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Belize ag report
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094064/00013
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Title: Belize ag report
Physical Description: Newspaper
Language: English
Publisher: Belize Ag Report, Beth Roberson
Place of Publication: San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize
Creation Date: June 2011
Genre: newspaper   ( sobekcm )
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Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UF00094064:00013


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June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 1 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize The Belize Ag Report Belizes most complete independent agricultural publication The Egg-citing, Incredible Edible EggBy Orlando Habet (MSc. Animal Science)Table eggs are produced by hens of various breeds and the genetic composition of these hens is their design for the difference in color of the shell. Their genetics also contribute to the number of eggs laid in a (number of eggs per pound of feed). The difference in color of white and feathers and white earlobes lay white eggs, whereas hens with red feathers and matching-colored earlobes lay brown eggs. The most common breeds of chickens used for egg-laying are the White Leghorn, the Rhode Island Red, and the New reddish brown and lay brown or brown-speckled eggs. Several breed lines are developed from the main breeds. In Belize machine as it can lay up to 300 eggs in one production year.Continued on page 24 June-July 2011 ISSUE 12 Mushrooms.... page 3 History of WESTRAC.... page 18TAIWAN International Cooperation and Development Fund Technical Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Let us Sell your Land!669-9000 REAL ESTATE SOLUTIONS LTD. Bamboo.... page 8


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 2 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Riverfront/Farmland Luxury Rural SpecialistsThe lush hill and river valley region of the Cayo District Belize, Western CaribbeanBeth Roberson Sandra Roberson Court Roberson 662-5263/663-6777/664-7272 www.holdfastbelize.com Land is our language TM See Selected Listings pg. 26 HOLDFASTLTD.


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 3 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize MUSHROOMSBY DR. ALESSANDRO MASCIAFocus on a Kekchi Mushroom: Schizophyllum commune or Split Gill.In the last mushroom article, I gave a whirlwind tour of the mushrooms I had found in the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts. In this coming series of three articles Ill describe some of the mushrooms eaten and used by the Mayans around here and give enough information on them so that all of you starved fungophiles out there have something new to try. Latin name is Schizophyllum commune pointed out to me by a number of locals, none of them have been able (or willing) to call it anything other than mushroomgood for eat. If any readers out there recognize it and can discover its native name, please let me know. What follows is a verbatim mycologist, David Arora (writer of my favourite mushroom FRUITING BODY: shelf-like or with a narrowed base, tough and leathery both fresh and dry. CAP: 14cm broad, more or less fanshaped (or vase-shaped if stalk is central); surface dry, densely hairy, white to grayish-white, gray, or sometimes brownish-gray when wet; margin usually lobed and inrolled in dry weather. Flesh tough, leathery, thin, pallid or grayish. GILLS: radiating from point of attachment, well-spaced, white to grayish; edges appearing split or grooved lengthwise (i.e. cuplike in cross-section), rolling back in dry weather. STALK: absent or present only as a narrowed basal point of attachment. SPORE PRINT: microns, cylindrical, smooth. This mushroom comes up almost everywhere and if you pay attention to mushrooms, you have probably seen it. Ive found it growing throughout the bush on dead wood from little branches less It likes to come up especially after people do a bit of slash-and-burn and there are a few charred sticks around but wait for the rains and it appears as if by magic. More commonly, it pops up throughout the year except maybe when the weather is really, really dry. If you wetter times. If you use polewood or bean poles around your farm for fencing, chances are that after a few months out in the open they will be covered by these little mushrooms. Okay, lets talk about edibility. The guide says: Too small and tough to be of value. In my humble opinion, it is okay but not great. So, why am I telling you about it? Well, since we are all interested in broadening our cultural horizons and trying to encourage the Kekchi to preserve their traditions instead of adopting the unhealthy Western culinary traditions, lets all try something new. According to my local source, you collect a few handfuls, boil them in water, fry them and then serve up with caldo. We just stir-fry them; they add a chewy mushroominess to a meal. Medicinally, I know absolutely nothing about whether this species has any properties. (Apparently some natives in Madagascar chew it but for reasons unknown.) The only thing I know about it from the real world is that it has been used extensively in the laboratory for CASA MASCIA LA BELLA DEL SAPONE COPAL MEDICINAL OIL COPAL OINTMENT COPAL SOAP DR MANDY TSANG DR ALESSANDRO MASCIA DRA.TSANG@GMAIL.COM TEL: (501) 660-6431 CASA MASCIA, TOLEDO, BELIZE.


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 4 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize The Belize Ag Report Cayo District, Belize, Central America Telephones: 663-6777 & 664-7272 Assistant Editor: John Carr Special Editor: Dottie Feucht Printed by BRC Printing, Benque Viejo, Cayo District, Belize Submissions as follows: Letters to the Editor, Ads & Articles to: belizeagreport@gmail.com Deadlines for submissions: 10th of the month prior to publication. We are bi-monthly, skipping January & August. Distributed in Belize & Southern Mexico NOTICE: If you would like to share our publication, kindly do so by sending the link to our website. Neither the pdf downloaded versions nor articles may be posted online or reproduced in any publication without permission from The Belize Ag Report.Subscription Information: class mail. Kindly send check to The Belize Ag Report for rates to other countries. 663-6777 or 664-7272 belizeagreport@gmail.com Mission Statement: The Belize Ag Report is an independent bimonthly 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. FOR SALE722 ACRES ON MACAL RIVER AT MONKEY FALLS 1500 of riverfront 17 cleared river lots with LUA approval Wooded Year-round spring Hills with spectacular views On grid 10 mins from San Ignacio $1200 USD/Acre Financing available Contact Beth Robersonholdfastbelize@gmail.com 663-6777 664-7272


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 5 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize TO THE EDITORResponses to Redmond's Letter to Editor, Issue 11:Dear Editor, I read your recent article in the Ag report with interest...You are correct that Belize needs more agriculture, but I believe that you are looking in the wrong place for knowledge and assistance. Why do most believe that an expert is someone from out of town or out of the country? Sustainable agriculture is the agriculture of the future where land is improved every year, not depleted. Large scale agriculture is not for Belize but small chemical free farms are. We do not have to spend big bucks to go to Brazil when large quantities of chemical free food using sustainable methods that need to be taught and replicated all over Belize. Will Belize continue to be the servants of the big chemical and seed companies or will they take a different path? We are at a crossroads now. The health of Belize is suffering at the hands of agro-business. Blessings, Dr. Morris F. Keller Natural Healing Research Associates Box 32, Spanish Lookout, Belize www.naturalcleansingtechniques.com GMOs: All that Glitters Is not Green Dear Editor, I welcome Frank Redmonds comments emphasizing ignorance of how science is done. Words like could and might are common among scientists (and I should know; I have worked for years as a research engineer in one of the worlds leading R&D laboratories). Bioengineers are learning a new technology that involves manipulation of the still-mysterious code of life itself. The side-effects of gene manipulation are far from being to clarify the following misunderstandings of Mr. Redmond (in for years and have been found not to have any adverse effects on humans or cattle. To give an example of how little is known about the effects of in part on the results of a study published in 2007. A team of showed increased mortality and lower growth rates when they were exposed to the Bt protein Cry1Ab. Other scientists have [www.gmo-safety.eu/debate/1234.impact-maize-water-bodiesbees. None of this is well-known and it will take additional years of testing to understand the effects of genetic manipulation. Rigorous testing more than marketing hype packaged to convince farmers wanting to increase their yields and wanting to believe it. As for gene alteration, we have been altering food crops since the traits into a plant. Not so. From www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/thege-process: In traditional breeding it is possible to mate a pig with another pig to get a new variety, but is not possible to mate a pig with a potato or a mouse. Even when species that may seem to be closely related do succeed in breeding, the offspring are usually infertile a horse, for example, can mate with a donkey, but the offspring (a mule) is sterile. With genetic engineering, scientists can breach species barriers tomatoes. The results are plants (or animals) with traits that would be virtually impossible to obtain with natural processes, such as crossbreeding or grafting. Bioengineering uses viruses and bacteria to alter genes was method uses a bacterium. Apparently he is unaware of the use of viruses. From the includes corn engineered with hepatitis virus genes by Prodigene. It is not possible to insert a new gene with any accuracy, and the DNA in an organism. Current understanding of the way in which DNA works is extremely limited, and any change to the DNA of an organism at any point can have side effects that are impossible to predict or control. The new gene could, for example, alter chemical reactions within the cell or disturb cell functions. This could lead to instability, the creation of new toxins or allergens, and changes in nutritional value. based food. This has never been proved. Mr. Redmond seeks is prevented in large part by the purveyors Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation has written: For the past decade, the period when the greatest proliferation to sign an agreement that explicitly forbids that the seeds be used for any independent research. Scientists are prohibited from Continued on page 23


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 6 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Seeking the Perfect Yield in BelizeBy Greg Clark or loss. Such questions as What soil preparation methods do margin at harvest? What is the cost of the input components to grow the selected crop? must be considered. With the cost use of fuel in building a soil bed for the future crop. A perfect soil bed will yield a better harvest, but to get that better harvest, fuel must be used. At what point is the fuel consumption going to achieve an adequate yield? The farmer is forced to on fuel cost, the perfect soil bed is not built for the goal of maximum potential yield. Instead of investing in the soil bed, most farmers feel that, for the dollars invested, the maximum return on investment is through fertilizer. The fertilizers are utilized to make up for the shortcomings of the soil bed. So, for every crop, fertilizers are applied at a rate to compensate for the leeching of the soils. If the investment were made to capture and hold the nutrients at the root zone, less fertilizer would be required. A nutrient binder would hold the fertilizer in the root zone of the crop and if not utilized with the current crop, it would be a nutrient carry-over for the next successive crop. Therefore, an investment in a nutrient binder reduces the cost of fertilizer for future crops. The second question from above requires knowledge in the current supply and demands of Belize and beyond. Belize has a limited consumption rate of commodity items, which restricts the production and growth potential of commodity items. Only so much corn can be grown to feed the chickens of Belize; only so many chickens can be consumed in Belize. Now, with export and trade agreements, many commodities can look beyond the limited consumption within the borders. on commodities along with prices are increasing to a point fuel, are competitive. Another factor to be considered is that organically grown products bring the highest prices. Now the export market becomes a feasible outlet in the decision of planting. Belize needs to have the ability to enter the export market. For the question concerning the input components, many cultivation, sprays and periodicity of spray applications are dependent on the insect infestation or invasive weeds. All of these items are a responsive investment for the crop and for the yield vs. expenses. The key to controlling the cost of crop production, and combining cultivation with spray applications. When both operations are conducted on a single pass there is a huge savings of gallons and gallons of fuel investment in the crop. competitive pricing of Belizean commodities become closer to meeting the world market pricing levels, thus enabling trading on a selective level rather than a crisis level. Pardon the pun, but Belize agriculture now has the excellent opportunity to Grow Belizean Agriculture for the future. That growth will ensure further growth of the industry. This is the perfect yield for Belize Private Labeling and Bulk Packaging for Resorts, Restaurants and Retailers is Available. Mile 52.1 Western Highway, Teakettle Village, Cayo, Belize www.Solfarmsltd.com 501-628-9040 Our New Extended Line of Products: Do you have some knowledge or opinion that you would like to have printed in The Belize Ag Report? We welcome contributed articles, as well as letters to the editor and ideas for articles. Your contributions will improve the paper. Kindly send to or call Beth at 663-6777. Thank you.


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 7 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize 76 Western Highway, Santa Elena, Cayo District, Belize 011.501.824.4050 011.501.610.4458 US Fax: 1-831-854-5983 ceibarealty@gmail.com www.ceibarealtybelize.com / www.4belizerealestate.com The one stop for all your real estate needs.Featuring beautiful properties along the shores of the Caribbean Sea to pristine jungle hideaways in the Maya Mountains. We have this and so much more at a price you can afford. Let Ceiba Realty help get you your piece of paradise today. We have buyers looking for riverfront, farmland, high end homes and investment properties. Listing is free. Responsible Nutrient Management By: Ing. Emmanuel GodoyWhen talking of responsible nutrient management, many farmers say or think and even practice the more fertilizer you apply the more production you get. Well that is true if the fertilizer: is balanced, the The mismanagement of fertilizer is a norm that most farmers practice. Lets look into one of the most used and misused nutrients: nitrogen. Over-application is probably responsible for more crop yield reductions than farmers realize. Nitrogen is very important: in chlorophyll development, in the formation of amino acids which convert into protein, and critical in vegetative growth. Ammonium, another form of nitrogen, promotes fruiting. a major effect and are generally ignored as being a factor. Calcium applications if either of the above conditions exists. Consequences of over-application of nitrogen include: blocked potassium uptake, blocked zinc uptake, blocked manganese uptake, blocked copper uptake; it takes calcium off exchange sites and leaves magnesium and this tightens soil. Tight/compacted soil restricts phosphorus uptake. Looking at all these factors that one nutrient brings to the table, we now have to consider that it is very important to understand how nutrients work, how much is needed and how much to apply so as to know and practice responsible nutrient management. Thiessen Liquid Fertilizer (ACLF) PLANT LOCATION: Route 20 East Spanish Lookout, Cayo District, Belize Currently Bel-Cars main exporting product is dry edible beans. It has Black Eye Beans, Light Red Kidney Beans, Black Beans, and Small Red Beans available at most times. Very soon Bel-Car will also be adding Corn-Grits to their line of exporting products. MAILING ADDRESS: B ELCAR E XPORT & I MPORT COMP ANY LTD Box 578 Spanish Lookout Belize, Central America CONTACTS: Tel:501-823-0318 / 501-823-0271 Fax:501-823-0136 E-mail:bel-car@btl.net


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 8 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize BEYOND THE BACKYARDPass the Grass PleaseBy Jenny Wildman On a recent tour of a friends organic garden he told me he was planting only what grows in abundance which would not take hours of work each day. For continual food supply this is a sound approach. In observing our environment we see that nature provides many species in abundance mainly as they have huge and constantly challenging jobs to achieve. The discovery of what they are capable of is exciting and being able to identify edible plants in the wild is important. To date Family. Apart from the amazing work they contribute to the protection of the habitats, they provide a veritable cornucopia of fabulous food. While many grasses become tough and good for animal food, they still contain nutrients and could be lifesaving for humans. Wheat, rice and corn have become the principal crops which man now relies upon but there are many other members of this grass family. There are oats, barley, sorghums, millets, sugar cane and even reeds and sedges. Cattails and bulrushes grow in swamps assisting in protection are also completely edible. The shoots and the roots even raw are extremely tasty and free. The family champion however is bamboo, one of the fastest growing plants on the planet. Standing in amongst a grove of majestic bamboo stanchions listening to the whistle of its branches is a moving experience. This grass can grow over 100 feet tall at an amazing rate of 40 inches per day and is often thought to be a tree. So within a few months each shoot can reach full height and then slowly begins to harden. It can making it an excellent eco-friendly construction material. I had seen bamboo described as a gregarious grass, meaning the clumping together of one particular type, but gregarious at once regardless of location. In some bamboos that can be sort of genetic memory that makes the plant remember it is time no matter where it is. If reliant on only one species as in any form of monoculture the threat of disease or any sudden change in nature can completely destroy the livelihood and food supply of an area. In Mizoram this happened and vast areas of mautak bamboo began blooming in waves through the forests. The rapid abundance of seed nourished the hungry rodent population causing them to run chaotically though all destroying whatever was in their path with a resulting famine. The fact that bamboo blooms infrequently does give it years of protection from daily predators; but wait! It has other problems. Bamboo is subject to attack by microorganisms, fungus and insects particularly during the rainy season when they are prevalent. Bamboo should be cut in the dark phase of the moon. It is very versatile: used to make fabric and paper, musical instruments, projects. I have used the bamboo leaves as a mulch to preserve moisture and as chicken bedding for comfy nests. A pandas diet is mainly bamboo leaves but cattle and horses also feast as if manna from the gods. There are hundreds of varieties of bamboo but I discovered a list of 4 types in Belize and decided found a video on the internet which was helpful but narrated we followed the demonstration. The shoots should be dug as soon as the tip pokes up from the surface of the soil. You look for a clue like a crack or bump indicating something about to happen, a bit like hunting buried treasure. Once shoots grow higher they become bitter and poor culinary quality. Do not eat raw as some types contain cyanide but boiling for at least 20 minutes destroys this. I found a translation of how to cook by boiling in a big pot with rice bran to purify. The Japanese grandma said to change the water 4 times so that is what I do and add salt in the last water. You cut off the outer hard part and use the inner tender shoot. It is now ready to eat with a bit of melted butter or with a vinaigrette sauce like heart of palm or added to stir-fry or salad. Yes, fresh is best; none of that canned stuff. This was just to wet your appetite and gain added respect for the wondrous grass family and the big bamboo. Something new to try. So please pass the grass . Delicious !!!!! Any ideas on this and other related topics welcomed. Jenny Wildman spectarte@gmail.com


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 9 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Approved for use in organic farming! Recommended by CGA and BGA BELIZE MINERALS LTD. Tel. 722 2477 email: bzdolomite@hotmail.com Supplying dolomite to the agricultural industry of Belize since 1992! PUNTA GORDA DOLOMITE The only liming material in Beli ze with guaranteed specs, will: NB. It is best to lime before applying NPK fertilizers! CACAO IN BELIZEwww.tcgabelize.comToledo Cacao Growers AssociationThings you should know the local economy in Southern Belize to cacao. acres of cacao which later became the exclusive Marketing Project. Kraft Foods Ltd.) commenced. Labelling Organization and Organic by Soil Association. made in Belmopan. Farmers abandoned their farms thereafter. program to increase acreage and production, new members joined the project and new acreage was planted. Members ............................................................. 1,100 Active members ..................................................... Land under cultivation ............................... Producing farms ............................................. 700 acs. New farms .................................................... Average farm size ................................................ 2 acs. Average production per acre .......................... Average trees per acre .................................. 300 trees (past 10 yrs.) Stann Creek and Cayo Districts are well-suited for cacao. Chocolate


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 10 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Pesticide Residues Screening in Fruits and VegetablesBy Delilah A. Cabb B.Sc. M.Sc.The Belize Agricultural in collaboration with the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM), the Ministry of Agriculture and the Pesticides Control Board (PCB) is implementing a pilot project entitled: Pesticide Residues Screening in Fruits and Vegetables. The duration of the project is two years. Implementation started in January 2011 and is to be completed by December 2012. Belize-Based TTM funded the project in the amount of an including a spectrophotometer, a refrigerator, a fume hood, reagents, and laboratory supplies and a monthly stipend for a volunteer to assist in laboratory analysis of the samples. The main objective of the project is to test produce prior to harvesting to ensure that once it goes to the market, it does not pose a health hazard to consumers. In the event that high levels of pesticide residues are detected, harvesting will be delayed until such levels are either below or within the maximum residue levels allowed per crop. the Cayo District are the target group. Other participants only screening for the presence or absence of carbamates, organophosphates and fungicides, the sample amounts are either a pound, a bundle or head depending on the nature of the commodity. The Food Safety Laboratory in Central Farm receives samples from the target group on Mondays and Wednesdays of every week. As the project proceeds, testing to be done at the Central Investigation Laboratory be collected and submitted to them for further analysis. Farmers will be expected to provide the samples free of life of the project. It is the TTM based in Belize that provided the methodology for a the screening of pesticides residue in fruits and vegetables. They are also responsible for the training of offering training on sample collection and submission of pests to the laboratory for examination, basic pest identification, updating the pest list, and providing training in integrated pest management. The Food from the field and are responsible for submissions to the laboratory. The Pesticide Control Board is committed to training safe handling of pesticides. Other training will also include: calculation of dosages, calibration of spraying equipment, safety measures in the application of pesticides, handling and storage of pesticides, provision of lists of approved pesticide per crop and guidelines on the reading and interpretation of labeling on pesticides. The Ministry of Agriculture has a key role in the farmers for the project were identified and they will be responsible for the overall coordination of meetings and training, and provision of extension services and logistical support. TAIWAN


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 11 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize DISPOSAL OF EMPTY PESTICIDE CONTAINERSThe inappropriate disposal of empty pesticide containers can result in health risks for humans and livestock as well as cause environmental pollution. Empty pesticide containers must be disposed of according to local best practice guidelines. Most pesticide containers are made of plastics although there are still some products sold in glass or metal containers. Disposal of empty pesticide containers is a two step process:1. Ensure that the container is clean, by triple rinsing. 2. Dispose of the clean triple-rinsed container in a way that follows local best practice guidelines. Rinsing of empty pesticide containers:It is important to reduce the hazard of empty pesticide containers before disposal. This can be done by rinsing the empty containers. There are three types of systems used to rinse empty containers. Manual rinsing is used for knapsack sprayers while the other methods are used with tractor powered sprayers. 1. Manual rinsing: Empty pesticide containers are triple rinsed and the rinsate poured into the knapsack sprayer and sprayed along crop borders. 2. Pressure rinsing water into the container, washing into the spray tank. 3. Integrated rinsing: The rinsing mechanism is usually built onto the sprayers closed transfer system but can be an independent system. This fast, safe way washes containers and minimizes the risk of spills. This is the most popular mechanized cleaning method. Manual triple rinsing of empty pesticide containers:Studies show that thorough manual triple rinsing will remove DON T FORGET TO WEAR PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AT ALL TIMES!! CAMPAIGN FOR THE PROPER DISPOSAL OF EMPTY PESTICIDE Modernizing Agricultural Extension Services of Belize Dr. Kalim Qamar conducted a study of Belize agriculture extension services. Dr. Qamar has done similar studies all over the world and provided many insights for the MAF to consider. A workshop to review and provide feedback Dr. John Pressing, who came from FAO in Rome to help Ricardo Thompson, Coordinator of Extension Services, moderated the lively discussion and small group participation by extension personnel and MAF staff. The group reviewed and provided detailed feedback on the vision, mission, strategic objectives and details of implementation as well as a proposed organizational restructuring which included the functions of monitoring/ quality control and training/communication. Five key budget allocated to MAF and, in turn, the extension of the agricultural sector to Belizes economic future, (2) the organizational restructure and implementation should organizational restructure and implementation should include clear lines of communication between extension personnel, who are specialists, to effectively support the networking and synergies among agricultural institutions in order to optimize the use of available resources and better address the needs of rural communities. It is anticipated that by the end of the FAO Technical Cooperation Project, a policy and strategy will be in place that will form the framework for further modernization of agricultural extension services to meet the needs and demands of the rural producers.


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 12 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize International Course on Common Bean Management in Goiania, BrazilBy: Clifford Martinez Jr. Central Farm, MAF Brazilian agricultural technology in the production of soybeans, wheat, corn, rice and beans is considered exemplar in South America as development based on sustainability, has also enabled the increase in livestock production and cultivation of fruits and vegetables in the country. Most of the gains came from productivity growth in rural Brazil, which began in the laboratories of the Brazilian Agricultural build tropical agriculture leadership in Brazil, Embrapa invested heavily in its staff training Today, the post-doctorate. As part of an agreement on technical cooperation between and promulgated on November 3, 2008, implementation of for the Production of Beans in Belize was initiated. The grains production technology and management enabled six Belizean technicians to participate in a one week course titled International Course on Common Bean Management. The Martinez Jr. The training took place in August, 2010 at the Embrapa facilities for beans and rice technology in San Teams from both countries shared information. Embrapa project coordinator Dr. Tarcisio Cobucci informed that the objectives of Embrapa research institute were based on projects that provide sanitary and quality plant material, accredited research information, publications and The Belizean representatives gave a description of the grains highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the sector as well as salient issues requiring immediate intervention. Brazils bean harvest occurs three times per year with the use of improved conventional practices, mainly the use of the central pivot type irrigation system. Embrapa assists small farms in Brazil, which are holdings measuring less than 60 hectares and worked by family members, with the use of Embrapa technology and government aid subsides. part of this Small Family Agriculture System, which guarantee In addition to information exchange, training activities and nutrition, geared at procedures and principles to ensure quality control norms and phyto-sanitary measures, and a Integrated disease management case studies included soilborne pathogens and common bean pathogens relative to Belize. As a part of its strategy to combat viral diseases Embrapa has developed a variety Bemisia tabaci and Bermisia argentifolia. This variety is scheduled to be remains a heated debate globally, research institutes like Embrapa advise for qualitative and quantitative testing and analysis so as to guide policy writers and stakeholders Those established by an agro-technologically advanced country like Brazil may not necessarily be the best model for developing countries. Conclusively, it remains a subject that warrants a participatory approach from stakeholders, shareholders and other partners in the sector before concrete and irreversible decisions are made. The key activity of the training was to design a followup project for Belize including the establishment of a adoptable varieties for Belize and share the experience gained from the course. Data used for this activity include; climatic conditions, location of trial (plot size), recommended varieties Recommendations/follow-up : The need for the development of a grains strategy/policy and grains certifying committee in country, considering the new trade agreements for exportation regionally and internationally. Commitment for continual collaborative information, experience and technical training from Embrapa-Brazil to Belize. An analysis of the impact/effectiveness of current grain development projects in Belize, by MAF and partner organizations. Training/workshops and resource materials of relevance to be allowed public access, but more importantly in userfriendly mode. Support/Development policies targeting regulation/ control of imported bean varieties with emphasis on food security, protected/preserved native/cultural varieties and potential import replacement. Tangible follow-up to the training: establish a demonstration plot showing the different varieties and other technicians. Initially it was proposed that the Corozal and Cayo (Central Farm) district be the locations.


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 13 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 14 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 15 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Agriculture Prices at a GlanceJune July 2011 A-B denotes the difference between 1st preference & second preference and sometimes between wh olesale & retail and bulk or small amounts Trend (H) means Higher over last 30 to 60 day (L) Lower (S) Steady Prices intend on being farm gate in Belize dollars usua lly price per lbBelize CattleTA ($) B ($)Grains, Beans & RiceTA ($) B ($) Young strs. & bulls7501100 lbs H1.10 -1.151.00 1.10 Belize yellow corn H.34 .35.32 .34 Cows & heifers for butcher S.70 .80(thin).60 .70 White corn H.35 .37.33 .35 Heifers for breeding 650-900 lbs S1.00 1.15.90 1.00 Corn/ local retail (low volume) H.40 .45.38 .40 Young grass cattle350650 lbs S1.00 1.10.90 1.00 U.S corn price @ 6.81-up from 3.75 H 27.00 (May 25 futures) U.S price -corn fed10001200 lbs L Guatemala corn price/Peten H.40 .45.38 .40 U.S price feeders 600800 lbs S Belize milo H.29 .32.27 .29 U.S pricecalves 450600 lbs S R-K's, little reds & blacks (beans) H 1.00-1.25/ farm pric e U.S priceaged butcher cows S Black eyed peas H .80-.90/ farm price Belize HogsMilled retail rice per pound S .90.95/ farm pric e Weaner pigs25 -30 lbs-by the head S 95.00 100.00Citrus Butcher pigs 125 200 lbs S1.80 1.851.70 1.80 Oranges per 90 lb box-lb.solid basis SBelize SheepGrapefruitper 90 lb box S Butcher lambs S2.00 2.501.752.00SugarMature ewes S1.70 1.751.60 1.70 Cane per tonest. 2010 price HBelize ChickensWhite Sugar112 lbscontrolled S 45.00 per bag Broilerslive per lb H1. Brown Sugar112 lbscontrolled S 39.00 per bag Old hens S.75 .76.73 .75Fruits & Vegetables Special Farm ItemsTomatoes, cabbages, cucumbers Swhosal/.75-1.75 ret/1.00-2.50 Shrimp retailfarm raised S6.50 8.505.50 6.50BananasEggs-tray of 30 eggs S 4.58 /farm price Export @ 40 lb box S price14.00 15.00 ***These prices are best estimates only from our best sources and simply provide a range to assist buyers and sellers in negotiations. *** Dear Ag Reader s : I find it exciting to be a part of the food production chain. Almost every newspaper and Google will talk about shifting food consumptions, varying supplies, prices and maybe the biggie is CLIMATE CHANGE. We at Banana Bank are at almost 20% of normal ra infall for the last several monthsNormal for us is 75 to 80 inches annually with 65% in June to January. Record setting corn prices have been the result of all this. It might be a good time to think about a garden. I heard a statement at the chess Olympiad in Belmopan. You need to learn to "Win with H umility and Lose with Dignity"-what a lesson if we could all learn that. God Bless. John Carr 11.50 est. 2011 price 6.00 est. 2011 price 130. 00 1.05/US=2.10/Bz 1.35/US=2.70/Bz 65-75/US=80-1.40/Bz 1.20/US=2.40/Bz


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 16 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize B.A.S.B. Belize Arabian Stud Book horses in Belize since 1982. 501-677-3414 Secretary/RegistrarB.A.S.B. LIGHT REINBy Marjie OlsonCalling All Horse Owners Events hundreds of things you can do with your equine buddy including competing in horse shows all over the country in hundreds of varying classes to trail rides and numerous clinics and seminars to learn more about horses. Limited equine activity is probably the toughest thing for me to accept here in Belize. The only routine competition was/is track racing but the tracks are not well-maintained and can be dangerous to horse and rider. Belize has an occasional rodeo, but they do not get advertised well enough to know about them most of the time. Jumping events have been tried and have failed. Now we have the endurance races starting to be an annual event; we hope we get some serious entries for the next stage of the Triple Crown Endurance Race (TCER) or it may go away as it is way too much money and work to host the races for 3 or 4 horses. So what does a competitive horsewoman who wants to do more with her horses than just trail ride do? I try to create a few more events for us all to have fun. Barrel racing and the speed or gymkhana classes seem to be a sport that a lot of people enjoy doing. It is also a good spectator event. We had a lot of fun at the TCER open shows, but again, very few entries. I know the toughest part of getting people to participate in any event is getting the horse to it! Very few folks have access to trucks and trailers and with fuel prices, AIE YAIE YAIE Plus the distances between events can be hours and hours. Trust me, I know; I live in horse in the trailer without fear of injury or causing too much stress. It is important to consider that good safe ground is a must for any type of horse event, whether it be racing, barrels, poles, or endurance. All need to have footing that can help a rider be safe and keep the horses as free of injuries as possible. Injuries here are compounded wrong. NO x-ray or ultra sound and minimal knowledge of lameness experience available for help. Doing anything well means putting time and money into it, and that is not always easy here. Dollars do had, so much extra cash has gone into taking care we dont burn up. On the bright side: TCER will be produced for at least one more year. The racetracks are trying to make improvements; rodeos seem to be more frequent, but everyone who has an interest in any equine event needs to support them. Financial sponsors are always welcome but human time and energy are also greatly appreciated, as well as participation with your horse. Horsemens Club In late 2010, John Roberson Sr. and I discussed creating a together all horsemen in the hopes it would keep us more updated on events, help with legislation and laws governing horses and all that out of the country, and being able to pool our resources together to help all horsemen no matter what they do with their horses. You are always stronger as a group then as an individual and ideas and energy from others can only be a good thing. Just sharing information with each other can make a big difference in making life easier and making my horses lives better, which is a big attraction to me. as I do not want to spend dollars on lawyers setting up bylaws and association rules until I know it is going to be a worthy expense. But, the idea behind it is that we have a bi-annual to quarterly newsletter with lists of members and information they want published, such as what they have at their farm, studs and horses for sale, the type of training they do (like roping or trail horses), whether they make tack or sell feed or have a trailer for rent or haul livestock; anything that is equine related would be included. We would also have a website with a sales page, an info page, links to many sites that could be informative and email list with notices going out for any event. The main thing would be communication amongst all of the horse people of Belize and a way for newcomers to this beautiful country to know whom to contact in the area they are planning to live. Printing is so expensive, that we need to utilize the cheapest communication possible and that, folks, is the WEB! Belize Arabian Stud Book Registration? And that there was a rodeo in Belmopan a few weeks after the NATS? I had not heard about it till it was over! We did a ton of advertising for the TCER and still had people say they did not know about it. So, this wont be just a Cayo thing; this will be countrywide! Yes, we will have to have a membership fee and advertising fees but we will make it as affordable as we can. So anyone interested in the Belize Horsemans Club please let mail) and email is Shotzy08@live.com. Or you know my vehicle; stop me and talk. It may take a while to get organized, but I think this could be a really good thing for all of us! Never sell your saddle, cause lifes a long, long ride."


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 17 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Approximate number of trees per acre(rounded to the nearest whole tree) based upon the spacing distance between trees in feet. 1ft 2ft 3ft 4ft 5ft 6ft 7ft 8ft 9ft 10ft 11ft 12ft 1ft 43,560 21,780 14,520 10,890 8,712 7,260 6,223 5,445 4,840 4,356 3,960 3,630 2ft -10,890 7,260 5,445 4,356 3,630 3,111 2,723 2,420 2,178 1,980 1,815 3ft --4,840 3,630 2,904 2,420 2,074 1,815 1,613 1,452 1,320 1,210 4ft ---2,723 2,178 1,815 1,556 1,361 1,210 1,089 990 908 5ft ----1,742 1,452 1,245 1,089 968 871 792 726 6ft -----1,210 1,037 908 807 726 660 605 7ft ------889 778 691 622 566 519 8ft -------681 605 545 495 454 9ft --------538 484 440 403 10ft ---------436 396 363 11ft ----------360 330 12ft -----------303


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 18 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize The Growth of Westrac: By Dottie FeuchtThe agricultural tradition of the settlers of Spanish Lookout was drastically interrupted when they came to Belize (still British They had been used to mechanized farming but before they could resume farming as they were used to, they had to clear the land and determine what crops they could grow in this semi-tropical land. According to the book Pioneer Years in Belize which describes the month-long effort to transport their household effects and trucks, only one tractor, belonging to The history of Westrac began as a tractor parts business soon after the settlers arrived. On page 70 of Pioneer Years in Belize, the largest selection of tractor parts on the colony. Farmers repair their tractors in his shop while Mr. Plett supervises the repairs. In the chapter on Agriculture at Spanish Lookout Abe D. Loewen writes: We bought old, inexpensive and used Threshing machines were built on the colony from wood and soon everyone had their own. added car/truck parts to meet the demand. Soon the volume of business for auto and truck parts exceeded that for tractor parts; so the name was changed to Westrac in 2002. Westrac still does a greater volume of business in auto and truck automobiles and trucks in Belize. bought out Belize Industrial Agencies, expanded the building in Spanish Lookout and now have over 33,000 square feet for their business. Theyve come a long way from Mr. Plett supervising tractor repairs in his facility. They have some 70 employees. Mr. Albert Penner recalled from their history that one of the tractors became their specialty when they bought the parts dealership in Belize City. Mr. Penner said that they didnt even have an unloading ramp at their Spanish Lookout facility for John Deere tractors that are used in Belize are not the large because citrus growers, who are the biggest customers, cannot use the closed cabs in their orchards where tree branches can scratch or break the windows of closed cabs. Row crop farmers 20 lawn tractors. The lawn tractors were added to meet the Deere tractors typically retain their value longer than other brands. They can easily last 20 years in Belize. Most of the that there are over 200 John Deere tractors in operation in not easy to determine the number of tractors in use because they are not required to be licensed unless they are driven licensed because farms are expanding to rented land and nonCattle Sweep ProgressingBy John Carr, BLPA ChairmanAt a recent National Livestock Cattle Sweep meeting some Livestock Sanitary Programthis means that every bovine in Belize will receive (2) I.D. ear tags, which will act like a passport. The tag numbers will be entered in a computer along with the animals basic information (sex, age, etc) along with any new births, death, exports, change of ownership, and change in location will be recorded. At the same time a brucellosis (cattle VD) test and a tuberculosis test will be done, this will involve every cattle owner in Belize. To conduct this program, the animal will have to be restrained, preferably in a chute summer or early fall. and Belize Livestock Producers Association will put in Bze head when we test (per year). We need to check the cattle for and cooperate in this most valuable program. This sweep will allow us to export cattle legally (primarily we hope to begin exporting to Mexico and other neighboring countries as well). Every country requires this sweep in order to allow importation. There are international cases where industries have failed by liquidation. Cattle have recently gone of this is a result of exportation by informal trading. When we program is happening in almost every country in the world BLPA and especially all of the Belizean Cattle Producers. BELIZE LIVESTOCKPRODUCERS ASSOCIATION


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 19 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Belize Corn Acreage Expected to IncreaseBy John CarrFarmers who raise corn are rains and even late snows that are causing delays in corn planting. The Missouri River run-off which goes above normal. The state of North Dakota has received precipitation. Because of their winter freeze, they have a cut-off corn planting date th. bushels. This leaves an annual difference between projection bushel carry over so while they dont expect to run out of corn, their year-end carry-over is the lowest on record. They project Corn prices have increased in Belize from 18 cents (BZE) a of its land suitable for agriculture: that is, for either crops or for land preparation and machine infrastructure is very supported by subsidies. Some costly barriers in Belize include farm inputs in seed, fertilizer, fuel, butane and especially and tends to curtail production. Corn farmers must export either whole or processed corn; otherwise surpluses and losses will occur. That will be accompanied by low prices and slow or no expansion. It especially the Caribbean are all eligible buyers of our surplus. We have the potential to be the Corn Basket of Central America and the Caribbean. We hope that the Ministry of Agriculture will show export farmers their support by lowering interest, creating new seed policies and establishing fuel breaks (like the cane farmers get). We believe to 7 years. All of this will cause lower prices, lower production costs, a higher amount of exports, more jobs and help toward correcting our balance of payments. Grid-Tied Solar Power a Winning Idea for Belizeby Mark MillerBelize is a growing eco-tourism destination with beautiful natural resources and plenty of sunshine. Its the sunshine that we can use to develop grid-tied solar power to reduce our heavy reliance on imported electricity powered by diesel and other fossil fuels, enhance our tourism industry, our economy, the reliability of our electric grid, and our sovereignty as a nation. What is grid-tied solar power and how can it help solve these issues? Photovoltaic means that the solar power is converted to electricity. That electricity can be used in three different types of systems: (1) direct use such as water pumping or running a fan only when the sun shines; (2) remote systems that use batteries for power storage so that power is available when the sun does not shine; and (3) grid-tied systems that complement BELs other generation sources. A grid-tied solar system is made up of solar panels that turn light into DC electricity, fuses and circuit breakers for safety, a grid-tied inverter, and one or two electric meters to facilitate feeding your solar energy into the BEL system. These systems are very common in many countries across the world. grid systems must store the energy in batteries which lose energy and need regular replacement. If you are on the grid, the utility company keeps track of the kilowatts you use. In a grid-tied system the electricity produced from your solar panels lowers the amount of kWh you need to buy from BEL. During bright sun, you can produce more energy than you use so you are effectively selling electricity to BEL. When it is not as sunny (including at night) you buy electricity from BEL. If your system has one meter, it is called net-metering, because the meter runs in both directions and at the end of each month simply tells you whether you bought or sold more power. Net metering consumers as you effectively get the same sales price as net metering does not adequately pay BEL for the use of their grid; so they need to Continued on page 22


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 20 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Belizean Green PeaBy Dr. Mandy TsangI have been fortunate enough to have had a diversity of culinary experiences in my life not to get stuck in mud over the need for familiar vegetables like broccoli, a Chinese background, I grew up with bok choi, kai lan, pickled mustard greens, bitter gourd and a whole plethora of greens I cannot even name but would recognise them at Mile 23 Taiwanese supermarket outside Belize City. In amongst this, I had to stomach over-boiled cabbage that smelt distinctly of smelly socks with mince and tatties (potatoes) for school dinners during my primary school years in Scotland. These experiences have combined to give me an iron stomach (I think this was largely due to the cabbage) and a sense of adventure to eat anything exotic. And so, when people ask me if I I am not desperate enough for broccoli to wait the nine month growing period, but, on the contrary, would much rather stick chaya in the ground and start harvesting in four weeks time. import exotic vegetable seeds to grow in my garden and so went career as post-master. And now I am getting to the actual story; one an exotic egg-plant which produces green-pea like vegetables and is considered a delicacy in Thailand. It is a well sought after vegetable amongst the Thai community, so much so that it is even imported to London vegetable markets exclusively for the Thai community. Over time I grew this vegetable and I had bumper harvests. The peas are green in colour and grow to about one centimetre in size have bright yellow stamens and occur in clusters. My plants grew up to 120cm, bushed out and took over the whole garden. We were eating the green peas every day (steamed/stir-fry/saut/cooked in curries and stews). The peas are eaten more as a texture somewhat like biting into a soft rubber ball and do not really have a distinct about this time, I happened to be walking on shrub-land on my farm pea-like fruit growing to a height of 60cm and apart from the height, cultivating in my garden. After some reading up, I discovered that this exotic plant is native to the Belize and Caribbean areas. The Latin name is Solanum torvum and is known commonly as wild eggplant. I am not aware of anyone harvesting this as a vegetable in Belize but it is used in countries it is used as a rootstock for grafting tomatoes and cultivated eggplants (this might be our answer to bacterial wilt to which our tomatoes suffer from down here). In Caribbean herbal medicine, the root is an ingredient in a tea to treat gonorrhoea and the buds are growing virtually on my door-step! I really learned my lesson here, there is truly an abundance of vegetables in this country if we only take the trouble to look! Nowadays, we mostly eat chaya, calaloo, Pea!


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 21 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Part 2 of Green to Greening to Guava and back to green: Companion Planting Continued from part 1 printed in issue 11 New Commercially-Viable High Density Intercropping the pristine grove at the outset, (2) eradicate the carrier vector (ACP), and (3) remove diseased trees. Recently, a promising natural alternative to the use of insecticides was noted in citrus groves in Viet Nam. Citrus trees are raised in groves containing guava and other fruits. Vietnamese, Australian and Japanese researchers reported that inter-planting of citrus and guava planted orchards show that these orchards were productive past In the new grove paradigm, grove management would consist of three integrated elements: (1) inter-planted blocks of selected other repellent species and unique attractant varieties, (2) cycles coupled with increase in natural predators of the vector. vector (ACP) from the outside entering the groves. Planting repellent and/or attractive species on the boundary of the grove may diminish the border effect. method of the vector. What it does is diminish the presence of the vector, and/or concentrate the vector on the attractive trees or the bait so that the insecticides can be applied judiciously. Intercropping broadens productivity, increases biological diversity, reduces economic risks of agriculture, and increases the use of intercropping has major viability since it reduces the risk of the activity (such as is present in monocropping) and leads to higher income if well executed. Citrus is responsive to high density spacing. What is now free Vietnamese farms in Mekong delta are densely planted at the outset also avoids setting new treelings, which are highly Guava, the Fruit of ChoiceCitrus groves inter-planted with guava trees were found to be free of greening disease, while citrus groves inter-planted with only bananas and pineapples were found to be infected with the disease. The guava is a small tree that is thought to have originated in Central America. The plant belongs to the myrtle family, which also includes other species known for their insect-repelling essential oils and antiseptic compounds, for example, eucalyptus, for food and medicinal purposes. The guava tree has a long history of traditional use of bark and leaf extracts that have an in anti-yeast, anti-amoebic, and anti-malarial actions. The leaves copious amounts of volatile compounds. There are over 240 is suspected that the presence of sulphur-derived substances (DMDS) in the guava leaf acts as a repellent to psyllid. Such compounds, are not synthesized by the citrus, and perhaps explains the lower incidence of psyllid, and therefore the less intercropped groves have found that they need to spray only with vegetable oils when minor outbreaks of insects occur and that toxic insecticides are not needed. Mangos (mangifera indica L.) are a possible non-preferred species of psyllid. Orange jasmine (murraya panaculata (L.) jack) is the preferred attractive host to the vector. Intercropping with the One key point to understand is the researchers do NOT know the mechanism by which the intercropping with this species works to reduce or eliminate the population of ACP. It just WORKS. There is NO to little greening in the mature groves in Vietnamese orchards that have implemented the intercropping. On the other hand, the Brazil model continues to remove large numbers of tree each year and has not eradicated the incidence of the disease, and further admits that its protocol is not a sustainable solution for the industry.For Belize Growers conducted globally, this polycrop system appears to be a pragmatic solution to the control of the vector, ACP, that transports the assures the long term productivity of the orchards. crop is produced in the off season of citrus, offering a consistent of costly chemical sprays increases the bottom line, leaves a safer environment, enhances habitat for friendly insects, and restores a natural ecosystem. Basic cursory research shows a healthy market for guava products. To mention a few: juice, wine, membrillo dulce, jams, chutney. All are value-added products. Wish to intercrop existing and new groves in Belize? With proper evaluation, planning, spacing calculations and resultant drawings, the grower can restructure the planting/ thinning/intercropping on his existing and/or new farm. Potentially interested growers that wish to investigate this system Cactus native to C. A. high in antioxidants Tree Spinach the Maya miracle plant Ancient Ancient for NEW AGE for NEW AGE


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 22 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Coffee Grounds in the GardenBy Kim RinglandCoffee. Most of us have at least one cup a day. Personally I like the brewed type, but the grounds seem to be such a waste and bother. They are no good for another cup, so what do you do with them? Those coffee grounds are an amazing addition to your garden. They are composed vegetables, trees and shrubs. Spread them around individual plants or add them to the soil before you plant your seeds. Try top dressing your rows of growing crops. You can brew a compost It is even good as a foliar feeding; so spray it on the leaves in the evening. grounds. Some of these are palms, hibiscus, gardenias and most grounds as a top dressing around each plant and water as usual. Coffee grounds are excellent in the compost pit. They are a favorite food for worms causing them to consume the solids in your compost and garden at a faster rate. (If you dont have any worms get some. Then youll have worm castings in your garden as well.) Slugs, snails and even ants seldom cross a ring of grounds 1 inch wide and 1/2 inch deep because of the high acid and abrasive nature of coffee grounds. Refresh as often as needed. If you happen to have access to a lot of used coffee grounds, use them to kill the grass alongside chain link fences. Pile a line of grounds at least 2 inches high along the fence. Water it daily and watch the grass die. The acid and nitrogen are too strong for the grass and burn it. After the grass dies I spread the remainder out in the lawn or pile more of my grounds on top of the old ones. The texture of coffee grounds makes them the perfect match to our Cayo soils. They break up the heavy clays and give the sand waterholding qualities it lacks naturally. The coffee grounds decay and of your plants. Bigger, happier roots = bigger, happier plants. That is a joy to a gardener! touched on other uses. If you want to know more go on line and search uses for coffee grounds. Amazing! So dont drink the instant type; brew a pot of joe and use the grounds to beautify Belize. Start putting them in the garden and watch the results. Solar power, Continued from page 19 make up that cost elsewhere in the system. If your system has two meters, one records your sales to BEL, and one records your purchases from BEL. This allows two different prices to be set for the price of power. The cost of bringing electricity to your home can be broken amounts of high voltage power to key points around the of the electricity. As a solar grid-tied system is a generation from Mexico. It also has distinct advantages over the power generally sized to produce near the amount of electricity that a home or business uses each month. For homes this may be a system up to 10kW and for hotels, resorts, large farms, and other business somewhat bigger than that based on their power use. As this places many small solar systems around the country, the power generation is said to be distributed. This is advantageous to BEL as less power needs to be transmitted to the various distribution networks, thus saving some transmission costs. Another advantage of grid-tied solar is that the power is produced when the sun shines, which is the same time as our electricity use is at its highest, as businesses and tourist destinations have their air-conditioning running most when it is hottest. It is at these times that we currently need to purchase the most power from Mexico, and the power from Mexico is more expensive than the power from our in-country sources such as the hydro-electric dams. Remember that any time we send money to another country, it hurts Belizes balance of trade and weakens our economy. placed in the world marketplace. Our tourism industry is based mainly on our beautiful sea, rivers, and forest. Solar power can play an important role in improving the marketing of this important segment of our economy. Solar power does not produce greenhouse gases, thus Belize can send a message to the more developed countries of the world that we are concerned about global climate change, and if we can take this step, surely the wealthier countries can do even more. it is an investment that can pay for itself over many years, thus saving money over time. It is now time to allow market forces to improve our electrical system in Belize. BEL wins, the economy wins, the home and business owners win. promoting grid-tied solar power for homes and businesses. Town, solarbelize@gmail.com


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 23 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize worldwide, makes it crystal clear that the American FDA should not be so cavalier about the potential dangers of these procedures. One proponent of this book is Kirk J. Azevedo: When I worked at Monsanto, I warned both scientists and executives that to listen, let alone investigate the unpredicted side effects. For Chicago, regarded the book as The most comprehensive, welldocumented, and highly readable expos on the serious health small farmers who use Bt cotton have increased? In Indian agriculture activist Vandana Shivas introduction to her book, Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply, she writes: What the industrial economy calls growth is really a form of theft from nature and people. She then describes in some detail agricultural activity in India, including the 400 swayed by the advertising, even in India. Quite incorrect. Although Spain is the most deeply infected by They are highly regulated to the point where only a couple of product types are currently in use elsewhere. Some countries, Poland, are considering it. sociopolitical consequence of control of the food supply. Jeffrey Smith has not ignored it in another book of his, Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods Youre Eating. The despicable behavior of Monsanto, which would adversely affect Belize The World According to Monsanto: Pollution, Corruption, and the Control of Our Food Supply, by Marie-Monique Robin. Sixty American farm families are suing Monsanto in the following case: Complaint.pdf al. v. Monsanto, in federal district court in Manhattan. Plaintiffs in the suit cover a broad sampling of family farmers, small businesses and organizations from within the organic agriculture community who are increasingly threatened by genetically avoid it. The plaintiff organizations have over 270,000 members, I hope these website and book references will help Mr. Redmond and others to gain a better understanding of the dangers and false Dennis Feucht "To the Editor" continued from page 5 company. Most alarming, they are prohibited from examining effects either in the environment or in animals or humans. [www. This leads me to wonder where Mr. Redmond is getting his rigorous testing results, if not from the fox who guards the henhouse. farming state of Iowa was in Iowa at a public meeting reported in the at www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/vilsack-mistakenlyaudience and asked Secretary Vilsack: animal studies [www.responsibletechnology.org/utility/ aging, dysfunctional immune regulation, organ damage, gastrointestinal distress, and immune system damage. A study food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/science/failuremany actually lose income. And for the last several years, the wants. And are you willing to take a delegation in D.C. to give you with a negative response from the audience. As the Post reported, the people in the room were among the top experts at actually feeding the world. They included numerous PhDs who had spent their careers looking deeply into the issue. Among those present were several of the authors of the authoritative IAASTD report of world agriculture ever prescribed the methods that were now needed to meet the development and sustainability goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability. And GMOs was not one of those needed methods! It was clear to the experts that the current generation biotech companies and their promotional East Coast wing the federal government. (font styles in original) Smith has authored Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods About the author, Candace Pert, PhD, formerly a section chief at the National expert in the understanding and communication of the health Genetic Roulette, which brings in original contributions by eminent scientists


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 24 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize table scraps, worms and weeds. A diet that includes green leaves imparts that bright yellow-orange color to the yolk that is so onions etc.) due to the fatty acids in milk. Eggs are like that too, but not as pronounced and thus the effect is more subtle. Nutrition: Nutrition is derived from the diet of the layer. There are three types of eggs called specialty eggs based on the diet of layers: Omega 3-enhanced eggs are produced from hens that are fed a the hens produce eggs higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin-enhanced eggs are produced by hens that are fed a diet which are nutritionally enhanced with vitamins B-6 & B-12, vitamin E, folate and lutein. Organic eggs are produced by hens fed entirely from organic an organic certifying agency. Other Egg Nutrients: The nutritional composition of the egg, whether backyard or commercially produced, does not change very much unless it is one of the specialized eggs. Backyard hens acids. The color of the yolk is largely based on the amount of green leaves, yellow corn or other feeds containing high levels of the yellow-orange colored pigments (Xanthophylls) which are also precursors for vitamin A. These pigments can be added to the commercial feeds if the market demands it. The protein content of the egg does not change. A large egg of any kind still Conclusion: While consumers will have their own preferences or choice of table eggs, the things to consider that can be potentially different are: level of antibiotic residues if the hen is fed layer concern regarding eggs laid by backyard hens is the wide use of pesticides and herbicides and the access of these hens to pastures residues. Another difference is that commercial hens are not reared with roosters and so the eggs are not fertilized eggs; thus production, at least in Belize, involves hens running together with the roosters and thus the eggs are fertilized eggs. Fertilized eggs are not nutritionally different from non-fertilized but legally are not to be marketed as table eggs. Lastly, another factor to consider is the cost of specialized eggs which sell for much higher prices than commercial table eggs. Continued from page 1Brown eggs are more expensive than white eggs because the chickens that lay them eat more than those that lay white eggs. The breeds that lay brown eggs are all larger birds that require more food. Additionally, the brown eggshell is tougher and does eggs than a brown egg layer but with a shell that is easier to crack. In Belize this is an important transportation consideration due to the large number of bad roads that delivery trucks have to travel on. Differences Between Commercial and Backyard Layers Commercial: Commercial layers are those fed under special conditions of housing and full commercially-mixed rations designed for the various stages of development and also for the in the cage; their eggs are manually or automatically collected. Total mixed feeds, especially those in the early stages of the bacteria) and other ingredients to help the birds digestive system of digestion, especially nutrient absorption resulting in better growth and production. Backyard: Backyard layers are either free-range or freerun. Free-range layers have the ability to exercise by having access to an open space. They also utilize nesting boxes and perches. They usually have access to commercial feed. They may also be fed with corn, rice, other cereals or be left and peck on other available food in pastures and backyards. Free-run hens are allowed to roam freely in an enclosed facility. In Belize, many of our backyard birds have a fowl coop with a roost to sleep at night and then are let loose during the day. Differences in Eggs Freshness: What really matters is what is inside the shell rather than its color. One of the biggest differences can be freshness A fresh egg tastes better than anything sold in the supermarket that has been stored for a week or more, whether the egg is commercial or backyard. Eggshells are porous. As an egg ages, carbon dioxide contained inside the egg is released, and odors outside the egg are absorbed. This is why you should always store eggs in clean, covered containers and not near onions or garlic sauces while in the refrigerator. Other changes in the egg happen as well. As an egg ages, the white (albumen) and yolk become thinner. Youll notice a big difference when you fry a fresh eggthe white will barely spread and you wont have to worry about the yolk The only time you dont want to use the absolute freshest eggs is for hard-cooking, because eggs that are less than a week old are almost impossible to peel. It takes a few days after laying for the membrane that separates the shell from the white to detach, and you need that membrane to peel the egg smoothly. egg left at room temperature for one day will age the equivalent of an egg kept for one week in the refrigerator. In the heat of the dry season, it is recommended to collect eggs at least twice a day. Eggs are best consumed within two weeks of laying, but remain edible weeks longer. Flavor: Flavor can also be a difference. Backyard eggs may omnivorous; theyll eat just about anythingincluding bugs,


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 25 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize REIMER FEED MILL Center Road Spanish Lookout Tel. 823-0105 Complete Poultry & Livestock Feeds Poultry and Livestock Equipment and Health Products ...were growing belize BELMOPAN 1903 Constitution Drive Tel:822-2088 BELIZE CITY 1615 Moho Bay 3 Mls. Northern Highway ORANGE WALK 42 Lovers Lane Tel: 322-1170 Wholesale and Retail Gasoline & Diesel We Deliver Tel:824-2199 Cell:610-1970


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 26 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize WANTED : Engineer Technician needed to located in Belize. Must be able to draw in either Autocad or Autodesk Inventor programs. Email resumes to Stephen@ cookssaw.com FOR SALE TEAK TREE SAPLINGS I have clients looking for abandoned citrus farm or unused BELIZE BIRD RESCUE is dedicated to the care, rescue and rehabilitation of all bird species in Belize, especially parrots. www.belizebirdrescue.com STAINED GLASS WINDOWS Custom design, any size, all imported materials. For churches, hotels, businesses or private residence. Email: leisa@bananabank.com for more info. MAHOGANY FOR SALE HOLDFAST LTD.holdfastbelize.com holdfastbelize@gmail.com 663-6777 664-7272 662-5263 NEW: 722 ACRES ON MACAL RIVER AT MONKEY FALLS, 17 Wooded Year-round spring views On grid 10 mins from San Ignacio Financing availableCREEKSIDE FARM FOR SALE: 380 acres, REDUCED! Barton Creek, Cayo Dist. approx 700 ft creek frontage, fruit trees, pastures w/water, lots of timber, farming & tourism potential. Financing negotiable. 57 ac. San Antonio, Cayo District, Home of 2 apartments, walled garden w/pool, landscaped, outbuildings, fruit trees, pastures crossfenced with h20 in all, immaculately maintained negotiation. SECLUDED STUNNING HOME ON 43 ACS, Benque area of Cayo Dist. REDUCED! 23 acres, Belize River, Esperanza, Cayo 450 ACRES, RIVERFRONT BANANA BANK AREA, BELMOPAN $ development. 2+ac, 3+ac Hilltop Lots estate area, water/elec, incredible views. 343 ACS, Valley of Peace, Cayo, yr round creek, fenced, 175 Acs, Calla Creek, 1300 ft. Mopan River, creek too, PROPERTY: RENTAL from San Ignacio, 1 bdrm, 2 full baths, deck, barbq, great views, for rentals 3 months/longer. BEACH LOT, SAN PEDRO 76 ACS Belize River, Banana Bank area over 3,000 ft river! 99 Acres River Front Banana Bank Area, Large Trees, Local and Regional Fuel Prices Belmopan, Belize Quintana Roo, Mexico Peten, Guatemala REGULAR $11.74 Bz/Gal $6.21 Bz/Gal $9.72 Bz/Gal PREMIUM $12.03 Bz/Gal $6.96 Bz/Gal $10.28 Bz/Gal DIESEL $10.35 Bz/Gal $6.49 Bz/Gal $9.31 Bz/Gal CONSTRUCTION 501-662-5263 501-668-8547crbelize@gmail.com


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 27 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize


June-July 2011 BelizeAgReport.com 28 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize