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Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 1 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize The Belize Ag Report Belizes most complete independent agricultural publication PASTURE MANAGEMENT IN A NUTSHELL By Peter Margesson In Belize tropical grasses grow exceptionally well and can have a very high value to the stockman farmer. Grasses are relatively unaffected by pests and diseases, and respond very well to increased levels of management. In todays world where theft of agricultural products can be a problem, grass is seldom stolen. Why do we not have more quality grass farmers in Belize? It is because, as in growing any agricultural commodity planning, dedication and money. Returns per acre from properly managed intensive pastures can equally compare with other planted crops. However if a farmer has plenty of land or growing periods it may not be preferable to switch to intensive pasture management but to increase management levels within existing extensive pastures. Good pasture management requires learning the characteristics of grass growth on your farm. Each farm differs due to soil type, effort should be placed on correct fencing, paddock size and animal rotations. Good grass farmers walk their paddocks on a regular, if not daily basis, observing their grass, learning the correct time to move animals to fresh grass, when to reduce or increase stocking rates, etc. Continued on page 22Can The Sugar Cane Industry Survive?By Jose Alpuche Examining the way the sugar cane industry in Belize is regulated and administered, one could easily fail to recognize that it is a privately owned industry. Historically, an unhealthy but powerful mix of market protection, political clout due to voting numbers and its contribution to foreign exchange earnings created an attitude of invincibility and entitlement among some in the industry. The world has changed and so has our most important market for sugar, the European Union (EU). is now rapidly forcing change. Can the sugar cane industry survive? The legislative and regulatory regimes governing the sugar industry are best described as archaic, interventionist and costly practices such as production licenses thereby allowing farmers to directly deliver whatever they produced. This removed over 2000 paper farmers that had license but no cane and were earning a quota rent at the expense of farmers with cane. Several other important elements of the law met resistance from farmers, in particular the core sampling method of testing quality for a payment by quality system which would have rewarded farmers for producing better quality cane and made the entire system more equitable. Continued on page 15 TAIWAN International Cooperation and Development Fund Technical Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) SOL FARMS, LIMITEDFarm Fresh Organic Herbs & Vegetables & Flavoured Peanuts solfarmsltd.com Citrus Leprosis pgs. 26 & 27 Thiessen Liquid Fertilizer Corn Trials Hannah Pershing Winner 20 Mile TCER Pg. 19
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 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 Caribbean Beth Roberson Sandra Roberson Court Roberson 663-6777/668-0749/664-7272 www.holdfastbelize.com Land is our language TM HOLDFASTLTD. See listings on back cover
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 3 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Five Acres of Coconuts and SecurityDr Mandy Tsang, MBChB, DRCOG previous owner had planted two acres of coconuts, half of had decimated thousands of coconuts in the Toledo District and Belize. We travelled around the Toledo District selecting coconut seedlings from trees that had survived the blight and set about systematically replacing all the dead palms. We planted an extra acre of coconut palms for three successive our coconuts managed to resist disease. In the last two years they have started fruiting in respectable quantities bearing on only 30 fruit per year.) Most of the coconuts ended up being the Dwarf variety with a few interspersed Panama Talls. Having no previous farming background our discovery into the uses of coconuts in an effective and economic way was completely experimental. We started by processing the coconuts into coconut oil as we had discovered a local niche market for this in Punta Gorda. The coconut oil had to be into account that clarity and a deep brown colour of homemade coconut oil were essential qualities esteemed by the locals. The making of coconut oil involved a lengthy manual process which included husking, grating, squeezing coconut with only partial mechanization at the grating stage; boiling the cream took eight hours to get to the stage of a marketable coconut oil. On average, ten coconuts yield one litre of coconut From a purely economic stand-point it hardly seemed worth going through the trouble of making coconut oil especially did we persist with this venture? We discovered that the us manage our farm in many other ways. For instance, the grated coconut waste was used as supplemental feed for all the animals including ducks, chickens, dogs, cats and guinea pigs. In addition to using the coconut oil in our cooking, we also incorporated the grated coconut into breads, stews and stir fries. We burned the coconut shells and husks to make the potassium content in coconut ash making it a very worthwhile source of potash.) Excess coconut husks were used as a starting medium for orchids and vanilla. Our making of soap was borne out of experimenting with the uses of coconuts and very quickly we realized that the making of soap from our own farm-processed coconut oil was more economically effective than selling it as cooking oil. Through our own practical endeavours we have discovered a way to maintain and manage our farm through the many uses of coconuts. Before writing this article I did a quick internet research for a list of uses of coconuts. I would like to share with you two further examples (which we had not thought manipulate the coconut shell with your feet.)hmmm... interesting: coconut water mixes easily with blood, and was used during World War II in emergency transfusions. It can also serve as an emergency short-term intravenous hydration This is possible because the coconut water has a high level of sugar and other salts that makes it possible to be used in the bloodstream, much like the modern lactated ringer solution or a dextrose/water solution as an IV. Well, I must remember to carry a water coconut and intravenous giving set 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.
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 4 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize FROM THE EDITORThe GMO debate in recent weeks in Belize has shaken up the agriculture community to some extent. Stress can have some evaluate. Whether it strengthens a position already held or alters thought, educating ourselves is a good thing. It is said that if the lychee tree does not receive a periodic hammering to the trunk, it will not bear fruit. We are getting our hammering, and hopefully, we will bear fruit. writers have diverse opinions. Our publication itself is inert and opinion-less, operating as a framework within which to disperse information useful to the producers large and small (Mission Statement p. 6). The Belize agriculture. Diverse opinions are welcomed and appreciated. held at Central Farm, the question was raised as to labeling of imported food products which are not in English or Spanish. Increasingly many items on local shelves have labels which are an English translation of labels must accompany the customs application; the items themselves do not require English labels. Is this satisfactory? our appreciation to our readers, our writers, and our advertisers. The participation of each of you is critical to our continuation. what you would like improved. Our purpose is to be useful and serve our Belizean agricultural community. Warm holiday wishes to you all TO THE EDITOREditor Sir, T he GM corn seed that was destroyed by burning on Friday October 7th Council. The GM corn that was destroyed had been genetically cry1Fa2 and pat, for insect resistance and herbicide tolerance respectively. Both genes were introduced into the parental maize hybrid line Hi-II by particle acceleration (biolistic) transformation. The cry1Fa2 gene, isolated from the common soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis ( Bt) var. aizawai, produces the insect control preparations in organic farming without any report of allergenicity attributed to the B.t. insecticidal proteins, including occupational allergy associated with the manufacture of Bacillus thuringiensis preparations. We have been using BT insecticide in Belize for years. It is derived from a naturally occurring organic product. attributable to the presence of receptors in the midgut of target insects. There are no receptors for the delta endotoxins of Bacillus thuringiensis subspecies on the surface of mammalian intestinal cells, therefore humans and other mammals are not susceptible to these insecticidal proteins Hence, Bt has no effect on animals or humans. Wild public statements have been made in the press and at public meetings about GM corn. Statements such as : Given the many dangers that have already been proven to exist with Bt Corn, including environmental dangers. No sound it has been proven many times that Bt Corn does not pose any environmental dangers, but is more environmentally friendly than conventional corn. Less insecticide use and higher yields, requiring less area to produce more is very environmentally friendly. It has never been proven that Bt corn poses a danger to the environment. lower crop production Please go to Honduras and talk to farmers loss of our local corn as BT corn cross-pollinates it farmer will tell you that if he wishes to avoid cross pollination between say white and yellow corn, just plant it 200 yds apart or 2 weeks apart. Corn will only pollinate another corn variety which is pollinating at the same time. So, a simple precaution already practiced to keep local varieties separate, will work to avoid any possibility of cross-pollination. production of BT resistant pests provided for this statement. Unlike insecticides to which insects develop a rapid resistance, no resistance has yet been found to the naturally occurring Bt by insects. increase levels of toxins in mothers breast milk Reproductive Toxicology (Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated Canada) claimed that they had detected traces of the insecticidal to consider that the presence of this protein could be from organic food which had been heavily sprayed with BT. In addition, to obtain lbs of corn for extended periods to reach the levels claimed. Their faulty test procedures. We are facing a dilemma in Belize. Do we believe the malcontents who quote junk science and mis-inform, or do we take the responsible approach to the use of this new technology which has been widely tested in the more developed nations? Frank Redmond Palms Springs Farm The Belize Ag Report Editor: Beth Gould Roberson Special Editor: Dottie Feucht Printed by BRC Printing, Benque Viejo, Cayo District, Belize Submissions as follows: email@example.com publication. Distributed in Belize & Southern MexicoMission Statement: T he 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.
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 5 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize TO THE EDITORDear Editor, We have had the honour of meeting Mr. Carr. He came across as an intelligent man, and a visionary. We were surprised to learn that Mr. Carr is promoting GMO in Belize. In Europe (which opposes GMO) the information available about GMO comes from a lot of different information only from companies selling GMO. Here is a big difference and we would like to start an open conversation with Mr. Carr. Lets start with all the solutions genetic engineering could provide. We could accomplish great things, grow cucumbers in the desert, cure diseases that are now lethal etc. Some people oppose this science, stating that it is not right to interfere with the building blocks of lifes design, for religious and ethical reasons. Many people with intellect and vision support genetic engineering, because they see its endless possibilities. However, this branch of science is very new, imprecise and in an experimental state. chemical companies. They have turned a promising new science in a commercial menace. Under pretense of feeding the world while using less chemicals, they have created and patented seeds of the common staples that actually incorporate pesticides in the genetic make-up of the plant. In spite of the claims, the only GMO seeds that have been commercialized are herbicide resistant for their own brand of herbicide) and with built-in pesticides. in fact, more chemicals are needed in the long run, as weeds and pests develop resistances against those same chemicals used year after year. In the long run, average yields are not higher then those of conventional crops. ambitious business goal: to control the worlds food supply (3). GMO crops are dominant and will cross pollinate, eradicating all natural crops. The company uses a cleverly crafted contract, so it can not be held responsible for the damages done. However, Monsanto an sue a farmer whose farm has been contaminated for stealing its intellectual property. Monsanto and co. have enormous power and spin, and prevent unwanted information from becoming known to the public. Reduced biodiversity and monoculture an lead to new plant GMO but is losing the battle with contamination. Belize, like Mexico, has a variety of heirloom corn seeds to protect. those farmers will become dependent on the company selling these GMO seeds and the chemicals that go with growing them, and lose the option to replant their own seeds, and to grow organically. The vision of the possibilities of genetic engineering is wonderful, but it is being abused in the most horrible way. GMO is a threat to the whole population of the entire planet. Yours sincerely, Naud and Elsbeth Brouwer. Medicine. (2) Failure to yield, a report by UCS expert doc Gurian-Sherman (3) Le monde celon Monsanto, (the world according to Monsanto) Marie-Monique Robin Dear Editor: Well we are certainly making a mess out of our food sup D. Martabano incredulous that the product was brought in and no risk analysis importation of milk powder into this country. It does point to the fact that doing a risk analysis for GMO is an involved process expecting this push to get GM seeds into Belize for some time and has been pro-active in trying to develop the necessary capacity to deal with the request for importation. For instance, September Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), to conduct a workshop here in Belize with all the Bio-safety members of the Caribbean and Belize on how to go about doing a risk analysis for living present at this training as well. In addition, we have written a received PCR testing equipment that can be used for the detection guidelines for the international community on how to monitor for stacked events in GMO, which this importation is, and a separate use these valuable guidelines. But there are many other reasons why this importation makes bio-safety framework, which is composed of a policy, legislation, administrative procedures, and public participation into the already outdated given the many new developments in the biosafety arena, and is heavily US centric which will legitimize easy access for GM to come in. I sincerely hope that this is not the same law that is now being presented to the Solicitor US, does not have any provision for liability should something go unfathomable that the Government is pushing for GM in Belize, which will negate the promotion of Belize as a natural niche and the markets that were developing for our quality and organic agro-products. This is a specialized market that Belize is tapping into with higher returns; Belize certainly cannot compete with the Cartegena Protocol, in exporting any GM corn. The most comprehensive assessment of agriculture and food internationally, including the bio-tech industry, was the GEF, which found, among many other things, that in the future, agriculture can only be sustained by small farms without the use of GM. This is where Belize has an advantage and should use it by supporting our small farmers to ensure food security and sustainability. This is my considered opinion. Continued on Page 23
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 6 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Fungus AmongusBy Greg ClarkIn the previous edition, I described the organization of the leaf cutter ants, their association with fungi, and a few methods to deter their habits. This edition, I would like to address another conducted to test the effects of utilizing the waste pile of the ant nest as a deterrent for their choice of food sources. The study applied fresh waste pile material on the leaves and around seedlings. The ants were deterred from utilizing the leaves of the seedlings due to the intense cleanliness practices of the colony. The waste pile contains products that they remove from the nest and this prevents them from reintroducing the utilize the waste pile and create a spray for application onto the leaves of a plant that requires protection. I recommend that liquid dish soap be added to the spray for better adhesion of the liquid to the leaves of the plant. Either method should depending on the weather conditions over the period of protection. Utilizing the methods described in the previous edition and the method mentioned here should provide an organic arsenal to defend against leaf cutter ants. Please write and tell us what methods have worked for you. and this year the season is holding true to the norm. The soils are being replenished with the moisture to carry into the dry season. Many of the local plants and trees are in large growth spurts with the availability of the moisture. For the the cultivated vegetables, the warm, humid, moist days are a detriment to their survival. The warm humid days allow for the growth of many fungal attacks on the vegetables. To eradicate fungal growth, I recommend a local remedy as the liquid tea concentrate for spray on the plants. The second option is an observed solution. Based on my observation that I have not found a fungal attack on the local pumpkin plant, I would like to recommend the same method as mentioned above substituting local pumpkin leaves for the jackass bitters plant. Since most fungal spores attack from the exterior of the plant, the protective coating of the solution should prevent the attachment of the spores. My conclusion is that in the garden, a successful gardener is very observant of what is going on in the garden and utilizes that observation for applying the same effect to other plants. Remember to keep adequate levels of potassium in the soils to maintain the internal disease resistance of your plants. 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
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 7 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Belizean Candidates Selected To Attend Training Courses On Agriculture, Food Security And Social Policies Under The Sponsorship Of The Government Of BrazilThe Embassy of Brazil in Belize informs that further to the international event Brazilian Technical Cooperation: Agriculture, Food Security and Social Policies which was on behalf of Belize the Government of Brazil has announced a program of short-term training courses on agriculture and excellence, which have played an important role in the design and implementation in Brazil of public policies on the abovementioned topics: It should be particularly noted that the program encompasses several courses that may relate to the mission of other Belizean for family agriculture and/or rural development; school feeding resources; school-kitchen gardens; gender equality in agriculture and food security, as well as environment and agriculture. The (one) candidate per country will be accepted for each course. The Government of Belize. The candidacy of each applicant must be presented by means of 2 (two) letters of recommendation, one signed by his/her hierarchical superior and another one by a diems will be borne by the program. The Government of Belize the complete series of courses offered in the second semester of Windsors Electrical Services, San Ignacio, has just installed a new voltage regulator; Doug Barber Florida phone # 941-870-5637 1 GENTRAC 4056 GENERATOR 75 KVA, 60KW, 3 PHASE $8000 USD FOR SALE San Ignacio San Ignacio 824-2060SHI Belize Organic Fair 2011th, International Belize held its at the Central Park in Punta Gorda Town. There were a total of twenty eight booths (listed below) comprised of NGOs and farmers working with SHI Belize. It is estimated that eight hundred to a thousand people visited the booths throughout the course of the day. Each of that their farmers made over two hundred dollars each. Two farmers sold twenty bags of corn at forty dollars a bag. Mrs. Caliz from Mafredi congratulated the SHI staff for the fair and said she sold absolutely everything she had on sale. There is no denying that this fair was a huge success. Male Organic Farmer of the Year is Mr. Gordon Zuniga of Punta Gorda and Female Organic Farmer of the Year is Ms. Rita Chiquin of Forest Home Village. We want to give special thanks to our sponsors. Without them, the fair wouldnt have been possible. We truly appreciate the various contributions they gave to SHI. We thank them for promoting Living Organic. They are: Scotia Bank Punta Gorda, Toledo Farm Supply, Pro-World Belize, Belize Defense Force, Beth Learning, Roots and Shoots from Consejo Shores.
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 8 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize BEYOND THE BACKYARD GROWING GREENBy Jenny Wildman I used to wonder why there were not more green vegetables in the market until it occurred to me that since leafy vegetables are best picked fresh they were probably growing in home pumpkin and various herbs were found plus several I was not familiar with. One bush with large love heart leaves adorned anise and black pepper. The taste test was disturbing though, as it immediately numbed my lips and tongue. Well if the Mayas have been using it for centuries it must be worthy of inclusion in the kitchen so I did some more research to be absolutely sure before experimenting at the stove. There are many different varieties in the piper pepper family and I am told there are more than 20 right around us. The one I had which is said to relieve stress and anxiety much like kava or Matico found all through the Caribbean and tropics. It was discovered that applying the leaves to wounds would stop the bleeding and was used as an antiseptic on ulcers and wounds. I have the belief that many of the piper family have this capability. Other names for Hoja Santa are: Mexican pepper plant; false kava; anisillo or root beer plant. Yes it really does taste like sassafrass and sarsparilla both used in the creation of enchiladas or used for tamales. There is a goat cheese, which is wrapped in the leaf giving it a distinctive peppery taste. In Mexico there is a green sauce mole verde and a green liquor chocolate or dried and made into a tea but best picked straight from the bush. It apparently likes moist soil where it receives the morning sun and is protected from the afternoon heat and winds. If you want to plant it, give it plenty of room to spread as it can become portly as well as stately. growing to about 3 feet in height with lanceolate leaves and seeds. To some it is considered an invasive species but its uses and capabilities are endless both in the kitchen and medicine cabinet. It contains ascaridole known to expel worms and can be used against most tropical parasites using both leaves calming nerves, malaria and asthma. Externally it can be applied to wounds, bruises, fractures, fungal infections, hemorrhoids and arthritis. It seems to have been used by all manner of disorders. It was even worn as a bracelet as adornment, probably to ward off insects, as fresh leaves are not have a plant of this so can not try out all of these claims. It is an active ingredient in a well-known pesticide so it must work. Its strong skunky smell alone is probably enough to expel parasites. The pungent anise, fennel type taste makes a very good seasoning for quesadillas, enchiladas, soups, stews Many foods traditionally included leaves that helped maintain a healthy body fortifying the blood and preventing parasites. garlic. Modern diets have been forgetting the importance of growing in villages still using the ways of their ancestors. So take a leaf out of my book plant and grow green When used correctly the plants of our kingdom are no more dangerous than commercially created products but all leaves must be used with caution as quality and quantity is not regulated. I would like to thank those who take an active interest in the plants that surround us and for the letters I have received from you with your experiences and questions Send any comments or your recipes using these leaves to the firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 9 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize (501)824-3101 www.belizebotanic.orgOpen 7 Days A Week 7am-5pmNew Savanna Trail! Tropical Fruit Orchard Native Orchid House Native Plants of Belize Sundays Free For Belizeans!Directions: Take Western Highway from San Ignacio towards the border, 1/10 mile after Clarissa Falls, turn left and follow the signs. DiamondRealty West Street, San Ignacio, Cayo Belize, Central America DiamondRealty West Street, San Ignacio, Cayo Belize, Central America
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 10 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Belizes Variable WeatherBy Dottie Feucht Normal is not a good adjective to use for Belizes weather. Even though small in size its weather, especially rainfall, National Meteorological Service (BNMS), which collects rainfall data from all six districts every day, rainfall also varies from year to year in the same region. The variableness takes its toll on agriculture as farmers try to plow and plant to take advantage of rainfall. rainy season but in seven days with at least four days receiving some rainfall. The southern region has the most rainfall with a mean of month there. In the central region are primary and secondary for the northern region show that rainfall is usually much less than the other regions; the annual mean there is only 60 mauger (pronounced magah) is a week or two of dry, calm weather (which brings out the biting insects) in all the districts except Toledo. Ever wonder about the origin of thunderstorms? Belize, at northeasterlies from the northern hemisphere and the southeasterlies from the southern hemisphere meet, and the air is forced to rise. This is called the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The resulting thunderstorms in Belize usually the peaks of the Maya Mountains with heavy rainfall. October but most have occurred in September when highlow levels and the huge reservoir of heat energy in tropical waters. Hurricanes usually lose wind force when they come ashore and lose the heat energy from the sea but even as downgraded tropical storms we still receive heavy rainfall. fronts moving southward from continental U.S. BNMS reports that a cold front moves across Belize about once every dry season rainfall in those 2 months, dry season lived up to its name. The graphs below show the total monthly rainfall data for by BNMS from stations in Melinda (Stann Creek) (2) Central Region Belmopan and Central Farm (Cayo) (3) Northern Region Consejo (Corozal) and Tower Hill (Orange Walk District). Horticulture management volunteerYaaxch Conservation Trust is a community-oriented NGO in Toledo whose mission is to conserve biodiversity and advance sustainable development. Within our sustainable livelihoods program, we assist smallholder farmers to develop organic horticulture and cacao-based agroforestry, which offer potentially lucrative sources of income for local farmers whilst protecting precious rainforest and coral reef ecosystems. our organic greenhouse and tree nursery, which produce seeds and saplings for distribution to local farmers as well as revenue to support our philanthropic activities. The role will involve the following duties: Daily care of crops Managing two horticultural technicians Developing and implementing planting schedules Forging connections with local markets and organizing distribution Testing innovative farming methods (i.e. new crops, varieties and techniques) The successful candidate will possess the following skills and qualities: preferably organic Pro-active (our staff our friendly and able to assist with horticulture and business expertise but you will be the driving force behind the success of the greenhouse) Willingness / ability to commit to a minimum of six months The following would be desirable: Experience running a successful business Experience in a management role Practical skills, such as carpentry or mechanical skills where the greenhouse and tree nursery are situated. bathroom facilities. There is solar power and Internet access village on the Southern Highway, approximately 30 miles from Punta Gorda. rainforest setting Being part of a dynamic, multi-cultural team of committed individuals To apply, please send your c.v. and a cover letter to james. email@example.com November.
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 11 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Inches Months Belize Total 2009 10 3.5 1 1.5 1 4.6 7 6.7 13 3.2 4.1 6 Total 2010 6.1 1.2 1.6 2 15 7.9 14 8.4 9.4 6.3 9.9 2.5 Total 2011 1.2 2.9 2.4 0.1 0.4 12 12 6.8 J F M A M J J A S O N D 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Inches Months Corozal Total 2009 2 0.9 1.2 0.4 1.7 8.3 1.1 5.5 6.8 4.2 6.8 5 Total 2010 0.8 0.1 0.5 1.5 5.1 4.8 13 4.6 7.4 1.8 7.8 0.3 Total 2011 1.3 2.6 1.3 0 0.1 8.8 8.7 4.5 J F M A M J J A S O N D 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Inches Months Orange Walk Total 2009 3.8 0.6 0.5 0.5 1.7 7.1 5 6.9 9.9 3.4 4.9 4.3 Total 2010 1.4 0.2 0.1 2.4 8.8 5.5 11 6.3 10 1.4 5.1 0.2 Total 2011 0.4 2.8 1.6 0.2 0.2 15 5.8 3.4 J F M A M J J A S O N D 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 Inches Months Cayo Total 2009 6.2 2.5 1.6 2.9 2.6 6.5 9.9 7.9 4.5 1.2 6.5 5.3 Total 2010 3.9 1.1 0.1 4.6 6.7 11 11 8.2 9.3 6.6 6.4 1.8 Total 2011 1.4 3.4 1.2 1.8 1.8 6.4 8.5 6.3 J F M A M J J A S O N D 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Inches Months Toledo Total 2009 5.4 4.3 3.3 0.9 7.2 7.7 19 23 14 9.7 5.1 11 Total 2010 3.6 1.2 0.2 3.6 9.6 14 17 26 16 1.5 5.5 1.2 Total 2011 1.7 2.4 2.1 1.6 1.2 24 23 17 J F M A M J J A S O N D 0 5 10 15 20 Inches Months Stann Creek Total 2009 15 2.9 2.1 1.3 1.7 6.3 7 9.3 17 3.2 9.9 5 Total 2010 2.6 2.4 1 4.2 11 8.5 14 5 13 7.4 11 1.7 Total 2011 2 4.2 3.2 0.2 1.5 8.3 13 7.9 J F M A M J J A S O N D RAINF ALLCharts Prepared by Dottie Feucht Data from Belize Hydromet
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 12 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Unusual EdiblesBy Beth Roberson Headhunters Asparagus Sauropus androgynus, in the spurge family of Euphorbiaceae, has a native range from India to Malaysia. mani cai, cekur manis, pucuk manis, sayur manis, star gooseberry, rau ngot, Sabah vegetable or sweet leaf, in this hemisphere the popular name is tropical asparagus, although it is not at all related to asparagus. (The stems are often the tasty perennial shrub, we have dubbed it Headhunters being the garnish, historically in Borneo, for long pork local seed merchant introduced me to this delight. The leaves, young and old (younger of course more tender for raw consumption in salads, etc) and stems provide an minerals, a higher level being in the more mature leaves. received some bad press a few years ago in Taiwan, when it was the fad diet for weight loss. If consumed excessively it can cause lung problems (purportedly from alkaloids which may break down with cooking). The seeds and stunningly have eaten those. My favorite part for nibbling is the small stem. Many cultures favor the leaves in salads (mixed with other greenery). Other popular uses are with eggs it excels as addition to quiche, using both leave and chopped stems. Chefs appreciate that it does not lose its dark green color after cooking, and we have used it in place of broccoli in recipes. tasting and pleasant smelling. Some websites describe it as also close to peanut taste, but for the cultivar we have sampled, we have not encountered this allegedly peanutty aspect. Used worldwide in soups (with crab, minced pork or dried shrimp), or as you like, this is a versatile veggie with giant possibilities. Vietnam and Indonesia, its touted glories include increasing milk supply for nursing mothers. (Boil the leaves, drink the remedy for mumps. The low maintenance perennial bush, reaching 6-7 ft high (if you are not eating it down), thrives under varied conditions semi-shade to full sun, tolerating soils from acid to clay and is easy to cultivate from seeds or perhaps easier from cuttings. It can be planted under or around trees where it may adapt growth to a vine-like fashion. Try it as a hedge just plant often stroll (for a handy snack). My internet search shows that it is highly disease and pest resistant although some with hot pepper spray has been effective to detract them. It Is said to tolerate heavy harvesting and will regenerate easily. crunchiness of the stems much too tempting to allow much planting like that Distributor of COTTON TREE CHOCOLATEHigh quality, locally produced chocolate. Available in a variety of flavors such as Dark Chocolate (70% cacao), Dark Milk, Light Milk and with Cocoa nibs, Belizean Coffee, Etc. We also carry liqueur filled chocolate, with Traveler's One Barrell and Kuknat Rum and organic cocoa. Bulk(Wholesale) orders from $150Bz. Single Products available at : Sweet Ting Pastries. Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your foodHippocrates
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 13 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize The Paddy Straw Mushroom.Dr Alessandro Mascia, BMBS, CHEd In this issue let us discuss one of my favourite mushrooms known as Volvariella volvacea food will be familiar with the appearance and taste of this mushroom and will probably agree that it adds that special something to a meal prepared with it. The Paddy Straw Mushroom is a pan tropical species that extremely rapid life cycle, making it one of the most suitable mushrooms for cultivation in warm climates. In subtropical of this mushroom as a secondary source of income from cultivation on waste rice straw. (Hint, hint to all you rice farmers.) In fact, it has become an economic mainstay in the agricultural economies of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan and China. mushrooms that grow in Belize, especially Toledo District, our esteemed readers can probably guess that yes, this mushroom grows here in the wild state. I will qualify that statement: while I havent actually found it growing in the bush or in a natural setting (havent looked hard enough, really because), it crops up with consistent frequency in the piles of chocolate waste that I use for composting; so we generally get to eat it at least every month in the wet season, This mushrooms most distinctive feature is its volva, or cup at the base. It does not have a ring, or annulus on its stem The cap is generally smoky brown to cigar brown to blackish brown, which tends to fade with age or exposure to light. The gills are free and initially white, becoming pinkish with of course, the base is encased in a thick volva. The spore print is pink to salmon brown. Perhaps a photograph of some of these mushrooms Ive found will help this description: harvested at the stage when it still has the egg shape, that is best and it is in the form most suitable for market. The also apparently rich in vitamins B and C with an assortment of amino acids. None of the literature I consulted listed any medicinal qualities, unless you consider sitting down to have being sliced thin and stir-fried or as a condiment for soups. I have also eaten it as a crunchy snack in Singapore, being freeze salted peanuts. Stamets, another of my favourite mycologists, recommends injecting onion-soaked soy or tamari sauce via syringe into each Paddy Straw egg, covering with foil and mushroom is then eaten whole and explodes in your mouth par excellence . Though I havent tried this myself, it does sound like a good endorsement on the quality of this mushroom.
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 14 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize CAMPAIGN FOR THE PROPER DISPOSAL OF EMPTY PESTICIDE The Domesticated Commercially Grown Turkeyby Orlando Habet Manager, Belize Poultry AssociationUnlike the wild turkey which is native to for its huge breast and tender meat. (Broad commercial use and today constitutes the majority of the turkey line available.) The most prized portion of the turkey meat so much, turkeys are bred to produce large breasts. The domesticated turkeys have such large chests that the male, tom turkey is not able to fertilize the eggs of the female, hen turkeys in the natural mating position. Today, turkey species are white-feathered. Most birds reach about 22 lbs carefully, formulated feed, and ample water supply, controlled environment housing and superior management conditions. The food is designed to retain water in the body. Consequently Belize produces most of the turkey meat demanded by our for hatching are imported for production but when there is a short supply of eggs, day-old poults are imported. The young turkey (poult) is very delicate and requires tender care available because they are grown to satisfy the market demand which requires small, medium and large turkeys. The higher turkey demand is in November, (US Thanksgiving holiday) and December, during the Christmas holidays. In the past (US high school equivalent) and university graduations. Turkey meat is naturally dry because the bird does not have a chance to create a fat layer that actually provides taste. For this reason carcasses are injected with vegetable oil solutions, water and salt to render it self basting. Injecting a turkey with marinades, rubs, sauces, and seasonings provides of spiced or herbed liquids can be used, but other ingredients, can be used as well Note: Butterball is a brand of turkey and other poultry products produced by Butterball LLC. The companys Garner, North Carolina. Purchasing local Belizean turkey guarantees you fresh, tender
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 15 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Belize Sugar Industry...Continued from page 1The revised law was seen as an intermediate stage that would require further reform to complete deregulation of the industry. However, the failure to fully implement the new law and prepare for further reform was cited by ING Bank as one of decided to withdraw their investment in Belize Sugar Industries precedent to an investment as they rightly recognize that under the current system the industry is not sustainable. Even within the farming community, a constitutional challenge to the law was successful in the Supreme Court. Instead of change, today we still have political agents sitting at the helm of important regulatory bodies such as the Sugar Industry Control Board, intervening on a daily basis and making decisions for what deregulate the sugar cane sector, any serious investor will accommodate their investment. I would posit that except for phytosanitary, plant health and some agronomic extension work, the government should leave the current and future investors (farmers included) to administer their business as expected to stay so for a while, Belize sugar production is on a This coincides with the coming on stream of BSIs BELCOGEN million tons of cane per annum. The investment is starved of beyond existing farmers to acquire cane. This is at the heart days were getting darker. However, from adversity has come a glimmer of hope as last years memorandum of understanding (MOU) between government, cane farmers and BSI led to implementation of delivery by appointment and payment by ton sugar and seen farmers being rewarded (although by group) for supplying better quality cane. This crop will see a record and the banks have once again made this a requirement for a rollover of their funding facilities and we trust the results will to pay them individually for the quality cane delivered can be instituted. We always hear of potential new investments in sugar cane to produce sugar, ethanol, and electricity among others; however, with the most prominent being Destill Belize, the new owners of the old Libertad factory. However, if the cane supply is need for formulation of a comprehensive sugar cane industry policy by government in consultation with all stakeholders. BSI and the current cane farmers should be joined by other processors and farmers as we seek to expand the base of existing stakeholders of their continued operations but provide enough room for new entrants. This policy would need to promote fair competition and equity among stakeholders and allow for some of the current stakeholders to exit if they wish. Money for all of this is available through the premiums being paid to farmers under the Fair Trade scheme and from the EU be used by Belize. These EU funds are on a time bound use or lose basis with the potential for an additional allocation of BZ$ 73m already earmarked. It is unfortunate that to date more of this money has been spent on road improvement than to provide for industry reform to become competitive and to diversify within or outside of the industry. except for times like now when serious undersupply is evident. We are too small to impact world prices and therefore must depend on more secure long-term markets such as the EU. The EU has already commenced preliminary work to further open we do not undertake urgent systemic reform, our industry may be unable to compete on the future EU market. We have the US and Caribbean market but they are much less reliable and are also under pressure to reform. In short, if we cant improve volume, quality and overall competitiveness in a short time the sugar industry will face certain decline or become dependent on subsidies. Government has said they expect to be repaid the outstanding money loaned to BSI and that the industry must acquire its own resources. This is a very responsible approach that must now be complemented with the proper deregulated framework that will allow the industry to reorient itself and become attractive to both domestic and foreign investors. Cane farmers must shed their militant approach for a business approach and undertake serious reform if they are to remain in sugar cane production. BSI is actively seeking a strategic investor to strengthen their operation and many other investments could materialize both in farming and processing if the business environment is set right. Our export markets for sugar are rapidly opening to increased competition; we can only survive if we shed the closed system that is currently failing us. The BELIZE AGRO-PRODUCTIVE SECTOR GROUP A private business whose main goal is to facilitate the development of the Agro-Productive Sector in particular Sugar, Citrus and Mixed Farming of the Mennonite Communities.Owned by its members but open to others.1859 West Belmopan, P.O. Box 73, Tel: 822-2901 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Belmopan, Belize
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 16 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize REIMER FEEDS...were growing Belize SPANISH LOOKOUTCenter Road Tel: 823-0105BELMOPANTel: 822-2088 BELIZE CITY 1615 Moho Bay Tel: 223-0606 ORANGE WALK 42 Lovers Lane Tel: 322-1170 REIMER FEED MILL Complete Poultry and Livestock Feeds, Equipment and Health Products
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 17 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Agriculture Prices at a Glance$$$$$NovemberDecember 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 CattleTABGrains, Beans & RiceTAB Young strs. & bulls7501100 lbs L1.05 -1.15.95 1.05 Belize yellow corn L.29 .30.27 .29 Cows & heifers for butcher L.80 .90(thin).75 .80 White Corn L.34 .36.33 .34 Heifers for breeding 500-800 lbs L1.20 1.251.10 1.20 Corn/ local retail (low volume) L.33 .38.31 .33 Young grass cattle350650 lbs L1.10 1.201.00 1.10 U.S corn @ 6.53-per 56 lb bushel L$23. 50/ BZ 100# +12/lb frt. to BZU.S. price -corn fed10001200 lbs H 1.22-US=2.44-B z Guatemala corn price/Peten L.36 .38.34 .36 U.S. price feeders 600800 lbs H 1.40-US=2.80-B z Belize milo L.26 .27.25.26 U.S. pricecalves 450600 lbs H 1.50-US=3.00-B z R-K's, little reds & blacks (beans) S 1.40-1.50 farm pric e U.S. priceaged butcher cows H .90-US=1.80-B z Black eyed peas S .85.90 farm price Belize HogsMilled retail rice per pound S .87.88 farm pric e Weiner pigs25 -30 lbsby the head S $95.00 $100.00CitrusButcher pigs 160 230 lbs S1.75 1.851.70 1.75 Oranges per 90 lb box-lb.solid basis S $12.00 Est. 2011 priceBelize SheepGrapefruitper 90 lb box S $ 6.00 Est. 2011 price Butcher lambs S2.00 2.251.752.00SugarMature ewes S1.70 1.751.60 1.70 Cane per tonest. 2011 price H $78. 00 Belize ChickensWhite sugar112 lbscontrolled S.45 per bag + 3-5 cent mark up Broilerslive per lb S1.21 1.231.19 1.21 Brown sugar112 lbscontrolled S.39 per bag + 3-5 cent mark up Spent hens L .70 .72 .68 .70Special farm items Fruits & VegetablesEggstray of 30 eggs H 6.67 farmretail .27 per egg Tomatoes, cabbages, cucumbers Swhosal/75-1.75-ret-$1.00-$2.50 WD Milk per lb to farmer Scontract .50 & non contract .35 ***These prices are best estimates only from our best sources and simply provide a range to assist buyers and sellers in negotiations. *** Dear Ag Readers: We are very happy to have missed the brunt of Rina, although we got some rain that didn't help because of Hurricane Harvey in A ugus t Corn harvest has brought down the corn prices by about 25%. Cattle prices have softened because of the Guatemala buyer's lack o f interest. The ag future is very bright because of our great export potential for livestock, grain and beans. We just need to get our trade agreements s o they work in the field as well as in offices. Our Sanitary Livestock program continues, slowly but surely and we are looking at spring to start. Our agricultu re depends on exports for everything -One critical grain is riceanother one is pork and our inability to export processed meat. To many hurdles and not enough speed or athletes. All the bestJohn Carr
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 18 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize LIGHT REINBy Marjie Olson divisional formats have made the National Barrel Horse Association all over Belize and have people run for great year end awards. Even beginners have a chance to win money and prizes. the divisional format, which allows riders of all skill levels a chance to win money and prizes in barrel racing competition. Canada, China, France, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Panama, Spain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Find out more about barrel racings international presence at NBHA.com/ibhf Q: What is the National Barrel Horse Association? A: whose purpose is to: Promote the sport of barrel racing and its growth on local, state, provincial, national and international levels. Increase the number of participants. Improve the quality and safety of shows. Enhance the image of barrel racing. Provide all barrel racers, regardless of age, sex or experience, the opportunity to compete for prize money, awards and points in local events throughout the year so they and world championships. Q: Why should you join the NBHA? A: You will become part of an international barrel racing organization developed to improve your sport, making it better for you and all other barrel racers. The sanctioning and show requirements. You can ride in sanctioned shows, and qualify for year-end awards, state/provincial, national for the local weekend competitor. You will have the opportunity to compete for more prize money and awards plus district, and state/ provincial, national and world titles. The NBHA 4-D format means more entries and larger purses, but more importantly, it gives YOU a fairer chance to win If you are a barrel racer or if you want to become a barrel racer THE endless; besides winning beautiful gist silver buckles and prestigious NBHA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS! There Shotzy08@live.com or Photo by Cheers
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 19 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize 2nd Annual TRIPLE CROWN ENDURANCE RACE 2nd 3rd th The event was produced even better than last year: perfect course, excellent footing in arena, 3 Polar digital heart monitors, better staging area and parking, better advertising covering more of the country and great sponsors (again), to be for its second year. Sothen why do we have a low number of entries for the endurance race??? The TCER had lowered the entry fee, from $200 last year to and and the end even with three champions instead of two. Over all, less money to spend for the entries, much more money and more ways to win for the entriessowhy the low turn out one would ask? We now have only four horses that go for the can not thank our sponsors enough. Belize Natural Energy and Reimers Feed Mill have been so supportive and we could not do this event without them! So how do we get horseman to be supportive? If anyone has serious suggestions, please let me know. I know the biggest deterrent is the no way to get the horse there but unless we can get a bus converted to a giant horse trailer and schedule pick ups yeah, thats not gonna happen. Companies like Yalbac Ranch and Sawmill and the Belize Ag Report have a small stake in the hopes of the TCER doing well as they at least provide a service for horse San Ignacio Hotel hopes to gain a few rooms. Cheers restaurant, I would hope, would get a few dinners on the way home from folks stopping by and Mega Foods is new enough, that having their name seen everywhere on the Ts is good. Running W is also pretty big into horses, so having the support of them seems natural. BIO MEDS is a new sponsor and has great equine stuff, but how do we show people the product if they arent there to see it? None of these fabulous businesses will want to continue to support even our top notch event, if folks dont come and without sponsors, the TCER has no chance of survival. Uckele is a company that LRF has done business with for years and with the economy suffering in U.S. it is a blessing they still support us. Olde Mill is always a huge We had a better turn out for the speed classes, even in the students doing a demo of how they practice and it was so Marjie Olson was a very proud trainer. Touch took the 2nd Division and Chuck Curcio and Denito in those divisions towards the beautiful breast collar and the Banana Bank team just passed off the baton a few strides too late. coming to Belize and the 3D format paying 3 winners instead th We have already heard we will have more horses for the thth TCER and I hope more spectators as well. It makes for a fun family day and the Barn and Grill and join us and see the most professionally run horse event Photo by Chrissie Tupper
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 20 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Dead Ringer of Barrel RaceBy Leisa Carr-Casares were unable to match the expertise and horsemanship shown by Cowboy Carr. We also must give recognition to his trusty who has repeatedly given an outstanding performance. The st Race. Carr learned to ride a horse before he learned to write his name. He has been a cowboy for as long as he can remember and his hat and boots have been his traditional attire practically since of daily life whether it was riding them to get to school, herd cattle or simply to have fun; his life circled around horses. events from bronc riding to calf roping to steer wrestling and even rode a bull now and then which won him the title as AllAround Cowboy many times over. Upon arriving in Belize in held small fun events including roping and wrestling calves. Today, at 70 years of age, he is still as natural and agile on horseback as ever. So a piece of advice to all you youngins kick a cow pie on a hot day; always drink upstream from the herd; and good judgment comes from experience but most experience comes from bad judgment Converting a Gasoline Engine to ButaneBy Scott OphofThere are cars that run on various mixes of propane and butane in quite a few countries around the world. Here were talking about by butane gas worldwide, with a large percentage in India. The main point in favor of butane is that it enters the engine already mixing of butane with air is faster, and completed before the mix the bad points. If they turn you off, then read no further. Why PASS on the idea of conversion? You lose storage space and tote around a tank of at least 60 extra poundsempty. 2. Your engine runs hotter, so theres more wear & tear on the cooling system, exhaust, etc. if you dont maintain the engine properly. 3. shorter opening hours. system will cost youat least in economy, maybe even the engine itself. a slightly different driving style are required with butane converted vehicles. Running too lean a mixture makes the engine run too hot, which can cause valves to burn or seize. If you ignore the required maintenance, your engine will die sooner. Dont blame whoever did the conversion if you didnt listen and follow recommendations. 6. You feel $2,000.BzD or more is too steep a price for your Why is conversion a GOOD idea? Because butane is roughly half the price, or less, than gasoline in miles per gallon, taking into consideration all relevant factors. 2. With proper attention to maintenance, your engine will run cleaner and last longer. 3. You can reduce refueling stops by getting the largest tank youre environmentally minded. You can actually use the same mix for cooking, for the same price. What kinds of engines should I not convert? Forget about 2-stroke engines. Otherwise its a wide open carburetor engines. The more complicated the air-intake and keep tuned correctly. Computers wont make much difference in cost. Continued on page 23 John Carr 1959Wilsall, MontanaJohn Carr, TCER October 2011
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 21 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize WORLD FOOD DAYCentral Farm October 14, 2011U.S Yellow Corn Exports Statistics From : www.fas.usda.gov/esrquery/esrq.aspx stst Importers Population Corn Soybeans (millions) 100 lb bags Mexico & Central America Panama Caribbean South America Peru European Union Italy Other Countries Canada Total 664.90 662, 860,203 25,559,750Note: Belize (333,000 pop.) is the only country in Central believe they can double or triple that amount within the next and soy products from the U.S. Nearly all mechanical/ export corn and soy bean farmers agree with U.S farmers that GMO the use of herbicides and pesticides. Belize was moving toward a GMO usage policy, but some special interest resistance caused the test seeds to be burned up. When it comes to the exportation of corn, the U.S is our main competitor and we need to have the same growing and genetic advantages that they have if we are going to expand and stay in the game. Food shortages and famine seem to be headline news in many world publications, and Belize needs to do our part to alleviate this critical situation. th
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 22 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Pasture Management, Continued from page 1 Management During Rapid Grass Growth grows really fast and at other times growth almost stops. Factors affecting the rate of growth are: temperature, soil fertility, soil moisture content and day light length, i.e. time of year. Effective methods of managing pastures during rapid harvest hay or grass silage, or leave the pasture alone and not utilize the grass at all and burn it or mow it down when time permits. In Belize grass usually starts growing faster in May and continues through or to October. This coincides with increased daylight hours, hot temperatures and the start of the rainy season. Grass is most nutritious when it is harvested young and palatable. Mature grass that has set seed is relatively worthless as a feed. Its nutrition is poor. Harvesting grass at the correct age during this period of rapid growth is very period of rapid growth we need to graze or harvest the grass quickly, let the grass rest, and return to the same paddock when the grass has again reached the desired maturity. Usually this requires increasing stock numbers, reducing the size of the area grazed, or mechanically harvesting the area. It is important that the animals not graze for too long in any given area, because their eating the newly emerging grass (regrowth) too soon can damage the plant, ultimately causing death or poor growth. During rapid growth stage animals should not stay in a paddock longer than 2 to 3 days before being moved out. Grass density, made possible by increasing animal numbers or decreasing paddock size. If increasing stocking density is not an option, it is important to move the animals before the regrowth appears. On extensively managed pastures (range) re-growth is not as quick and therefore easier to manage. However pastures may still appear straggly and uneven, resulting in productivity if they get out of control. Most pasture farmers mow at least once a year to clean up a paddock. Management During Slow Grass Growth days and cooler temperatures occur from November through March, often coinciding with cold light rain for several days. Management strategy changes. Re-growth of the grass is slowing; movement of animals from paddock to paddock is no longer necessary. However because the overall production of grass per acre is now reduced, pastures are not able to carry as many animals per acre as when growth was rapid. rise, days lengthen, and moisture levels in the soil are reduced due a lack of rain. Pasture re-growth is very slow; however damage caused to the grass by keeping animals in a pasture for too long is reduced because new shoots are slowly emerging. If animal numbers have not been already reduced, supplementary feeding is usually needed. The cycle starts again with the beginning of the rainy season in May. Fencing critical. This means adequate fencing is essential. Correct pasture management is not possible without good fencing. Planting Grass Intensive pasture management usually entails replacing our native grasses with improved varieties to be planted either by seed or vegetatively. However improved varieties do not achieve their maximum potential without careful pasture management. When choosing a type of grass to plant for intensive production purposes consider these factors: Is have different characteristics and improved varieties can be obtained to suit most requirements. In Belize we have many improved varieties of grasses available. It is seldom economical to change grass varieties when managing under an extensive system. Under an extensive pasture or range system subtle changes in grass varieties occur less hardy grasses begin to increase grass cover increases as does the general health level of the soil beneath. Harvesting It is possible in Belize to grow exceptionally good pastures. correctly. Grass is converted by animals into food for humans. Having adequate markets for increased production of beef, milk, lamb etc. is a problem in Belize, so step slowly, learn well and develop your markets.
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 23 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Converting Gasoline ... Continued from page 20 Can I convert my motor-cycle? Yep, but dont mount the How about my generator or other small engines? Yes, especially stationary engines. With those, its easier to switch the tanks, as you do with the stove. Grayson at Belmont Butane, Corozal Hassan in Orange Walk LP Gas in Spanish Lookout LP Gas in Spanish Lookout sells both imported for about These factors are included in the cost per mile mentioned previously: pessimistic side. Power loss? Yes, at the top end, pedal to the metal; the way I drive I didnt notice, even though my style was pedal through Longer engine life? Yes, if you maintain the engine properly, which should be obvious. was that even in freezing European winters my car started faster than the gasoline cars around me. Insurance goes up? No, butane and propane are safer than gasoline. Good ideas, bad ideas, tips: DIY manual: http:// www.lpgconversion.htm Good: Stargas, Italy. Good: Good: so to keep valve lubrication up to specs, or risk seized or burned valves. Good: Maintain your cooling system. Good: Good: If the butane tank is in your closed trunk, really do Good: Put 2 smaller tanks side-by-side in your pickup bed Bad: Running too lean a mixture. Bad: Removing the gasoline system altogether Bus companies can save a ton metro buses. Who has a converted engine? Dreamer Farm Belize (near Bullet Tree Village). See their blog at: http://dreamerfarmbelize.bl ogspot.com/2011/09/butane-vs-gasoline.html I did one myself back in Europe If you have feedback or other suggestions please contact me: Scott Ophof
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 24 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize the legally obtained trees are frequently the best in the forest, being the mature ones which contain the seeds necessary for the continuation of the species. No seeds are left for regrowth, and the younger, and now more exposed trees, do not have the proper light and protection. Far more damage is done by illegal harvesting, because it is done unsustainably and without the protective restrictions being observed. The illegal loggers cream the forest, taking the best and tallest trees. Because Caribbean mahogany and Honduran mahogany have been over-harvested to the point of commercial exhaustion, the vast majority of mahogany on the world market is Big Leaf Mahogany. Currently, mahogany populations are in decline in every range state. convention which strictly regulates its trade. Consumers can play a powerful role in protecting the species from overharvested in a sustainable and legal manner, with minimal destruction to surrounding forests. The Forest Stewardship Council trademark is a good indication that what we are buying has not been harvested illegally. National forests are public assets. Belizes national regulations administered by the Forest Department under Ministry of Natural Resources strictly govern the felling of any trees in Belize. Permits are required prior to cutting. The harvester Continued on page 25 National Tree of Belize is an Endangered SpeciesBy Maruja Vargas The Big-Leaf Mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla), a national symbol of Belize, is now listed by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) endangered species in the world. If we are to save our national symbol, we have to focus on its sustainability. To sustain is to keep in also implies its opposite; that is, to fail to sustain brings the absence of existence, or nonexistence. Sustainable logging is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The fruits of the big-leaf mahogany are large, light grey to long.
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 25 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize CEDA GRANTS (Caribbean Export), a regional export development, trade, and investment promotion organization of the Forum of Projects to be funded must be aimed at one or more of the following objectives: Opening new markets; increasing exports to the Caribbean region and/or other international markets Lowering production costs Identifying new sources of supply for raw material or other inputs Enhancing productivity through training and personnel development Facilitating trade mark, intellectual property and copyright protection Reducing environmental impact other bilateral or multilateral arrangements signed by the Fostering intra-regional cooperation to enhance productivity and capitalize on economies of scale Promoting programmes which improve underdeveloped areas or disadvantaged sectors within the region Amounts to be Awarded regular procedure must fall within the following amounts: Max: ,000 How to Apply application form. The application form can be downloaded from Caribbean Exports website at www.carib-export.com The deadline for submitting application is November 28, 2011 @ 2:30 p.m. obtained by contacting: National Tree . Continued on page 25 required for any seeds taken from public lands. But there are many illegal loggers in Belize; in the Chiquibul area they have taken close to 2.3 million board-feet of timber, mostly virgin In addition to national conservation efforts, private plantation timber may be a good investment as well as a smart conservation move. Belize has several mahogany farms under development. Mahogany is a long-term, cross-generational family endeavor. It is found that very close planting of seedlings encourages straighter and more rapid growth. Close planting also provides material for periodic thinning, developing an interim revenue stream along the long-term economic course of a mahogany farm. Commercial mahogany farming has the potential to reduce the commercial pressure on the protected reserves worldwide and also can qualify for credits for sequestered carbon. There are companies who invest in rare tree populations grown on plantations. One may buy shares in these companies for return on investment through annual dividends. Lets contribute to the protection of Big Leaf Mahogany by supporting conservation in our reserves and through alternative methods of commercial cultivation for the international market.Foreign Trade Directorate Ms. Andrea Prince Floor email@example.com Nilda Sosa Belmopan firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 26 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize CITRUS LEPROSIS Its Presence Now By Citrus Growers AssociationCitrus leprosis is a disease that produces symptoms on leaves, twigs, and fruits. It is caused by a virus and affects some citrus varieties such a Valencia sweet orange, Belizes main commercial citrus variety used to produce concentrate. When the disease is severe, extensive crop loss occurs mainly because the affected fruits fall and citrus twig dieback also occurs, causing biological death of the tree. The disease is spread by a mite vector. Suspicions of the presence of the the Maya Center Village by staff of the Citrus Research and Education Institute (CREI), the research arm of the Citrus laboratory results revealed the presence of citrus leprosis and International and Regional Organization of Plant and in Maya Center. Precautionary measures were taken when moving in and out of the farm to reduce or prevent the spread of infected mite from one farm to the other. The survey revealed that the disease was present in a few farms close to the initial foci of infection and the infestation level in these farms was very low. The chairman and the chief executive join forces to implement a containment plan within the area spread to other areas. Historical Perspective of Leprosis destroyed the citrus industry in that state. It has been suggested that the widespread use of wetable sulfur was responsible for the control the mite population in Florida. Reports are that probably eliminated the last remnants of the disease in the state. Leprosis-like symptoms on citrus leaves in Florida have been rarely observed since then. The disease has been or presence of exotic citrus diseases of economic importance in Belize. (Other diseases that were targeted in those surveys were citrus canker and citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC). D citri ) of Huanglongbing (HLB) was discovered in Belize, so this disease was included as one of the targets of the survey since that time. HLB was Economic Impact of Leprosis The eradication of the disease would be the best approach to control the disease if it is detected very early. However, if detected when it has already been established, eradication can then be a very costly operation. In Panama, such was control the disease were not made until two years later. Today, Panama has opted to try and eradicate the disease. Such a decimated a large portion of their industry. (US) annually on miticides to control Brevipalpus mites, the vector of the disease. However, relatively speaking, Brazils citrus industry is much larger than Belize and thus the cost to disease in Brazil are due to the overall reduction of orchard yield and marketability of the fruit. The abscission (drop) of the diseased leaves and dieback of infected twigs reduce the productive area of the tree canopy. In addition, cultural practices such as the localized pruning or total rehabilitation of the tree also reduce the productive area of the tree canopy. The diseased fruit also falls off the trees. orchard yield. Factors affecting the marketability of the fruit due to leprosis are the blemishing of the fruit which causes the loss of the aesthetic value for fresh fruit consumption and the reduction or total loss of the fruits internal quality that makes the fruit unsuitable for processing. Host Range and Symptoms Leprosis is observed primarily on sweet orange; however, sour orange and mandarins may also react to the presence of the virus. Other citrus cultivars do not normally show conspicuous symptoms; one example is grapefruit. The disease has not been observed on non-citrus hosts or transmitted experimentally to them. Lesions or wounds on fruits caused by leprosis are then a necrotic (darkened tissue) depressed center (Figure and sometimes have a sticky gum. The necrotic areas on leaves and fruit fall when the lesions caused by the disease are severe. The development of extensive lesions on twigs causes dieback and this decreases the productivity of the tree. On larger limbs the bark lesions may coalesce and resemble psorosis-induced bark scaling. (Psorosis is one of the graft transmissible diseases that affect citrus.)
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 27 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Figure 1 : Chlorotic lesions on leaves caused by citrus leprosis virus (photo: CREI) Casual Agent and Epidemiology Leprosis is caused by a virus and spread by a mite. The virus is non-systemic; therefore, it is not distributed throughout the plants internal system. Thus the disease is said to be localized. Leprosis has been graft-transmitted through the tip grafting of infected shoots. However, the major form of spread is attributed to the mite of the genus Brevipalpus from been rapidly transmitted by larvae of B. phoenicis. Leprosis has been associated with B. californicus in Florida, and with B. obovatus apparently occurs only when infected citrus trees and mites are present. The incidence is greatest when environmental conditions, like those occurring in the dry season, favor a buildup of abundant mite populations. The mites are easily spread by farming equipment, by workers on their clothing, harvest boxes or bags, movement of fruit, plants, plant parts after pruning, and wind. Control of Leprosis Control can be very costly if immediate best practices are not implemented to detect, remove and prevent further spread of the disease. The following are methods used in countries have opted to live with the disease. 1. Education Programme: education programme to further acquaint growers about Citrus Leprosis and its management. 2. Regulatory procedures: The existence of a citrus plant are planted within the industry. 3. Chemical control: It is very important to have a monitoring system to detect early population buildup of the mite. This will be used as a baseline for the application of acaricides/ miticides which are pesticides used to control the mite vector. 4. Cultural practices: control using pesticides, pruning of infected branches is recommended. First the infected tree should be sprayed with a miticide and after re-entry period has passed (this is determined by pesticide label) then the infected fruits are removed and buried. The level of pruning will depend on the level of infestation. For instance, in heavily infected pruning process are burned. The disinfection of equipment and vehicles, harvest boxes and bags and clothing of workers should be carried out. There should also be a controlled movement of farm equipment, vehicles and personnel from barriers are established to reduce wind speeds which in turn reduce the spread of the mite. It must be noted that in pruning the citrus trees to control leprosis, there will will be subjected to higher pressures of attack by the Asian citrus psyllid, the vector of Huanglongbing. Growers are advised that a rigid psyllid control programme must be implemented to prevent infection of HL B in the grove and the chances of getting such an infection increases with the presence pruning increases the change of acquiring HL B. Growers suspecting the presence of Citrus Leprosis Virus in their groves are advised not to remove the suspected samples from the area. This is because of the high risk of spreading the infected mite when precautionary sample collection procedures for sample collection from their groves. For further information on the management and control of Citrus Leprosis or Huanglongbing please contact us at the Citrus Research and Education Institute (CREI) of the Citrus Growers Figure 2 : Necrotic areas on twigs affected Figure 3 : Damage on sweet orange (Valencia) caused by citrus leprosis virus (Photo: CREI) Figure 4 :The mite that vectors the citrus leprosis virus.
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 28 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Local and Regional Fuel Prices Belmopan, Belize Quintana Roo, Mexico Peten, Guatemala REGULAR $11.10 Bz/Gal $6.42 Bz/Gal *$9.86 Bz/Gal PREMIUM $11.42 Bz/Gal $6.45 Bz/Gal *$10.14 Bz/Gal DIESEL $10.49 Bz/Gal $5.89 Bz/Gal $9.04 Bz/Gal *no change Belize Ag Report's AG BRIEFSSeizing Export Opportunities in the CSME (Caribbean Single Market Economy) is the theme of a series of meetings being held around the country. th Belize campus, Central Farm, Cayo District. Speakers Mr. Otto Friesen, the Port of Belizes CEO Mr. Reineldo Guerrero, Mr. Salazar of Caribbean Premier Products, and Mr.Nikita Usher of CPBL. The 2nd meeting was held for the Southern region, on Tuesday th email email@example.com for further details. The Banana Industry took a licking from storms on th and 6th, resulting in estimated 6,700 acres in Stann Creek response to this vital crop, being one of Belizes 3 main export commodities with Dr. L ouis A. Malkus, better known to us in Belize as Dr. L onnie Malkus, passed away served as a consultant to the Ministry of Natural Resources in Belize, and as advisor to the Belize and during that tenure he visited Belize many times. He was a true friend to agriculture in Belize, and extended a helping hand to many of us. He assisted and The Indian Government is suing Monsanto for Biopiracy, for taking advantage of its ownership of native cultivars of eggplant, or brinjal, as it is known in India. (eggplant) exist in India, and they grow India claims that the company is stealing Indias indigenous plants in order to reengineer them into patented varieties. acceptable that the farmers in our communities are robbed of the advantage they should get from the indigenous varieties. 34th Annual General Meeting of the Belize Livestock Producers Association November 26, 2011Date of the meeting: Venue: Highway, Belmopan, Cayo District position and to plan for the future development of the livestock industry. The chairman will present his report and the treasurer will and international trade in livestock and livestock products. Mexico. Much effort and activities are currently being implemented the personnel and procure the supplies and equipments are well important to cattleman because it is addressing a major constraint for many years. to give the main address and we have invited special guest speakers to talk on international and regional trade in livestock and livestock products. We expect that all producers will attend since access to markets is one of the major constraint that the cattle producer is faced with and we now see serious efforts being made to open markets. BELIZE LIVESTOCKPRODUCERS ASSOCIATION "Failure is success if we learn from it."Malcolm Forbes
Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 29 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize CattleLocal and Export Oriented Phone: 501 822-3883 BELIZE LIVESTOCKPRODUCERS ASSOCIATION Wholesale and Retail Gasoline & Diesel We Deliver Tel:824-2199 Cell:610-1970
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Nov-Dec 2011/Jan 2012 BelizeAgReport.com 31 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize
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