have helped to
create the growing economic importance of the cassava as a food
crop. According to John Onueme in his book, "The Tropical
Tuber Crops," in many places in the tropics cassava has started to
replace the more expensive sources of food calories like yams,
taro, and sweet potatoes which were firmly entrenched in agri-
culture prior to the advent of the cassava.
Cassava tuber has a strong energy food value because of the
high content of carbohydrates. Its vitamin C content is relatively
more than that of other major root crops. A comparison of the
food composition of cassava with other crops is shown in Table 1.
The nutritive value of cassava tubers is comparable with
crops such as yams, sweet potatoes, Irish potatoes, and taro except
for the lower protein content of the cassava. It should therefore
be realized that cassava, just like many other starchy food products,
is only a supplier of carbohydrates and nothing else. The leaves of
the cassava however, which are also used for food, more than make
up for the protein deficiency of the tuber. Fresh cassava leaves
contain approximately 6% protein and can be used in stews.
Tubers of sweet cassava varieties can be eaten boiled, steamed,
or fried. In the West Indies, sweet cassava tubers are prepared for
Food Composition of a Diet of 1,000 Grams For Each of Five Starchy Roots
Compared With the Estimated Nutritional Requirements for an Adult Male
Niacin (Nicotinic acid)
3 2 2
330 220 230
6 5 9
30 100 50
Source: Tropical Roots "Green Bulletin No. 19, Germany"
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consumption in much the same way as white yams. In the Pacific
Islands, cassava tubers are prepared for consumption by first
peeling the tuber, then they are grated and wrapped in banana
leaves and steamed. Sometimes, peeled cassava tubers are sliced
into small pieces and cooked together with rice or corn.
Bitter cassava varieties are processed to remove the poisonous
substance before consumption. In Africa, processed bitter varieties
are popularly known as Gari and a large bulk of cassava is con-
sumed in this form. Tubers are prepared into Gari by fermenting
the tuber and expressing the juice by applying pressure on the
grated tuber until the poison is removed. The pulp is then heated
In South America, the most common form in which cassava
is consumed is in what is known as Farinha de Mandioca which is
prepared in much the same way as Gari, the only difference is in
the method of fermentation and juice extraction. Gari, and Farinha
de Mandioca preparation have been mechanized to fill the heavy
Cassava flour is another form in which cassava is consumed.
Cassava flour is suitable for baking bread, biscuits and other
kitchen uses. In Africa, the most popular way of using cassava
flour is to make it into paste. Small balls of paste are eaten with
stews or soup like pounded yams.
Another important use of cassava is in the manufacture of
grocery tapioca. Tapioca is made from cassava starch.
As Animal Feed Cassava, because it is inherently a high
yielding plant and easy to produce, is a cheap source of high
energy animal feed. A comparison of food calorie production is
shown in Table 2.
Cassava produces more yield per hectare than most tropical
food crops. Yield of 9 tons per hectare as shown in Table 2 is not
exceedingly high. The figures presented here, however, are very
approximate. Cassava production of as high as 60 tons of tuber
per hectare has been obtained in some experiment stations.
It is interesting to note that sorghum, a popular grain and
forage crop in the Virgin Islands is significantly outyielded by
cassava. Calorie production of cassava is approximately four times
the calorie yield of sorghum.
Fresh sweet cassava tuber can be fed directly to animals.
It is an excellent feed for fattening hogs, goats, and sheep. A large
bulk of cassava tuber used for animal feeds is processed in the form
of chips and pellets, which are excellent energy feed for dairy
cows, calves, and poultry.
The most important industrial product derived from cassava
APPROXIMATE FOOD CALORIE PRODUCTION BY VARIOUS FOOD CROPS
1/ha = Hectare = 2.471 acres
2/Macl = million calories. Used as an index of food producing capacity of the plant.
"The Tropical Tuber Crops" by I.C. Onueme, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1974.
WE ARE PROUD TO BE A PART OF THE
11TH ANNUAL AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
culh *t. Crioi AUsa
STHE ONLY LOCALLY OWNED NEWSPAPER. SERVING THE VIRGIN ISLANDS SINCE 1844 v
* AND WE ARE PROULD OF OUR 137 YEARS OF SERVICE TO ST. CROIX
Cassava tuber which can be used for human food, animal feed or
as industrial starch, could be an excellent crop for export from the
is starch. Because of high demand, the production of cassava starch
for industrial use is a highly specialized and highly mechanized
process. Industrial starch is used in the manufacture of glucose,
textile, and confectionary. Other industrial products made from
cassava are dextrins, extenders, mucilages, sizing, and alcohol.
In view of the energy crisis, alcohol production from cas-
sava which has not been very significant in the past, stands a good
chance of becoming an important industry.
FEASIBILITY OF CASSAVA PRODUCTION
IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
There are good possibilities that cassava production and
processing could become viable industries in the Virgin Islands.
Our tropical environment and soils are suitable for the growing
of cassava and the unpredictable climate and lack of water for
irrigation would not be a problem for cassava production. Local
demand for cassava products is good. There is an ever-present
need for animal feeds on the island that could be filled by cassava
since the livestock industry is hampered by costly imported feeds.
In addition, a large part of our local population use cassava for
food. Finally, there is a substantial amount of agricultural land that
is presently idle which could be harnessed into production. Cassava
is an excellent export crop as there is a good market for cassava
starch and animal feeds abroad. Even fresh cassava tuber can be
exported. Millions of pounds of fresh cassava tubers are exported
every year to Miami and New York from a number of other Carib-
SOME TIPS ON GROWING CASSAVA
a) Selection of Varieties: For direct human consumption,
sweet varieties should be used. Varieties such as black stick, white
stick, fowl-fat, and paba are popular for direct human consump-
tion. For processing, bitter Jamaican varieties are recommended.
b) Propagation: Cuttings taken from older, more mature
parts of the stem give better yield than those taken from the
younger portions. However, the basal part of the stem should not
be used for planting, especially when mosaic virus is a problem.
Cuttings of 20-30 cm (8-12 inches) in length with at least three
nodes are recommended for planting. Cuttings should be planted
c) Method of Planting: After the field has been ploughed
and harrowed, planting may be done on ridges, on the flat, or in
the furrows. In heavy soil, planting on ridges is recommended.
d) Positioning of Cutting: Planting the cuttings at 450
with 2/3 of the cuttings under the ground is a common practice.
Later studies have shown, however, that flat subsurface planting
gives better germination and better yield.
e) Time of Planting: Cassava is best planted during the
early part of the rainy season. If irrigation can be provided during
the first few weeks after planting, cassava can be planted anytime
of the year.
f) Care of the Plants: Spraying for pests and diseases is
seldom required. Weeding may be done once or twice until the
plants get established. In St. Croix with its high pH soils, applica-
tion of micro-nutrients, particularly zinc at 2 pounds/acre will
help to increase yield. Application of fertilizer mixture 10-10-10
at 200 pounds/acre will also improve yield.
g) Harvesting: Cassava, once harvested, deteriorates rapidly.
It cannot be kept for more than one or two days. Harvest only
what is needed or can be disposed of immediately. A day or two
after harvest, a bluish discoloration of the vascular bundles of the
tuber develops what is known as vascular streaking. Vascular
streaking can be prevented by dipping the tuber in warm water
at 530 for 45 minutes, by refrigeration or keeping tubers submer-
ged in water.
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ALL FOR THE
IF YOU GROW IT FOR YOUR OWN USE
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IF YOU GROW TOO MUCH, WE WILL BUY IT.
WISHING YOU THE BIGGEST & BEST
FOOD FAIR EVER
WHOLESALE & RETAIL
-SS.-. PLOT 941-944 WILLAMS DELIGHT
ST. CROIX, U.S.VIRGIN ISLANDS
WHERE THERE IS ALWAYS
SUPER SAVINGS SUPER QUALITY & SUPERB SERVICE
P.O. BOX 1011, FREDERIKSTED
ST. CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
PHONE (809) 772- 0303
Coping with Sand Flies in the Virgin Islands
By W. I. Knausenberger
Pest Management Specialist
C.V.I. Cooperative Extension Service
Virgin Islands residents hardly need an introduction to their
tiniest airborne assailants -- the sand flies, biting flies "of the
smallest kind," one-sixteenth of an inch long, dark gray to black
in color, with spotted wings, and packing a mighty bite! Locally,
they are referred to also as "mampi" or "no-see-ums," but they
also have been called "flying teeth," "living ashes," punkiess,"
and many other names -- some unprintable -- all over the world.
This article will outline the nature of the sand fly problem and
then will recommend some coping strategies.
Visitors to the Caribbean area are especially sensitive to the bites of
the unpopular sand fly. This young woman ata local beach displays
the sizable welts which resulted from sand fly bites.
In the Virgin Islands, people who spend time outdoors are
especially likely to be bothered by sand flies for several reasons.
First, sand flies are active at dawn and dusk (and at night), seldom
biting later than three hours after sunrise, and seldom earlier
in the evening than two hours before sunset -- just the time a
gardener is likely to be out. Some annoyance may be experienced
on calm days, especially when the sky is overcast and the air is
humid following a light rain. In areas of high infestation, bites may
be experienced at any time, especially in shaded areas. Also, Virgin
Islands gardens are generally located in sites relatively close to
favorable sand fly breeding places such as wet mud around ponds,
along streams, in saltmarshes, and mangrove swamps with exposed
mud flats. The highest production of sand flies can occur from the
pond habitat -- 20 flies per square foot every day. The fluctuating
water levels of the Virgin Island impoundments are especially
favorable most sand flies start to emerge beginning one week
after heavy rains start, until the water level drops below the average
level. This situation probably accounts for the greater number of
flies during periods of high rainfall -- especially April to June, and
in the autumn months. Nevertheless, in the warm climate of our
area, emergence of this sand fly is likely to remain at a high level
all year. The only factors which reduce the rate of emergence
are long periods of flooding or drying of the immature insects'
breeding substance. A single generation requires three to six
weeks to develop, but there are always stages "ready to go."
Not only are breeding places common and widespread, but
the sand flies are particularly likely to occur 2-3 miles or more
downwind from these places. Prevailing winds in the Virgin Islands
are basically from the East and Northeast, so most of the major
ponds and marshes are upwind from concentrations of people in
the Virgin Islands. Whenever the wind is blowing 5-6 mph, biting
activity ceases, but the annoyance may well continue in protected
areas. Ironically, the very people who work hardest physically are
most likely to be severely annoyed by sand flies. This is because
the physiological factors which attract these flies namely, a com-
bination of high skin temperature, moisture, carbon dioxide (in
the breath), and odors of chemicals associated with perspiration
and breathing -- are produced in generous amounts during physical
activity. It's the female sand fly that "bites" to obtain a meal of
blood, necessary for her eggs to develop. The same applies to
mosquitos! To add insult to injury, even our homes are not secure;
sand flies are unique among biting insects in being able to pass
through mosquito-proof window screening, further menacing the
person seeking refuge indoors. Also, they are attracted to light.
Despite the common name (which perpetuates a popular
misconception), "sand flies" only rarely breed in the sand. Of the
25 species (kinds) of sand flies in the Caribbean area, only three
can be found breeding in sand on beaches, and then only under
very special conditions. Of these three, none is present in the
U.S. Virgin Islands. Of the six species which are found here, five
have been recorded on St. Croix, three on St. John and two on
St. Thomas. The single most important species, however, Culi-
coides furens, is found abundantly on all three islands. Fortun-
ately, we don't have to worry much about the other species, which
breed in an even greater variety of places, such as wet tree holes,
crab holes, and damp rotting plant material. Interested readers
can find more details on the sand fly life cycle by referring to p. 57
of the 9th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair booklet.
Control of sand flies is a responsibility too large for individu-
als to hope to achieve because of the sheer physical difficulty of
locating and dealing with all breeding places and the adult flies
coming from them. Because of the individuality of each problem,
the choice of the most appropriate control measures requires
considerable investigation. Such investigations have been initiated
by the College of the Virgin Islands' Cooperative Extension Ser-
This program seeks to combine planning and monitoring with
physical control measures; judicious use of new and better selective
insecticides on carefully selected breeding sites; adult resting sites
and flight paths; biological control (use of natural enemies); and
personal protection measures. Such a total control effort requires
the coordinated efforts of the entire affected community. In any
case, utter eradication would be a very unrealistic expectation.
With the above in mind, we can take a more informed view
whenever we're bitten. Naturally, there are several things an
individual can do to greatly alleviate the annoyance. The following
suggestions can be used in practically any combination, dependent
mostly on your own threshold of tolerance to being bitten (and
on your pocketbook!).
Personal Protection. Research into effective repellents is an
active concern of several military, government and private organiza-
tions. Over 25,000 chemicals have been tested, and very few are
better than the ones already commercially available. Plants are
often tested for their repellent properties. Local lore has it that
leaves and fruit of the female genip tree are repellent to sand flies,
and that groves of that tree are free of the flies. However, it does
not appear that these claims can be confirmed by objective re-
search. Nothing seems to have come of an effort in the early
1970's by a pharmaceutical company to develop the genip into
a. Personal-use repellents. Protection for up to three to five
hours per application is possible with commercial insect repel-
lents applied to the skin. In the product you buy, look for the
main active ingredient N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET),
which is far more effective than dimethyl-phthalate (DMP) or
ethyl hexanediol, alone. Liquid and paste formulations are the
most effective and economical because they are more concentrated
and can be more efficiently applied. Commercially impregnated
towelettes are also good. Never over-apply the repellent -- a little
works just as well as a lot. All exposed skin must be covered,
especially the ankle area, and you should wear a hat unless you
want to treat your hair, which sand flies can and do get into.
Avoid applying near your eyes or mouth. Since sweat "washes"
it away, a repellent loses its effectiveness more quickly if you are
b. Alternatives. Because of the disadvantages of applying a
repellent directly to the skin (they cause rashes in sensitive people,
need to be frequently re-applied, can damage furniture, varnished
finishes, plastics, painted surfaces, and some synthetic fabrics),
people understandably would like to know about alternatives to
skin treatment. An approach worth mentioning but far from
proven for sand flies, is the oral ingestion of extra doses of the
B-complex vitamin supplement, thiamine hydrochloride, several
hours before an expected exposure period. One to two 100 mg.
tablets taken two hours before exposure, and repeated every 12
hours, is thought to provide some relief against mosquitos. A very
promising alternative appears to be offered by the application of
DEET (and other recently developed repellents) to fabrics and
structures (such as window screens). Although the concept is still
in its infancy, repellent-treated lightweight and wide mesh jackets
(see photo) and all-purpose netting both provide good protection
for several weeks to months. These are still difficult to find,
although they are being sold by a few outfitting companies, such
as Cole Outdoor Products of America (Lincoln, Nebraska). Recent
research in Puerto Rico and Florida has shown that repellent-
treated jackets keep away 98-99% of all sand flies.
Repellent-treated wide mesh jacket can serve as protection against
attack from sand flies.
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The Wheatly Center, St. Thomas
Virgin Islands 00801
Area Code 809 774-6995
Fresh & Frozen Seafood
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c. Dress defensively. You may prefer simply to cover up
well. Try wearing long garments, or clothes that are tight at the
wrists and ankles. You will still want to reapply repellent to the
feet, ankles, hands and neck.
a. Treat window screens. Treating your mosquito screening
can provide much relief. Do this by carefully and sparingly painting
or spraying your screens with an insecticide such as a 5% malathion
mixture, a 3% methoxychlor mixture (such as Curtis Screen Pruf),
a repellent, or simply deodorized kerosene. This measure is not
recommended for areas where food is prepared or served, or where
infants, the ill or aged are confined. Perhaps the best place to try
this is on enclosed porches. It is necessary to take the screens out
of the windows to treat them properly. Such treatment can give
protection up to a month or more, especially if screens are shaded
from direct sun and protected from rain. Be sure your screens are
in good repair and tight-fitting.
b. Physical exclusion: You don't necessarily have to be a
kill-joy to opt for air-conditioning in a sealed room -- it's effective!
However, an alternative is to install 32 x 32 mesh window screen-
ing, instead of the conventional 14 or 16 mesh screening. In com-
bination with a fan to maintain air movement, this fine mesh
approach has been known to work when the problem is persistent
and severe. Even without special screening, a ceiling fan will pre-
vent the flies from moving freely, and has been shown to be rather
successful in suppressing biting activity if operated in bedrooms.
c. Trapping and diversion. Our most abundant sand fly
species is quite strongly attracted to light, especially to an ultra-
violet (black-light) source. Thus, some commercially available
electronic trap designs may be of limited value in diverting and
trapping those sand flies within 20-30 feet of your home, especially
if no other strong lights are close by. One drawback is that the
traps could draw in more flies than otherwise would have come.
But if you are determined to try one anyway, (better more than
one!), be sure to avoid the electrocutor-type of trap -- they are
not designed to function effectively on sand flies and other small
gnats manufacturers' claims to the contrary. The best type of
light trap incorporates a suction fan and some means of keeping
the flies in the trap -- usually a container for a liquid, such as
water. The ultimate form of diversion seems to be provided by
the moon -- a full moon tends to disrupt flight activity!
Control of Adult Flies. Out-of-doors, it is largely a waste of
effort and materials to treat the air on a small scale against adult
sand flies. Even on a community-wide scale, aerial spraying is
limited to at best 24-hour control, due to reinfestation from
t Hot t
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Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S. V.I 00820
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untreated areas. Indoors, some useful but short-term results can
be achieved if the level of attack becomes intolerable. Aerosols
containing relatively safe pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide
provide quick knockdown action. The locally available "Cobra
Coil" also contains pyrethrins, which are released for the one to
three hours the coil smolders after it is ignited. However, this
smoke can produce allergic reactions, and stinging of the eyes,
and is not recommended for routine use. Dichlorvos strips and
aerosol spray (as in Vapona) is effective but must be very cautious-
ly used. Always read the label instructions carefully before using
any pesticide, because the label provides legally required specific
YOU are important to us at Coral Air!
We care for our business travelers who use
us regularly-we care for our island friends
who travel between our islands-we care for
our tourist friends from all over the world.
The islands are almost completely depen-
dent on air transportation, and short commuter
flights are their connection. Our modern, effi-
cient fleet of aircraft make these island "hops"
FOR RESERVATIONS CALL
St. Croix (809) 778-3320
San Juan (809) 791-0676
St. Thomas (809) 774-7386
or see your Travel Agent
Come fly with us!
im r INC6
47 KING STREET, CHRISTIANSTED
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IT'S AT THE CONTINENTAL
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10th ANNUAL AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
use instructions and precautions.
Control at the Breeding Site. Although this approach is not
feasible for individuals to consider, it probably offers the greatest
potential for success. A community or area-wide strategy of
"source reduction" relies on water level management, habitat
alteration and/or use of carefully selected biological or chemical
pesticides. For the control effort to be successful, close familiarity
with the sand fly's biology is essential. Properly done, risk of
environmental harm to non-target organisms is minimal.
Relief of Symptoms. If, in spite of all, you do get bitten too
much, you can relieve the itching symptoms by immersing the
affected parts in fairly hot water for about one minute. Various
painkilling sprays are available also. If your skin reacts unpleasantly
to the bites, prescription cortisone or antihistamine preparations
are available, and are very effective in easing the irritation.
A few final tips: If you have a choice in the selection of a
gardening or recreation site, keep in mind the proximity of sand
fly breeding places, prevailing wind directions, and amount of
open space permitting air movement. Such prior evaluation with
respect to the potential sand fly problem is something even major
resort developers have overlooked and for which they can pay
dearly. Pick a windy day to be out, preferably late morning or
early afternoon on a sunny day. Otherwise, apply repellents, but
do so sparingly with a complete coverage of exposed skin except
around the mouth and eyes. You might even try treating your
work clothes with repellent if you don't mind storing them in
plastic bags and not washing them (to maintain repellency). Psycho-
logically, you may be comforted by knowing that people who live
and work in a place infested by biting flies tend to build up a
form of immunity, and tolerate a higher level of biting than do
people who come to that place from elsewhere.
Some Current Research Approaches
on Ciguatera Fish Poisoning*
By J. P. McMillan
Associate Professor of Biology
Director, Ciguatera Research Project
College of the Virgin Islands
Ciguatera fish poisoning is a human health problem which
has for centuries afflicted people living near the tropical seas
around the world. The poisoning is caused by a neurotoxin called,
appropriately enough, ciguatoxin (CTX). Interestingly, however,
the name "ciguatera" originated as "siguatera" in the eighteenth
century when it applied to an illness found in Cuba that resulted
from eating the "cigua" or "sigua," the top shell. The term was
evidently then extended to poisoning produced by eating fish,
although the two diseases are apparently unrelated. The symptoms
of ciguatera fish poisoning usually occur within six hours and are
primarily neurological, though gastrointestinal symptoms, nausea
and diarrhea, may be the first to appear. Characteristic neuro-
logical symptoms include tingling of the lips, mouth, and tongue;
itching of the skin; a reversal of temperature sensation, cold objects
feel hot and hot objects feel cold; aching in muscles and joints;
and exhaustion and muscular weakness, particularly of the legs.
The severity of the intoxication depends upon the toxicity of the
fish, the amount consumed, and the body size of the victim. Very
severe cases of ciguatera have resulted from eating viscera, especi-
ally the liver, since CTX is much more concentrated in these organs
than in the flesh of the contaminated fish.
Over the last 25 years, scientific researchers have slowly put
together the pieces of the ciguatera puzzle. The latest and possibly
the most important piece was the recent discovery of the biological
source of CTX. Working in the Society Islands in French Polynesia,
a team of scientists tracked the toxin down the food chain to its
biological source, a dinoflagellate which resides on various sub-
strates on or near coral reefs. The dinoflagellate was given the
scientific name Gambierdiscus toxicus; "Gambier" after the
islands where it was first discovered, "discus" after its shape,
and "toxicus" because it is the biogenitor of CTX and at least
one other toxin. For many years prior to this discovery it was
known that herbivorous fish grazing on or near coral consumed
something in their diet which contained CTX. There was at that
time much speculation as to which microorganism was the culprit.
Many hypotheses were advanced and all were rejected. Gambierdis-
cus toxicus (G.t.) was not known to biological science prior to its
recent identification. G.t. has since been found in many tropical
areas of the Indo-Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of
Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean. Herbivorous fish which consume
it store the CTX in their flesh and organs and if they are eaten
by carnivorous fish, the accumulated toxin passes to this link in
the food chain. Carnivorous fish concentrate more and more CTX
as they ingest contaminated herbivores. Fish-eating fish which hunt
in reefs therefore may be many times more toxic than their prey.
Large, presumably older carnivorous fish cause most of the severe
ciguatera poisonings when consumed by humans, who are at the
top of the food chain.
* Funding for the Ciguatera Research Project at C.V.I. has been provided
by the Food and Drug Administration, the National Marine Fisheries
Service, and the Agricultural Experiment Station of the College.
The discovery of G.t. not only answers the question of the
source of CTX, it also presents an opportunity for many new
approaches to the ciguatera problem. Studies of the dinoflagellate
in its natural environment may lead to an understanding of several
long-standing questions: Why do some areas harbor ciguatoxic fish
while other similar areas do not? What causes a ciguatera outbreak?
Can areas likely to harbor toxic fish be identified or outbreaks
predicted by monitoring the environment? Answers to these intri-
guing questions would be most helpful in attempting to reduce the
frequency of ciguatera cases. But the problem would be far from
solved. For example, fish, especially the large carnivores, might
become contaminated in one area and then migrate to another
where G.t. may be absent. And, despite the folklore and legends
which abound in all parts of the world afflicted with ciguatera,
toxic fish can not be discriminated from nontoxic ones by appear-
ance, smell, texture or taste.
Fig. 1 A line drawing taken from scanning electron micrographs
of Gambierdiscus toxicus, the dinoflagellate recently implicated
in the biogenesis of ciguatoxin (after Dr. F.J. R. Taylor, University
of British Columbia).
Anyone who thinks about the ciguatera problem for very
long quickly realizes, "Aha, what we need is a test to determine
whether or not a particular fish is ciguatoxic." "Aha" indeed, but
this is probably the most formidably challenging facet of the
problem, for several reasons. First, the molecular structure of CTX
has yet to be determined. Why? Because there has never been
enough highly purified CTX available. (A possible solution to the
CTX supply problem will be discussed later.) CTX is known to be
a heat stable, polar lipid with a molecular weight around 1500;
useful information but insufficient to devise a test. Another
problem for testing is that, even if you had a test, say orange paper
turning green when it contacts a CTX solution, contaminated fish
flesh contains a very, very small absolute amount of CTX, 5 to 10
parts per million (ppm) or less. CTX is indeed a very potent neuro-
toxin. Detection of CTX may thus require a very sensitive test.
Furthermore, the test should be quite reliable. If the test misses a
percentage of the toxic fish, people could be poisoned. If the test
falsely identifies fish as ciguatoxic when they are not (false
positives), these will not be marketable although, in fact, perfectly
safe to consume. This would have undesirable economic con-
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sequences. I hope the reader now appreciates why the designing
of a CTX test is such a challenge to scientists.
How can the CTX supply problem be solved so critical
research can proceed? Why not extract CTX from toxic fish?
Let us do some simple calculations. A minimally adequate supply
of CTX for preliminary work would be one gram (0.035 oz).
If CTX is present at 10 ppm in typical toxic fish, to obtain a gram
of purified toxin would require 100 kgs (220 lbs) of very toxic
fish flesh. Extracting and purifying CTX from over 200 lbs. of
fish would be quite a test, if you could get that amount, all of
which must be known with certainty to be highly ciguatoxic.
If we assume one fish in one hundred is toxic, we initially need
11 tons of fish! How do we test 11 tons of fish to get the 220 lbs.
of very toxic ones? Back to square one, no CTX, no test; no test,
no CTX. For many years this was the rather gloomy prospect
faced by scientists interested in ciguatera. Now, with the identifi-
cation of G.t. as the culprit, an alternative supply of CTX may be
available: cultures of the dinoflagellate in the laboratory. Quite an
operation is required, dozens of large glass carboys, closely regu-
lated conditions of light, temperature, salinity, nutrient levels
and so on, hut in theory at least, it should be easier than coming
up with a ton of toxic fish. And a lot could be learned about the
biology of G.t. as well.
In order to better understand the problem of G.t. culturing,
a few words about dinoflagellates are in order. They are single-
celled or unicellular organisms which may move about freely,
propelled by their whip-like flagella, or, as in the case of G.t.,
settle on a substrate and move relatively little. Dinoflagellates
are able to photosynthesize food and can obtain it from their
environment as well, so they are "plantimals," if you will, both
aulotrophic and heterotrophic. It takes great skill and ingenuity
to successfully raise dinoflagellates in culture. Thus it came as
no surprise to scientific teams at research institutions in the main-
land U.S., Hawaii, Tahiti, and Japan that it was difficult but not
impossible to obtain species-pure (unialgal) cultures of G.t. The
problem is G.t. makes very little CTX while in culture. When the
appropriate conditions are found maybe then G.t. can be coaxed
to produce CTX in abundance. The work continues.
While the G.t. culture techniques are being worked out,
various additional approaches to ciguatera are being pursued.
There are other important questions which need answers. Does the
immune system of ciguatera victims respond to CTX? Antibodies
are the body's response to an antigen, in this case CTX. After an
initial encounter which provokes antigen-specific antibody syn-
thesis, the antibodies usually neutralize the specific antigen in
subsequent encounters. Interviews with persons who have suf-
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fered repeated intoxications suggest that the symptoms are not
diminished in repeated attacks. Antibodies might nonetheless have
been formed to CTX yet confer little significant protection. If
CTX-specific antibodies are formed, even though they may be
of little benefit to the victim, they are valuable scientifically
because they are specific: they react with CTX (the antigen).
"Aha," you say, "antibodies could be the basis of a test for CTX."
True, but it is a very long, technically sophisticated way from
obtaining CTX antibodies and having a test which must be both
sensitive and reliable.
In addition to analyzing human blood samples for anti-
bodies to CTX, especially from victims of second or third poison-
ings, it may be possible to produce antibodies experimentally.
CTX is probably too small a molecule to be a potent antigen
since most antigenic substances have a molecular weight over
10,000. To make CTX more antigenic it is necessary to chemically
link it to another, larger molecule. Small amounts of this conju-
gated molecule, CTX-protein for example, may then be repeatedly
injected into experimental animals such as rabbits or sheep. After
several injections over an appropriate period of time, blood samples
may be obtained and screened for specific CTX-protein antibodies.
Once good quality antibodies are obtained they may be labelled
in some fashion. When antibodies are radio-actively labelled they
form the basis for a radio-immune assay (RIA). Attempts have
been made to develop a RIA for CTX but while it seems sensitive
enough it also yields up to 80 percent false positives. If the RIA
can be refined it will certainly be at the least a valuable research
tool. If and when the CTX-RIA is make reliable, it is unlikely to
have widespread, practical application because of the complex
technology and expense involved. It is probably best viewed as
an important step toward a test for CTX that can be used by
fishermen, merchants and consumers.
Another line of scientific inquiry is the search for CTX
mechanisms) of action. How does it produce such a curious array
of symptoms in humans? Might there in fact be more than one
toxin involved to produce so many symptoms? How can the medi-
cal treatment of ciguatera victims be improved? Unfortunately,
seeking answers to these important questions has also been im-
peded somewhat by the shortage of purified CTX. Research has
proceeded nonetheless, employing CTX extracted from toxic fish
for use in experimentation on animals and their organs, tissues and
cells. Much has been learned. It is beyond the scope of this paper,
however, to discuss this work in any detail. Suffice it to say that a
great deal remains to be elucidated.
Finally, a plea for cooperation. Since the Ciguatera Research
Project began at C.V.I. in 1977, we have been the beneficiaries of
splendid cooperation from the entire Virgin Islands' community.
GAS FOR COMMERCIAL,
AND DOMESTIC USE 77
We are grateful. If we are ultimately to succeed in overcoming the
ciguatera problem, this must continue.
The interested reader who wishes to obtain an earlier article
on this topic may contact the author.
THE COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS IS CON-
DUCTING 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 CIGUATERA RE-
SEARCH PROJECT, C.V.I., 4-5366.
DIVISION OF C R E PPSES SAILBOAT
31E KING CROSS STREET
CHRISTIANSTED. ST. CROIX
U. S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820 (809) 773-5849
Try Gardening for Food, Fun and Physical Fitness
By Rudy Shulterbrandt, Bob Soffes, and Leo Carty
Spiraling food prices and shrinking dollars conspire to
increase the tension of life which take its toll in terms of physical
fitness. Tension headaches, stiff 'joints,' rigid neck muscles and
increasing inflexibility of the spinal area can all result from lack of
proper exercise as well as anxiety about life's daily problems.
Answers to these problems are not readily available, but
one solution that always combines elements of a positive nature
is suggested in this article -- why not try gardening for food, fun
and for physical fitness?
As inflation reduces the disposable income of most Virgin
Islands families, heads of households are seeking areas in their
budgets where flexibility can be used to make ends meet.
There are several areas in the family budget where costs are
fixed or fairly stable. Fixed costs include home mortgages or rents,
automobile and insurance payments, utilities, etc. The remaining
income can be categorized as disposable income. This is the income
utilized for food, clothing, drugs and such things as cosmetics. It is
the disposable income that can be vulnerable to cost changes on
The family's diet is one area where savings can be made
without jeopardizing a good nutritional standard. In the Virgin
Islands, we do not necessarily have to acquire all of our food
from the supermarkets. Producing food at home, or home-garden-
ing, can reduce spending as well as provide fun and satisfaction
in seeing seeds germinate successfully into edible finished products.
An additional benefit of home-gardening is the opportunity
it affords to keep physically fit. Preparing your land for a garden
offers a variety of exercises that many seek through the com-
paratively non-productive involvement in golf, tennis and jogging.
Some specific examples are illustrated below:
*The machete utilizes the shoulders, trunk, forearms and waist,
and to a lesser degree, use of the legs.
The wheelbarrow emphasizes the use of the lower extremities -- The grass whip utilizes the upper extremities the shoulders,
calf and thigh muscles with the more limited involvement of forearms, trunk (waist), and to a lesser degree, the legs.
the upper extremities.
The Importance of Dissolved Oxygen in Fish Culture
By James Rakocy
C.V.I. Agicultural Experiment Station
A recent marketing study on St. Croix has indicated that a
locally grown freshwater fish called tilapia compares favorably with
saltwater fish and, if available for sale, would be purchased by a
large number of consumers. At the College of the Virgin Islands
Agriculture Experiment Station, these food fish are being raised in
cages in freshwater ponds in an effort to develop procedures for
commercial production. The results thus far indicate that tilapia
farming appears to be a potentially profitable enterprise that would
benefit the Virgin Islands by creating employment and reducing
dependence on imported fish.
Fish culture involves some basic differences that are not
encountered in other types of animal production. One very impor-
tant difference is that fish must extract the oxygen they need for
growth and maintenance from water rather than air. Oxygen is
abundant in air, comprising 21%, but is scarce in water. Oxygen
that dissolves into water constitutes about 0.001% of the water
and yet oxygen is just as vital to fish as it is to land animals.
A tilapia farmer in the Virgin Islands should therefore understand
the principles that govern dissolved oxygen in ponds and follow
procedures that will ensure the maintenance of adequate levels
of dissolved oxygen for maximum fish production.
Fish prefer to live in water that is "saturated" with oxygen.
Water is described as being saturated when it contains all of the
dissolved oxygen that it can theoretically hold. Water containing
less or more than the theoretical concentration is said to be under-
saturated or supersaturated with oxygen, respectively. The amount
of oxygen in water at saturation depends on the water temperature
and other factors. For example, at 700F the concentration of
dissolved oxygen at saturation is 9.0 milligrams of oxygen per
liter of water (mg/liter). As the water temperature increases to
900F, the dissolved oxygen concentration decreases to 7.4 mg/liter
at saturation. Therefore, less dissolved oxygen is available to fish
during hot weather.
Tilapia are very hardy fish that can tolerate low dissolved
oxygen levels, but they feed most vigorously and grow most
rapidly when dissolved oxygen concentrations do not average
less than 5 or 6 mg/liter (about 66% saturation). At lower dis-
solved oxygen levels, feeding activity and growth decrease. At a
dissolved oxygen concentration of 1 mg/liter, tilapia become
stressed and rise to the surface to obtain additional oxygen in the
thin surface film. Tilapia can live this way for several hours, but as
the dissolved oxygen level approaches 0 mg/liter, they will even-
In fish culture ponds, oxygen levels fluctuate greatly during
the course of a day (Figure 1). Dissolved oxygen concentrations,
which are lowest at one hour after sunrise, increase during the
daytime until late afternoon and then decrease steadily throughout
the night. In tilapia ponds, concentrations will vary from less than
2 mg/liter at 7:00 AM. to greater than 20 mg/liter at 4:00 P.M.
Oxygen is produced during the day by microscopic plants called
12 6 p.m. 12
Figure 1. Daily Dissolved Oxygen Cycle in Fish Culture Ponds.
I I I ~ I I 1 I I I
phytoplankton, which sometimes reproduce to such a great extent,
forming a "bloom," that the water becomes green in color. Like
most organisms, phytoplankton require oxygen to live, but when
they are exposed to sunlight, they produce oxygen in excess of
their needs through a process called photosynthesis. As the sun
sets, photosynthesis ceases and the phytoplankton begin to absorb
dissolved oxygen from the water which leads to a decline in oxygen
levels during the nighttime.
As the source of most of the dissolved oxygen in fish ponds,
phytoplankton are very important. Where phytoplankton are
scarce, water is generally clear and dissolved oxygen levels may be
low. When this occurs, fish culturists sometimes add fertilizer to
the water to stimulate the growth of phytoplankton. A rough
estimate of phytoplankton density can be obtained by measuring
the distance under water at which a white disk, 20 cm in diameter,
disappears from sight. A distance of 40 to 80 cm is considered
desirable for fish culture. If the disk can be seen at greater depths,
applications of fertilizer (40 pounds per acre of 20-20-5) are
recommended at monthly intervals until the desired phytoplankton
density is obtained.
Fertilization is not required in ponds where the fish are
given large amounts of feed. Of all the nutrients in feed, fish
generally incorporate one third into their body and excrete the
rest into the water. After some time, nutrient levels increase in the
pond and high phytoplankton densities develop. When the white
disk cannot be seen at a depth of 20 cm, phytoplankton are too
abundant and may cause dissolved oxygen problems.
There are three ways in which excessive phytoplankton den-
sities contribute to the depletion of oxygen that cause fish kills.
During cloudy weather, smaller amounts of oxygen are produced
by phytoplankton in the daytime, but they continue to consume
the same amount of oxygen at night (Figure 2). After two or three
consecutively overcast days, dissolved oxygen may completely
disappear from the pond during the night. Oxygen depletions
also occur when, for unknown reasons, all the phytoplankton die,
causing the water to change from green to brown in color. Without
phytoplankton to produce oxygen, bacteria quickly consume the
remaining dissolved oxygen as they decompose the dead phyto-
plankton. Excessive phytoplankton shade the lower layers of the
pond and prevent sunlight from warming them. This colder bottom
water becomes too dense to be mixed by wind. Dissolved oxygen
gradually becomes depleted in the stagnant, dark lower layers of
the pond (Figure 3). A cold rain can "turn the pond over," causing
surface and bottom waters to mix together. The net result can be
a rapid decline in dissolved oxygen to levels that are lethal to fish.
Knowledge of the cause of oxygen depletions enables fish
culturists to follow practices that help prevent their occurrence.
One very important practice is to avoid overfeeding. It is better to
feed tilapia small amounts several times during the day rather than
a large amount once a day. The use of floating fish feed pellets,
which are available at local feed shops, allows the culturist to
visually determine feeding response and to adjust the feeding rate
when necessary. At each feeding, tilapia should consume all the
pellets-within 30 minutes. Uneaten feed decomposes, which uses
up oxygen and stimualates excessive phytoplankton growth. The
maximum feeding rate for tilapia should not exceed 50 pounds
per pond acre per day. Natural water purification mechanisms
can handle the waste generated by this much feed. At higher
feeding rates, phytoplankton will become too dense and early
morning dissolved oxygen levels will become dangerously low.
luring cloudy or extremely hot weather, it is wise to reduce the
feeding rate or even stop feeding because biological processes
6 a.m. 6 a.m. 6 a.m.
Figure 2. Dissolved Oxygen Cycle for Three Consecutive Days.
Oxygen depletion occurs after second overcast day.
speed up, requiring more oxygen, and the water contains less
oxygen at saturation. When fish feed, their respiration rate in-
creases and large amounts of oxygen are required as the feed is
digested. It is therefore better to feed when dissolved oxygen
levels are high in the morning and afternoon.
A fish culturist must remain vigilant about the condition of
his fish by observing them frequently and noting changes in weather
conditions and the appearance of the pond. When fish become
sluggish, breathe at the surface and do not feed well, these are signs
that oxygen levels are low. Measuring dissolved oxygen concentra-
tions on a regular basis is helpful in alerting the culturist to un-
favourable changes. Dissolved oxygen concentrations can be
measured in five easy steps with a test kit manufactured by Hach
Chemical Company (Loveland, Colorado).
When an oxygen depletion occurs, the culturist can save the
fish by acting immediately to replenish the oxygen supply. There
are three ways of doing this. Some of the water in the pond can be
replaced with fresh water if it is available, which is frequently not
the case in the Virgin Islands. Another method is to "aerate" the
pond water (add oxygen to the water) by spraying it into the air
whereby oxygen from the air will pass into the small droplets
through a process called diffusion. A number of devices aeratorss)
are used to aerate ponds, but paddlewheel aerators have been
found to be the most effective. In the third method, emergency
aeration is accomplished by pumping air into the pond from a
blower or air compressor. The resultant stream of bubbles adds
oxygen to the water through diffusion. This method is commonly
employed in home aquariums.
Maintaining adequate levels of dissolved oxygen is a greater
VISIT ST. JOHN
THE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES WA Y
ON ONE OF THE MANY CONVENIENT
SCHEDULES FROM 7 AM to 7 PM.
FOR INFORMATION CALL US AT
problem when tilapia are cultured in cages. Large numbers of fish
are concentrated in very small areas and are exposed to only a
small portion of pond water. It is therefore important to obtain
as much circulation as possible between the cages and the surroun-
ding pond. Maximum circulation can be achieved by using cage
mesh size that is one half inch or larger, locating the cages in areas
of the pond that are exposed to the greatest wind-induced currents
and positioning the cages far apart. Research is presently being
conducted to determine stocking rates for cages that will give
high yields while being within safe limits against oxygen depletions.
Fish culture is probably the most challenging type of animal
husbandry. Instead of the proverbial green thumb,a "slimy thumb"
is required to know what will make fish happy, healthy, and fast
growing. This is not an easy task because fish are under water and
completely out of sight most of the time except for brief periods
when they come to the surface for feed or oxygen. Hopefully,
their visits to the surface for oxygen will be kept to a minimum.
Surface water is
Below 3 feet there is no
oxygen or light and the
water is cold and stagnant.
0 4 8 12 16 21
Dissolved Oxygen (mg/liter)
Figure 3. Dissolved Oxygen Levels at Different Depths in a Pond
With Excessive Phytnplankton Densities.
1290 on your dial
Emanating from Frederiksted, St. Croix, Radio1290 AM is your com-
munity oriented station on the scene when it's happening!
Transmitting 7 days a week from sunrise to sunset WRRA is your
bi-lingual station with News, Public Service, Music and Features in both
English and Spanish.
Celebrating our 4th Anniversary of service to the people of the Virgin
Islands as well as Vieques, Culebra and Eastern Puerto Rico.
and Joining in congratulating the 10th Annual Agricultural and Food
Fair of the Virgin Islands We're with you again, as we are every year.
ENRIQUE J. RODRIGUEZ
Recommendations On Pasture Management
By Ahmed Hegab
C.V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station
A profitable and stable system of livestock production
depends upon producing and using an abundance of good grazing
as the major source of feed. A farmer should grow and use those
grazing crops best suited to his particular soils, locality and live-
Permanent pastures supply the most economical sources of
grazing. They do not require cultivation or frequent reseeding, and
they also conserve soils, fertility, and moisture. A system of year-
round grazing is both possible and practical under St. Croix soil
and climate conditions. Good permanent pastures are required as
a basis for a profitable grazing system.
In addition to permanent pastures, farmers will find that
annual grazing crops, particularly forage sorghum or forage millet
have a definite place in a good grazing system. The successful
livestock farmer will have an adequate reserve of stored feed -- hay,
silage, or both.
The basic recommendations for establishing and maintaining
good pasture are summarized in the following:
1. Wise land use Maintain as much permanent type grazing
as possible, using those pasture plants best suited to the soils found
on the farm.
2. Adequate seasonal forage Balance the number of live-
stock with the potential forage production on the farm. Provide
for an abundance of nutritious grazing at all times. Make full use
of supplementary grazing crops.
3. Effective use of plant food Apply adequate amounts of
sulfur and complete fertilizer to produce more grazing hay, and
silage of high quality. Top dress with sufficient nitrogen fertilizers
to maintain vigorous and nutritious growth.
4. Quality pasture, hay, and silage Use recommended
grasses and legumes. Recommended pasture plants produce better
quality and higher yields.
5. Good grassland management Provide adequate shade,
water, and rest areas, maintain good boundary and cross fences;
practice rotational grazing; use surplus grazing for hay, silage, and
Although many varieties of native grasses have been grown
in the Virgin Islands, generally, coastal Bermuda grass or Tifton
Bermuda grass is the highest yielding, most widely adapted, most
drought-resistant, and best basic grass for permanent pastures
which can be utilized in the islands.
Sorghum and millet forages are especially recommended for
annual grazing for milking cows.
The essential of good pasture management can be summar-
ized in the following recommendations:
1. Provide adequate shade (clumps of trees rather than single
trees), clean water, and rest areas.
2. Maintain good boundaries and sufficient cross-fencing
to facilitate rotational grazing.
3. Plan a pasture program to suit the possibilities of the farm
and the desire of the operator.
4. Follow recommendations closely in establishing pasture
and legumes (Experiment Station scientists and Extension Service
professionals will provide such recommendations when needed).
5. Plan and follow a regular fertilization program. Never
"skimp" on sulfur and fertilizer.
6. Practice rotational grazing. The ideal way to graze is to
use a sufficient number of animals to graze the pasture down in
one day and then move the animals to a new area the next day.
In practice, this is not usually possible, but approach this ideal
as closely as possible. Good rotational grazing alone can produce
approximately a 50 percent increase in the total amount of grazing
secured from the pasture.
7. Use the available grazing. Undergrazing causes rank,
uneven growth which is less nutritious and less palatable. If there
are insufficient cattle to keep the pasture properly grazed, use the
excess for hay or silage.
8. Never overgraze. Overgrazing will materially reduce the
total amount of grazing the pasture is capable of producing in the
9. Plan and follow a weed control program using the recom-
mended material and equipment for spraying regularly and thor-
oughly. With the presently available control methods, there is no
excuse for unwanted pasture weeds. Use the mowing machine to
clip any weeds by sprays and to clip ungrazed areas.
10. Use the surplus grazing for hay, silage or reserve grazing.
Surplus grazing from well-fertilized pastures makes excellent hay
or silage. Reserve pastures supply a cheap source of good feed
during the drought season.
A good grazing system under soil and climatic conditions
found in the Virgin Islands, can provide adequate amounts of
green fast-growing grazing during most months in the year. It is
well to remember that if there is to be sufficient grazing all of the
time, there will be a surplus of grazing part of the time.
PLANTING THE PASTURE
Bermuda grass has the potential of an excellent pasture grass
in the Virgin Islands. This grass may be established at any time
during the rainy season.
Coastal Bermuda grass is a very productive hybrid that is
superior to common Bermuda grass and other pasture grass in
many characteristics: namely, yields of high quality pasturage,
hay, and silage; drought resistance; disease resistance; root depth
and distribution; rate of establishment; portion and total digestible
nutrients; ability to maintain a weed free sod. Also Coastal Ber-
muda grass does not produce viable seed which can be spread to
Coastal Bermuda grass can be established and has been
established in many different ways. Almost any method of planting
will be successful if the following principles are followed:
a. Plant only when the soil is moist
b. Plant live, freshly dug sprigs
GARBAGE CONTAINER SERVICES SEPTIC TANK
CLEANING PORTABLE TOILET RENTALS
SEWER LINE CLEANING SERVICES
"Satisfaction Guaranteed or Double Your Garbage Back"
772-1038 P.o. Box.. "
772-0534 Est. Lower Love
c. Leave the tip of the sprig above ground
d. Firm the soil about the planted sprigs
e. After sprigging, spray for weed control
f. Fertilize liberally with nitrogen
In starting with Coastal Bermuda grass, apply approximately
500-800 pounds per acre 10:10:10 fertilizer banded in the drill
beneath the sprig.
For large scale planting of Coastal Bermuda grass, the broad-
cast method has been found to be the best means of assuring a
good stand and quick cover. Apply sulfur depending on the pH of
the soil and fertilize at a rate of 500-800 pounds per acre with
10:10:10. Spray for weed control with 2, 4-D at a rate of 1%
pound per acre or three pints per acre.
Automotive Service & Repairs
8 Hospital Street
Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
VIRGIN ISLANDSSENEPOL ASSOCIATION OF 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:
Polled Fertile Good Foragers
Maternal Heat Tolerant Good Meat Production
Adaptable Early Maturing Good Milk Production
All interested producers. with Senepol Cattle are strongly encouraged to
become members and register their cattle with the Senepol Association.
The Inn was designed with you in mind,
centrally located on St. Croix, between
Christiansted and Frederiksted.
For your convenience there is-
Air Conditioned Rooms with two large
double beds in each room.
Swimming Pool 20 x 40 just a step away
from your private patio.
Restaurant with its noted West Indian and
American cuisine, serving breakfast,
lunch and dinner.
Bar and Lounge where friendship
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK
TELEPHONE 778 2121
GALLOWS BAY FEED CENTER
in Gallow's Bay (Gourmet Gulch)
OPEN MONDAY FRIDAY
Let us satisfy your dog's,
cat's and horse's appetites!
Friendly service and
Looking forward to seeing you!
WE SUPPORT THE AGRICULTURE MOVEMENT
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
SERVING THE FRESHEST AND FINEST.
58-a kinc STReEt
ChRlstiansteb, St. CROIX USVI 00820
THE MOST COMPLETE SELECTION
OF NATURAL PRODUCTS ON
NATURAL NATURAL NATURAL NATURAL
HERBS VITAMINS COSMETICS FOOD
P.O. BOX 47 ST. THOMAS, US. VIRGIN ISLANDS 0111
AND MERCHANT'S ASSOCIATION
Salute the Virgin Islands Department of
Agriculture on the occasion of the
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
BASKIN ROBBIN'S ICE CREAM
UNIQUE SHOP (Ladies)
TOWN & COUNTRY
IDEAL TOUCH BEAUTY SALON
POST OFFICE STATION
SUNNY ISLE TWIN THEATRES
OLE'S SNACK BAR
"COLORAMA" (Home Improvement)
SUNNY ISLE SEWING CENTER
BATA SHOE STORE
U.S. ARMY RECRUITING
U.S. DEPT. OF SOIL CONSERVATION
EL PATIO FLOWER SHOP
WATERING HOLE COCKTAIL LOUNGE
KINNEY'S SHOE STORE
V.I. LOTTERY SALES
LOGAN'S PET SUPPLIES
HUGHES' PHOTO STUDIO
TERRY'S CHILDREN'S WEAR
PEOPLE'S DRUG STORE
GRAND UNION SUPER MARKET
KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN
COMMUNITY INSURANCE CORP.
GODERICH-GUERRA SHIPPING AGENCY
SPEEDY SECRETARIAL SERVICE
SINGH'S BARBER SHOP
U.S. NAVY RECRUITING
QUICK PICS KIOSK
ST. CROIX MEDICAL. CENTER
ZANZIBAR DISCO & LOUNGE
ST. CROIX SPORT SHOP & HOBBY CENTER
NEW YORK SHOES
OFFICE OF DELEGATE TO CONGRESS
JOHN A. BERNIER, JR.
CONCORDIA ROAD GROCERY, INC.
WHOLESALE & RETAIL
P.O. Box 63
Frederiksted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00840
With the Compliments
of the Manager, Bank of Nova Scotia
Goldenrock, Christiansted, St. Croix
P. O. Box 773 Telephone 773-2350
ALEXANDER SALES & SERVICE. INC.
FOREIGN AND AMERICAN AUTO PARTS
Alignment (Electronic) Brake Service
Tune-Up Wheel Balancing
Tire & Tubes Batteries
What we don't have in stock we will order"
Phone 778-1575, 778-2050 ESTATE GLYNN ROAD
SU PER ASSORTED FRESH GROCERIES
MART MEATS- LIQUORS
M A R T OPEN WEEKDAYS: 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
SUNDAYS: 9:00 a.m. 9 3;
FOOD STAMPS ACCEPTED
23 SUB BASE
FLEMINGS' TRANSPORT CO. INC.
Warehousing, Storage, Packing, Crating,
Local and Overseas Household Moving,
General Trucking, Custom Brokerage.
Agents for: Air-Borne Air Freight
Florida Air Cargo
National Freight Forwarders
Fast Delivery Service
6 DaysPer Week
Part of the
For more than 15 years St.Thomas Dairies
has been supplying the Virgin Islands with
locally-made, always-fresh dairy products,
juices and drinks from tropical fruits. Fine
quality foods produced in the islands for
our island neighbors. We're part of the
From Our Photo Album
By Liz Wilson
CVI Extension director Darshan Padda visits Ganeden Farm in
Frederiksted to observe tomato production. With him are Butch
Bertrand and little Kaivalia Christopher of the farm.
Who better shows love of animals than the director of the Shel-
tered Workshop? Here Mary Edwards cuddles a new-born goat
at last year's fair.
1980 winner of the coveted "Farm Family of the Year" award
was the Charles Smith family. Smith is shown here with his 13-
year-old son Sheldon being congratulated by Gov. Juan Luis.
Maximiliano Soto and Arden Jean-Marie took top prizes in judging America. Calves were donated by local dairymen.
of dairy calves raised by members of 4-H and Future Farmers of
School honor guard groups perform with precision to thrill au li-
ence at opening ceremonies of 1980 Ag Fair.
Laura Moorehead displays one of her tasty pies
at pre-food fair workshop.
Tasty mouth-watering cakes, cookies and sweets were displayed
at Home Economics booth by two CVI Extension paraprofes-
sionals, Beulah Thompson of St. Croix and Amabelle Frett of
Concentration is important when grafting young trees. Here
workshop participant wraps tree stem tightly during free class
held at CVI.
Domestic animal exhibit prompted these fairgoers to pet a friendly goat.
Above: Snout-to-snout, these two pigs sleep
the whole day through in their snug straw bed
at the fair.
Above left: Pest control information was made
available at a display by pest management
specialists at CVI extension.
Left: Irene Mitson shows beaming Tessie
Harris some of her delicious gooseberry pre-
serves which were demonstrated at pre-fair
food workshop sponsored by Department of
R Doker' Travel & Tour Center, Inc
(Your Travel Consultants)
SNOW HAS TWO CONVENIENT LOCATIONS
2aavii M u -Sunny Isle Mini K
Chrlstlansted, St. Croix
Chrlstlansted, St. Crolx
IT DOESN'T COSTANY MORE TO MAKE YOUR TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS WITH US
Tickets and Cruise Ship Reservations Airline to Anywhere Car Rentals Island Tours Bus Information
MAJOR CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED
Self-sufficiency in food production
will be a great advantage
for all Virgin Islanders.
Chase invites you
to give yourself
The Chase Advantage
TELEPHONE 733 2685
DISTILLED, WELL, AND RAIN WATER
P.O. BOX 2606, CHRISTIANSTED
ST. CROIX ', U.S.V.I. 00820
MOST COMPLETE LINE
SALES COMPANY, INC
GPO BOX CD
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 00936
TELEPHONE 782 1991
Electrical Supply, Inc.
Paul A. Boulon
SALES & SERVICE
BOX 52 TEL: 776-6747
CRUZ BAY, ST. JOHN, V.I. 00830
Cooking Gas & Industrial Gas
Large and Small Electric Appliances
:SfS~s~.sssssrzztt.aaszt;t;s; ,zzZ.~::55~~::~f~zz c' :5"
Assistant Commissioner of Agriculture John Bernier, Sr. shows
banana shoots growing at Estate Dorothea to Dr. Darshan S. Padda
of CVI's extension service during a visit to St. Thomas.
ROBINSON-HART Isne4ace c, 7 Al.,
.... .. ... _2_'_'22-_-_- _?_7-- __--- 22 --- 2 2 2------
REUCKL PROFESSIONAL BLDG.
227 GOLDEN ROCK. CHRISTIANSTED TELEPHONE:
ST. CROIX, VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820 (809) 773-4433
"Styles for Elegant Ladies "
SUNNY ISLE SHOPPING CENTER
STAR ROUTE 00864, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
SUNNY ISLE SHOPPING CENTER
KjEA1J QUICK SERVICE PRINTERS
Citibank Building King Cross St. on the ground floor
CLOTHES FOR THE ELEGANTMAN AND BOY
SUNNY ISLE SHOPPING CENTER
ST. CROIX, TELEPH crolxNE: 773 -
STOP AND SHOP TO SAVE
CLOTHES FOR THE ELEGANT MAN AND BOY
A T GOOD PRICES, TOO'.
SUNNY ISLE SHOPPING CENTER
ST. CROIX, U.S.V.I. TELEPHONE: 773-3314
THE 1981 AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
Helping to make St. Croix more productive
ME W'WIN Invites you to visit the Lawn
O & Garden Display in our
ORTHO True Value Booth.
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Cwswnn- Jwn iw;,, on &ie //arkp/he
3A & 3kie iK 7i4- C76 0
9W r ef Se// On/A Ae -Jeses/ o00
ler? e( 4j -uPr -
&,a opr Y W--ar v / U & -
3/sdc(- los r- (k b and *?
uwhe o0 wao
wood SrVP .--
) 9Je/4i -40a wc deareoa I
I --- ~ rr _~ _
- I I I I I I I I
w a 1. k
The Singing Mosquitoes
By W. P. Maclean
Associate Professor of Biology
College of the Virgin Islands
AL MOSQUITO DE LA TROMPETILLA
Ministril de las ronchas y picadas,
misquito postillon, mosca barbero;
hecho me tienes el testuz harnero,
y deshecha la cara a manotadas.
Trompetilla, que toca a bofetadas,
que vienes con rejon contra mi cuero,
cupido pulga, chinche trompetero,
que vuelas comezones amoladas.
ZPor que me avisas, si picarme quires?
que pues qu6 das dolor i los que cantas,
de casta, y condition de potras eres.
Ti vuelas, y tu picas, y tu espantas,
y aprendes del.cuidado y de las mujeres,
a malquistar el suefio con las mantas.
I find it curious that mosquitoes appear so infrequently in
world literature. A case could be make for mosquitoes being the
type of animal which has the greatest interaction with man. The
nuisance is almost universal and the mosquito-carried diseases
very significant. We compete for food with other insects and
rodents, but mosquitoes get us where it really hurts -- health and
Quevedo's sonnet is fascinating because it asks obvious and
significant questions which, it seems, very rarely occur to anybody.
Why do mosquitoes attract one's attention with a high-pitched
hum, when they could sneak in unannounced to steal one's blood?
Why can you feel the bite of hair-sized proboscis, when, without
either song or sting, we would never know that our blood had been
sucked? These questions must occur to millions of people, but
since they are probably half asleep when bitten and would just as
well forget the experience, they are generally lost to literature.
The song question is, in fact, easily answered. Mosquitoes are
not singing for our benefit, but to communicate with other mos-
quitoes. Mating occurs soon after the female mosquito drinks
blood; the pair come together with the aid of this unlikely roman-
tic ballad. The song undoubtedly serves other functions, such as
interactions other than sex, but I am ignorant of what they might
The bite is another matter altogether. It would definitely
be to the mosquito's advantage if we could not feel it. Many
fewer would be slapped and fail to reproduce as a result. In fact,
the slapping of mosquitoes in areas where humans are common,
must be a significant factor favoring those mosquitoes which hurt
less. There must undoubtedly be genetic control over how much
each mosquito hurts, so that mosquito evolution tends to minimize
the pain to humans. The reason the pain does not disappear is that
it serves man's purposes, in an evolutionary sense, to know he is
being bitten. He can slap a few or, if there are many, he can move
away or hide under the sheet. So much for the sneak attack -- it
serves neither the mosquito nor man.
The mating flight of mosquitoes is "an aerodynamic wonder,"
with two seemingly flying with the same agility as one. (Sketch
from "The Insects," readings from Scientific American, pub-
lished by W. H. Freeman and Company, p. 74).
Most everybody is familiar with the mosquito life cycle.
Eggs are laid either in water or a moist place, depending on the
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species. The larvae are aquatic wigglerss" which can be seen in
ponds and puddles. They breathe through a tail tube which snor-
kles into the air, so that they often seem to be hanging just under
the surface. Adults emerge from a short-lived pupa, known as a
There are many species and several can co-exist at one place
by dividing the environment in two interesting ways. Often each
species has a narrow range of temperature and humidity suitable
for its activity. In tropical forests, most of the species rest in the
leaf litter on the ground and, as the air cools in the evening, they
emerge. The species which require higher humidity and lower
temperatures become active later, so that each species do not
compete for the same resources at the same time and place.
Since adults are short-lived, different species can emerge as
adults at different times, again avoiding competition. This is very
evident in the West Indies where one species which is recognizable
by being almost impossible to slap, emerges soon after a heavy
rain, while a second, which is easily killed, appears several days
later. Species avoid competition even during the larval stage, by
living in many different environments. These range from stagnant
to running water, fresh, brackish, or salt water, and include very
small bodies of water such as those hidden among the leaves of
bromeliads in hollow trees or in old tires or cans.
Quevedo would certainly have been amused to know that
only female mosquitoes bite. Males live on flower nectar and
juices of fruit. In this way these insects exploit two resources,
rather than being limited to one. I always feel a special satis-
faction when I kill a pair in their nuptial flight, but the effect on
the mosquito population's ability to reproduce is probably no
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greater than killing one female. The mating flight is an aerody-
namic wonder and I am amazed that the coupled pair can maneuver
almost as well as a single mosquito. On second thought, it is
amazing that they can fly at all when coupled.
Mosquitoes' flight speed is very low relative to normal winds
so that they are often grounded in anything greater than a light
breeze. One of the best ways to avoid the pests is to stay in the
wind, avoiding places where the air is still. Sometimes screening
is counterproductive in controlling mosquitoes because they
would be blown away if the wind could blow through the building.
In areas where winds are light and mosquitoes are common, screens
I have tested mosquito repellents from Canada to Amazonia
and have found them very effective. Killing sprays are useful in
screened areas, but not outdoors. In Costa Rica I saw an effective
application of the electric 'zapper' device. A large outdoor area
was completely lit with fluorescent tube electrocutors which were
working continuously. A single, small zapper in the garden cannot
kill enough to make a difference, however.
The most effective means of reducing mosquito populations
is to eliminate breeding sites. Since ponds and swamps are the
major breeding sites, major environmental modifications are
involved, which can be of greater consequence than were the
mosquitos. This approach was used in Illinois to eliminate malaria
at the turn of the century, and in Cuba and Panama to eliminate
yellow fever. When these and other mosquito-carried diseases reach
epidemic proportions, the environmental trade-offs are considered
General spraying is effective if used sparingly. If a given
insecticide is used to excess, the mosquitoes develop resistance but
fish and birds become the major victims. Again. disease control
should govern spraying decisions. On St. Thomas. dengue fever
reaches epidemic proportions every few years and the spraying
program is accelerated to control mosquitoes which carry the
fever virus from one person to another. Reduction. not elimina-
tion, of the mosquitoes results in the disruption of the virus-
transmission cycle. Cessation of the spraying avoids the appear-
ance of mosquitos resistant to the insecticide. This is a stable
system which can continue indefinitely. If, however, the Depart-
ment of Health (Aedes aegypti program) gets too enthusiastic
or efficient and tries to permanently eliminate mosquitos and
dengue fever, the mosquitos will become resistant to the insecti-
cide and will not be controllable. A dengue fever epidemic then.
also will not be controllable, and will run its natural course. what-
ever that might be.
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A Priceless Heritage*
The St. George Village Botanical Garden
By Austin W. Fisher
"God owns all the land and we are only responsible
for taking care of it. This is a priceless heritage."
Robert W. Moon
Abandoned in the 1930s when the island's rum and sugar
operation turned to centralized facilities, St. George Village was a
group of ruins overgrown with brush and vines and covered with
accumulated rubbish until ten years ago. Today on that site is a
thriving botanical garden.
Back in 1971 the St. Croix Garden Club envisioned a true
botanical garden comparable to others in the Caribbean and the
States. Through the generous foresightedness of the Robert W.
Moons and the DeChabert family, seventeen acres were set aside,
fenced and cleared. Money was raised and borrowed to restore
some of the ruins and to build the "Great Hall" which has become
a favorite site for Cruzan weddings, receptions, concerts and other
social events in addition to functions carried on by members of
the Garden for fund-raising and fun.
The major purpose -- a botanical garden through collection
and display of tropical and semi-tropical plants and trees -- is in
a continuing state of development. At this point, most of the
trees and plants have been identified and labeled. Exciting displays
of many island favorites hibiscus, poinsettia, cactus, bougain-
villea -- have been planted. A "Path of Gold" of a variety of yellow
flowering trees fronted by a row of the lovely lilac lignum vitae
is ,being developed, and palms and orchids of many kinds are in
place. Many of these displays (or individual trees or plants) have
been given to the Garden as gifts or memorials.
Ornamentals are only one aspect of the Garden. A tropical
and sub-tropical fruit orchard, planted in the walled corral of the
old plantation, is successfully producing oranges, grapefruit,
tangerines, limes, guavas, varieties of cherries, bananas and other
fruits. Here irrigation is essential and is provided by an under-
ground system. Local fruits such as soursop, sugar apple, genip,
etc. have been planted throughout the Garden among the stabilized
Members are experimenting with several types of vegetables,
both tropical and temperate, in another walled area. In previous
years, these efforts were quite successful; some of this year's
planting should be coming to harvest about the time of the Agri-
culture and Food Fair.
While the Garden maintains a paid staff of three, the super-
vision and much of the actual work on the grounds and buildings
is done by volunteer members -- several giving many hours of work
each week. Thursday and Saturday are "member workdays";
however, the Garden is open to the public seven days a week from
9-3. Admission is free.
The St. George Village Botanical Garden is financed by dues
and donations plus the proceeds of a variety of fund-raising events,
including Christmas Spoken Here, the annual Plant Sale, the ever-
popular rug concert, and the Old English Fair. There is no govern-
ment support. Membership and participation in its activities is
open to all.
*Priceless Heritage by Ben Kesler tells the story of St. George
Village from the time of the Arawak Indians to the Botanical
Garden. Because it delineates particularly our botanical heritage,
it is fascinating reading for anyone interested in growing things
on the island today.
The Great Hall at the St. George Village Botanical Garden has become a popular site for weddings, concerts and receptions.
THE 1981 AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
Helping to make St.Croix more productive
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Canine Parvovirus Infection -
What You Should Know About It
By R. Edward Jacobs,D.V.M., St. Croix
Information supplied by the American Veterinary Medical Assoc.
What is Parvovirus Infection?
Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious virus disease
of dogs that attacks the intestinal tract, white blood cells, and in
some cases the heart muscle. Since its appearance in Texas in 1978,
this new disease has appeared on all continents including England,
where a rigid 6-month quarantine is imposed on animals to prevent
the introduction of diseases. The first known confirmed case of
CPV in the Virgin Islands occurred in October 1980. A number of
cases have occurred on all islands since then.
CPV infection is thought to be spread by dog-to-dog contact
and has been diagnosed wherever dogs congregate, including dog
shows, obedience trials, breeding and boarding kennels, pet shops,
humane shelters, veterinary hospitals, parks, and playgrounds.
A dog that is confined to a house or yard and is rarely in
contact with other dogs is far less likely to be exposed to the virus.
The source of infection is fecal waste from infected dogs;
large amounts of the virus may be present in fecal material of
infected dogs. The virus is resistant to extremes in environmental
conditions and can survive for long periods. It is readily trans-
mitted from place to place on the hair or feet of infected dogs or
by contaminated cages, shoes, or other objects. Definitive infor-
mation on other means of transmission, if any, is lacking.
CPV infection cannot be transmitted to other types of
ailimals or people.
How Can you Tell if a Dog has CPV Infection?
The first signs of CPV infection, usually vomiting and severe
diarrhea, will most often appear 5-7 days after the dog is exposed
to the virus. At the onset of the illness, the feces will generally
be light gray or yellow-gray. Sometimes the first sign will be fluid
feces streaked with blood.
Animals may dehydrate rapidly due to the vomiting and
diarrhea. Depression and loss of appetite will also be observed.
Temperatures ranging from 1040-1060F may be recorded in
younger dogs, although there may be only a little elevation, if any,
in older animals.
Some dogs may vomit repeatedly and have diarrhea, which
may be projectile and bloody, until they die; others may have
only loose feces and recover without complications. A common
feature of CPV infection is a drop in the white blood cell count
and a fever.
Most deaths occur within 48-72 hours following the onset
of clinical signs. Pups suffer most with shock-like deaths, occurring
as early as two days after the onset of illness. Approximately 75%
of pups less than five months old and 2-3% of older dogs die from
Another form of parvoviral infection is inflammation of the
heart (myocarditis) in pups less than three months of age. This
syndrome occurs without concurrent diarrhea as the virus multi-
plies rapidly in muscle cells of the growing heart.
Pups with parvoviral myocarditis may act depressed and stop
suckling shortly before they collapse gasping for breath. Death
may follow Within minutes. Others may die at intervals over the
next several days. There is no effective treatment. Pups that sur-
vive may have permanently damaged hearts. Such animals may
die from heart failure weeks or months after they have recovered
How is CPV Infection Diagnosed and Treated?
There are no specific drugs that kill the virus in infected
dogs. A veterinarian will make an initial diagnosis based upon
clinical signs but only after considering other causes of vomiting
and diarrhea. Evidence of rapid spread in a group of dogs is strongly
suggestive of CPV infection and may be confirmed by electron
Treatment of CPV infection, which should be started im-
mediately, consists primarily of efforts to combat dehydration by
replacing electrolyte and fluid losses, controlling vomiting and
diarrhea, and preventing secondary infections. Sick dogs should be
kept warm and be provided good nursing care. Antibiotic therapy
may be prescribed to prevent secondary bacterial invasions.
What About Prevention and Protection?
With few exceptions, dogs of any age should be vaccinated to
prevent CPV infection. Ask your veterinarian about the availability
of vaccines, duration of immunity, and recommended schedule for
Proper cleaning and disinfection of kennels and other areas
where dogs are housed is essential to control spread of the virus.
Remember, the virus is capable of existing in the environment for
many months unless the area is thoroughly cleaned. Sodium
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hypochlorite solution, such as one part Clorox to 30 parts water.
is an effective disinfectant.
An owner should not allow a dog to come in contact with
the fecal waste of other dogs when walking in a park, playground.
or along town and city streets. Prompt and proper disposal of
waste material is always advisable. Check lawns, sidewalks, and
street gutters for fecal waste from neighborhood dogs. and urge
friends to do the same.
CPV is only one of many reasons why dogs should not be
allowed to roam freely. Canine Distemper, another severe virus
disease of dogs, and both internal and external parasites are all
very common on our islands. The responsible dog owner can aid
greatly in the reduction of all diseases by preventing his pets from
roaming and seeing that they are vaccinated at the proper times.
For all of you who helped to build
this Agriculture and Food Fair
from the ground up ...
This Congratulation is for you -
Estate Diamond (across from Sunny Isle)
Open Mon. thru Thursday 6 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Fri. & Sat. 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Working To Be The Best ... Not The Biggest
1C I -_I
=ar~rs~-. ~rru ~ICB.r~L~r P I Ir -~ur--y*pP---~--`-1-~i---`~-- ~--~-~-.~I----- ----~y-l- ~-..-;~n;r~-
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
Home of the
and the big
White Cows ...
Genetic Control of an Insect Pest of Pigeon Pea
By F.I. Proshold and J.L. Gonzalez
U.S. Department of Agriculture
For the past several decades, growers have relied almost
exclusively on insecticides to control insect pests. Such practices
have resulted in several undesirable side effects such as environ-
mental pollution, poisoning of beneficial insects such as honey
bees, insect parasites and predators, and the development of insect
strains that are resistant to pesticides. In an attempt to circumvent
these difficulties, entomologists are searching for other methods to
control insects. Research is underway to control insects by releas-
ing insect parasites or predators, by releasing insects that have been
sterilized by irradiation, by using pheromone or sex attractants
to interrupt mating, by using insect hormones to interrupt normal
development, etc. Knipling (1960) suggested a unique approach
to insect control. Since hybrids (the offspring of two species or
races) are frequently sterile, he felt control might be achieved by
releasing hybrids in numbers sufficient to overflood the native
population. In 1972 Laster reported that he had successfully
hybridized Heliothis virescens (F.) and H. subflexa (Guenee).
H. virescens (Fig. 1) commonly called the pigeon pea pod borer
or the tobacco budworm is a serious pest of pigeon pea, cotton,
soybean, tobacco, as well as several other crops. H. subflexa is
found only on ground cherry. Laster's studies showed that sons
from female H. subflexa crossed with H. virescens males were
incapable of reproduction. Daughters from this cross, however,
were fertile when paired with H. virescens males, but their sons
were also sterile. This backcross male sterility was inherited genera-
tion after generation when the backcross females were crossed with
H. virescens males. Theoretically, if backcross insects could be
released in numbers sufficient to overflood the native population
by ratios of 20:1 or 30:1 then the sterility in the population would
be so great that that population would regress to 1 within several
generations (Laster, Martin, and Parvin 1976).
Fig. 1. Adult pigeon pea pod borer sitting on pigeon pea leaf.
Subsequent research indicated that the concept was sound.
Sterility continued to be inherited by the backcross males for at
least 80 generations. Studies into the mechanism of sterility
showed that the backcross male failed to transfer functional sperm
to females (Proshold, La Chance and Richard 1975), but backcross
males were capable of mating and that backcross females were
attractive to H. virescens males in the field.
Fig. 2. Trap used to capture adult male of the pigeon pea pod borer.
In 1977, a large scale field test was begun on St. Croix to
determine whether the release of backcross insects could suppress
a native population of H. virescens. The test was to last four years.
The first year was designed to study population trends of native
pigeon pea pod borers. The next two years were set aside for
limited releases of backcross insects to study the infusion of
sterility into the native population. In the final year, we are to
release sufficient numbers of backcross insects over the entire
island of St. Croix to achieve control.
Population trends of the pigeon pea pod borer were deter-
mined by trapping males and counting numbers of eggs and larvae
found on host plants. Forty-two traps (Fig. 2) were set out over
the entire island. These traps were serviced 3 times/week. Males
were attracted to females caged at the bottom of the cone trap.
As they moved into the trap, they would move upwards and
become trapped in the cage at the top. Data from these traps
indicated a very low population from June to September. Starting
in September the population would begin to increase and would
attain maximum numbers in February to May.
On St. Croix there are two main host plants for the pigeon
pea pod borer, (1) pigeon pea and (2) Bastardia, a weed found
throughout most of St. Croix. Most pigeon peas grown on St. Croix
are short-day varieties and flower from November to March.
The pod borer female lays her eggs on the buds, flowers, or pods
of pigeon pea (Fig. 3). The newly hatched larvae feed on the
flowers and the older larvae feed on the peas within the pod
(Fig. 4). Pigeon pea is only suitable for attack during the time
flowers or pods are present. During the rest of the year pod borers
develop on alternate hosts, principally Bastardia. We found from
From January 19 to February 16, 1979, adults from about
7000 pupae per day were released at the Federal Experiment
Station to evaluate infusion and spread of the sterility factor
from a point release. Males from the first release were recaptured
in traps located 5 miles west to 7.5 miles east to 4 miles north of
the release point. Overall, 86% were captured within 2 miles of
the release point with fewer than 3.1% captured more than 6 miles
from the release point. About one month following the first
release, about 10% of the native males collected in traps were
backcross (BC) specimens. At some locations, one-third of the
males were BC males. The frequency stabilized at about 37c,
approximately 4 generations after the release. This persisted
through the low population period of July and August and the
BC frequency remained at this level after the initial population
increase of September through November. Released insects inter-
Fig. 3. Egg of the pigeon pea pod borer on flower bud.
8-10 generations of pod borers per year on St. Croix.
Three release strategies were conducted: (1) single point
release at Federal Experiment Station (2) release over Western
St. Croix and (3) full release program over entire island to evaluate
the backcross insect as a suppression technique. Sterile Heliothis
backcross insects used in the releases were reared at Stoneville,
Mississippi and shipped in the pupal stage to St. Croix via postal
service. They were placed in field cages (Fig. 5) and the adults
allowed to emerge, leave the cage and interact with the native
population. Fig. 4a. Larva feeding on pigeon pea flower.
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acted well with native insects, and mating pairs collected at host
sites indicated random mating between released and native insects.
From November 1 to December 19, 1979, 10,000 pupae/day
were allowed to emerge in cages located on Western St. Croix. The
10 different release sites allowed for greater dispersion of the
released insects. Again, interaction between the native and released
insect appeared to be at random. Following this release, 50% of
the 1st field generation were backcross insects. The BC frequency
from this release persisted in the population with a loss of about
6% per generation.
September 1, 1980 we began our all island release. At each of
50 sites located throughout St. Croix from 600-900 pupae/day
were set out in field cages. This rate of release lasted until Decem-
Fig. 5. Field cage used to hold pupae until adult emergence and
ber 19, 1980. The data from this release is still being calculated.
Going into the all island release, 20-25% of the male pod borers
were sterile backcross; this percentage jumped to 55% the first
week in October. From that time the percentage backcross in-
creased at a rate of 4-5% per week, so that the last week of Novem-
ber, 86% of all field reared males were sterile backcross progeny.
It is unlikely that any population can maintain itself with this
amount of sterility.
Although pigeon pea is not grown commercially on St. Croix,
St. Croix is well suited to pigeon pea production. Also, pigeon pea
is grown commercially throughout the West Indies. If this tech-
nique continues to show success, then growers of pigeon pea as
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o 0 4;7
Water Quality and Agriculture
By Maureen Hackett
Irrigation Research Assistant
C.V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station
Water is oT great importance to the survival of every living
thing on earth. Man can live without food for 2-3 weeks, but
without water for only 34 days. The growth of plants is also
dependent on a source of water. For both man and plants, the
quality of water is as important as the quantity.
The quality is determined by the natural features of the
area (geology, climate) and also man's influence on the water
cycle. In St. Croix there are four potential sources of water:
1. Groundwater (wells)
2. Potable water desalinizedd)
3. Reclaimed Wastewater
4. Impounded Surface Runoff (dams)
According to Jordan in the 1975 V.I. Geological Survey,
in an average year about 40 inches of rain falls on St. Croix.
Approximately 90% of this returns to the atmosphere by evapo-
transpiration, streamflow to the sea accounts for about 1 inch,
and another 1-3 inches infiltrates the soil to eventually become
part of the groundwater system.
600 SOUTH SOUTHEAST -
/SOUTH SHORE OF ST CROIX
z / AWWTP FAIR PLAINS
S100 WELL FIELD
100 :::::: KINGSHILL MARL :
200 (BLUE C
The geology and soil structure are vital factors in deter-
mining the quality of groundwater in an island. Rain falling on
the ground contains gases and solids in solution. Water passing
through the unsaturated soil moisture zone picks up carbon diox-
ide (C02) from the soil air and thus becomes more acid. This acid
water, coming in contact with soil particles or bedrock, takes
certain mineral salts into solution. If the soil is well drained, the
eventual groundwater may contain a substantial amount of dis-
Due to the varied geological formations on the island, the
quality of groundwater is also variable. The two major types of
rock found on St. Croix are sedimentary and igneous. Sedimentary
rock has a greater effect on groundwater since it is more easily
dissolved. The formations of marl and limestone in the central
plain were previously below sea level. Wells in the marl hills or
alluvial plains tend to produce a large quantity of water, but it is
usually heavily mineralized. Generally, wells located in the igneous
hills have low production, but produce water of a good quality
(low in dissolved minerals).
Evapotranspiration is the most influential factor in the
quality of groundwater in St. Croix. Rain showers are often ':
I--j---- NORTH NORTHWEST
0 4,000 8,000 12,000 16,000 20,000
HORIZONTAL DISTANCE (ft)
Geological cross section of the coastal plain on St. Croix.
(Source: Wastewater Reclamation Project by Oscar Krisen Buros, June 1976 EPA 600/2 /6 -134).
Compliments of JOHNIE JOHN'S
RELIABLE TIRE SERVICE, INC.
Hannah's Rest, Frederiksted
6 \ Ia (;rande Princesse, Christiansted
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UNITED STATES, VIRGIN ISLANDS 00840
ALSO KNOWN FOR
tense, but of short duration, followed by sunshine and the con-
tinual tradewinds. The vegetation generally holds the water for a
short time without rapid percolation. The sun comes out and
begins to evaporate the surface water. At the same time, capillary
action within the upper soil layers acts like a wick to bring per-
colating water back for evaporation at the surface. As the water
evaporates, minerals contained are left behind and are concentrated
in the remaining water and in the soil profile. The evaporation of
rain water from the soil profile results in a large build-up of chlor-
ides which originate from the sea and are mixed with the rain.
Other major constituents which are added by this type of concen-
tration are sodium (Na) and sulfate (S).
POTABLE, RECLAIMED AND SURFACE WATER
Other water sources on St. Croix can also be used for irriga-
tion and hence their quality is of some concern here. Potable
desalinizedd) water is of good quality, however its cost generally
makes its use for agriculture uneconomical. Surface water (streams.
dams) is also low in salts, boron and carbonates. but like cistern
water it is often scarce due to drought when it is needed the most.
Reclaimed water (sewage effluent) has long been used for
crop irrigation in water short areas and its use on St. Croix could
be beneficial in several ways. The use of reclaimed wastewater for
the artificial recharge of the groundwater would be one method
for increasing both the quantity and quality of St. Croix's water
supply. Reduced salt concentration and prevention of saltwater
intrusion are possible benefits. The most serious problem with the
reuse of water comes from the total dissolved solids (especially
chloride) which will affect its possible use for both drinking and
agriculture. The concentration will depend on the source and da\-
to-day fluctuations at specific locations.
Reclaimed wastewater with a controlled chloride and sodium
level could be used for irrigation. A well managed irrigation system
using a mix of irrigation water and sewage effluent can reduce the
pollution potential as compared to disposal in rivers and other
Water used for irrigation always contains measurable quan-
tities of the dissolved substances previously mentioned, which aie
generally referred to as salts. The amount and kind present will
determine the suitability for irrigation. The problem that results
from using a poor quality water will vary locally as to the kind
and degree. Micro-climate, geology and the amount and distribu-
tion of precipitation throughout the year are the key influences
on St. Croix. The most common problems on St. Croix involve
salinity and permeability.
A salinity problem due to water quality occurs if salts from
the applied irrigation water accumulate in the crop root zone and
yields are affected. If two identical soils are at the same degree
of wetness (soil water potential) but one is salt-free and the other
is salty, the crop will be able to use and extract more water from
the salt-free soil.
With shallow water tables, a salinity problem may also exist
due to upward movement of water and salts from the groundwate'
as the water evaporates from the soil or is used by the crop. This
mechanism was previously mentioned in the discussion on salt
accumulation in the groundwater. Such a salinity problem is
related to high water tables, lack of soil drainage and a high evapo-
transpiration rate; it is only indirectly related to salts in the irriga-
Most of the salts added with the irrigation water are left
behind in the soil as water is removed by the crop. These may
accumulate and reduce the availability of water to future crops
and the overall productivity of the field. To dissolve and remove
the salts, adequate water must be applied to allow percolation
through the entire root zone (leaching). If water management
accomplishes sufficient leaching, saline irrigation water can be
tolerated to some extent.
A permeability problem occurs if the irrigation water does
not enter the soil rapidly enough to replenish moisture. This can
be directly related to unfavorable changes in soil chemistry as
caused by the quality of the irrigation water applied; the problem
is related to one of two causes -- either low salinity or high sodium
in the irrigation water.
A corrosive liquid will tend to dissolve soluble materials on
contact. Low salinity waters are corrosive and tend to deplete
surface soils of the more rapidly soluble minerals and salts such
as those containing calcium. When such neutral soluble salts are
removed, the presence of sodium tends to dominate the system.
Sodium causes the dispersal (breaking apart) of soil particles.
These dispersed particles fill soil pore spaces, tending to seal the
soil surface by making it tight and impervious. This makes it
difficult for plant roots to penetrate and grow.
High evapotranspiration rates on St. Croix cause concen-
tration of the soil solution with a tendency for less soluble com-
pounds to precipitate out. The carbonate forms of calcium and
magnesium are much less soluble than the sodium combinations,
and with their precipitation the proportion of sodium in direct
solution is increased. Sodium is the major problem with respect
to dispersal and soil structure as discussed above.
One of the biggest hindrances to the development of a
sound agricultural industry on St. Croix is the lack of water. The
rainfall pattern in recent years has been such that a vegetable
enterprise without supplemental irrigation would have faced
disaster. Unfortunately the potable water is too expensive, the
groundwater is limited in quantity and in many cases the sodium
and/or chloride content is too high for prolonged use. Under
special soil conditions, with certain crops and using careful irriga-
tion techniques, water with high dissolved solids can be used. The
fact that St. Croix has poorly drained soils combined with a high
evapotranspiration rate aggravates any attempt to irrigate with
waters of marginal quality.
The situation for irrigation and water quality is not entirely
bleak on St. Croix, however. With a SALINITY PROBLEM there
are procedures to improve soil water availability to the crop.
Some management practices include:
irrigate more frequently to maintain a more adequate
water supply for the crop;
plant crops that are tolerant of an existing or potential
salinity problem such as date palm, spinach, sugar and
garden beets, and Bermuda grass;
routinely use extra water to satisfy the leaching
change the method of irrigation (i.e. sprinkler to drip)
Since the PERMEABILITY PROBLEM only reduces the
MANY THANKS TO
Produced Daily On St. Croix
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ST. CROIX, VIRGIN ISLAND
volume of water placed into storage for future use by a crop,
corrective action needs to be taken when the crop water demand
or the leaching requirement can no longer be satisfied. Other
problems caused by reduced permeability such as water logging,
crusting, poor aeration and germination, or weeds may also force
Suggested practices to bring about a change in soil or water
chemistry which may be causing a permeability problem include:
using soil or water amendments (gypsum, sulfur, etc.)
blending or changing the irrigation water supply
The physical methods include cultural practices that manipu-
late the soil to increase infiltration or reduce the rate of water flow
over the soil and allow more opportunity for infiltration:
irrigating more frequently
cultivating and deep tillage
using organic residues
increasing time allotted (duration) for an irrigation.
WATER QUALITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Water quality affects agriculture but agriculture also affects
water quality. Such things as animal waste (manure), pesticides.
or fertilizer nutrients can each be a pollutant if they in some way
degrade the quality of a stream, lake or an underground water
There are many other users of water besides agriculture.
Quality demands may be very different from one user to the next.
The domestic user would like a high sodium, soft water; agriculture
needs a high calcium, hard water. Consumers and local government
have a responsibility to oversee quality aspects in order to assure
that each of the many essential uses of water is protected for both
present and future needs.
crop root zone
-material deposited or in transit by streams, including gravel, sand.
- the solid rock underlying soils (varying in depth).
-a salt of carbonic acid (H2 CO3) as in calcium carbonate (Ca CO3).
-a salt of hydrochloric acid (HC1) consisting of two elements, one of
which is chlorine, as in sodium chloride (Na Cl).
- area of the soil occupied by plant roots, necessary for water and min-
- the giving off of water by plant leaves to the atmosphere.
-water found below the soil zone, of various depths, quantity and
- rock formed from the cooling and solidification of magma (volcanic).
and that has not changed appreciably since its formation.
- a sedimentary rock composed primarily of calcite (Ca Co3), along with
other amounts of clay, etc.
- soft and unconsolidated calcium carbonate (Ca CO3).
- any of a class of substances found in nature, usually comprising inor-
ganic substances, of definite chemical composition; also including rocks
formed by these substances.
- the presence of accumulated salts in a soil and/or water sample, varying
in concentration and type of salts.
- a compound formed by the replacement of one or more hydrogen (H)
atoms of an acid with elements that usually ionize in solution, (i.e..
hydrochloric acid + sodium sodium chloride = common table salt).
- rock formed from materials deposited by water, air or ice, usually
LEOCADIO CAMACHO, INC.
P.O. Box 817 Tel. 773-3354
ESTATE PEARL, #4
( HRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
I S VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
Wholesale & Retail
CRUZ BAY. ST. JOHN,
P. O. BOX 145
PHONE: (809) 776-6216
MR. ROBERT O'CONNOR, OWNER
THE 1981 AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
Helping to make St. Croix more productive
Multi-spray nozzle adjusts for any
cone-shaped spray-light mist to
15-ft. spray. Brass pump, 18"ex-
i GARDEN TOOLS
One piece forged steel PICKER
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CENTRALLY LOCATED ON NORTH ROAD WEST OF CHRISTIANSTED AT LA GRANDE PRINCESS 773-0787
Very best wishes
American a liton
ST. CROIX, V.
Whim Greathouse History For Everyone
By Ann Fisher
It's a clear Cruzan morning. The grounds of Whim Great-
house are alive with school boys and girls in gray and plaid and
blue, darting out toward the mill or the cookhouse, or quietly
sitting under the tamarind tree. The great blue shutters are just
opening and a group of fourteen youngsters rapidly line up on
the steps to the entrance of the greathouse itself; the others find
a shady spot to wait their turn.
Students are admitted free to the Whim Greathouse when accom-
panied by their teacher, and enjoy seeing a slice of St. Croix's
history come to life.
Whim is education that is painless and fun. The questions
start almost before young eyes have adjusted to the shady interior.
Who owned this house? Is that his wife (pointing to a portrait)?
How high is the ceiling? Is there ever water in the moat? And, as
the tour progresses, why don't we grow sugar any more? How
many people lived on this plantation? How long did it take cane
to grow? And on and on! Some of them have visited Whim before
and are quick with answers for their friends. Others, coming for
the first time, are amazed to learn that molasses was used in the
construction of the walls, that the cooking was done outdoors in
a special house, that it took over a year to get a crop of cane
ready for harvest.
For passenger reservations and information
St. Thomas or St. Croix call 774-7111
or see your travel agent.
Whim Greathouse itself is a most unusual building which
demonstrates the elegant lifestyle of the rich plantocracy of cen-
turies long past on St. Croix. The original owner was Christopher
MacEvoy, Jr., a Dane, and member of a prominent island family.
In 1803 the estate was named "Whim," although the reason for
this name choice is obscure. According to historical information,
the one-bedroom estate home belonged to a man of unusual
wealth and distinct taste. MacEvoy's home was built with a moat
surrounding it and the house with its semi-circular ends, has walls
three feet thick built of cut stone and coral bound by lime and
molasses -- a common method in those days.
Furnishings for the greathouse have been collected from all
over the island and from as far away as Copenhagen, where much
of the Crucian furniture was removed when its owners returned
to their country of origin. The wood, usually tibet and mahogany,
was chosen to resist termites, but some of the fine furniture
pieces originated in Europe, including one oak wainscott chair
found underneath the house dating from 1685.
Aside from home gardens, sugar cane was the only agricul-.
ture St. Croix knew for over one hundred and fifty years. Although
other crops, such as cotton were tried, cane was what the island
knew and could grow. It is part of the Cruzan heritage and at
Whim, young and old can learn something of what it was like to
live in the days when everyone's livelihood depended on the cane
In addition to the greathouse itself, visitors have a choice of
many other buildings to visit, including the mill with its huge
paddles and functioning machinery for cane grinding. The Museum
has an ever-changing display with a magnificent permanent collec-
tion of old photographs and maps as well as artifacts of the earlic
era: Other outbuildings include the cookhouse, a bathhouse and
a beautifully reconstructed Apothecary containing the very fine
complete collection from the old Merrill Apothecary on Company
Street in Christiansted.
Over five hundred school children visited Whim during the
1979-80 school year and Whim is hoping to welcome more this
year. Always admission is free for school groups, provided the
teacher or principal calls ahead. With advance notice, too, the
staff can make sure there is something to drink for all hands,
as education seems always to be a thirsty process!
air cushion design
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Sta-Rite water pumps
Quality and dependability
Full line of Sta-Rite pumps for cisterns,
wells, agricultural, commercial and indus-
trial use. Replacement parts in stock.
For the largest selection of pumps, tanks
and water systems in the V.I. see:
Sub-Base, St. Thomas 774-5518
Peter's Rest, St. Croix 773-7055
Of course Whim is not just for children, but the new staff
and Board of Directors are emphasizing this service to schools to
encourage young people to come and learn and then to return
bringing their families with them. Whim belongs to all the people
of St. Croix and is open for their pleasure seven days a week,
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. While school children are admitted free
when accompanied by their teacher, admission at other times
is $2 for adults and $1 for children.
These admission fees help keep Whim open. Other sources
of support are memberships in the St. Croix Landmarks Society
and money raising events (such as the annual House Tours) run by
the Society. The St. Croix Landmarks Society, established in 1948,
is an island organization open to all who are interested in the
preservation of St. Croix's unique assets and history.
LUNCH & DINNER SERVED
OSKAR's Bar and Restaurant
Owner and Manager
-a La Grand Princess
Star Route 0086+
Christiansted st.Coix North shore Rd.
us virgin Islands OOa 0 o Tel. 809 773 -060
FOR RESERVATIONS CALL
ST. CROIX 773-4377
AIRPORT 772-1365 ANCHOR INN (C'sted) 773-4377
ST. THOMAS 774-1468
FREE WORLDWIDE RESER VA TION SERVICE* Avis Features
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Weed Control in the Garden
By Christopher Ramcharan
C.V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station
Probably no other farm invention has discouraged more
people from becoming gardeners than the hoe. This implement
is still with us, but the modern gardener with access to an in-
creasing number of herbicides (chemical weed killers) may be
tempted to discard the hoe as obsolete. However, the battle against
weeds is not that easily won. Every method of weed control has
its disadvantages and just as many seedlings have been cut off
by a misguided hoe, many plants also have been killed by im-
proper applications of herbicides.
A comprehensive approach to the problem of weed control
includes identifying the particular weeds, evaluating the advan-
tages of each method of-control and selecting the right combina-
tion of measures to use. A total weed control program involves
both mechanical and biological control and the proper use of
herbicides only when other methods fail.
The common mechanical methods -- cultivation and mulch-
ing -- and the biological means of growing healthy plants are widely
discussed in garden articles and books. On the other hand, the use
of herbicides is much more technical and difficult, and much less
discussed in terms the average gardener or farmer can use.
Gardeners often use one or more mechanical means of weed
control. The most common and readily available is the hoe. A
sharp hoe is an effective means of cutting off weeds but it does
not provide a permanent control. Hoeing is best used where the
young weeds can be uprooted and left to die as their roots dry out.
This is especially effective if done a few days after every rainy
period before the weeds can become fully established. There are
many other tools of cultivation such as versatile tillers, garden
cultivators and even plows. However, cultivation is not always
practical as for example in a thickly covered bed or in the home
Hand pulling of weeds, although time consuming and labor-
ious, is often the safest method. Although very useful in removing
annual weeds, hand weeding, like hoeing, does not give permanent
weed control. New weeds will soon germinate and begin growing.
A third method of mechanical control is the use of mulches.
The perfect mulch is one that smothers all weeds it covers, kills
germinating weed seeds and has an upper surface that remains dry
most of the time, so preventing germination of weed seeds blown
in from surrounding areas. There is no perfect mulch but there are
some materials that do control weeds quite well.
A coarse textured mulch is best because larger particles
dry out quickly, so preventing weed germination. Some locally
available coarse materials are wood chips, shredded bark, whole
or crushed mahogany fruit shells, washed sea weed and cut grass.
Mulch materials such as peat moss and sawdust are too fine in
texture. Sawdust, although easily available, does not dry out
easily and has the added disadvantage of depleting soil nitrogen.
If sawdust must be used then added fertilizer should be applied
to restore soil nitrogen.
Besides being coarse, a mulch should be deep enough to
Mulch keeps down weeds in garden rows and can be made from
wood chips, bark, mahogany shells, sea weed or cut grass.
smother existing weeds and kill germinating ones. Very often
gardeners spread mulches too thin and bare soil is left in patches
resulting in weed growth scattered throughout the garden. A
mulch should be at least two inches deep and up to a maximum
of about four inches. One cubic yard of mulch will cover about
150 square feet to a depth of two inches. Locally, an estimated
20 to 25 tons of cut dried grass is required per acre for effective
Another method of mulching is by use of plastic film, with
or without a covering of organic matter. Plastic films can effec-
tively smother weeds but they must be thick enough -- from four
to six mil gauge -- so that tough weed seedlings will not grow
through. Black plastic tends to build up soil temperature while
clear plastic allows weeds to grow and remain green. Also plastics
do not break down and cannot be incorporated like organic mulches.
Environmentalists always prefer biological control of pests.
Usually when the term "biological control" is mentioned we
immediately think of insects and diseases, but this method can be
applied to weeds also. The use of geese and ducks, although not
very practical for the home gardener, is a common method of
controlling weeds in some countries. Providing optimum growing
conditions for the plant is an important form of biological control
that is often overlooked. Proper cultivation of the soil, incorpor-
ation of soil amendments and the use of fertilizers all aid in getting
seedlings off to a good start. Finally, keeping the adult plants in
a healthy condition, free of insects and diseases, helps them to
compete with and outgrow weeds.
The farmer uses all three methods of weed control -- mech-
anical, biological and chemical. He can cultivate his field to remove
weeds and apply herbicides to kill existing weeds or to prevent
weed regrowth. By using fertilizer he forces his crops to grow faster
than the weeds. The home gardener can basically use the same
techniques except for the use of herbicides. He usually has a
variety of crops in small plots so that he is limited to herbicides
that are safe for a wide spectrum of plant species. Also there is
practically no equipment for applying herbicides in small, irregular-
ly shaped plantings as occur in the home garden. However, these
problems do not completely eliminate the use of herbicides by
Familiarity with herbicides and their usage is absolutely
essential before they can be safely applied. A definition of some
terms relating to herbicides will probably help. All weeds are
divided into two groups -- annuals and perennials. Annual weeds,
such as amaranth, germinate, grow, flower, set seed and then die
in a single growing period. Perennial plants will live for more than
one growing season, usually surviving unfavorable growing periods
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as underground parts such as roots, tubers or rhizomes. A pre-
emergence herbicide is one that must be applied before the emer-
gence of weeds from the soil. A post-emergence herbicide must be
applied after the weeds are up and actively growing.
In the actual application of herbicides there are two cardinal
rules. The first is to identify the weed problem correctly so that
you can select the right herbicide. The second rule is to read
the label of the herbicide carefully and follow application direc-
tions diligently. Actually it is against the law to apply any pesti-
cide,including herbicides, in any other way.
If annual weeds are the major problem, pre-emergence
herbicides will be helpful. Pre-emergents must be applied as soon
after cultivation as possible. Sprinkler irrigation or rainfall is
usually needed to leach in and activate these herbicides. Some
pre-emergence herbicides that can be used are Treflan (R), Dacthal
(R), and Amiben (R).
Perennial weeds such as Bermuda grass and Nutgrass are more
difficult problems for the gardener. Constant removal of these
weeds by hand will reduce their vigor. This is tough work but often
the only solution. Close spacings of plants will also help control
perennial weeds. The number of herbicides for controlling these
weeds are few and often unavailable to the gardener. Two or
three applications of paraquat may be effective. The relatively
new herbicide, glyphosate, such as in RoundUp (R) or Ortho
Kleenup (R), can also be used effectively against perennials.
All herbicides except glyphosate do have a tendency to
build up in the soil with repeated use and the result can be a
concentration that is lethal even for tolerant crop or ornamental
plants. It is therefore advisable to keep the use of these chemicals
to a minimum as part of a well planned weed control program that
includes other methods as well.
A complete control program for the gardener can include
herbicides but a few simple guidelines must be kept in mind.
Combine all three methods -- mechanical, biological, and chemical.
Make good use of mulches; they will greatly reduce weeds if
properly applied. Hand weeding and mulching are the safest and
most effective methods of controlling weeds. All others, while
less laborious, have some disadvantages. It is not, therefore, neces-
sary to rely entirely on the hoe. To protect the environment, use
only the recommended herbicide at the rate directed on the label.
Finally, prepare planting sites properly and maintain your plants
so that they grow faster and better than the weeds.
Mention of product names in no way endorses the use of the
FERTILIZER CO., INC.
G.P.O. BOX 3128
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 00936
SULFURIC ACID AND OTHER
EUGENE A. PETERSEN, D.V.M.
PAUL W. HESS, D.V.M.
CRAGO ANIMAL CLINIC
TEXACO SERVICE STATION
La GRANDE PRINCESS
WEEKLY CAR RENTALS
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concrete tools tables chairs televisions
office equipment sickroom supplies
lawn & garden tools floor care equipment
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(809 ) 773 2465
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PETER'S REST ST. CROIX
Research on Papaya Decline*
By Eric Dillingham
C.V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station
The papaya was first described by the Spanish chronicler
Oviedo in 1526 on the Caribbean coast of Panama and Columbia.
It was soon found growing throughout the tropics and became
adapted to many tropical regions, particularly in areas with fertile
soils and abundant rainfall.
Papayas are herbaceous dicotyledonous plants which may
produce fruits for more than 20 years. When cultivated, plants
usually have a single trunk, but several bunches may develop as
the plants become older. Trees grown under optimum conditions
of fertility and rainfall may reach heights of 30 feet or more.
The trunk has soft, pulpy wood and the leaves are deeply lobed
with hollow soft petioles. The melon-like fruit varies considerably
in size, shape, flavor and color and hangs close to the trunk. The
papaya is very nutritious since the fruit contains high amounts of
vitamin A, fair quantities of vitamin C, some riboflavin and niacin
and is a good source of calcium, phosphorous and iron. Papain
which is collected from the green fruit, is used in the manufacture
of meat tenderizers.
The papaya plant can exhibit three sex types characterized
by their flowers which are either male, female or hermaphrodite.
Though it is possible for a papaya plant to have more than one
type of flower, usually they express only a single sex. There are
tendencies for papaya plants to sometime change sex type due
to unfavorable climate conditions such as drought or high tem-
peratures. The papaya thrives best under warm conditions with
abundant rainfall. It prefers well-drained fertile soils and cannot
tolerate strong winds or flooding, since these conditions associated
with the Virgin Islands, can reduce optimum growth and fruit
Since 1955 a disease known as 'papaya decline' has limited
commercial production of certain desirable varieties such as the
Solo. Originally from Barbados, Solo owes its consistency in
character (sweet, uniform size and dark pink in color) to a high
degree of natural self-pollination of its bisexual flowers. This
continuous selection of pear-shaped fruits produced by bisexual
plants, has maintained Solo relatively unchanged. Improved selec-
tions, such as Sunrise Solo, have resulted from vigorous breeding
work. Unfortunately, the Solo is not resistant to the St. Croix
decline and production of this variety has been limited in the
Virgin Islands for this reason.
Since 1966, the St. Croix papaya decline has been under
constant study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the
College of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment Station.
It was first necessary to isolate the actual cause of the decline and
determine if it is fungus, bacterium or virus. Many scientists have
described the symptom of the decline disease (the appearance of
water soaked lesions on the trunk called 'greasy spot') and the
detrimental effect it has on the papaya plant. They have isolated
*Papaya research is partially funded under Section 406, Tropical
and Subtropical Agriculture, US. Department of Agriculture.
fungi such as Phytophthora parasitica, Corynespora crassicola,
Fisarium sp. and Pythium sp. and hypothesized that one of these
fungi or a combination of them is causing the papaya plants to
Currently papaya experiments at the experiment station are
seeking to find a feasible way to control the decline, with three
experiments in progress working toward possible control measures.
Since the decline seems to attack plants that are not healthy, one
experiment is to provide the best possible growing conditions.
The soil has been fumigated to destroy any existing soil diseases
and sulfur has been applied to help the natural soil nutrients
become more available to the plants. This experiment is currently
A second experiment consisting of 24 papaya varieties from
different parts of the world is underway at the experiment station.
These plants show promising results since some of them exhibit
natural resistance to the decline. After obtaining a resistant variety
we hope to cross-breed it with a more desirable variety and obtain
papaya that grows under the unique conditions of the Virgin
Islands and produces a desirable fresh fruit.
The third experiment consists of Sunrise Solo papayas grown
with different chemical fungicides, insecticides and minor ele-
ments. It is thought that these chemicals which are used on other
crops might help to control the fungi and allow the Sunrise Solo
to be cultivated in the Virgin Islands.
Symptoms of papaya decline disease are lesions on the trunk
called 'greasy spot.'
Delgado's Electrical &
P. O. BOX 472
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX, V. I. 00840
IT'S MORE THAN A LIVING
IT'S A LIFESTYLE
Congratulations on the
1981 AGRICULTURE & FOOD FAIR
/ The Home of
Fresh Grade AA Eggs
Estate Solitude Star Route 00864
Christiansted, St. Croix
U. S. Virgin Islands 00820
TELEPHONE (809) 773-4222
RICHARD ROEBUCK JR.
FOR YOUR NEXT NEW OR USED CAR
Call: 772-0384 "Did you know
or Stop in at that without a
92 EST. GROVE PI. Trade-in
(Next to the You can save up to
Fire Station) 4to 5% on a
AND SAVE!!!! New or Used Car?
For you Government Employees The Retirement
System is also available.
Fish Culture and Hydroponics in The Virgin Islands
By Ayyappan Nair
C.V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station
Until recently, fish culture has not been possible in areas
of the world where freshwater is scarce. Now there is a method
that has the potential of producing fish as well as vegetables in
arid regions by using only limited amounts of freshwater. The
fish are cultured in a recirculating system where the water is
purified and reused hundreds of times. The purification process
includes the culture of vegetables to remove the nutrients that
accumulate as part of the fish waste. The vegetables are grown
without soil, a method known as "hydroponics." In the Virgin
Islands, where inadequate freshwater is a factor limiting the growth
of agriculture, fish culture-hydroponic systems may play an impor-
tant part in future fish and vegetable production.
At the College of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment
Station, research dealing with fish culture-hydroponic systems has
been encouraging. A unit was developed that demonstrated the
feasibility of producing fish and vegetables in a backyard. (See
article entitled "New Approach to Backyard Fish and Tomato
Production" by Barnaby J. Watten in the 1980 Agriculture and
Food Fair booklet.)
Nearly 140 pounds of fish and 170 pounds of tomatoes
were grown in 6 months in an area occupying 1/200 acre. The
integrated fish and tomato production unit consisted of a fish
culture pool, two waste removal drums and two hydroponic
tomato beds. Cost of the building material amounted to approxi-
mately $459.00 in January 1979. The system appeared to be
economically viable for small scale production of fish and vege-
tables for home use. These favorable results have prompted scien-
tists at the Agriculture Experiment Station on St. Croix to expand
their research program. A facility is being established that will
include 34 pools and 6 recirculating systems. The results of future
experiments may encourage the development of commercial fish
culture-hydroponic systems in the Virgin Islands.
Tilapia, a tropical freshwater fish, has been selected for
culture in recirculating systems because it is a rapid growing fish
that is easy to breed, resistant to diseases and tolerant to handling
and poor water quality. A recirculating system is an unnatural
environment for tilapia, and therefore several factors must be
controlled by the fish culturist to achieve maximum fish produc-
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For rapid growth, tilapia should be given feed containing
approximately 32% protein. Fish feed is available at local feed
shops. The optimum feeding rate will depend on the water quality
and the size of the fish. To avoid overfeeding, tilapia should be
given small quantities of feed several times a day. The best method
is to allow tilapia to feed themselves by using a "demand feeder."
A demand feeder consists of a feed storage container and a trigger
mechanism that hangs in the water. Tilapia quickly learn that by
bumping the trigger, feed pellets will.be released and fall into the
Maintaining adequate levels of dissolved oxygen is extremely
important in recirculating systems because the fish are concen-
trated in a small volume of water and they may quickly deplete the
oxygen supply. Levels of dissolved oxygen should average 5 or 6
mg/liter to support the healthy growth of fish. Natural mechanisms
for adding oxygen (aerating) to water are not sufficient in a recir-
culating system, and therefore mechanical devices aeratorss) must
be used. Aerators splash water into the air or mix air into the
water so that oxygen from the air passes into the water by a pro-
cess called diffusion. Dissolved oxygen is also important to the
growth of vegetables and the bacteria that remove ammonia from
Fish can alter the chemistry of the water in a recirculating
system. They cause a deterioration of water quality resulting from
the accumulation of toxic waste from the uneaten food, feces and
excretions collectively termed metabolitess."
Uneaten food and fish feces are solid pollutants that must be
removed from the system. In the fish pool, the solids are suspended
by currents produced by the fish and aeration equipment. The first
stage of the wastewater treatment process consists of a settling
basin clarifierr) where water allows the solids to settle by gravity
and accumulate on the bottom. Unless the solids are frequently
removed by draining or siphoning, they will decompose, a process
which adds ammonia to the water and consumes dissolved oxygen.
Ammonia is a metabolite of fish that must be controlled.
Concentrations as low as 0.2 ppm have been shown to reduce the
growth of fish and lower their resistance to disease. Higher concen-
trations of ammonia can be toxic to fish if they are allowed to
remain in the culture water. Removing ammonia on a continuous
basis is an essential part of water quality maintenance.
Ammonia can be removed by a biological filter, which
The Frame Up
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S I. 1 consists of stones or sonie othei media \\li a laige sur-
face area. Large numbers of bacteria grow on tihe stone o a
biological filter and cover them with a slime. As waste\a tel i'l,'
through the filter, the bactena remove the ammonmi and 'on.
it to nitrate, a nutrient that is lelatlvely ham-nle, to tlh. This
process is called "nitriication." N tifticaton is te second stge
in the wastewater treatment process.
Large amnouints of n1utieints in feed aie not utilhed b\ :;la .i
and they accumulate in tile l \atei. The1 e nilrileni .ie 'r.:ie i.
nitrogen and phosphorus, which are nt\o, ol the -ar oilnier i
required by plants for gcro th. Theretore. tthe in l tae in .tie-
water treatment consists of vegetables roted in bed 1 <
As wastewater passes tllougl tile gravel. The rool s t te \e I I A les
absorb nutrients Itom the water. Femtlizeis Tcinamin ,.e e -
ments lmust be added to the \water oc tion ial to ,uppl reiuel!
plant nutrients that are not found in fish teed.
One of the obstacles that miay imit the dexelopmei nt r1s;:
cultture-hydroponic systems in tihe Virti IslandT i itlie h;i ,ghi i .
energy. Water pumps and aerators use L J coii dei l le aIo''o'I- i
energy to operate continutousiy. A prelinmmart eci nii .::.
showed that energy co sust sub istantiall leduced i he iI i te ial ?' :
nimargin that would be geniated lt the sale ot .Lipia :aTr
Future research will include additional econoni nal\ n es a:- S -:
effort will be made to find more efficient \\ate: pumps c ia -:
Self-sufficiency in food production i an it i it mi -
tant goal for the Virgin Islands during g this perod of popu.ati.
expansion and rising transportation costs. Research vlt]- :ls:1
cultule-hydroponic systems is just one approtih being takenI '
the Agriculture Experiment Station to met e t dend :;:c
food in an area that has lintted freshwater res ouieei
FIRST IN ST. CROIX FOR ALL YOL R
RtAL I STAT-I AND IN\VEST\lENT \Nl IS .
it, i\L [t-_fT \14
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DEA Tr, Pihone: 809-773-0595
7-8 Queen Street
(across from public market)
4Pacific wPrinting Service
Your "ONE-STOP PRINTER" for
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41 KING T5 C'STED
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MAKE ENDS MEET
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'he lower Box
CARAVELLE ARCADE, CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX 00820
5 COMPANY ST. SEIKO WATCHES
ST. CROIX 00820 CORAL
773-044 FINE JEWELRY
The store that's a 23 year tradition.
THE COMPASS ROSE
Toro Bldg. People's Bank Bldg.
Golden Rock St. Thomas
St. Croix 774-2700
1 TRAVEL SERVICES INC. OF ST. CROIX
Z MNOS ALLEI CHSRSTIANS- ED 5' CROIX VIRGIN ISLANDS 008;
W v WhereE5
the world begins
Tranbeg Tor"s Trawvl, Inc.
Royal Strand Building
4 A-B Strand Street
Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
IS PLEASE TO SUPPORT
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
Ville La Reine Golden Rock
778- 1300 773-2852
Caring and Sharing With Animals The 4-H Way
By Alan Oliver
4-H Program Leader
C.V.I. Cooperative Extension Service
Animals and Children. They go so well together we often
take the relationship for granted. From the time our children are
born we provide them with stuffed animals, animal designs on
clothes and stories about bears who like honey, wise old owls
and very clever mongooses. Certainly a large part of the charm
of animals is that in the stories and tales that we make up about
them they mirror and tell us about human nature. More basic
than that however, is our feeling that the simple needs of these
creatures, their open responses to our care and their naturalness
are traits that our children crave in their lives.
As our children grow up we begin to replace the toys and
stories with real live animals. When we introduce these living
creatures into our lives and homes we also make possible either
positive or negative learning experiences. The positive learning
related to caring for animals takes time, some investment in proper
food and medical attention and a close working relationship
between parent and child. Children are self-centered and need good
examples and guidance about how to care for their pets. When
parents do not work closely with this situation there can be im-
proper feeding, teasing, cruelty, and even death for the animal.
The positive learning that can come from a close relationship
to animals is very great, however. In a speech given to State 4-H
Leaders in 1979, Dr. James Coleman from the University of
Chicago talked about youth needing animals around them. He
felt that children need the companionship of living things and
they get a high degree of companionship from their animals.
"Surrounded by living things, children and youth form
attachments to some of these living things, sometimes as pets,
sometimes merely as friends. Why is this important for sociali-
zation? For a single reason: Children need warm close relation-
ships, bonds with others who need them. Yet often they are not
good at establishing relationships, and their parents or other
adults in their environment are not ideal companions. Many
children create imaginary companions to fill this need; for girls,
dolls have helped fill the need as many girls vest their dolls with
real live imaginary personalities. But the need is not well filled
by mere imagination or by non-living things. It is well filled by
living things, animals who are not threatening, not demanding,
but responsive to a child's attention, care, love and warmth, and
tolerant of mistakes."
These psychological benefits would be enough to justify
our 4-H animal programs. In addition, however, is the fact that
with help from adults, children can learn about nutrition, animal
reproduction, medical care and food production. There are many
life skills that can be learned through animal projects such as
decision making, budgeting, and consumer education -- all can
be built into the child-animal relationship.
4-H encourages the child and his family to gain these benefits
by taking care of a calf, raising a few chickens or a goat, or taking
care of the family's cat or dog.
Even more rewards can come when a small group of young-
sters get together under an adult's direction to work on an animal
project cooperatively. Through this process of cooperation and
joint learning, the child is exposed to group commitment. Many of
our young people are not getting the experience of being part of a
close knit small group. The neighborhoods in which they live no
longer function as regulators of behavior or show community
approval or give a sense of security. To replace this lack in neigh-
borhoods, we need to put more emphasis on involving youth in
interest groups like the 4-H club or special interest club.
Within this group there can be standards of behavior, com-
mitment to others, rewards for success and education for coopera-
tion. Experiences and learning that are derived from the 4-H club
and/or special interest group are among the most crucial for a
child's social adjustment and future success in life.
Children learn responsibility to other creatures by caring for an
animal such as this young 4-H'er and her dairy calf which she
exhibited at the 1980 Agriculture and Food Fair.
The 4-H club, an educational cooperative in reality, operates
at the neighborhood level and is run by interested parents or adult
volunteers. Children select their projects, animal or other life skills
they wish to learn, and with the help of their leaders and families,
complete them over a course of several weeks or months. A calf
JAMES FEED STORE
Frederiksted, St. Croix V.I.
project may take several years to complete.
The 4-H special interest group only deals with one interest
like our new 4-H entomology club, but operates over a much
broader area. These special interest groups often attract the
high school age youth who has specific interests he wants to
explore and has some mobility so he can get to meetings.
Our 4-H animal project materials are very extensive and
are written for the layperson to use with a minimum of help
and advice. They are produced by over 50 land grant universities
and are available at a low cost.
If you want your child to experience the full value of working
and relating to animals and participating in a socialization process
that is crucial to his later success at working with others, help him
get involved in a 4-H animal project. These once-a-week meetings
with his friends can be an important step forward in his education.
.* .. ".FLAVORED
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK
MON.- SAT. 10:00 7:00 p.m.
SUNDAY 11: 6:00 p.m. EST. La VALLEY
VIRGIN ISLAND METALS & MARINE MANUFACTURING
SHEET METAL WORK
Fabrication and Erection
Solar Hot Water Heaters
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THE METAL EXPERTS!
Any kind of metal work with
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P.O. Box 3785, Christiansted, St. Croix, Virgin Islands 00820
Large Selection of FINE PERFUME and JEWELRY
ATTRACTIVE GIFT ITEMS
Exclusive showing of SEIKO, MOVADO, & OTHER FINE WATCHES
EXCELLENT LIQUOR SELECTION
RELIABLE DELIVERY SERVICE
302 KING STREET FREDERIKSTED 772-0939
We have a shop at Gentle Winds Beach Resort too!
GOURMET GULCH GALLONS BAY 77 66MO
FINEST FRESH BEEF
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TRY OUR GOURMET SECTION
FRESH GROUND COFFEE
OPEN 9:30 to 6:00 p.m. FOOD STAMPS ACCEPTED
MON.THRU SAT. TELEPHONE 773 6640
GOURMET GULCH, GALLOWS BAY
OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING APPROVED BY FHA HUD
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SION FARM COMMERCIAL CENTER
ST. CROIX U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820 D
TELEPHONE: 773-1709 Am erO
(809 ) 773 1377
2 company street
St. Croix, 00820
THE FRIENDLY HOTEL
The Board og DiAectou od the
ViAgin Islands AgAicultuAe 6 Food
FaiCL acknowtedges and appreclates
the cont-Aibution of Radio Station
W.S.T.X. to the 11th AgAicultute
o Food Fair of 1981.
HOPIl CHIEFMICAL CORPORATION
11acl iitrer '.f /cin c/ 'theinicals and pharmaceuticals
"T'h' woln'derll wrd orl f cic/mistrY and IIOPl "
An Agrichem Company
St. Croix, V.I.
G.P.O. Box 2140
San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936
Ponce de Leon 103 Pda. 2712
Hato Rey, Puerto Rico
753-6471 753-6472 753 6053 753-6893
The Beauty Shop that has the PERFECT TOUCH
of beauty for that perfect beauty touch.
Lydia & Laura Beauty Shop
60 King Street
Frederiksted, St. Croix, V.I.
Hair Straightening Manicures Pedicures 0
Men's Hair Styling
Hours 8:30 A.M. to 6:00 P.M.
5 Jcny eOeet
A COMPLETE LINE OF SEWING
617- /26 NOTIONS, PATTERNS, FABRIC
& ALL YOUR BABY'S NEEDS
PLOT 82 C 772 0556
ESTATE WHIM F'STED., ST.CROIX
WILL CATER FOR GROUPS
RESTAURANT & GUEST HOUSE
MAIN DISHES: STEAM SNAPPER,
PAELLA, TURTLE STEAK
OPEN 10:00 A.M. TILL'.".''.'....CLOSED SUNDAYS
FELIPA CASH & CARRY
WE CARRY FRESH VEGETABLES
& MEAT. GROCERY SUPPLIES TO
COMPARE OUR PRICES
LIF^* U ipmen
Compact Living & Mini Farming
By Ophelia Turner
Author, Poet & Lecturer, St. Croix
Whenever one hears the word 'Agriculture,' the first thought
that comes to mind is farming. Farming can be visualized by acres
and acres of flourishing greenery springing up out of neatly fur-
rowed rows of dark rich soil. At one time this would have been a
true picture of agriculture. This is not true today. Over the years,
agriculture has developed through intensive research and branched
out into many other meaningful areas which serve as an axis of
numerous productive extensions which are coordinated to con-
tribute to almost every realm of daily living.
Among the Agriculture divisions are agronomy, a science that
deals with soil management and field crop production. Another,
agri-business, covers the processing, storing, as well as distribution
of farm commodities. Then there is aquaculture, better known as
fish farming, plus many other facets such as forestry, home-making,
and nutritional programs. Each program is designed with a better
living in mind through the implementation of agricultural-tested
Still, somehow all of these programs bring to one's mind
vast areas and tremendous quantities of products, but this is not
true. Although farming is one of the largest industries today,
there is another side to food production that does not follow
the basic image of agriculture. The unique feature in this area of
production is that it isn't vast acreage and large production, but
instead, makes use of compact or small areas with limited produc-
tion. The best name for this venture is "mini farming" which can
spring up in back yards, front lawns, flower pots, and containers of
all sizes and types on patios, in living rooms, bedrooms or on
kitchen window sills.
The need for a little piece of Mother Nature at our fingertips
has been a dominant factor in most of our lives ever since our
ancestors migrated from the cliffs and caves to town house or
condominiums. That is why artificial flowers and potted plants
are such a thriving business.
But today, with the price of food rising before it can com-
plete the process of being transported from the field to the market
shelves, people are looking for every possible way to make ends
meet. What better reason is there for combining the beauty of
nature with an economical solution to today's inflational effect
on food prices.
More and more, the lawns, yards and flower pots are yielding
a harvest of edible produce instead of decorative flowers. The
realization that the same spaces, the same soil, sun, time and care
will provide menus with delicious eatables such as beans, yams,
spinach, carrots, parsley, thyme, even corn and many other pro-
duce is challenging. You have only to plant them. There is no
special secret to share or difficult plan of action to follow. You
plant, water, and await the harvest. The growth will not occur
in your grocery bill but in your own planted produce that will
be available to you and your family at little or no cost, especially
after the first venture.
Mini farming proved to be a life saving force during World
War II. This was a period when food supplies were low and ration-
ing was implemented. It became impossible for many families to
survive on the food that was allotted them, so they began planting
gardens known as 'Victory Gardens.' After the war a number of
people still maintained their gardens, while still others quickly
forgot the hardship they faced and were lulled back into the false
security of supermarket shelves. Now, high prices are removing
fresh produce from the table of low income families. In addition,
some of the many artificial preservatives in food commercially
grown are of increasing concern to consumers. The apparent lack
of interest in self-sufficiency, and an increase in population is also
leading to a world-wide shortage of food. Here in the Virgin
Islands, we will feel this more severely than on the mainland. The
cost of importation and distribution heaped onto the overall
shortage, will place each of us in a very critical position.
Growing tomatoes on the back balcony -- one of the many crops
that can be produced all year round when you are a "mini-farmer"
in the V.I.
One of the greatest advantages we have is climate that is
ideal for year round planting. Those of us who live in apartments,
condominiums, or even project housing, may view the lack of land
space as a disadvantage, but no piece of land is too small. We must
evaluate every inch of space available, whether it is a container,
pot, front yard or backyard plot. There is a plant for every place,
and a place for every plant. The large variety of produce from
PO Box 6981 Sunny lae, Chstansted St. Croix U.S.V.I. 00820 Telex 347-1090
Day 1809) 778-0630 Night 1809) 773-1829
0 BOYCE HARDWARE, INC.
59%St FOR THE CONTRACTOR OR THE -
us DO-IT YOURSELFER
PLUMBING ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES- POWER TOOLS
PAINTS TILES COMPRESSORS
GARDEN & LAWN EQUIPMENT
APPLIANCE. COMPLETE SELECTION OF HOUSEHOLD ITEMS
TOO ST. CROIX ST. THOMAS
773-0130 773-3860 774-6923 774-4520
La Grande Princesse Havensight Mall Sub-Base
COMPLIMENTS OF |
I LUCY'S MARKET
ST. THOMAS V.I.
inn a mlesedreet
plants and seeds can provide everyone with some type of produce
that will thrive vigorously in each of these limited areas of land.
Of course, the initial project requires a slight investment if
you are not engaged in flower growing already. The pots, space-
saving racks and fencing for protection can become a do-it-yourself
project consisting of discarded metal cans (large or small), plastic
bottles of all sizes, old buckets, crates, or plastic cartons, which
are easily converted to planting containers by completely removing
the tops and cutting small holes in the sides near the bottom for
drainage. If you prefer fanciness, a large selection of containers
of every size and color is available at any of the local garden
suppliers advertised in this booklet.
For '.mited space, plastic or light earthen containers five to
eight inches deep are easy to handle and ideal for leafy produce
such as spinach. Root and vine plants such as yams and tomatoes
require a much deeper container. These containers should be at
least twelve inches deep or more. Such plants need deep soil
for the nutrition required for production.
The container illustrated provides the air and drainage
needed for healthy plants and better growth. Some of the plants.
seeds and soil can be obtained at the Department of Agriculture
or garden nurseries.
Soil comes already prepared for planting, or vou can mix
it yourself if you desire. If you are inexperienced in the field of
food growing but have a desire to become involved for economy
or pleasure and feel that you need more information to assure
your success, you have only to contact the Department of Agn-
culture or the College of the Virgin Islands to get the schedule
of the free work shops that are geared to inform and encourage
more food growing at home.
Mini farming is fun, free and economical. \hy not get
involved and make ends meet, grow what you eat!!
Leroy A. Daniel Eugene 0. Walwyn Claudia Walker
Public Accountant Accountant Exec. Secretary
BOOKKEEPING & SECRETARIAL
General Bookkeeping Income Tax Preparation
Typing Jobs Notary Public Xeroxing
Financial Statements Prepared
No. 1A MARKET ST.
Box 1974, Frederiksted, St. Croix 00840 772-0740
IN-FLITE, V.I., INC.
P.O. BOX 86, KINGSHILL
ST. CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00850
Catering for all occasions.
INVESTMENT & TRUST
The whole idea behind Redfield &
Associates is selling real estate.
]B (809) 773-1010- Res: 773-5943
3ABC Queen Cross Street
PEALTOR' Christiansted, St. Croix
U.S. Virgin Islands 00820
JUNIE'S BAR .
FOR DINING AT IT'S BEST,
ALWAYS VISIT JUNIE'S
WE ARE ALWAYS OPEN LATE
132 PETERS REST TELEPHONE
CHRISTIANSTED ST CROIX
U. S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 0010 ( 809 ) 773 2801
THEE GARAGE SALE
THURSDAY & FRIDAY 10:00 -4:00
SATUREDAY 10:00 4:00
CALL 773 6477 OR 773 -3207
WE BUY SALE LEFTOVERS ,CLOSE OUTS,
& USED ITEMS'.
Half the Fun is going to
the Agriculture & Food Fair
The Other Half is supporting it.
is proud to contribute to the
Agriculture and Food Fair of
the U.S. Virgin Islands
We've got food for every kind of eating mood.
A Lot For Your Money *
Lots of Shopping without a hassle. *
Open 7 days a week 8 A.M. to 9:30 P.M.
Located across from the Parade Grounds
Christiansted, St. Croix 773-6934
LIQUOR & T
Largest selection of
Wines & Champagnes
0 ISLAND T-SHIRTS
WEST INDIAN SILVER BRACELETS
PIPES AND TOBACCO
ROYAL JAMAICA CIGARS
Open Sundays & Holidays
We accept all
4 AB Strand St.
Royal Strand Bldg.
V.I. CUSTOM FURNITURE
# 1 Contentment Rd.
P.O. Box 459
Mahogany Planters Chairs Made to Order
Custom Drapes Boat Tops
Cushions Patio Awnings
Furniture Repair & Refinishing
WHAT YOU SEW, YOU WILL REAP.
START TO SEW AND REAP THE SWEET.
IF YOU WANT TO SEW FABRICS,
ALBERT SEWER'S FABRICS
Cruz Bay, St. John. V.I.
(Back of Fred's Bar)
Complete Alteration Service
MARIA'S FASHIONS (Men 's Pants included
#8 Hannah's Rest Plaza
Frederiksted, St. Croix, V.I.
FASHIONS MADE TO ORDER
Women's Clothes for every occasion
from Wedding Clothes to Sportswear
(School & Nurse s Uniforms)
Open Tuesday Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
All Garments Measured To Fit
LOCATED IN MON BIJOU ST.CROIX
TELEPHONE 778 1962
HENRY CARTER, PROP.
FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE
COLD DRINKS & SNACKS AVAILABLE