Title: Belize ag report
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 Material Information
Title: Belize ag report
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Belize Ag Report, Beth Roberson
Place of Publication: San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize
Publication Date: September 2009
Copyright Date: 2009
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Bibliographic ID: UF00094064
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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BEIZE AG REPORT


from All of Belize

Belize-Brazil Bilateral Agreement
Happily, Belize is among countries positioned to greatly
benefit by Brazil's activism, especially in the realm of agri-
culture.

Brazil is an agricultural superpower, and her role in our re-
gion and in the world has blossomed.
Since the election of President Lula in 2003, twenty-three
new embassies, mainly in the Caribbean and Africa have
been opened. Brazil plays a key role in the G5 (Brazil, India,
China, Mexico & S. Africa) and the BRIC Group (Brazil,
Russia, India & China). G5 and BRIC have been active in
many agricultural issues on the world stage. Brazil is cur-
rently the world #1 in exports of coffee, sugar, orange juice,
soy and beef. As well, she is a leader in development of the
ethanol bio-fuel industry.
Mr. Pedro Etchebarne, the Charge de Affairs of the Brazilian
Embassy to Belize and the EMBRAPA team who visited here
in July are quick to point out the similarities between our
countries. For instance, in ratios of population to landmass,
both are fairly sparsely populated. Brazil, over 8.5 million
sq. km. in size and population of 198 million has density of
22 people per sq. km.; Belize, with just under 23 thousand
sq. km in area with population of 310,000, has a density of


12 people per sq. km. Both also are blessed with much arable
land and available water.

Another similarity is in our labour forces, which by occupa-
tions in agriculture are 20% for Brazil, and 19.5% for Belize.
As well, Brazil has both a developed mechanized sector and a
backyard sustainable sector of agriculture. S o Brazil is bet-
ter poised than many to understand Belize's agricultural en-
vironment. Brazil realizes that there is a necessity for both
sectors, mechanized and backyard, and have developed dif-
ferent strategies for development in each.


How has Brazil accomplished so much? Part of the credit for
that success must be attributed to EMBRAPA, the Brazilian
Agricultural Research Corp., which was formed by the Brazil-
ian Government in 1973 to improve agricultural production.
EMBRAPA has over 8000 employees, who work in 38 Re-
search Centers. 75% of all EMBRAPA employees have Doc-
toral Degrees. The remaining 25% have at least Masters De-
grees. Their vision is to develop new technology while con-
serving natural resources, and transfer of this knowledge.
They are the recognized leader in tropical agriculture re-
search and development. The team who visited Belize in July
were specialists in citrus and grain production. They spent 3
days visiting rural Belize and meeting with producers.

Brazil's philosophy of action here is very soft-toned. Very
willing to share information on what has worked for them,
yet her policy is one of encouragement for other countries
to make their own decisions, on whether to utilize shared
strategies/technologies or not.
Although paperwork began 2005 to facilitate cooperative
actions between our countries, the signing of the bilateral
umbrella Memorandum of Understanding in July of this
year was a landmark necessary to allow the Technical Coop-
eration Programmed proposed by Brazil to move to the next
level, whereby actual training programs and the like can
begin. Belize's Minister of Agriculture Mr. Rene Montero
has made two trips to Brazil since 2007.
The focus right now from the M.O.U. is on Agriculture, and
the agreement covers other areas of mutual cooperation too.
The first member from the Belize Ministry of Agriculture,
Mr. Manuel Trujillo will shortly travel to Brazil to com-
mence training in Ag. Sciences and Starches. Mr. Etcheba-
rne implied that agricultural education would be a contin-
ued focus of their mission in Belize. Their sharing of knowl-
edge and expertise is appreciated and we are looking for-
ward to increased cooperation between our countries.
The Belize Ag Report wishes to thank Mr. Pedro Etchebarne
of the Brazilian Embassy to Belize, for his assistance with
this article, and also recognizes Ambassador Coutinho and
his staff at the Brazilian Embassy here, for their efforts to
promote agriculture in Belize. By B. Roberson


October 3 2009

Schutzhund Training


Page 15


Mission Statement;

The Belize Ag Report is a bi- monthly agriculture newsletter.
Our purpose is to collect, edit and disseminate information
useful to the Belizean producer, large or small. We invite
opinions on issues, which are not necessarily our own .
Belize Ag neither solicits nor accepts political ads.


Sol Farms, Ltd.
Mile 52.1 Western Higay, Teaketile
628-9040
I or tlh Iltct il (Orgas lic I:.rlmitng


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 1 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


0







Decoy Crops and Deterrents
An Alternative Strategy for the Belize Citrus Industry
By Nikki Buxton, Belize Bird Rescue


The Citrus Industry and the birds that take advantage of its
bounty have been at loggerheads for years. Farmers spend
thousands of dollars a year and endless man hours trying to
keep Belize's birds away from their crops. But research shows
that there could be a way that man and bird may exist harmo-
niously, and farmers may even get richer as a result.

With 70% of Belize's citrus groves in the Stann Creek district,
the industry extends throughout prime parrot territory, trans-
forming natural bush habitat into agricultural land, effectively
opening a rather good restaurant right next to the bird's nest
sites. Parrots are not the only diners woodpeckers, grackles,
and jays also wreak havoc amongst citrus groves, so why is the
parrot suffering so much, and why is that a problem for Be-
lize?

Parrots have a short, precise breeding season, they are long-
lived and mature and breed later than many other species,
producing only one or two offspring per year. The chick rear-
ing season coincides with peak orange production when adult
birds need maximum nutrition for minimum effort. Parrots
browse in the upper reaches of a tree and will destroy an entire
fruit to get at one seed. Whereas woodpeckers and grackles
will follow a fallen orange to the ground, parrots will not: if
they drop a fruit, they will simply take another one. A flock of
parrots is a high-profile, noisy, conglomerate of colour and
they make for a very easy target. Whilst the Growers Associa-
tion diplomatically advise "scare, don't kill", when the only
thing standing between a farmer and a pristine crop is to aim
2 feet lower.... well, who can blame them.

Estimates of bird damage range from as low as 2.5% to around
11-15% in some tests, but let's assume that the worst-case
scenarios are correct, and in the absence of any form of
counter-measure, the total bird damage amounts to 20%.
What could be done to recoup this loss?

Decoy Crops

Deterring parrots is not easy: they are smart and willful and
they visit in large flocks.
For any deterrent measure to work, it has to be utilised in a
planned and co-ordinated way alongside several different
methods, it must be implemented in all the farms in the area
or the damage will just be relocated, and above all, there must
be provision for a more attractive alternative: as far as a parrot
is concerned, not eating is not an alternative. This is where
decoy crops, or lure crops come in.
A good decoy crop will represent a more attractive alternative
to being harassed in a citrus grove and needs to provide
greater calorific value and nutrition at reduced effort to the
bird. We have observed parrots known to give problems to the
citrus industry preferentially visit the more densely seeded
bitter orange tree, so we recommend that farmers intersperse
their commercial crop with bitter, rootstock orange or manda-
rin, making sure growth cycles coincide with their cash crop.
Continue on page 28


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com


Letters to the Editor


Sir,
I have just read your Ag report on the Belize News site. I think
it is excellent. At present we farm organically in the UK and
sustainably in Oklahoma USA. I very much liked your article
on soils, organic, and sustainable agriculture. The more we
farm sustainably the better our soils are responding.

In Oklahoma we grow soybeans, corn and watermelons on
deep soils and despite 30 inches in May and only 1 inch in
June and 1oo degree days our crops are still doing well and
should make something. We also run 200 cows on the grass-
land.

Anyway I am also a frequent traveller to Belize and believe
many of the methods used are applicable to a wide range of
conditions and we have incorporated much of what I have ob-
served there, to our operation here.

I would like to subscribe to your magazine (by email) so please
send details.

Yours Sincerely,

Jack Harley.

p.s. We are a family farming operation, who have built up
since the 70's, when father moved to England from Scotland,
in the UK and the USA (my brother and father have ranches in
Texas) and have been farming and running cattle for genera-
tions.


Continued on page 4


Belize Ag Report, P.O. Box 150, San Ignacio, Cayo,
Belize, Central America

Phone: 663 6777/664 7272

Editor: Beth Roberson
Technical Manager: Jane Beard
Submissions as follows:

Ads: ads@belizeagreport.com
Articles: articles@belizeagreport.com
Letters to the Editor: editor@belizeagreport.com
Deadline date-15th of every month
Printed by BRC Printing, Benque Viejo, Cayo, Belize


2 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







Back to Office Report

Trade Mission to Central America

Delegation:

Mr. Eugene Waight, Chief Agricultural Officer, Ministry of
Agriculture and Fisheries; Mr. Adalbert Tucker, Ambassador
for Foreign Trade- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign
Trade; Mr. Roque Mai Belize Marketing Development Cor-
poration; and Mr. Bernard Penner, Director of Belcar repre-
senting the private sector.

Location of visit: El Salvador and Guatemala

Date: 28h to 31st July, 2009

Sponsor: Accompanying Measures for Sugar- EU (AMS)

Purpose of Mission:

The trade mission to El Salvador and Guatemala was an ex-
ploratory mission to seek markets for the export of grains
from Belize. It would be used as a platform to inter-phase
grain producers from Belize with grains processors/
distributors from the target countries.

Background:

For over a decade, Belize has attained self-sufficiency in the
supply of basic grains. This has been achieved by producers
investing in land development, machinery, storage and value
-adding; and government's support in creating the enabling
environment. However this sub-sector has become stagnant
as with the absence of export outlets, local production is
geared mainly at meeting the local demand for livestock feed
and food for human consumption.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF) cognizant
of these limitations for expansion in production has em-
barked on the initiative to find markets in the region for corn
(white and yellow), rice and beans (black and red) in
neighbouring countries of Central America.

The decision to start with grains was on the basis that grains
are non-perishable and it was felt that Belize has the neces-
sary infrastructure and capacity to export on a competitive
basis to the region. Consequently the MAF sought funding
from the Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS) project
of the European Union to carry out a trade mission to the
three closest countries in Central America; Honduras was
left out due to the on-going political crisis that surfaced af-
terwards.

El Salvador Leg:

In El Salvador three visits were carried, namely; Chamber of
Commerce, GUMURSAL S.A. and Arrocera San Francisco.
The latter two entities specialize in the processing and distri-
bution of rice and beans for internal distribution. Both also
import most (80%) of the beans from Nicaragua and most
(80%) of the rice and white corn from the United States
(US). The corn imported from the US is grade US#2. Red
beans is bought from Nicaragua at the farm gate for BZ$o.70
to $0.90 per pound and black beans is gotten from Guate-


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com


mala. The rice imported from the US is in paddy from and
they purchase at < BZ$o.42 per pound. White corn is pur-
chases at BZ$0.20 per pound.

In terms of duties, beans pay 20% plus a 13% VAT. In the
case of rice it pays 40% duties and 13% VAT.

Guatemala leg:

During the one-day visit to Guatemala the mission met with
representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, COPEREX
and Deloitte International. During the session with the
Chamber several companies that either store, process and
distribute grains were present. The session focused on shar-
ing of information on production of grains in Belize and f.o.b
prices in Guatemala. They purchase yellow corn at BZ$o.24
per pound. In the case of red beans they purchase at
BZ$1.1o per pound (cif) and BZ$o.9o to $1.oo per pound for
black beans. Paddy rice pays a low duty of 5%.

COPEREX is a Committee that manages a conference center;
similar to that like the National Agriculture and Trade Show
grounds. This group requested to meet with the mission to
promote their services, which include the hosting of trade
and other specialized shows. Their next agriculture trade
show will be held the first week of December.

Similar to COPEREX, Deloitte International requested a
meeting with the mission to showcase their services.
Deloitte has expanded their services to include market stud-
ies and providing advise on import/export procedures/
requirements.

Conclusions:

Although no concrete marketing arrangements were made
for the export of grains from Belize, the delegation was satis-
fied with the outcome of the mission as important contacts
were made with potential importers/distributors of grains in
Salvador and Guatemala. They expressed interest to pursue
further discussions with Belizean distributors/exporters for
the supply of any of the grains. These contacts will be shared
with local distributors/exporters of grains for them to ana-
lyze the feasibility of exporting grains to any/both of the
countries visited. The line Ministries involved in this initia-
tive will do all within its reach to assist local companies to
penetrate these markets; both countries have a potential
captive market of approximately 23.0 M persons.

The high tariff rates will make it very challenging for Belize
to export to Salvador or Guatemala.

White corn, beans and probably paddy rice may be the only
products that Belize will be able to export competitively.

The contacts established during the mission created the plat-
form for future export initiatives, when the conditions are
favourable. There was a willingness and a keen interest in
trading with Belize and in also exploring opportunities for
investment. In addition opportunities for exhibiting Belizean
products in the countries and facilitation for participation in
trade shows and other affordable marketing opportunities
were highlighted.
(Continued on page 4)

3 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







(Continued from page 3)


As an immediate follow up, the private sector member of the
delegation committed to send back samples to the Chambers
of Commerce and other entities in both countries for verifi-
cation of quality and other specifications and for ongoing
negotiations for sale of commodities.

At the public sector level it is recommended that GOB
continue to pursue the negotiation of appropriate trade
agreements with Central America, whereby the prohibitive
tariff rates are no longer an issue for market access. The
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade can be asked
to accelerate work on the Caricom/Central America FTA.

Continued work in Belize on streamlining national
productive efforts and encouraging innovation and coordina-
tion that will impact the cost of production and enhance
competitiveness of products.

Strengthening of the trade promotion efforts and institu-
tional framework to spearhead and promote aggressively the
trade of Belizean products in Central American and other
markets enhancing the roles of Belizean Embassies in the
different territories to promote the export of Belizean
products.

By Chief Agricultural Officer, Eugene Waight



Acknowledgement:

Special thanks go out to Ambassador Alfredo Martinez and
Carlos Montero from the embassy of Belize in Guatemala
and Mrs. Celie Paz Gonzalez, Honorary Consul in El
Salvador, for their support in the coordination of the visits to
the different companies, institutions and Chambers of
Commerce. Their assistance and support was invaluable to
the success of the mission. Special thanks also goes out to
the PIU of the AMS (EU) for providing the funds for the
trade mission/international meeting.




Continuedfrom page 2

Dear Editor,

In the first two issues of The Belize Ag Report there was a
lament that Belize has not accepted GMO crops. I would like
to speak up in support of leaving GMOs out of Belize.
John Carr wrote 'There must be some very significant pro-
duction advantages to GMO methods or the major producing
countries of the world would not be moving in that direc-
tion.' The reason that countries are moving in that direction
is because large corporations spend millions of dollars to
lobby governments and work hard to promote this technol-
ogy and remove other seeds from the market. Currently 6
companies control 98% of the commercial seed market and
they have the money and sway to keep it that way.


One example to learn from is corn farmers in Oaxaca Mexico
who for generations have saved seeds in order to protect the
world's most diverse corn varieties. The valuable resource is
now in danger as genetic tests are showing that these once
pure crops are now contaminated with GMO genes. Once we
begin growing GMO crops, in a country the size of Belize, we
cannot take back the genes that spread to those that choose
not to grow or eat GMO products. It should be our right to
decide not to eat or grow GMO, but if GMO is allowed into
Belize we risk losing that right as the Oaxacan farmers have.

Because GMO seeds are patented property, organic farmers
whose lands are unwittingly contaminated with GMO can
risk owing money and losing their right to save their seeds.
We also risk losing the variety of vegetables and grains avail-
able to us and more importantly, the safety that genetic di-
versity brings. The more diverse a gene pool and the more
varieties that exist and are grown, the better the odds that
plants will be able to adapt to changes in climate, pest infes-
tations or disease. If only GMO clones are left, we risk sus-
ceptibility to regional to worldwide crop loss. This can be
particularly devastating when talking about staples such as
wheat, corn, rice or potatoes.

In Barbara Kingsolver's 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle' she
writes that 'In internal reports, Monsanto notes "growers
who save seed from one year to the next" as significant com-
petitors, and allocates a $10 million budget for investigating
and prosecuting seed savers. Agribusiness can patent plant
varieties for the purpose of removing them from production,
leaving farmers with fewer options each year...Garden seed
inventories show that while about 5,000 nonhybrid vegeta-
ble varieties were available from catalogs in 1981, the num-
ber in 1998 was down to 600.'

I don't believe that this loss is acceptable and my vote is to
keep GMO out of Belize. Informed consumers in the US and
many European countries are demanding GMO-free foods. If
other countries already have GMO and cannot go back to
GMO-free, Belize is in a good position to provide to a vast
market that others cannot. Surely, this would be a safer bet
than allowing technology that cannot be easily controlled or
removed into Belize.

Heather duPlooy
Curator
Belize Botanic Gardens


4 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com








U.S Corn Exports


Information from USDA/FAS/ Export Sales Reporting

September 1st, 2008- August 1st, 2009


Country
Mexico
Guatemala
El Salvador
Honduras
Jamaica
Trinidad & Tobago


Metric Tons
6,738,485
584,443
383,765
356,224
230,502
87,984


1oo lb bags
148,246,670
12,857,746
8,442,830
7,736,928
5,071,044
1,935,648


Belize Corn Statistics
Provided by John Carr


2007 GOB Production- 844,670 bags (Bze Abstract of Statistics, 2008)

2009 Belize Production estimate- 1,100,000 100 lb bags

2009 Belize Consumption estimated 650,000 100 lb bags

Estimated Surplus for Export- 450,000 100 lb bags

(Only 2007 is an official statistic, other #'s are estimates by private sector)


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 5 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


August 24, 2009







Organic Production
By Greg Clark


The Organic Arsenal
In speaking with farmers about the transition to Organic Ag-
riculture, the biggest concern that arises is the limited prod-
ucts that aid them with insects, weeds and fungi. Over the
years, as more and more farms have adopted organic prac-
tices, the research and development of accepted products has
increased.
I would like to highlight some of the products that are
currently available on the market.
Insect Control: In dealing with insects, the current conven-
tional chemicals are mainly derivatives of the allowed organic
insecticides. One main listed item is Pyrethrum, which
causes instant paralysis of insects. It is extracted from a
Chrysanthemum flower that is native to Kenya.
Another listed item is Neem Oil. Neem Oil contains an active
ingredient that kills and repels most insects. Secondarily,
Neem will reduce the incidence of Powdery Mildew, Black
Spot and Rust. Neem trees grow very well in the Belize
climate and will provide extracts for making your own spray.
Rotenone is effective on aphids, beetles and caterpillars. It is
extracted from the roots of derris plants in Asia. Rotenone
acts to poison insects after ingestion.
Dishwashing Liquid Soap is effective when used in a 1 to 2%
concentration and sprayed on plants. This method will
require repeated applications to bring the pests under con-
trol, but the cost of application is minimized.
Coconut Oil is effective as a smothering agent when applied
by spray on aphids.
Weed Control: The most effective methods in dealing with
weeds involve proactive combined efforts. Compost or
mulch over the area will reduce the occurrence of weed seed
germination. As weeds penetrate thru the mulch material,
the stems are fragile and easily removed.

Flaming the weeds is a secondary method of mechanical
removal. The high temperature flame also has the added
effect of sterilizing weed seeds on the ground surface and re-
ducing their ability to germinate. For organic chemical herbi-
cides, the following are utilized in weed control.
Vinegar that is greater than 5% concentration will kill vegeta-
tive growth on weeds. To increase the effectiveness, add
dishwashing liquid soap, as this breaks down the waxy pro-
tective layer on weed leaves.
Another vegetative killer is Clove Oil. Clove Oil used in an 8%
solution will kill weed growth in a short period of time.
For pre-emergence protection, Corn Gluten is shown to
prevent germination of weed seeds. This discovery was re-
cent and is effective to prevent new weeds.


Fungi Control: Powdery Mildew, Blight and Black Spot can
be controlled organically through the following items.


Sulfur can be used as a spray or powder for controlling
Powdery Mildew. The limitation is that it cannot be used on
Cucumbers, Melons and Squash.
Neem Oil in 70% concentration will kill Powdery Mildew.
Baking Soda is effective when applied in a spray form.
Corn Meal has also shown good results as a fungicide.
It attracts good fungus that feeds off of bad fungus.
If you would like to receive further information about any of
the above listed items or more options available in the Arse-
nal, please email me at Organic(belizeagreport.com.


Greg Clark


Wholesale
Supplier


Special Organic ltems:
*Round Zucchni
*Seedless Watemietons
*Grape Tomatoes
*Leaf Lettuc
*Romain Lettuce
*Yeiow Cauliflower
*Organic Peanuts
*Fresh Herbs
*Cucumbers


*All P
*Ciul


Certified

Organic

Producer of

Fruits and

Vegetables.

Continuous Supply -.ai able
[or Restaurants, Resorts and
Markets.

Contract Grower for Menu
Planning MlnthS in vnce.


eppers
ots

Sol Farms, Ltd.
Mile 52.1 Western mHiway, Teakettle
628-9040

sales ksolfarinsldt, om


6 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com







Esperanza Fertilizer Established 1984
Call: 628 9301 or 620 1351
Serving Belize the Fertilizer It Needs

Save 50%-70% on all fertilizer!!!

100% Belizean Organic Fertilizer and Slow Releasing Rock Fertilizer


Dolomite 18 MgO
Rock Fertilizer 0-1-17
Rock Fertilizer 0-3-4


36.00/ton
$90.00/ton
$90.00/ton


Blended Mixes Supplying Trace Mineral and MgO, Calcium, and NKP


2-4-14
6-3-6 General Purpose
0-1-16
2-1-6
5-5-5 Flowering mix


$260.00/ton
$200.00/ton
$190.00/ton
$200.00/ton
$250.00/ton


All prices by Metric Ton in Bulk. In bags, add $20.00 per ton. Delivery $15 to $40 per ton
Depending on location.
Organic fertilizer mix based on a 5,000 year old Chinese recipe!

COMPARE & SAVE!

Chemical fertilizer Organic Fertilizer Chicken Manure
19-9-19 6-3-6 1-0.5-1
1 Ton Chemical Fertilizer 3.16 Ton 19 Ton N.P.K
N.P.K Organic fertilizer N.P.K Chicken Manure

General recommended application N.P.K
1201bs Nitrogen Chemical
60 Nitrogen organic or Manure
501bs Phosphorus chemical or organic
1201bs Potassium

Thus total then to =
6.3 bags chemical fertilizer 19-9 bags organic 6-3-6 114 bags chicken manure
19-9-19 per acre Fertilizer per acre Per acre

Cost per acre Organic fertilizers Chicken manure
Chemical fertilizers $200.00 $684
$510.30


330 SAVED!!!


504 per acre
SAVED!


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 7 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


I I


I


I I







North Dakota Beekeepers Spend a Week in Belize


These are a few thoughts from a lady beekeeper who recently
spent a week in Belize. My husband, Alan and I have looked at
beekeeping various parts of the world and have been blessed
with some long term friendships arising from these travels.
Earlier this year we decided to take a closer look at Belize and
its beekeeping industry and possible potential growth.

I first became interested in beekeeping years ago when my 11
year old son wanted honeybees for a 4-H project. My life has
never been the same. I had milked cows, raised and sold
dressed chickens and raised pigs. I enjoy all aspects of farm-
ing but beekeeping became a true love of mine. I know that
many beekeepers can relate to that, as well as other ag produc-
ers who are motivated by more than the simple desire to earn
a living. I have learned so much throughout the years and got-
ten many good ideas from older male beekeepers who shared
their beekeeping secrets with me. I then thought all beekeep-
ers could benefit from these ideas and used to delight in shar-
ing them when speaking at beekeeper's meetings. I was a side-
line beekeeper (as compared to full time commercial) for sev-
eral years and then 21 years ago my current husband and I
were married and we became commercial beekeepers in North
Dakota. He had a similar background in hobby/sideline bee-
keeping and we shared the desire to combine our common
interests and earn our living from this unusual occupation.

During the last week of June we visited Belize and found the
beekeeping there quite interesting. We met with a couple of
beekeepers during our brief stay and spoke with a couple of
government officials who all were very friendly and helpful. I
was especially interested in the cooperative organizations you
have and hope that this approach proves to be increasingly
helpful to Belizean beekeepers. It appears that wired beeswax


Come join us at


Best Restaurant in towm,

situated on Burns Ave,

San Ignadio, Cayo.


foundation is used extensively in Belize and it seems poten-
tially worthwhile to consider the importation of plastic foun-
dation which is extremely durable and a big labor saver. It
seems that the cooperative structure is ideal for pooling orders
for that sort of equipment purchase, as it apparently has been
for other beekeeping supplies. It is always interesting to see
the practicality of certain types of beekeeping equipment/
management techniques in other parts of the world which we
are familiar with, but are not practical in our climate/
circumstances. Entrance type (Boardman) feeders and ant-
barrier hive stands are a couple examples. (The former is a
type of bee feeder which is easily inserted in the entrance of
the hive, and can be refilled with sugar syrup when necessary
with a minimal disturbance of the bees during a dearth of nec-
tar. It is not practical for feeding during cold weather- as dur-
ing the spring and fall seasons in the Northern U.S.-when the
bees won't break their cluster to reach it. The latter is a special
stand to set the beehives on which prevents ants from entering
the hives.) It is amazing how adaptable beekeeping is to vari-
ous conditions, and how important those adaptations are to
success.

We also appreciated the tall reusable honey bottles that are
unique and practical and in common use there. I loved the
thought of "jungle honey" and found the flavor of some sam-
ples to be delicious. We were impressed with the citrus acre-
age and wonder how much this potential of citrus honey is
being tapped. We were impressed with the way that beekeep-
ers there have dealt with African honeybees and the frequency
of honey harvests and the length of the production season.

We have been to Belize twice and we will be back, and I hope
that next time we will be able to take in a beekeepers meeting.
I would love to meet more Belizean beekeepers.

JoAnne King Kings' Honey Co. Marion, ND USA



FOR SALE

MORINGA PLANTS ('The Miracle Tree')

Provides a boost in energy, nutrition and health.

Improves milk yield and livestock weights.

Used as green manure.

Price $10 per plant

Belize-Michigan Partners (Dr. Chris Bennett)

Tel: 223 0404, email: bennett@btl.net


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 8 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







IATA


g& t


P. O. Box 248
# 3 Shopping Unit
Belmopan City
Belize, C. A.
Tel.: 822-0069
Fax: 822-3744
vemtv@btl.net


U


iamnond Realty
1-1Wk.


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Phone & Fax: 011-501-824-4450
Cellular: 67o-753o& 665-8894
E-mail: diamondbz(btl.net
Website: www.diamondbz.com


0


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Please let us send you a brochure that can aid
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Sales: Jonathan Lohr
Telephone: 011-501-610-4458 (Belize)
Fax: 1-831-854-5983 (US)
Postal address:
119A Western Highway
San Ignacio, Cayo,
Email: properties@ceibarealtvbelize.com
www.ceibarealtybelize.com


LLEN's HARDWARE





Saa Eena Tow Tel.: (501) 824-2060
Cayo Distnc(5 24
Be C.51) 824751


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 9 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







Banana Bank Agco. Report
by John Carr

Spider Mites

Identity: 1. Banks Grass Mite and 2. Spotted Spider Mite

BAHA and CARDI have properly identified these in Belize, but
the control has not been easily managed.

History-Spider Mites seem to have come on the scene within
the last five years (at least on a significant damaging basis).
They don't come from flying stock and spreading is less than
moths and worms. We seem to see more smaller areas but
these areas could be a total wipeout. Also in our minds, we see
mites on more mature plants with bottom leaves being first
infected.

Now we are seeing small corn, 6 inches high that are head
from Spider Mite infestation. They multiply rapidly from web
building and egg laying. They have become a disaster when
they hit. Their size, living location and same single-sex charac-
teristics make them difficult to spray and control. We feel that
some chemicals (Lorsban) have damaged friendly enemies of
mites.


We recently tried a new Belize product, Talstar loWP, but it is
too early to tell. Biphenthrin has been a good product in other
parts of the world, but the jury is still out here. We have less
than 5 days since application.

Treatment- Talstar WO from Prosser costs approx. $65.00
per acre for product, plus application-this makes treatment
almost prohibitive. It seems that Biphentrim treatment in the
U.S.(Colorado) could be one third the price that we are paying
in Belize. It has some residual, but the mites live on the under-
side mostly and good contact to kill is difficult. We are defi-
nitely out in Pioneer land when it comes to controlling Spider
Mites.

Costs to Belize of Spider Mites- The loss of crop is some-
times loo%. It may require replant or partial replant. It will
require expensive chemicals, and definitely will reduce yields
when it hits. Fortunately, it doesn't spread as easily as worms.
Estimating total economic crop loss to the country is difficult,
but if you happen to be an unlucky farmer, it may be 20% to a
total wipeout


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 10 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize





























SFFosA c1ds amd pwcOssOd usicat
pdfuOcts


* Boe & Pofr


* 74e Runing W store at Mie 63
Western cHig way offers factory
outlet prices on ald products


I RUNNING W BRAND


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 11 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


16~3 B~y






Dried Fruit Is Delicious
By the David Shirk Family
Dried fruit is delicious and a way of preserving fruit when you have more than you can eat fresh.
We use a wood cook stove to heat the dryer. Make a good fire in the evening and set the dryer on it. Put water inside as shown on
diagram. Most fruit is dry by the next morning. Dried fruit is easier to remove while still warm. One important thing is not to let
your dryer go dry. It always needs water inside while in use. A dryer can be ruined if heated dry too long, and your fruit will
definitely burn.
Procedure:
Pineapple: peel pineapples and slice 1/8 to 1/4" thick. Place single layer on dryer
Mango Fruit Leather: Slice mangoes, and place on dryer. When finished drying, roll up in rolls.
Coconut: Peel and shred coconut and place on dryer. Make sure coconut is completely dry. If not sufficiently dry, coconut can get
sale, due to the oil that it contains.
Bananas can also be dried on a fruit dryer, but be careful not to heat the dryer too hot. Bananas taste better if dried more slowly.
Peel and slice bananas into 3 slices, lengthwise.
All fruit should be stored in an airtight container, and will keep for many months.
Many other fruits can be dried too.

Note: David Shirk designed the fruit dryer mentioned in this article. Belize Ag visited Koop Tinsmith in Spanish Lookout,
who estimate the price of making a custom Stainless Steel fruit dryer below to be approx $ 350 Bz.










24" 36" x 3" Dryer feature at least two supports under the tray top. Thets
mnut allow the water free accem tnsde the entre base



Mom's Place

Open daily 6am 1Opm 629-5252
Breakfast served all day!

Serving Belizean / American Located on Joseph Andrews Dr.

and Tex/Mex Foods San Ignacio

Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 12 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







BEYOND THE BACKYARD


DASHEEN, NUMBER ONE ROOT
BY JENNY WILDMAN

Recently whilst driving in the car I listened to an arduous
radio report describing the inconveniences caused by permits
and restrictions for the importation of potatoes. Since I can
hardly remember having a tasty potato here ever, I got to
wondering what is this obsession with potatoes. They are not
native to here, spoil quickly and are expensive.

Obviously all have forgotten about or never discovered DA-
SHEEN which grows fast and furious, large and luscious and
just one piece could feed a large family for days. I started ask-
ing people and found a few called it sup yam or soup yam
(nobody knew the spelling) they remembered it from child-
hood. Most had never heard of it. There is a Dashine street
(alternative spelling ) in Dangriga which is where I found
many back yard farmers and people familiar with this versa-
tile vegetable.

It is thought to have originated in China. It is related to the
Taro Tanier and Cocoyam but larger and with a far superior
flavour closer to that of a potato or Jerusalem artichoke. It is a
member of the elephant eared caladium family and all parts
are edible when cooked. It was a staple food in the tropics and
I found all kinds of recipes mostly dating back to the turn of
the century. It can be boiled, mashed, fried, added to soup
etc. Try making chicken with coconut milk ,okra ,onion and
dasheen chunks .My friends love it. When boiling to make
mash it is best to change the water once. Just use as potatoes
and enjoy.

The greens can be used similarly to calaloo but it is the root
part which most would eat. So is anyone growing this com-
mercially? No ...it would appear that we are now hooked on
imported potatoes and French fries. What a pity.

CAUTION: DO NOT EAT RAW-IT MUST BE COOKED .CAN
CAUSE A SERIOUS


INFLAMMATION OF MOUTH AND THROAT.

Send any comments or your favourite dasheen recipes to the
editor or Jenny Wildman spectarte@gmail.com
-------------------------------

Here's an interesting note from a reader of Jenny's article on
Bissy in the last issue;

Jenny, I live at mile 60 on the Western Highway and River
walk estates. I spent several years working at West Africa,
What you talking about in you article is a colan nut, when a
chief would call on a meeting or the military officers they
would always distribute some colan nut to our present. I
was there, so I got it too, it is basically a big shot of caf-
feine, but rather mild. Am sure there is a variety that will
grow here in Belize. Our climate and latitude are similar to
West Africa, I never had any sides effects and would
probably use it again if available.

Oscar Chapleau
Bush Camp One


BayshoreO d.
www.badyshorebelize.rom


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Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 13 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







Light Rein #1 Belize


If you are a horseman/horsewoman, the term "Light
Rein" may mean more to you than simply a dreary day with
light showers spelled in an odd manner.

I have witnessed many more horse people abusing a rein,
than using it in a significant, light but effective manner.
More than likely not meant in any abusive manner, but sim-
ply "the way they have always done it"- Pull a horse's nose or
jaw to the right and they will, for the most part, head in that
direction. Kick them in the sides and they might even go a
little faster in the direction you were hoping for. What is the
big deal? If you were the horse, it could be a very big deal,
depending on the bit and who is doing the pulling and yank-
ing. As a rider it is more productive and enjoyable to ride a
horse that is willing and giving and understands what is be-
ing asked. Not only is it easier and more enjoyable, but
much safer as well.

When a horse understands what is being asked, he has much
less a tendency to overreact, or act out. There is less of a
chance of being thrown, getting smashed into the stable wall,
or having a foot crushed, etc. This does not happen by sim-
ply riding a horse; it is training, as well as understanding
your horse's responses to the training and what is being
asked of him. It is not a quick overnight job. Even though
there are horses who can be "broke" in a day, training takes
time. Teaching a horse and a rider how to convey communi-
cation through seat, legs, eyes and hands, makes for a safer,
happier, overall situation.

I have been referred to as a "Horse Whisperer", but there are
plenty of times I do not whisper at all. I have been likened to
a Momma Grizzly with a stranger trying to take her cubs
when I need to get the attention of a horse and prove I am
the Alpha Mare. When it comes to the horses or dogs that I
am working with, I am the Alpha Number 1. If you watch
an Alpha Mare in the herd, very seldom does she lose her
cool. She warns and lets others off with a look or a swish of
her tail, a snort or a flattening of her ears and a shake of her
neck. The witchy mare that is always screaming and running
to kick is not the Alpha, just a low level crabby horse. Since I
cannot use my tail nor pin my ears, I use my voice and body
language to make a point. Most of that communication will
be after repeatedly asking the horses to do something the
same way with the same cue. There are times where the Al-
pha Mare response is instant, such as entering a stall, or be-
ing in a field. A simple head movement or body move with
eye contact can be significant.

There are times when you have that rogue critter who flips
you the hoof and says "come on make my day", and the
subtle approach just isn't going to work. The key here is to
ask first, maybe even twice, before pushing the issue. I am
not one that says one can't get strong with a horse, but my
theory is, it is the last resort. If you do not know that horse's
history, you really need to figure out if the behavior is an 'I
don't wanna' attitude, or perhaps from a bad situation earlier
in life. Trust can make or break any training situation.


Reading a horse through the eyes, ears, tails, mannerisms of
body and body functions is such an integral part of training
to understand what is going on with the horse. Some people
have the innate ability to do it without really even realizing
it. Others think they have it and do not, and others get it af-
ter years of work. It certainly makes training easier when the
person and the horse can help each other understand.

Whisperer? Hardly. Light Rein, of course. Enjoy the ride
and stay safe.

Marjie Olson Henley
Light Rein Farm

All comments are of the opinion of Marjie O. Henley and are
in no manner expected to be the only way to train a horse,
but have proven to work for her.


---------------------------------





Marjie Olson Henley of

Light Rein Farm is pleased to be in Belize!

She brings with her 36 yrs of horse training and
20 yrs of farrier work.

Countless references from respected veterinarians
and past clients.

Horseshoeing for the whole horse, notjust the hoof.

Riding training and lessons for beginner to
advanced. Groundwork, Western, Huntseat, Barrels
and Poles

A true horsewoman whose goal is to make the ride
better, soundness improved and ownership of
horses even more fun! Will travel based on situation.

Based in Cayo District.

Contact her via Smart #665-5267 or email at
lightreinc@cablespeed.com or Shotzvo8(live.com
Please note phone is only checked twice weekly


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 14 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize






Notice to all
DOG OWNERS
Meet and work with Richard Shook of Southland Dog Sports
North Carolina, USA
Richard is one of the most highly respected Schutzhund
Trainers in the U.S.
See his website at http://Southlanddogsports.com
"Schutzhund" is the specific German training of obedience,
tracking and protection. Training can be modified to fit all
types of dogs and will help you and your dog work better to-
gether in day to day life, notjust for competition.
Date: Saturday October 3rd 2009 will be our "open public" day
and will adjust the schedule and procedures to fit those who
plan to attend. Early mornings are best due to the heat. Pri-
vate times may be scheduled.


Location and time to be set as owners sign up,
but Cayo District is planned


Contact: Marjie Olson Henley of Light Rein at
lightrein6(cablespeed.com or Shotzvo8(live.com or Smart#
665-5267 but please understand phone is checked only twice a
week, email daily.


Art's Mobile service
54 George Price Ave, Santa Elena
Tel: 804-2659 & 675-6179
Guaranteed Services

.*Welding

*Repair


*Fabrication
We AMS To Please


A


Maintenance

Repairs

Installation


David Awe
Technician


I40 O ,! g e C
Tel 80-29 2976


GCat Bard Watching
Walk in Our Garden
conte check out our Gift Shop
We're only 2 & 1/2 Miles West
of the Blie Zoo

Mile 31 1/4 I

Western High ay

Belize ".
E-rna
chris


twist
Local Specaltes as
welt as Burgers,
Soups, Salads,
And lots mre...
Al at very reasonable
We have Cabafts loot
Mon -Sal 6 am-B pm
Sun I7 aml pm


S501-822-8014
il aimtlchsersmtauraltbz
incfhernstasurantik


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 15 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


*a
LQ- I


S 1







Wes


Authorized Dealer For:

John Deere
Agriculture & Compact
Lawn & Garden
Equipment
Parts & Service
Sen1 -ce


www.westracbelize.com
Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 16 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


.... Im







Agricultural Prices at a Glance-$$$$ August 25 2009
A-B denotes the difference between 1st preference & second preference and sometimes between wholesale & retail
and bulk or small amounts. Trend (H) means Higher over last 30 to 60 day (L) Lower (S) Steady


all Belize dollars -


1.00 -1.05


T A B


.95-1.00


Cows & Heifers S .85- .95 .75- .85
Heifers for breeding 650-900 lbs S 1.05 -1.20 .95 -1.05
Young grass cattle- 350- 650 lbs S-H 1.05-1.15 1.00 -1.05
U.Sprice -corn fed-1ooo-1200 lbs S 160 -166 154-160
U.Sprice feeders 600- 800 lbs S 2.00- 2.10 1.90- 2.00
U.S price- calves 450- 600 lbs S 2.30- 2.40 2.20- 2.30
U.S rice- a ed butcher cows S 1.oo00 -1.10 .90 1.00


Weiner pigs- 30 -50 lbs- by the head S $75.00 $95.00
SButcher 125 200 bs S 1.70 75 1.65-170


Butcher lambs S 2.25-2.50 2.00-2.25
Mature ewes S 1.70 -1.75 1.60 -1.70


Broilers- live per lb S 1.27-1.29 1.24-1.27
Old hens S .63-.65 .60-.63


Pd to farmer erb S-L 49-51 .46- 49


Shrimp Retail- Farm Raised S 7.00-9.00 6.00-7.00
Pitaya fruits S 2.00-3.00 1.00-2.00
Organic/Sol Farms Ltd.- Teakettle Village Phone # 628- 9040


.22-.24


.20-.22


Corn S-L .25-.27 .22-.25


.30-.35


.28-.30


J.S corn price S .15 .8 .13- .15
iuatemala corn price/Peten H .38- .40 .35- .38
elize Milo S .19 -.21 .17 -.19
L-K's, little reds & blacks (beans) S 1.35 -1.60 1.15-1.35
Lack eyed peas S 1.00-1.25 .75- SpaLt
'addy rice/ from combine S .32 -.34 .30- .32
filled retail rice (controlled) S 1.21per lb


)ranges per 9o lb box H ($6.50 final est. price)
Wra e fruit- er go lb box S ($3.50 final est. rice)


ane perton-after 2nd payment S $45.00 perton
Vhite Sugar-112 lbs S $46.00 perbag
Irown Su ar-112 lbs S $39.00 erba


port @ 40 lb box S $16.84.
,ocal Wholesale #2 quality- 40 lb S $8.00.
'Letail #2 @ 8 er sale S $1.oo0 $1.50


omatoes, Cabbages, cucumbers S 1.oo -1.75 .75-1.00oo


***These prices are best estimates only from our best sources and simply provide a range to assist buyers and sellers in negotiations.

Notes- We have talked before about the Ministry of Agriculture and others to recognize the two farming systems in Belize.(1.) Small farms of 15 50 acres
that grow what they eat and sell the remainder (most often perishable fruits & vegetables ) at the local market. To many, it's a great way of life &is a
wonderful and needed farm system in Belize. They usually blend livestock and fruit trees into this system. (2.) Larger mechanized farms with tractors,
planters, aerial and ground spraying and storage and packaging equipment must be included.This includes cane, citrus, bananas, cattle, corn, beans & rice
We must team together with the government of Belize to help establish export markets.We are increasing production toward a black hole if we can't export
our surplus. I see some very positive efforts and co-operation from these main players. I include the recent trip to Central America to talk about corn &
beans. We thank Min. ofAgriculture Min. of Foreign of Foreign Trade and also include Min. of Finance including Hon. Prime Minister Dean Barrow in this
most positive effort. GO-TEAM- GO. Material and information gathered by John Carr

Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 17 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


Young strs. &bulls- 750- 1100 oolbs








CENTER ROAD
E--
SPANISH LOOKOUT
Tel. 823 -0495
primepmrtsbesllz@yahoo.com

CHASSIS.- -


BRAKE,


LUBE, etc.


PARTS & SERVICE


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 18 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


)>


4





%u"


c


1 w
jdIMMIMLk


1?









BANANA BANK RANCH
LIVESTOCK AUCTION SALE
Joe Friesen Jr. Pens-Near Iguana Creek Bridge
SATURDAY OCTOBER 3, 2009
10:00 a.m.
40 HEAD OF RIDING HORSES
8 PURE SIMBRA BULLS 50/50
15 TO 18 months, approx. 800 to 1000 Ibs.
All are AI (artificially inseminated by Frank Friesen)
out of pure red Simmental Manhattan
and top quality Brahman cows







40 horses, all ages, all types from the
Banana Bank trail riding string. They will
be individually shown under saddle


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 19 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







Ask Rubber Boots



Dear Rubber Boots

We have encountered a strange phenomenon recently
and are hoping that you can solve this mystery. When
we mixed recently purchased local dark honey with cin-
namon powder, it turned into a glob like ball of
slime. We put it in to hot tea/coffee thinking it will dis-
solve, but NO; It stayed a slime ball in the bottom of the
cup!. We mixed the same honey with sage powder for an
experiment, but it did not turn into a slime ball. We had
mixed honey and cinnamon before, but this phenome-
non never happened, so we are puzzled. We await your
answer.

Dale and Toshi Schwerdtfeger, Cayo

Dear Dale & Toahi

Thanks for your letter, Are local honey authority is a bit
bamboozled, but he had this to offer;

I have no idea why Toshi has the problem with mixing
honey with cinnamon. Honey is a mixture of sugars and
hydroxy-methyl-furfurals ... usually not chemically ac-
tive. The dark color in honey is probably carbon and is
usually associated with bees collecting honey from sugar
cane after farmers burn the leaves to get the cane. Jungle
honey is darker then cane honey if the farmers have not
burned the cane. Cane honey has a very mild taste.

If any of you readers have something else to offer to ex-
plain this please send it in!


Dear Rubber Boots:

I'm a new reader of the BAR which I find very useful.

I have another method for discouraging leaf-cutter ants
from eating plants. This method also works to keep
woodlice from climbing along poles, posts, ropes,
etc. Simply tie a strip of plastic (from one of the too
many wasted plastic bags all around us) around the
plant, post, etc. Neither the parasol ants nor the wood-
lice will cross the plastic. Be sure the critters cannot get
under the plastic via a groove in the wrapped mate-
rial. Also be sure to keep vines and branches from pro-
viding another route for the pests.
I look forward to learning more from you and BAR.
Yours in Toledo,

Tanya Russ


Sweet ing


Cheesecakes
Over 30 Gourmet Flavors Available!
JCakes & Part
Cakes & Party Trays
-


lime Vega

i10-4174


If you have any questions or tips for Rubber
Boots, please send them to;
rubberboots@belizeagreport.com


Belize Pitaya Growers
Association
P.O. Box 365
Belmopan


Have a spare acre or two? Why not grow pitayas? In
just four years pitaya, a climbing cactus, can produce
8,000-10,000 Ibs./acre/year. Consultation is available.
Join a pitaya orchard tour in Teakettle on October 10,
2009. RSVP at 822-0369.

Stallion Servrice
2009 Nfat CiharcJmp
3/4 Thoroughbred
1/4 Quarter Horse
$500.00
Cedar Bluff Ranch
664-7272



BRC PRINTING
DESKTOP PUBLISHING LTD.


Nazarene St. Benque Viejo
Tel: 823-3139 Fax: 823-3082
E-mail: brc@btl.net


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 20


Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


-4







Farming out Tourism in Belize

By Heather duPlooy

From time to time my job takes me to the farms or the
homes of farming families in Cayo and Toledo. These are my
absolute favourite days. There is just something real and true
and wonderful about getting to scratch a baby pig, poke
around in a vermiculture (worm) bin or walk down rows of
ripe vegetables with the person that grew them.

Apparently, I am not alone in considering a day at the farm
one that is well spent. At a recent workshop I found out that
this experience is called Agro-Eco-Cultural Tourism, to be
referred to as agrotourism for the sake of brevity, and it is a
rapidly growing tourism trend. The workshop, which took
place at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development,
was sponsored jointly by IICA, OEA-OAS and the Govern-
ment of Belize as part of their efforts to begin development
of this tourism niche for Belize.

Ms. Ena Harvey, IICA's Hemispheric specialist in agrotour-
ism, gave an extremely dynamic talk on the concept of
agro-eco-cultural tourism and the opportunities and
challenges it offered to a country like Belize. The object of
the IICA agrotourism project is: To build resilience in rural
communities through the realization of competitive busi-
nesses which link agricultural activities to tourism, in ways
which foster environmental sustainability, validation of
traditional knowledge and the achievement of sustainable
livelihoods.' This seems to be an ideal direction for tourism
in Belize.

During his opening remarks Ricardo Thompson, the Na-
tional Coordinator of Extension services for the Ministry of
Agriculture, shared his own experience in the Toledo district
at an organic cacao and vanilla farm. In San Felipe he met
Cyrila Cho and her family who turn their crops into'Cyrila's
Chocolate' and their farm into an Agro-Eco-Cultural Tour-
ism destination. The Cho farm has been written about in
Budget Travel, Daily Telegraph and New York Magazine, so
even without the push for specifically marketing agrotour-
ism, it is already happening in Belize and getting positive
feedback.

Agrotourism can help a destination differentiate itself in the
marketplace. This is of growing importance as many destina-
tions in our region tout the same attractions: Maya sites,
canoeing, tubing, caving, snorkeling, SCUBA etc. Agrotour-
ism is a way to give your product very personal spin. After
all, you can lie on a sandy beach in just about any Caribbean


destination, but you can only spend the day making
tamalitos with the Canto family if you go to San Antonio,
Cayo, Belize.

Other main speakers were Mario Sampers, the IICA Regional
Specialist in Rural Development in Panama, who spoke of
the meaningful potential for positive Rural Development
with Agro-tourism and Kim Osborne, of Dominica, who is
Belize's Country Representative for OAS and seems to work
closely with the tourism board.

Overall the workshop was well presented and lent hope for
the continued development of agro-tourism in Belize, but
there were two moments that gave me pause. Once when
shortly after one of the presenters extolled the importance of
'Authenticity! Authenticity! Authenticity!' she then stressed
the need for standards in agro-eco-tourism. I don't know
how this would be addressed but my concern would be that
the authenticity of cultural experiences risk dilution if we are
not careful of the standards imposed on them. Consider, for
instance, what it would mean to the Maya home stays that
are promoted in Toledo if it is decided that all tourism desti-
nations require a flush toilet, concrete flooring and electric
lighting. Another concern was that the recommendations for
Belize were basically to copy what other Caribbean countries
are successfully doing. I think we can and should draw from
other lessons, but we need to be careful that Belize does not
wind up with the same 'unique' experience as every other
Caribbean destination.

If we promote spending a day not with people hired to
memorize a spiel of facts but with real people doing what
they do in real life, especially when that life is what puts food
on our tables then I think that no one will be able to beat the
agro-tourism experiences of Belize. Pursuing this tourism
market is also a great way to help out small farmers and
other agro-enterprises. Small farmers are surely the 'Salt of
the Earth' and yet they are notoriously underpaid and under
appreciated. Agro-tourism is a chance for additional income
and the chance to showcase the traditional knowledge and
local expertise of many Belizeans.

Heather duPlooy is the Curator ofBelize Botanic Gardens of
Cayo District. The contain 45-acres of tropical plants from
Belize and around the world. Visitors can enjoy displays of
traditional medicinals, native orchids, rare palms, tropical
fruits and many other features. The mission of the garden
focuses on the conservation of Belize's flora through educa-
tion and conservation projects.

To learn more visit www.belizebotanic.org or call 824-3101


Get outta town!
Come tour the garden then
enjoy lunch and a cool
swim in the river.

To book the shuttle or find
out more just call
R8924-101


I say, don't monkey
around. Go plant
yourself at the
- Botanic Gardens.


www.belizebotanic.org

info )belizebotanic.ora


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 21 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







Who is Responsible? What about Water?

Water....I get thirsty just talking about it.
As we travel the rivers of Belize...

How Important are Steep Slope & Riparian Forests?

The deforestation rate in Belize is about 2.3% per
year overall. However, estimates of deforestation rates for
riparian forests are as high as 13% per year.

How important are steep-slope forests, those forests
growing on the sides of mountains and hills? What is the
real worth of riparian forests, those forests growing on the
banks of streams and rivers? What services do they really
provide? These are serious questions that must be asked.
We must seek and understand the answers if we hope to
avoid the heavy cost of ignoring these questions. Indeed, we
are already paying the high price of disregarding these im-
portant forests and allowing their demise.
The country of Belize has been physically divided by
the loss of the Kendal Bridge crossing the Sittee River. The
steel and concrete structure was swept away during the June
flood of this year. Estimates for replacing the bridge are as
high as $10 million and the economic loss due to the restric-
tion of travel and movement of goods is also within the mil-
lions. It is now believed that the bridge, having survived
many floods, was finally brought down by upstream defores-
tation of the river bank by bulldozers to plant citrus. The
likely story is that large piles of uprooted trees were left on
the cleared river bank and few large trees were left standing.
As unimpeded floodwaters rose, trees and debris were
picked up and piled against the bridge. As the rain waters
gathered within the mountains and hills collected and
rushed down the river, the flow was restricted by the riparian
forest. But once the floodwaters reached the cleared areas,
the flow could increase in speed, unobstructed by riparian
forests. These floodwaters also picked up great loads of
eroded soil, sand and gravel from the exposed river banks no
longer protected by riparian forests. This fast, heavy water,
loaded with sediment, applied enough force against the dead
trees piled against the bridge to cause the structure to fail, to
divide the country.
Considering the total economic loss of the Kendal
Bridge, the upstream riparian forests were worth at least $20
million. By that same logic, the riparian forests upstream of
every bridge in this country carries such worth. Can we ever
hope to harvest enough oranges, bananas or corn from our
river banks to equal the worth of the forests?
For many days central and northern Belize was in-
undated by floodwaters in OCTOBER? of this year, some of
the highest in recent memory. Our rivers are running dark
brown with sediments and flood waters are laden with dis-
eases from our outhouses and poorly designed septic sys-
tems. Garbage of all kinds, from plastic bottles to old box
freezers float downstream or get hung up in the trees. Defor-
estation of not just the riparian forests around the country,
but steep slopes as well, has contributed to the increasing
amount of soils eroded into the rivers. As our rivers fill with
sediments, they can no longer hold the volume of floodwa-
ters and excess waters fill the wetlands and spill higher into
the flood plains, inundating pastures and fields, reaching
into homes and businesses.


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com


The hard lesson here is that lack of enforcement of
the '66 foot rule' establishing the riverside or 'riparian' for-
ests as protected areas, and lack of respect for our streams
and rivers in general, bares a very high cost. The National
Lands Act and the Land Utilization act contain provisions for
maintaining a strip of forest at least 66 feet wide, measuring
from the high water mark, along streams and rivers. Origi-
nally this land was set aside to accommodate travelers back
in the days when rivers were the main transportation routes
inland, providing people with a place to camp and find fire-
wood. Today, this rule acts to protect these vital forest areas,
preserving the ecological services they render. But what are
the services provided by steep slope and riparian forests?
Steep slope and riparian forests are special kinds of
forests with particular ecological characteristics. Several
types of steep-slope forests occur, ranging from forests com-
posed of trees adapted to often drier and relatively nutrient
poor soils, to the very fragile cloud forests that depend on
high levels of moisture. Riparian forests include those trees,
shrubs, vines and associated plants, inhabiting stream and
river banks, which are adapted to the fast flow of floods and
can survive being periodically inundated by water.
Some of the most intense human changes exerted
on watersheds of Belize, Guatemala, and other countries in
the world are caused by destruction of steep slope and ripar-
ian forests. Lack of awareness among the public and lack of
enforcement on behalf of the Government places our crops,
villages, towns and coastal marine resources in jeopardy. In
order to effectively restore or rehabilitate a watershed se-
verely impacted by such deforestation, managers, adminis-
trators, politicians and, most importantly, communities
must understand and appreciate the importance of riparian
forests.

What is so Special About Slope & Riparian Forests?

The forest structure of a watershed is a complex
component of the system, performing important functions
necessary for maintaining effective integrity of the land-
scape, quality of the surface and subsurface waters and con-
sequently floodplain and coastal zone systems receiving wa-
tershed discharge. Watershed forests help control the vol-
ume of water reaching streams and rivers help maintain the
shape of streams and rivers, and affect the amount sediment
transported downstream. They also contribute to the habitat
complexity and food-web ecology of land areas, streams and
rivers.
Upland forests are important mediators of local cli-
mate patterns and stream discharge through processes of
evapo-transpiration. Much of the rainwater falling on leaves
heated by the sun is evaporated. Water dripping through
forest canopies and reaching the soil is absorbed by tree
roots and pulled up the trunk and to the leaves where it tran-
spires through tiny holes in the underside of the leaves. Wa-
tershed forests pump 20% or more of a catchment's rain-
water from the soil and release it back into the atmosphere
as water vapor, water that would have otherwise added to
the flow of streams and rivers. Upland forests also contrib-
ute species, detritus (leaf and wood), dissolved organic mat-
ter and nutrients to riparian forests, helping make this one of
the richest forest areas.
Steep slope forests help to hold soils in place and
reduce the potential for erosion and mud slides. Roots of

22 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







erosion. Soils of steep slopes are often thin and nutrient-
poor in comparison to soils of the river valleys. Services pro-
vided by the trees cannot be replaced by corn and other shal-
low rooted crops that quickly deplete its nutrients and con-
tribute to erosion. As root systems of felled trees rot, ex-
posed soils become susceptible to slumping and excessive
rainfall can create mud slides.
Who can forget the thousands of people who died in Hondu-
ras, villages buried beneath mudslides from the deforested
hills above, during Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Actually all of
us can forget, if we even pause to learn the lessons of such
disasters.

When large amounts of sediment are washed into streams
and rivers, flow patterns are changed, aquatic habitats are
broken up and damaged and food webs are impacted. Cattle
and corn agricultural practices associated with upland and
riparian deforestation add nutrient and toxic chemical
stresses to the streams and rivers. Villages, towns and cities
along streams and rivers contribute not just sediment, but
sewage, pesticides, oils and solid waste to the aquatic sys-
tems. Such stresses in combination can disrupt ecological
functions of streams, rivers and entire watersheds, depend-
ing on the geography and extent of the deforested areas and
the magnitude of other impacts.
Once riparian trees are cut down, root systems decay and the
riverbank becomes susceptible to sloughing and erosion by
high flow waters. Reduction of riverside vegetation exposes
more of the river habitats to direct sunlight, causing waters
to become hotter than normal and creating stress conditions
for many of the aquatic organisms. If the stream or river is
already polluted with nutrients from sewage or fertilizers,
increased sunlight may also promote excess growth of algae
and aquatic plants.

Crops, such as citrus and bananas, typically do not survive
well in the high energy, frequently inundated stream and
river banks. The economic return on those crops planted on
active river banks is often minimal as a result of loss to
floods and stress to surviving trees. Tree crops, let alone
corn, cannot replace the functions provided by natural ripar-
ian forests. Farmed river banks typically have high soil ero-
sion, with direct nutrient and pesticide contamination of
rivers and streams from fields. Removal of riparian forest
for crop production can also promote invasion by exotic
plant species. If left intact, a healthy riparian forest actually
serves as a filter for water flowing off of a field. The riparian
forest slows down the movement of stormwater flowing over
the surface of soil and the groundwater beneath. Soil parti-
cles are captured, fungi and bacteria absorb nutrients and
bacteria degrade much of the pesticides, keeping these mate-
rials from polluting the water.

Extensive cattle grazing on riverbanks and tributaries in-
creases soil erosion. Browsing of vegetation by cattle can
also reduce the ability of riparian areas to filter out nutrients.
At the same time, cattle add considerable amounts of nitro-
gen rich fecal material to riparian areas and adjacent pasture
areas that leach into rivers and streams. Livestock hooves
can compact and pock the soil, breaking up the soil structure
within riparian zones. Gazing by livestock can affect the
density of trees, damaging and destroying seedlings and sap-
lings. Riparian forests improve within a few years when cat-


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com


tie are excluded, but the recovery may require decades. Of-
ten farmers completely clear river banks for cattle pasture,
requiring replanting to revive bank areas. Livestock con-
tamination of rivers is also of public health significance to
people who use river as a source for household water.
Unnecessary deforestation for agriculture, homes, tourist
facilities, businesses, industries and roads greatly increases
the amount of soil being eroded into steams and rivers. As
more sediment enters the river than can be transported
downstream, deep areas in the riverbed become filled. This
reduces the volume of water the river can hold during floods.
This results in floodwaters spreading out wider within the
floodplains, inundating more farms, houses and roads. Be-
sides sediments, riverside villages, towns, hotels and other
dwellings also introduce sewage, human pathogens and solid
waste to rivers and streams.

Can Deforested Riparian and Steep Slope Areas be
Reforested?

Damaged riparian forests can be restored, re-establishing
natural biodiversity and ecological functions. Impacted ri-
parian areas may repair themselves once the cause of the
stressor is identified and eliminated, with seeds being car-
ried in by the water from healthy forests upstream. Some-
times riparian restoration efforts pose much greater chal-
lenges, depending on the characteristic of the river bank and
the impact. As a rule, shallow, deposition banks are typically
easier to rehabilitate than steep cut banks, each requiring
different strategies. Passive restoration may involve fencing
out the grazing livestock from the riparian area and letting
the forest return on its own. In more severe impact situa-
tions, active restoration efforts may be required, including re
-planting riparian trees that were started in nurseries and
removing unnatural structures.

Restoring the ecological functions and biological diversity of
riparian forests helps to stabilize the landscape. Riparian
forests, together with wetlands (low lands that hold water
during floods) help to reduce the magnitude and buffer us
from the impact of floods.

Success of a riparian restoration or rehabilitation program at
a watershed scale requires a knowledge of the geography,
hydrology and ecology of the system. It also requires knowl-
edge of the extent of healthy and deforested riparian zones
identified through field evaluation and mapping efforts and
implementing effective measures to preserve those remain-
ing forested areas. Riparian re-colonization processes de-
pend on availability of seed stock from existing riparian for-
est areas, suitable available habitat, sufficient development
time between natural disturbances and the resilience of ri-
parian species. Most importantly, the restoration effort re-
quires the acceptance, support and participation of commu-
nity members throughout the watershed system. Ecological
recovery requires time and commitment to the process over
a number of years, with wildlife populations recovering
slower than habitat restoration.
Steep slope and riparian forests provide vital services that
affect the function of watersheds and affect the movement of
water and sediments through those systems.

Continued on page 25

23 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION -Local Business Serves
Belize from Spanish Lookout

Nearly 2 decades after becoming a certified Artificial Insemi-
nation Technician, Frank Friesen has come full circle, having
been very recently authorized to administer Accelerated Ge-
neric's Introductory A.I. Technician's Course -from the same
leading American company which certified him. (For more
information, go to notice on page 23.) Frank is the undisputed
leader in A.I. Services for the private sector, handling both the
dairy and beef industries' needs. He has stayed the course,
and what he started as a hobby to improve his own herd, has
become a viable business. Utilizing Frank's philosophy, that
'Nothing happens without a dream", and believing and sharing
A.I.'s many advantages better genetic potentials, less health
risks, and cost effectiveness, has yielded bonuses for him, and
the cattle industry at large.

The last 5 years have seen a surge in local A.I.; most notable is
the very recent increase in A.I. for beef cattle. Even as short as
two years ago, nearly 80% of the cattle bred artificially were
dairy breeds, but this year he estimates that of the approxi-
mate 700 head of cattle countrywide who are being bred artifi-
cially, at least 50% and maybe up to 70% will be beef cattle.

The Dairy industry, by its very nature, has always been more
conducive to A.I. programs. Frequent contact makes it much
easier to detect heats and breed on the more fertile natural
heats. (Natural heats generally see a conception rate of 65% or
higher.) Although the decline in milk prices have affected the
dairy industry, another factor influencing this shift in the local
A.I. business, is the emergence of better synchronization im-
plants, used to coordinate bovine estrus cycles (heat). New
and reasonably priced products have increased the financial
feasibility for beef cattle in Belize to join the A.I. generation.
Prospective breeding stock receive implants in the ear, and an
injection. After o1 days the implants are removed, which
trigger the cows to come into heat approximately 56 hours
later. Ranchers using this technology can schedule a herd of
cattle to be all serviced together, at one visit of the technician,
greatly reducing time and costs. Former synchronizations
products only yielded approx. 35% calf rate, but the new prod-
ucts are yielding approx. 50%. Cattle who do not catch
(become pregnant) on this first synchronized breeding, will
come into a 2nd heat 20 days from the 1st breeding. Other fac-
tors in this equation are of course, management, mineral sup-
plementation, and the skill of the technician.

Who are some of the leaders countrywide in the A. I. scene?
Besides the main dairy operations in Spanish Lookout, John
Carr's Banana Bank Ranch is heading this way, using Simental
semen on his Brahman base cows, working toward a Simbrah
product.


Blue Creek's John Dyck has a substantial A.I. program featur-
ing Nelore bloodlines, and Gallon Jug Farm, with its own
technicians, is utilizing both A.I. and embryo transplants to
produce Hereford and Angus. But even the farmers and ranch-
ers who have not directly implemented A.I. into their manage-
ment, have felt the effects of this industry. In Spanish Look-
out, approx lo% of farmers utilize A.I. for their herds, but vir-
tually every dairy bull in the community is a 3r generation A.I.
animal. We can expect this industry to grow too, as potential
for beef for export develops with the Mexican market, which
will demand an increasingly better product.

A quick costing summary: average price of semen used locally
is $35. per straw. Add $35 if you are using implants, then
travel mileage at $75 and labor of the technician at $1oo. (Per
trip for any destination countrywide. ) A technician can handle
up to 30 animals per day. The per animal costs with 20 ani-
mals on a program, might then be approx. $95. per head.

Pricing for local dairy cattle, using natural heat, are slightly
different. Farmers purchase their semen, avg. $35, plus $35
for first breeding, $15 for 2nd if necessary, and 3rd servicing, if
needed at no cost except the semen. Cattle conceiving on the
1st breeding then, are at an average cost of $70.per head.

Now, put all that together, and compare with the costs of pur-
chasing and maintaining a bull, and you will decide if it's time
for you too to consider adding A.I. to your program. A.I. does
require more planning, record keeping, and coordination than
traditional breeding. Only you can decide which system is
best for your operation.

Frank is the country distributor for Accelerated Genetics,
(formerly Tri-State), the U.S. Artificial Insemination giant
which is headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin. He imports
regularly from Accelerated Genetics, keeping a varied semen
inventory of Holstein, Brown Swiss, Jersey, Simmental, Nelore
and Brahman Bulls, which range in price from $25. to $70. on
hand. Of course, custom imports to suit clients' needs are also
offered.

By B.Roberson


24 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com








Proud Product of Belize


"... improving the taste of nature!"


Continued from page 23
massive amounts of sediments. These events are making it
obvious that there is a strong need to intervene, protect re-
maining riparian and steep slope forests and rehabilitate those
areas that have been denuded. To be successful in these ef-
forts, we need to understand how these forest components
sodf


coUIIIIDULte LU WaLt~ers uLInu lUlILls. VVe IIeel LU spread L atL
awareness among community members and all stakeholders.
Re-planted riparian forests can be productive forests. A select
few kinds of trees can tolerate the very edge of the river, trees
such as bri-bri, river fig, provision tree, and grasses like spiny
bamboo. Higher up the river bank other kinds of trees can be
included that produce fruit, fodder and wood. Efforts to re-
store riparian and steep slope forests will not only help protect
our present day resources, but these forests shall be sequester-
ing atmospheric carbon and contribute to the economy of the
future, the well-being of our children within a climate-
changing world.
By Dr Ed Boles
Aquatic Ecologist, Galen University


In Stock: Hardwood,
Figured Wood,
Mahogany & Cedar

Special Price on
Form Board $1.30


Custom Milling Available


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 25 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


V/ t







Continued from page 2


Planting 5 trees per acre represents a loss of less than 3% of
crop stock based on 145 trees per acre: a good gamble against
estimates of 10-20% damage to the commercial crop. Water-
melons layered between rows divert the insectivores' attention
away from hanging fruit and leaving a few citrus windfalls on
the ground may save some of the harvestable crop. Wherever
possible we advise leaving rotting trees for peckers and by
scattering past-date bread (free from bakeries) the peckers are
encouraged to stuff bread pieces into tree crevices to harvest
insects much as they do with oranges. This again, we have ob-
served as preferential behaviour.

Year-round non-citrus lure crops could include sunflowers,
papaya (wild and cultivated), bird-peppers and banana. Trees
in fruit during the April/May harvest include sugar apple, coco
plum and cashew. Favourite parrot trees (although not coinci-
dental with crop maturity) include governor plum, ackee, ki-
nep, figs, canary palm, gumbo-limbo, wax apple. These should
be planted adjacent to, or surrounding the groves but, in areas
where land is a premium, some could be grown within the
commercial citrus. If space is available, corn can be a valuable
decoy crop young green corn has good protein requirements
for chick feeding, and coincides with the citrus harvest and
first nesting. As cultivated lure crops are only strictly neces-
sary during peak harvest season and to stave off blossom dam-
age, the families of workers could benefit from these crops
during the rest of the year. Whilst it's true that more food en-
courages more birds, many avian species are excellent natural
pest managers and may possibly save on insecticides in the
long run.

Deterrents

Estimates of bird damage range from as low as 2.5% to around
11-15% in some tests, but let's assume that the worst-case sce-
narios are correct, and in the absence of any form of counter-
measure, the total bird damage amounts to 20%. What could
be done to recoup this loss?

Deterrents come in many forms. Netting is expensive and im-
practical for large acreage / low value crops such as citrus.
Industry researchers have observed parrot damage to be less
in groves where the aisles are not kept clean, but high ground
cover has not been proven as an effective method of control
and this strategy has associated fire risk issues.

There are two types of chemical repellents currently available:
primary repellents are foul-tasting and secondary repellents
cause an uncomfortable and distressing sickness, resulting in
an eventual aversion to the fruit. Both are sprayed directly
onto the fruit, so are of limited effect on crops where the outer
layers are not actually consumed. Taste-aversion only works
with transient populations as the 'locals' learn to avoid
sprayed fruit and they acquire tolerance or avoidance tactics
for the foul taste. Consequential illness is only effective after a
repeat experience, so some damage will be sustained during
the learning period. Both chemicals are expensive and de-
grade rapidly under UV light. Neither have received blanket
approval for all fruits and could yet cause illness in humans
after consumption.


Visual deterrents currently in use include hawk-kites and eye-
spot balloons, where youngsters are employed to fly kites
printed with the image of a raptor predator around the fields
and giant helium-filled balloons are dotted around the groves,
mimicking predators. They have been shown to be effective in
the short-term, but yet again birds become habituated.

True predators could be encouraged by leaving areas of open
field adjacent to the crop and erecting telegraph poles or fence
-post roosts in the area. We have witnessed our captive birds
become uncomfortable with the presence of vultures in the
sky, even though they are not a predator of adults birds. En-
couraging vultures by leaving carrion in the area could prove
to be an effective deterrent.

There has been some experimentation (with mixed results)
where rubber snakes are scattered throughout upper branches.
Iguanas are also known to predate on parrot chicks and could
be a deterrent if encouraged to remain in the orchard, al-
though damage to the crop by the reptiles may be equally se-
vere as that of the parrots.

Noisemakers such as gas cannons and sirens are expensive,
and firecrackers of any volume are hard to come by, if not ille-
gal in Belize. Noise-makers need to be moved frequently and
used erratically, and recommendations are to implement these
measures only during periods of peak damage occurrence:
shortly before harvest in this instance.

Which brings us back to guns. Citrus farmers can only repeat
the adage that 'dead birds don't eat fruit' and the temptation
will always be to shoot to kill. This temptation could of course
be alleviated by using slugs, not birdshot. But whatever the
case, making noise to harass has been categorically proven
only to work for short periods of 1- 2 weeks, after which birds
rapidly become habituated and unless the flock sustains sub-
stantial losses, random kill shots are no better than noisemak-
ers at reducing crop damage long-term.

Research on invasive species such as monk parakeets in the
US suggests that with greater diversification of crops, birds
will become even more of a problem to farmers in future years.
In Belize, newly introduced soft fruits such as lychee, pear,
peach and raspberry may prove to be popular dining for the
indigenous psittacines and an effective strategy needs to be
devised and implemented now in order to avoid full-scale war


Belize
Bird Rescue
**' -dlwiflfwinCn-


IBhwx Birdl {escuw a. I'ckdratcd to Ihp
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birld liciji in UIb I
tilII Ill iirdnc: a 1 9
www. bi"i FSr' TOm


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S.C(Tptlv, w il, hi rdp ini erk l iePa
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StinLanI. yoUr tit, AnntJI F. r
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r5IfWl'.ly*%r^ ur mi.N VAp j^k


26 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com












t cR-i t vt 'ewc enteat A
BANANA BANK ASSISTED LIVING
Belmopan. Belize

Hands on 24/7 care for your loved one
* Dietary and med. needs specific to resident
* Six persons maximum
SBeautiful jungle river setting
* Alzheimer's, dementia and wheel chairs OK
. Starting at $1500 US ($3000 BZ) monthly


To inquire or visit, please e.mail or call
John Carr 820 2020 or Jane Lorenzo 669 0244
bbl@bananabank.com


It is very important that I care about how much you
know, but its more important that I know how much
you care.


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 27 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize







Banana Bank Agco. Report


Worms

Identity

Corn ear worm, Cut worms, Army worms or all of the above.

Sometimes we think one type and then we think another.
It's hard to match up with the picture and description.
Weather and ground/crop condition could cause 1 type to be
more prevalent at different times. Parents of worms fly and
spread all over, even in grass off of the corn field.

History-

These worms have plagued Belize for years, but it seems that
this year is one of the highest incidences ever. We see 4 to 5
worms on a corn plant 6" tall. If we leave this alone, yield
reduction or total loss is imminent. It's easy to imagine a
loss of 25 30%. I'm assuming we spray as quickly as possi-
ble to alleviate the problem. Non treatment at this point
could mean nearly 100% failure.

Assume we spray and the plant progresses, we usually will
see a re-infestation of same type worms even going so far as
seeing them in the tops of tassels and damage thru-out.

We have been using Match- Rimon- Lubexron (sp)- all
growth inhibitors that fatten the worms, but not his outer
shell and he explodes- this may take 4 to 7 days- damage
continues until burst.

Cost of Application:

Product costs between 8 to $12.00/ Acre plus applications
$5.00oo and then crop oil and labor 2 to $4.00 more Total
20 to $24.00/ Acre sometimes 2 or 3 times. Worms often
hide in swirls and folds and make kill difficult.

Results-

Some years are worse than others- Dry weather makes worm
breeding and corn plant palatability a major issue s. Some
feel that the problem is increasing overall. Worms like this
year at Banana Bank/Kitty Bank inflict tremendous financial
losses. Ex. (Total 3000 Acres cuts into profits by reducing
yields by to to 30%. If 20% of 5,000 lbs is 1000 pounds of
loss at 22 cents a lb, that is $220./Acre(oo000 Acres=
$660,000. (loss)

By John Carr


Some of us at Belize Ag wanted more information on corn-
meal as a fungicide as mentioned in Greg Clark's article on
page 6.

He kindly supplied the following;

Who would have thought that something as seem-
ingly innocuous as cornmeal would have such po-
tent fungicidal properties?

Researchers at Texas A&M Research Station in Stephenville,
TX, noticed that a peanut crop planted following a crop of
corn didn't suffer the usual fungus diseases. Further research
showed that cornmeal contained beneficial organisms that
were at least as effective as common chemical fungicides.
Somehow cornmeal is able to attract a member of the
Trichoderma fungus family, which is a good fungus that kills
off disease causing fungi in a matter of weeks.

Howard Garrett, the Dirt Doctor, has continued the study
and finds cornmeal effective on most everything from turf
grass to black spot on roses. Furthermore, since it is entirely
organic, it can be used on edible crops.

How to Apply

Dry: Work 2 pounds of cornmeal into the soil for every 1oo
square feet. Water well, to activate the fungus killing proper-
ties. One application per season is usually sufficient, but re-
peat applications won't hurt anything.
Spray: What's called 'cornmeal juice' can be made by soak-
ing 1 cup of cornmeal in 1 gallon of water overnight. Strain
the liquid and use as a spray on susceptible plants.

Cornmeal vs. Horticultural Cornmeal vs. Corn
Gluten

Any type of cornmeal can be used as a fungicide.
Food grade cornmeal, found in grocery stores, will
work just fine, but it is more expensive and comes in
smaller quantities than horticultural cornmeal.
Horticultural cornmeal has not been stored under the
stricter guidelines required for food grade cornmeal. Hort
cornmeal is general used for livestock feed. It too will
work just fine as a fungicide and it comes in bulk.

***Corn Gluten should not be used as a fungicide. Corn
Gluten is cornmeal that has been processed to have higher
protein content. Iowa State researchers discovered that corn-
meal gluten can inhibit seed germination. It is now used as a
pre-emergent weed killer. That's a great tip, but don't con-
fuse corn gluten with the fungicidal properties of corn meal.
A final bonus, cornmeal also appears to be a source of nutri-
ents for the soil.


Banana Bank Ranch


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 28 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize






CLASSIFIEDS


BEACHFRONT ON THE PENINSULA
Now is a great time to invest in some Placencia property
where everything is surely happening!
paved road airport, marinas ,shopping..... a mecca for tour-
ists and Belizeans alike.
Current pricing affords some excellent deals so come buy
now while offers still last.
Bayshore Limited
loo Embarcadero Road, Maya Beach, Placencia ,Stann
Creek,
501523 8019 www.bayshorebelize.com
bayshorelimited@gmail.com 604 8910

CANAL LOTS AT MAYA BEACH
looking for a get away location that is affordable fun and
close to beach?
here is a great spot and on the water so ideal for boat owners
Bayshore Limited
loo Embarcadero Road, Maya Beach, Placencia ,Stann
Creek,
501 523 8019 www.bayshorebelize.com
bayshorelimited@ gmail.com

WANTED: NEEM TREES
Anyone have Neem trees for sale?
if so call Jenny Wildman 523 8019, 604 8910

WANTED: New or used WOOD CHIPPER in good working
order
call jenny 523 8019 604 8910

EXOTIC FOWL FOR SALE: AFRICAN GEESE,
ARUCANAS (EASTER BIRD CHICKEN), AND GUINEA
FOWL. Chicks and Goslings 2 mos. 207-0735 or 602-2063

River View Assisted Living at Banana Bank, Belmo-
pan: We offer personal 24/7 caregiver- dementia, wheel
chair or a great place to pass the time. Stay for $3,000 Bze
a month. Please call John Carr at 820-2020

AG CALENDAR

Sept. 5, 2009 Belize Landowners Association Ltd (BLAL),
Annual General Meeting, 9:30 A.M. at the Belmopan Hotel
& Convention Center, Bmp. An informative meeting with
varied agenda including:
*Speaker(s) from Min. of Nat. Resources Presentations/
Discussion of Land Leases New/Different Policies on Pe-
troleum* Teak Raising Land Use Environmental Impact
*Eco-Oriented Issues as Related to Land Owners

October 3, 2009- John Carr Livestock Auction,
call 820 2020

October 10, 2oo9-Belize Pitaya Growers Assn. to hold
Pitaya Orchard Tour, Teakettle. RSVP 822-0369


October 24, 2oo9-AGM for Belize Livestock Producers
Assn. blpa@btl.net, tel 822-3883


November 6 -29, 2oo009-Feria X'matkuil, (Yucatan State
Fair), close to Merida, Yucatan, Mexico



If you enjoy this

Newsletter,

Tell Others.

If you think of a suggestion

for future issues

Tell us!

editor@belizeagreport.com


Wholesale and Retail
Gasoline & Dieel
We De ier


Tel: 824-2199
Cell: 610-1970


Santa Elnat



2i4nC


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 29 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize






ADVERTISER INDEX


AG SUPPLIES/PRODUCTS Page


Agro-Vet Jiron & Son's
Allen's Hardware
Belize Natural Energy
Esperanza Fertilizer
James Brodie & Co.
Prime Parts
Reimer's Feed Mill
Running W
Sol Farms Ltd.
Western Dairies
Westrac Ltd.
Yaha Creek Lumber Yard
FARMS/RANCHES


Banana Bank Ranch
Cedar Bluff Ranch


GALLERIES/GIFTSHOPS


Spectarte


HORTICULTURE/PLANTS
Belize Botanic Gardens
Belize Pitaya Growers Ass'n.
Moringa Plants


HOTELS/RESTAURANT/CATERING/TOURISM


Banana Bank Lodge
Cheers
KO-OX HAN -NAH (lets go eat)
Moms Restaurant
Sweet Ting
LIVESTOCK/ANIMALS
Belize Bird Rescue
Banana Bank Livestock Auction
REAL ESTATE BROKERS
Bayshore Ltd.
Ceiba Realty
Diamond Realty
Holdfast Ltd.
SERVICES
Across
AMS Welding Service
BRC Printers
CP Gas
D & J's A/C & Refrigeration
Elisa's Travel
M. Henley Farrier/Trainer
Riverview Retreat
Schutzhund Dog Training


"You cannot legislate the poor into free-
dom by legislating the wealthy out of free-
dom. What one person receives without
working for, another person must work for
without receiving. The government cannot
give to anybody anything that the govern-
ment does not first take from somebody
else. When half of the people get the idea
that they do not have to work because the
other half is going to take care of them,
and when the other half gets the idea that
it does no good to work because some-
body else is going to get what they work
for, that my dear friend, is about the end
of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth
by dividing it."
..." Dr. Adrian Rogers, 1931

Courtesy of a Belize Ag reader in the USA


i HOi FAST 1"



Cedar Bluff
Riverfront Community
Macal River Common Area
Security, Underground Utilities
1 mile from San Ignacio

662570 / 63-77

Holdfasf; fie fi d Y icio tm(


BelizeAgReport.com 30 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


And finally............


Sept-Oct 2009










































































Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 31 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize





























syrlnta Amtar KRISM T BRAVO
-f ts o yuIo Ul i


VOjNDLIIZJED


N'


WEED ASTER

Alm iatn. Gesaprim


Sept-Oct 2009 BelizeAgReport.com 32 Harvesting the Ag News from All of Belize


r




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