APR IL-J UN E 1970
Believing that the further development of Agriculture is essential to the
future progress of the Caribbean, we appointed Dr. Keith Roache to the
important post of Agricultural Officer and already, with his expert techni-
cal knowledge and supervision, Barclays have been able to increase the level
of loans made for agricultural projects.
If you are a progressive farmer with sound plans for development or in-
creasing the output of your present holdings, we invite you to discuss these with
your nearest Barclays Bank Manager. Not only will you obtain sound advice -
you will also be able to benefit from the expert technical knowledge Dr. Roache
will be able to put at your disposal.
Let Barclays Bank participate with you in producing more food for the
future and well-being of all the Caribbean Territories in which we operate.
Dr. Keith Roache
Barclays Agricultural Officer
for the Commonwealth Caribbean
96 You're welcome at
r BA sRCLAYS BANK
79 Branches in the East Caribbean
41 Branches throughout Jamaica
Vol. 2 No. 2.
CARE WITH AGRICULTURAL CHEMICALS
TOMATOES UNDER PLASTIC
PRODUCTION OF FLUE CURED TOBACCO I'N TRINIDAD
EFFECT OF FERTILIZERS ON QUALITY OF VALENCIA ORANGES
EGG PLANTS AND BACTERIAL WILT
23. BREEDING FOR BEEF
26. UREA IN RUMINANT FEEDING
29. PERODRAMDANCE OF CHARBRAY AND GRADE CHAROLAIS CATTLE IN
37. CONTROLLING CHRONIC RESPIRATORY DISEASE
Thle editor will be glad to hrear from~ falrmers, research workers, exten~sionz officers
anld others who woulld like to offer particles or photographs for publication in
CA RIBBEAN FA RMING.
Preference is given to articles of a practical nature which will h~elp to put the
results of research and experiment inlto thle farmer's hands. 19here possible, good
drawings or diagrams should accompanly articles. Good quality photographs of not less
thran 5" x 7" are welcome thley should relate to farming in the region.
Payment will be made (on publication) for all material accepted.
Rates for 4 Issues
Jamaica $1.67 Eastern Ca'ribbean E.C. $4.00, U.S.A. and other Countries $2.00.
Cover photograph by courtesy of Texaco Trinidad
Other photographs by contributors
The opinions expressed in articles do not necessarily represent
the views of the publishers
Published in association with the Faculty of Agriculture, University of the West Indies.
Edited by CAROL RECKORD. Caribbean Farming welcomes suggestions, articles. Address
all correspondence to Caribbean Farming, P.O. Box 174, Mona, Kingston 7, Jamaica, W.I.
F ER TILIZER
"The fertilizer with the bird on the bag"
Pioneers of better forming in Jamaica. Wise farmers all
over Jamaica have relied on Albatros fertilizer year after
year for healthier crops and bountiful yields.
They know that Albatros fertilizers work quickly and
They know that they get superior physical and chemi-
And they remember Albotros fertilizers are always
neatly packed in jute bags.
Ask your Agricultural dealer for Albatros "the fertilizer
with the bird on the bag".
FOOT OF HANOVER STREET, PHONE: 23641
Caribbean Farming October 1969
The possible dangers of agricultural chemicals have
been in some farmers' minds ever since there have been
agricultural chemicals. The "muck-and-magic" protagonists,
led by the much respected Sir Albert Howard, exist perhaps
more amo ng the smaller farme rs of the Caribbean than in
Europe or North America. As modern varieties and cultural
techniques call for more and more plant food, farmers find
it impossible to supply enough or the best proportions in
organic form alone. Indeed, the cost of producing and
handling dung is beginning to exceed the value. I think that
most farmers recognize that a nitrogen atom is the same
whether it is present in sulphate of ammonia or in chicken
manure. Trace eleme nt deficiencies are a modern complaint but
this is partly because we are becoming much more skilled at
detecting them. As for dangers with inorganic fertilizers, it
is difficult to apply toxic quantities: the farmer who can
afford to apply too much is likely to have studied such
matters as nutrient balances and the Law of Diminishing
Returns sufficiently that he would not over-fertilize anyway.
Indeed, insufficient use of fertilizer is general in the
Caribbean. Of course, we have all made the mistake of applying
crystalline or dusty fertilizer on dewy leaves and burnt them:
in fact, one of the early uses for calcium cyanamide or potash
salts was control of broad-leaved weeds in cereals.
In recent years, very many new agricultural chemicals
have come into use, most of them with sophisticated manner
of action, e.g. hormo ne we ed-killers. However, these complex
chemicals some time s prove to have unforseen side effects such
as the accumulation of organic chlorine insecticides in the
tissues of mammals, birds and fish. A good example is the
use of one part in 70 million of DDD ( a chemical related to
DDT) in Clear Lake, California in 1949 to kill gnats (tiny
flies which pester people in the summer). In 1954 and 1957,
further doses were needed, each of one part in 50 million.
In 1960, a species of water bird began dying with tremors
characteristic of poisoning by chlorinated hydrocarbons, and
were found to contain 1,600 parts per million of DDD. The
fish on which the birds fed contained even more DDD. However,
this error of judgeme nt by the scientist, serious though it
has turned out to be, might be considered to be completely
effaced by the beneficial effects of the related chemical DDT,
e.g. in eradicating the malaria-carrying mosquito and in
controlling both live and louse-carried-disease in World War
II armies. The building of the Panama canal was delayed for 35
years by yellow fever, and success did not come until a
me thod of controlling the carrier mosquito was found.
Then there are cases where a pesticide can have car-
cinogenic effects (encouraging cancer), or cause birth abnor-
malities if used in sufficient quantity. Even the commonly
used 2,4,5 -T, an imp ortant and effective brush-killer, has
been suspected of being capable of cuiganra its
Detailed studies on the problem, rep~~ecnborted recently at a
meeting of the Society of Toxicology in U.S.A., have shown
that it is a contaminant (tetrachloro-dibenzo-para-dioxin,
which sometimes occurs in 2,4,5-T) which causes these ab-
normalities. Pure 2,4,5-T has no side effects. Fortunately,
responsible manufacturers pay attention to the purity
of their product I say, fortunately, because farmers would
be hard put to find a cheap effective substitute for 2,4,5-T
As pesticides are developed to be more specific in
action, they become more efficient (and cheaper in relation to
their activity). This specificity means that they are in
general less dangerous. Years ago the very word "weedkiller"
conjured up visions of women poisoning their husbands to
run off with the gardener! Weedkillers then were such un-
pleasant materials as sodium arsenite, sulphuric acid, etc.
But modern weedkillers, or herbicides as some people call
them, will under most circumstances kill plants and nothing
else: they will not normally affect insects or fungi or
nematodes or animals or humans. To kill insects, one must
use an insecticide: to kill fungi a fungicide: to kill
Safety rubber boots should be worn by the operator if spraying in
high weeds. L~eaking sprayers should be repaired.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
An Agr icullural Chemist's Vie ws
nematodes a nematicide. Of course, a person who drinks
concentrated malathion or Gramoxone will suffer possible
death, but a small meal of floor polish or kerosene or
household detergent is likely to have the same effect. All
this means that we should use common sense store our
herbicides, insecticides, etc. in a safe place out of reach
of children and animals. Do not leave old used containers
lying about nor throw them into rivers. When handling con-
centrates a great deal, particularly liquids, wear rubber
gloves; they cost as little asJSO.50. Concentrates should
receive care and time anyway during their handling since
they are often worth more than JB15.00 per gallon: screw
the top on betwYeen each use. There is some reassurance
mn the fact that accidental deaths from acute poisoning
are much less now than years ago: this is partly due to the
changeover from arsenic, nlicotine and strychnine pesticides to
safer modern ma trials. Drugs and poisons laws and the re-
sponse of manufacturers to them have also helped: toxicities
and side effects have to be studied, and labels must state
directions for use clearly and give the antidote.
Just whlat can modern agricultural chemicals do to
you in practice? Well, they have to find their way into the
body, either through the skin, eyes or by inhalation: they
then may have serious effects on you. Some of the organic
phosphorus insecticides fall into this category. Parathion
is one of the most active, but this has been banned in many
Caribbean islands, as also has Endrin. Malathion, Perfekthion,
Rogor are relatively safe, except for a few ultra-sensitive
persons: indeed, these materials are frequently applied by
air with no deleterious effects on people below. Fortunately,
the organic phosphorus insecticides break down fairly
quickly in plants or humans, although one should follow r
the advice of the makers in leaving an interval of some
days between the final spraying and harvest. With all
pesticides the golden rule is Read "The Label, and read
it carefully. In fact, start by checking the name: there are
so many similar names these days (Gramoxone, Gramevin,
Gesaprim, Gesapax, etc., etc.) that it's easy to get confused.
Perhaps the most common problem experienced with
agricultural chemicals is damage to the skin. This may happen
to workers using chemicals frequently, and may be caused by
almost any chemical from diesel oil and fertilizer to the
more normally recognized pesticides. Leaking knapsack sprayers
or mist-blowe rs are a common cause: a water-proof backpad may
be a help. One should avoid emplo ntg any one worker on7
spray work for extended periods. If you get chemical in your
eyes, flush immediately with plenty of clean water. Washing
hands, arms and face with soap and water immediately after
spraying and before eating or smoking is a very desirable
practice. Always mix chemicals with a stick, never with
And a few other hints. Do not put dangerous chemicals
into aerated water bottles. Do not keep pesticides in
kitchens; cover food, water, crockery and cooking pots be-
fore dusting or spraying; cover your fish-bowl too. Always
use separate sprayers for 2,4-D type or Tordon weedkillers.
So, we are in a fast-changing world where new and
better agricultural chemicals are appearing every day. It is
not possible for the average farmer to know everything about
every chemical, but just don't be careless. I say a second
time READ THE LABEL. Watch your workers for any symptoms
and instruct them how to handle agricultural chemicals. If
a sprayman feels unwell he should consult a doctor without
delay. Where needed, supply rubber boots, rubber gloves (at
least on the one hand that gets in contact with the chemical)
and a bar of soap. When spraying in tall vegetation or
against the wind, workers should wear long trousers, a long-
sleeved shirt, an eye-shield and preferably also a face
mask. Clothes should be washed at the end of each day's spray-
ing. Attend to leaking spray equipment. But, be quite clear,
agricultural chemicals are here to stay: not only can they
do a job and a good job there are times when we
couldn't do without them. And for the third time -
READ THE LABEL.
Safety common herbicides such as Gramoxone, Karmex, Dalapon, Atrazine, Daconate, Anser do not normally affect the operator
and no special precautions are necessary. the flood jet reduces drift and minimises crop damage.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
A farmer's assets cost a lot of
money. Their values are constantly
attacked by weather and wear. Ex-
perience has proved that protection
is better than cure. All equipment
that is painted lasts much longer -
keeps much higher value'
Experience has also shown that
YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAINT AS
MUCH AND AS OFTEN, WHEN
YOU USE GLIODEN PAINTS.
There is a special Glidden paint for
each special job. The G LIDDEN
Engineering Maintenance Service is
always available for free advice-
No matter where your farma is, the
G.E.M. service wvill ensure proper
application, at no cost to you.
aThe GLIDDENV ranges of colou~rs is
the most comtlprehensivre in Jamaica.
Ask for advice for the most suitable
colours for youlr conditions. it's
MA1KE THOSE ASSETS LAST
WITH THE FINEST PAINTS FrOR
These are some
assets of a farmer
TIomattoes Undere IPlastic
by Rosalyn Rappaport, University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
wood framework supporting single pitched roofs sloping from
a height of 12 ft. to a height of 8 ft. Each roof (an
umbrella held over the crop) is constructed of a layer of
clear ultra-violet stabilised polyethylene film sandwiched
between two layers of poultry wire, one to support the plastic,
the other to anchor it. The polyethylene has to be replaced
annually. Costs for erecting these shelters were 604 a
squarefoot. Cheaper shelters could be put up for about 36c
a square foot if a bamboo frame is used. There are 12 such
shelters not all in use at the same time, but all growing
Only tomatoes except one experimental shelter which is
kept planted to a variety of vege tables. Cultural operations
and irrigation are at present entirely manual. The soil under
a shelter is dug and the clods broken up. 2V/2 tons of green/
manure is s read and dug in with 100 lbs. of TRI-Phos. Tomato
seedlings, grown in peat pots (Floradel is the variety chosen)
are set in double rows 13 ins. a art with a walk-way of 26 ins.
They are staked and pruned to one stem.
Throughout growth the plants receive weekly applications
of fertilizer. They are harvested (at the pink stage) for
Each shelter space gives 2 crops/yr., contains 3,200
tomato plants and yields 9,500 Ib. of fruit approximately.
Population growth in Trinidad and Tobago and the rising
standard of living on the islands have made vegetable farming
an increasingly good and reliable means of earning a living.
Trinidad's gardeners, assured of an excellent market, have
applied new techniques, such as use of chemical fertilisers,
pesticide sprays, seed-bed fumigation and hybrid seed so
skillfully that yields have increased 5i-fold since 1950.
Average yield per acre for tomatoes was then 6,000 lb/acre;
it is now 30,000 lb. and more. For cabbage the increase is
from 10,000 lb. to 28,000 Ib/acre under favourable weather
The latest hurdle vegetable growers are attempting
to clear is that of steady, all-year-round production. Twelve
months of the year temperature and sunshine favour good
growth. Only rainfall presents a problem. From June to
Decemb er torrential rains can damage a crop physically, crust
soils, leach nutrients and wash pesticides off the leaves.
All these factors lower yields and raise costs of production.
A solution is to grow the crop under protective shelter and
this technique has been a success now for two years at Santa
Cruz Farms Ltd. in Trinidad.
The shelters have been set up on cleared citrus land.
They are each about 4,000 sq. ft. in area and are built with
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
d ~G IT~PI--~U
with the revolutionary rugged and
dependaleasu/ande L 150
Ths veratile machine with its many strrhments is cpable of bush
cutting, ploughing, rfining, sowing, weeding, reaping, pumping etc.
Yes farmer ask for a demonstration and be corwinced how to get the
most from your land.
TWO OF THE MANY OPTIONAL ATTACHMENTS
RIDGING MOTORS MOULDBOARD
For ridging special PLOUGH
crops with width Turns a perfect
to suit all types furrow ata
of plants. depth of 4 to
S nt i fr6 In. with a
for depth and
width and fit.
Other attachments are Seeder, Thresher, Potato Lifter, ted with Disc
RotarY Gnras Castter, Trailer, Dorer Blade, Static coulter &
Ridper, Reversible Plough, P.T.O. and Flexible Driva Skimmer.
BATTERY COMPANY LIMITED
ISLAND- WIDE SA LES AND SER VICE
Production is kept continuous. As one shelter ceases
production another is coming into fruit.
Monoculture can build up formidable disease problems.
The only possible solution is to see that nothing gets a
start. A regular 10-day spray programme is followed and it
has been found that no seasonal alteration on intensification
is necessary. Soil is fumigated once a year by an outside
contractor. Herbicides are not used as close planting and
continual cultivation keep the ground free of weeds. (It
is also possible though not proven yet, that the reduced
light intensity also discourages weed seed germination.)
It is when the tomatoes are being marketed that the
full utility of the system becomes apparent. The plants fruit
predictably and the tomatoes are sold by contract and by
advance order. Regular monthly and weekly orders are filled,
graded and packaged and picked up or delivered. Not only
quantity but quality is predictable. 75% of the fruit can
be safely expected to weigh 2V/2-3 ozs. each and be of regular
shape and even colour. The hotel buyers, particularly,
A study has recently been initiated to determine the
climate modifications developing under these shelters and
analyse effects on plants grown under them. It has been
noted, in a general way, that under the shelters, humidity
is higher than average and temperature lower. The tomato
plants do not fruit as prolifically as they do in the field.
This may be an effect of the reduced light. Whether after
closer observation these opinions will be bourne out is open
to question. Precise data are being collected.
Tomatoes under plastic
wiring and staking of plants
in tomato shelters.
Changes brought about by practice of this intensive
type of agriculture may well be social as well as agronomic.
The system is labour intensive and tends to develop the men
within it as skilled agricultural workers. Small shelters
are being erected by the Vegetable Research Programme of
the Departme nt of Crop Science, University of the West
Indies, in Aranguez Estates, the main vegetable growing
area of Trinidad. It remains to be seen how the farmers-
will look at them.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
TYLAN PREMIX GIVES BETTER FEED
CONVERSION AND GETS RID OF SCOURS.
HE LPS YOUR HOGS REACH MAR KET
WE IG HT- FAST ER.
)) CI'1 lr r
GET BEST FEED CONVERSION BY
DEMANDING TYLAN AN D HYGiROM IX
PREMIXED IN YOUR FEED!
Tobacco has been a peasant crop in Trinidad for many years. The leaf grown was an
Orinoco type a~ir-cured, coarse smoking tobacco of which 25,000 lb. was produced
In 1956, the West Indian Tobacco Company initiated commercial production in Tobago.
THE PRODUCTIONV A peneot sch me ;as set9u i that ea d tht8
OF F LU CUREDacres and by 1958 there were 60 farmers on 42 acres
OF F DE CRE D producing 40,120 lb. of cured leaf. The company gave
advice and provided cash
TOBACCO IN TRINIDIADadvances and materials on credit
tofarmers. As the curing
by J.M. Mayers' process was new to farmers, the com any undertook this o eration. They bought the
Department of Agricultural Economics
and Farm Management, green leaves from the farmers and at the same time encouraged them to learn the curing
The University of the West Indies. process at their barns. Later the company erected barns on the more progressive farms,
allowing those farmers to cure their own tobacco.
In 1960, the company decided to try tobacco growing in Trinidad. This was cautiously
attempted as the Tobacco Leaf Development Co. Ltd. of Jamaica carried out experiments
growing Virginia flue-cured tobacco on the main soil types of Trinidad between 1950
and 1954 and this was discontinued largely as a result of nemotode damage. However,
some trials were laid down on the Arena Sand series in Freeport on the edge of the
Montserrat hills. Small plots wre also put down at Cumute and in the Santa Cruz
valley. The company guaranteed that the growers involved would not lose by their
labours. From four acres planted at Freeport, yields averaged 1,500 pounds of cured
leaf per acre and the farmers made about 200 profit per acre. On the less suitable
soils, a smaller crop was obtained but the farmers still made a profit. In 1965/66,
Trinidad produced 70,000 lb. of cured leaf and it is expected that by 1975 production
will have reached 1,000,000 lb. In 1967, 340 acres were grown under contract for
West Indian Tobacco Company and 8 acres for another company.
When a farmer expresses the desire to grow tobacco, the company first of all carries
out a soil test to determine the suitability of the land for tobacco, in some cases
a piece of suitable Crown land is rented by the company for the farmer. In either
case a contract is signed between the farmer and the Company by which the company
agrees to purchase all the tobacco of usable quality which is produced on the plot
of land provided it is grown according to the recommendations of the Company
field officer, using the seed, fumigants and fertilizers supplied by the Company.
The Company at times makes cash advances to cover labour costs, land clearing and
cultivation operations; t~he value of such allowances is deducted, free of interest,
from the money the farmer receives for the sale of his crop.
The officers visit the holdings regularly, hold demonstrations and instruct farmers
when to commence cultural operations. They ensure that the necessary fertilizers,
insecticides, gas and other materials are available when needed and they evaluate
each request for cash advances on the basis of a prepared scale, from the knowledge
of the farmer's circumstances and the state of his crop.
There were five tobacco growing areas in Trinidad in 1967 as follows: Las Lomas (89
acres), Wellcome (50 acres), Ravine Sable (71 acres), Sewdass Road (50 acres) and
Calcutta (80 acres). These are all in central Trinidad on sandy and sandy loam soils.
Small sugar cane farms are found throughout the area. The tobacco farms may be
divided into three categories according to size and type of farm, namely:-
(a) Large mixed farms vary in size from 20-30 acres and tobacco is grown as an
additional high value cash crop.
(b) Cane and tobacco farms are of 10-30 acres and were previously operated as
small cane plantations. Tobacco is planted in addition to cane as an additional
source of income.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
(c) Small farms are generally on Crown lands and tobacco is usually the sole
cash crop, with pigeon peas and other vegetables for home consumption grown on the
"resting land" in the tobacco rotation.
The preparation of seed beds begins in mid-September and normally four beds
measuring 4'x30' are required to plant an acre to tobacco. The soil is
refined, fumigated and fertilized, and the seed for each bed is mixed with water
in a sprinkler can and distributed evenly over the bed. Half a gram (1/50 oz.) of
seed is used per bed to give about 5,000 to 5,500 plants per bed. Only 3 out of
4 beds are sown at first, the remaining beds being sown 10-14 days later to
provide "supply" plants. The seed beds are covered with Saran shade cloth resting
on bamboo supports, which provides 65 per cent shade. The beds are watered regularly
to keep the surface moist until the seeds germinate after some 7 to 10 days. Ten
days after sowing, the beds are sprayed with Perenox and after 15 days with Zineb
and spraying is repeated every 5 days or after every rain storm.
The land is cleared and ploughed in April and ground limestone is applied at 6,000
pounds per acre in the first year under tobacco and subsequent dressings applied
to maintain the soil between pH 5.5 and 6.5. Short term crops such as corn, beans
and cucumbers are usually planted, and in September the land is cleared a second time
and fertilized with 500 pounds of superphosphate per acre. After rotovating, Shell
D.D. fumigant is injected at the rate of 20 gallons per acre and the field left
undisturbed for 21 days; then, it is again rotovated to release the fumigant,
and formed into banks 4 feet apart using a ridging plough. On very flat land
where drainage may be a problem tobacco is planted in transverse rows across banks
30 feet wide with drains running the length of the field between the banks. Tobacco
is often grown on the same land for two consecutive years and then the land is rested
for two years when pigeon peas and other vegetable crops are usually planted-.
Transplanting into the field is done in late November and the seedlings are
spaced at 21 inches in rows 4 feet apart to give a population of about 6,000 plants
to the acre. During the~first week, a dressing of 1,200 lb. per acre of fertilizer
(3: 18:20+2%Mg+3% trace elenients) is applied. The next operation is moulding in which
the soil is loosened and drawn up around the plant to the level of the lowest leaf.
Supplying is done regularly for 3 weeks after the first planting;. Two weeks after
transplanting a dressing of 200-300 lb. per acre of sulphate of potash is given and
usually moulded after each fertilizer application.
Flowering commences about 8 weeks after planting and the plants are topped after the
flowers emerge but before they open. Subsequent -to topping, suckers develop in
the leaf axils and these have to be removed regularly.
The first leaves may be ready for picking before flowering takes place. The ripe
leaves which have a lighter green colour and possibly yellow mottles are carried to
the barn for storing where they are attached to sticks 3 feet 6 inches in length
by twisting bunches of two leaves into a double length of twine attached to each end
of the stick. Each stick carries 66 to 88 leaves in two such rows and the loaded sticks
are placed in the curing barn.
Heat for the cure is provided by burning 'Gastobac' units which are thermostatically
controlled, the cure takes about five days and consists of four stages.:-
(a) Yellowing Trhe temperature is increased from 900 F to 1100 F over 30 to
42 hours within the vents closed to maintain humidity above 80%.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
(b) Fixing the yellow colour The temperature is raised to 1200F for 12
hours and the vents are opened to lower humidity to 40%.
(c) Drying the surface This requires a temperature of 1400 F for 12 to
20 hours and the vents are left fully open.
(d) Drying the mid-rib The temperature is increased to 1650 F for 18 to
24 hours with the vents partially open.
The barn is then left to cool with the vents wide open, so that the leaves may absorb
moisture and become pliable before they are handled. The leaves are afterwards removed
from the barn, and graded and dispatched to the buying station.
A survey was carried out in 1967/68 on a sample of 21 of the 94 farms under contract
with the company. This represented 85.5 acres or 25 per cent of the total acreage. The
average size of the sample farms was 4.1 acres as against 3.6 for the total number
of farms. Results of the survey indicated that there was an average variable cost of
215 per acre with a return of 333, thus leaving a gross margin of 118. The fixed
costs in tobacco production are very low, hence the gross margin per acre is a close
estimate of true profit. The average yield per acre was 1,307 lb. and the average
price 5s. Id. per pound.
Previous surveys over the past 6 years have indicated rising cost of production per
acre, but the returns have been increasing at an even faster rate so that the profit
per acre has been increasing as well. This increase has been largely due to rising
yield in 1962/63 the average yield per acre was 892 lb. as against the present
yield of over 1,300 lb. The average price per pound has also risen from 4s. 1d. in
1962/63 to 5s. Id. in 1967/68. The higher cost in 1967/68 was attributable to
increased use of lime and fertilizer and to greater cash advances.
In comparing the production costs arid returns per acre in the five tobacco-growing
areas, it was seen that a wide variation in the average gross margin per acre existed
between the five areas ranging from 19 to 185. These variations in gross margin
can be attributed largely to variation in returns rather than to variations in costs
of production. When farms were compared on the basis of their gross margin, it was
evident that variable costs, returns and gross margin per acre all varied directly
with each other. Thus the farm with a low gross margin was associated with low
variable cost and low returns, whereas a high gross margin was associated with costs
and returns which are higher than average. The low returns were attributable to both
low yields per acre and to low average prices per pound and the converse was true
in the cash of high returns per acre.
It was also observed from the survey that the greatest variability between low and
high gross margins occurred in the 2-3 acre group of farms. The medium and high gross
margins were obtained from the larger tobacco farms and from large mixed farms.
The wide range of gross margins may be expected from the small tobacco acreages
and from farms which grow only tobacco in addition to the usual vegetable crops, as
these differences are due mainly to variations in managerial skill and the interest
shown by the farmer. The operator of a large mixed tarm was better able to organize
his labour and gave greater attention to the correct timing of his operations whereas
the cane farmer was less accustomed to strict organization and prompt timing and
this was reflected in his management of the tobacco crop.
For most farmers, the opportunity of cultivating tobacco was a change
fro susisenc veetaleproduction, low profitability sugar cane farming
or casual sugar estate employment to a level of farming which provided a good
cash income. Without financial and technical help, tobacco cultivation could
not have been carried out and the farmers fully appreciate the fact that they
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
Costs amel Retu~rns
could not grow tobacco successfully without the supervision of the Company's field
officers. The survey confirmed the view that the managerial skill of the farmer is
a very important factor in determining the profitability of tobacco production. Now
that good yields are being obtained, perhaps future policy could be directed at
improving leaf quality.
Phtorah by- Carlton Gord
Caribban Faring Aril/Jue 197
YOU .ARE CHEATING~ YOURSELF UNLESS Your Coffee Trees
give high yields. You are not earning all you could.
And you are robbing your country of the opportunity to earn
substantial sums in foreign exchange so much needed to pur-
chase machinery and other equipment necessary for our con-
tinued economic growth.
REMEMBER that Coffee is our only Agricultural Industry, which
has, over the past Eiglht Years, maintained a steady increase
in price to growers. And we can sell Ten Times the present
production at equally attractive prices.
So why are you sitting there cheating yourself and your country.
Do something about it for your own sake.
P.O. BOX 12, KINGSTON 15
NewI Crop Culture
can effer a completely renew
service to Jamaican farmers!i
Aerial Fertilization. Already pro-
ven in Australia and New Zealand (yields
have increased by as much as 300%). This
valuable service is offered here at very com-
petitive rates. It will often prove far cheaper
and more effective than conventional methods.
Already Crop Culture plays an
important role in keeping Jamaica agriculture
healthy by spraying one and a quarter million
acres of bananas annually. Some 100,000
acres of cane are also sprayed each year.
Banana growers and cane planters
alike are aware of the tremendous benefits
spraying has bought, not only to agriculture
but directly to the Jamaican economy.
With operations covering the Car-
ibbean, Central and South America Crop
Culture is an experienced and growing com-
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Get in touch with your local
details of the New COFFFE
The economic= way to fertilize
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Dor's (Mr. Lyn)
Charley's Windsor House
Chin See Brothers
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P.E. Stanigar & Sons
V.M. Bromfield Limited
Adrian Lee (Cheapside Store)
Jackson Williams & Sons
Reg. J. Lyn
ST. ANN'S BAY
55 Slipe Road
71 Slipe Road
Hardware & Lumber
Spanish Town Road
Waltham Park Road
:,:: th -tida
Most citrus farmers throughout the Caribbean area are
well aware of the beneficial effects of fertilizers (part-
icularly nitrogen) in increasing the yields of citrus trees.
This point has been repeatedly demonstrated by many
Government agricultural scientists in Jamaica, Trinidad
However, not many citrus growers appreciate the fact
that the quality (taste, colour and size) of their citrus
crop is also dependent to a large extent on the kind and
quantity of fertilizers used. Even among agricultural
scientists, there is often much ambiguity and confusion
as regards the true effects of fertilizers on citrus
In order to shed some light on the problem of fruit
quality, an experiment was designed in 1964 to study
the effects of 2 plant nutrients, namely potash and
magnesium, on the quality of Valencia oranges. The
experiment was designed in a factorial pattern, with 3
levels (low, medium, high) each of potash and mag
nesium. All 9 treatments were replicated 4 times, and
the size of each plot was 4 trees.
The study was carried out at Mausica
Citrus Estates, Piarco
Savannah, Trinidad. -
This site was chosen mainly because:
(i) the supply of both potash and magnesium there was
rather low, and (ii) due to the sandy texture of the soil,
response to fertilizer applications would be much more rapid
than on heavier soil types. The trees used in this study were
approximately 10 years old (in 19 64) and were grown on sour
From 1965 onwards, samples of fruit were collected and
analysed for the following:
(i) %o acid
(ii) Total soluble solids (sugars) using a Brix hydrometer
(iii) Size number of fruits per box
(iv) % juice content
(v) The sugar/acid ratio by calculations
Iteulnst estati I~inrelesiors
The results of this 5-year stud3 have shown quite
convincingly that the potash level had much more effect on
fruit quality than magnesium. Indeed, magnesium fertilizers
did not have any significant effect on any of the fruit
quality factors studied.
FE RTI LI Z ERS
ONV TIHE QUALITY OF
,ns of Potash Fertilizer
1) on Fruit Quality
S% Sugars Sugar/Acid % Juice
ce (Solids) Ratio by Volume
12.9 15.2 45.2
12.6 12.9 43.8
12.1 11.5 42.4
as to produce a smaller fruit size with greater yield
of soluble solids (sugars) per acre. Where fruits are
grown mostly for the fresh fruit market, moderate applica-
tions of potash are desirable to increase fruit size.
The effect of potash on the acid content of citrus
can also be put into practical use. In Florida, for
instance, high rates of potash are used in commercial
lemon plantings, in order to increase the acid content
in the juice.
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The following Table summarises the effects of potast
applications on fruit quality of Valencia oranges in
Effect of Applicatio
(Muriate of Potash
Treatment Fruit Size %Acid
Muriate of potash (N~o. per Box) in Juic
0 lb KCI/tree 275 0.85
2 Ib KCI/tree 210 0.98
4 Ib K
As seen above, it appears that there is a progressive
lowering of most fruit quality factors as the level of
potash is increased. Thus by increasing potash applications,
the fruits become larger and more acid in taste. Also the
yield of juice decreased somewh at and the ratio of sugars
to acid was consistently reduced by potash applications.
The effects of potash on fruit qult are therefore
definitely of commercial significance Itoo much potash
is added, fruits may become large and very acid, they will
yield less juice and soluble solid content will be lowered.
In this particular study, 2 lb. of Muriate of potash added
per year appeared to result in optimum fruit quality indices
However, it must be pointed out that the soil and
growing conditions at Mausica Estate are not very typical
of citrus areas in Trinidad or the West Indies. In Trinidad
for example, most of the citrus is grown on much heavier
soils. As stated earlier, the site at Mausica was chosen
primarily because fertilizer effects on fruit quality could
be obtained and demo nstrated more quickly than on other
In the most citrus growing areas of the West Indies,
the potash content of the soils is frequently low. On
light, acid, and slightly buffered soils (similar to
that in our experiment) potash applications should
be made with some caution, due to the detrimental
effects on excess potash on fruit quality, (and also
on crop yield and the uptake of other nutrients)-
On heavier soils such as clays and clay loams (and
particularly on calcareous soils), potash uptake and tree
response are rather slow; thus the risk of injury to the
tree due to excess potash is greatly reduced. Under these
soil conditions, more potash may be needed to raise the
level of this nutrient in the plant system.
The effect of high potash applications resulting
in reduced juice content and lower soluble solids has
important commercial implications.
Where fruits are grown primarily for processing,
it would be advantageous to use low rates of potash so
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
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VOU CAN D)EPEND~~a O
By GOO DY EAR
Coconut trunk "mined" and destroyed by larvae of the bearded palm
weevil (Rhinostrus barbirostrus) in Dominican Republic
of bearded palm
weevil near Sanchez,
palm weevil, scales, Cholus which can do extensive
The whole business of coconut seed movement (the
risks involved and the fumigation procedures necessary)
is complex. If you intend to import seed, contact the
F.A.O. Quarantine Adviser, U.N. Office, Port-of-Spain,
Trinidad to ascertain whether any pests or diseases
occur in the country of origin and what the risks are.
Also find out from your local Plant Quarantine service
just what they advise and permit. If anyone cares to
write to me, I will do my best to advise them.
Director of Research,
Coconut Industry Board,
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
I recently spent a very pleasant week in the Dominican
Republic, as a consultant to the Government of that
country. It would not be right for me to comment
publicly on the work being done to develop their coco-
nut industry, but one of my findings might be of
interest to readers of CARIBBEAN FARMING who are
Following several contradictory reports over the last
few years, I was able to confirm the presence of Lethal
Yellowing disease in coconuts of the local Tall variety
in the north-west part of the country, around Puerto
Plata and as far east as Cabarete. Fortunately, the
diseased area contains relatively few coconut trees; the
main coconut areas (t~he Samana peninsula and the
Sabana-del-Mar coast) are 100 miles or more further
The presence of Lethal Yellowing disease in a country
has two major implications. Firstly, the country in
question has to face gradual but certain extinction of
its Native Tall coconuts. The common Tall coconuts in
all Caribbean islands and on the Atlantic coast of
Central and South America are, almost entirely,
identical to the Jamaica Tall and are therefore
com letely susceptible to the disease. Experience in
Jamaica has shown the Malayan Dwarf to be highly
resistant to the disease and also both high-yielding
and early-bearing. An average nut is some 30% poorer
in copra out-turn than a Jamaica Tall nut, but copra
production per acre from Dwarfs usually far exceeds
that of Talls. Malayan Dwarf nuts in Jamaica are much
bigger (40-50%) than in Malaya, and it is not known at
present whether this is due to some difference in
climate or whether Jamaica is blessed with an unusually
The second implication relates to quarantine.
Although research on the cause of Lethal Yellowing
disease has been done in the past in several
countries (Cuba, Togoland, Ghana), and in Jamaica
continuously since 1962, it is not known whether
the seed or seedlings of either susceptible or
resistant varieties can transmit the disease.
Under these circumstances, we must play safe.
Anyone intending to move coconut seed or plants
should make quite sure that there is no disease
at the point of origin. To be responsible for
transmitting a plant disease especially a lethal one -
is an achievement that nobody should want in his
eulogy. With coconuts, there is also Red Ring disease,
whih ocur inTrinidad, Tobago, Grenada and St.
Vincent as well as on the American mainland.
Furthermore, there are in the Caribbean area a
number of coconut insects palm weevil, bearded
The three varieties finally selected for hybridization
1. SM 164, with good tolerance to bacterial wilt
2. Florida Market a popular variety with high yields;
tolerant to Phomopsis (male parent).
3. Violette de Barbentane popular variety; less
susceptible to wilt than Florida Market (male parent).
The tolerance of the Fl hybrids to wilt, particular
SM 164 x Violette de Barbentane, was much higher than
in the original commercial varieties which were
badly infected. But the light colouring of the fruit
was a draw-back as metropolitan customers prefer a
deeper colour. Individual plants with high tolerance
to wilt, high productivity and good colouring were
selected from this F1 generation for further crossing
(F2), and again Violette de Barbentane in the
parentage gave high tolerance to the disease.
In a back crossing study, the F1 hybrids SM 164
x Florida Market and Guyana Variety x Florida Market
were crossed back to Florida Market. All the back-
crosses were more tolerant to bacterial wil than
From these back-crosses and from descendants of the
Fl, Mr. Daly has selected the most tolerant crosses-
geivin high yi elds of dark coloured fruit. From these,
eisdeveloping types in which tolerance to
bacterial wilt is fixed.
Summary of a Paper presented by Mr. Patrick Daly of the
Institute of Tropical Agronomy Research, Martinique,
Since 1965 Martinique farmers have been seeking to
diversify their crops by specializing in food crops for
export to Europe during the winter season. Of those
selected, the most important mn terms of acreage
and volume was the egg-plant. But the prevalence
of bacterial wilt in the most popular varieties _
Florida Market and Pompano Market posed a
problem. Losses rose as high as 80-90% on some farms.
Realising the problem to be a basic one, the Institute
of Tropical Agronomy Research directed its attention
towards developing a resistant or more tolerant hybrid.
To this end, they sought to adapt a foreign variety of
egg-plant or to create a new one locally. In either
case, the productivity of the plant as well as
commercial acceptance w~uld be taken into consider-
Several experiments were carried out using different
varieties and hybrids of egg-plant in order to draw up
a scale of tolerance to bacterial wilt (Pseudomonas
Solanacearum). It was found that Pompano Market and
Florida Market were the most susceptible varieties,
while Early Beauty Hybrid, Fenguyan Purple, Ceylon
SM 164 and Long Eastern Violet were the most tolerant.
Unfortunately, the fruit of the tolerant varieties do
not have a high commercial value.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
EGG PLANTS AND BACTERIAL WILT
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SEVIN insecticide controls many kinds of
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Read the SEVIN Iabel for the wide range of profit-making uses, and get SEVIN now
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MOTOR OWNERS MUTUAL INSURANCE
It is generally accepted in all tropical and sub-tropical
countries that breeding exclusively for beef can be justi-
fied economically only on poor or marginal land which is un-
suited to crop production. Intensive beef production is
possible only where there is a plentiful supply of cheap
concentrates and a good market which demands, and pays
for, quality meat.
The availability of vast tracts of poor or marginal land
in the Intermediate and Rupununi savannahs of Guyana
would suggest, at. first sight, a huge potential for beef
production in this country. Furthermore, the existence of
an unsatisfied demand for competitively priced beef within
Guyana and the even greater opportunity for beef that
is offered within the CARIFTA countries would support the
expansion of beef production in Guyana. What then are
the economic prospects for the growth of the beef sector
in this country?
Breeding for beef in thre E'bini
About three years ago, the Faculty of Agriculture of The
University of the West Indies was invited to undertake a
study of a long-term breeding project for beef production
in the Ebini Intermediate Savannahs of Guyana. The main
purpose of the study was to determine, as far as _possible,
whether there is any prospect for profitable beef production
in the Intermediate Savannahs, and whether there are any
systems of cattle production which are sufficiently
promising to justify the establishment of pilot farms. The
approach adopted involved examination of the costs and
returns of the Ebini Station in recent years, and of the
technical results of cattle production at the Station
which could be synthesized into production systems and
tested for their commercial value.
The results available at the present time show that no
sufficiently promising system has so far emerged eit er
from the analysis or from the system synthesis to hold
out any immediate prospect of commercial beef production
at Ebini. The report of the study reads as follows:
"rExcessively high caryn costs, whether due to high
establishment costs on improved pasture or to low stoc ing
rates on range land, are major obstacles to development.
When coupled with long calving intervals (15 to 23 months)
and high calf mortality (16 to 37 per cent), they are
insuperable. Even the most profitable production system -
Sahiwals slaughtered as two-year olds on one-quarter im-
proved pasture and three-quarter range would lose $23
per acre on a three square mile unit and a $172 per acre
In identifying the main reasons for this unacceptably low
performance, the economic analysis has highlighted the main
areas where discrete technical investigation is still needed.
Among these are the following:
(i) studies to reduce the crippling level of calf
(ii) studies to determine whether partial range im-
provement would prove more economic than either
natural rangeland or full pasture improvement
as currently practiced at. Ebini;
(iii) investigations on stocking rate increases scons~-
quent on fertilizer application, the use of
different grasses, legume seeding, and pa~ddck
The sum total of the economic analysis, however, ir, that
though research could be redirected to improve ecor~nomic
performance, there can be no assurance that a profitable
system of beef production for the Ebini intermediate
Savannah: can be identified in the immediate future,
Afternativte sn llethods ofhr/ brupredaedessr
This conclusion leads to the question: do the intermediate
Savannahs have any future at least as a source ofwedanemsd
calves for fattening in a coastal feedlot, rather than as:
a range for self-contained breeding and fattening herds?3
Before answering this question, we would dor well to have
a look at feedlot operations in another Caribbe~arn trratoryng,
Jamaica. In the immediate post-war period, bEe6fbreed~6inl
programmes in that country were designed to obtain full
advantage of the Zebu's ability to utilize roughI~Ld6 io a
purely grazing operation. In more recent years, ever~~~~b,
comparative studies of fattening on gras and fattening io
feedlot have sh~own that cattle with a PPYr~iopron of
European blood have the advantage o~f respondi~~ in avourwably
to feedlot treatment. In conasequecec~ the present objeawe~fi
of Alcan'si revrised beef breeding p9rogramme~6 in J~lbYamica, forh
instance, is "'to develop as rapidly as p~s~sible, a~~msiiasten
with other perfoyaurmanc fauector, a c~w~ommercall anIma~WU l which,
in essence, wiall be purebred Jampaic a Re," H~oweverP,. Fgrynml
cost analyses of their beef cattle operations, Alcanm have
reported that beef production continues to be onlly margina~udlllY
profitable, Sev~ral factors detract farom~ pw~'d~~roffitail~it
among these are the hmigh laimur en~am, BWOProblems wOijtjhl feed
supply, andl proPblessa with de~seas wh~ich redluce th we-sight
at which cattle me nt feedlotc, theira pe~rarmance~f iiln feed
lot and, cosnsequent ny, their~ wesigPht at bimWe cc, sas..
In the lIght ofthis~, wh~at are the4 can~66- ffw wetase
opera~tiors~ in the Ebiin~i Intrmesb~fll~ s va~6innahs~ If~Uoralatll
feedlot fratteniingY TheB Departmuent of A8igrieiwarterall
Economics of'lo The Uiversiity of the Websta IniE~s Ihaso us
eluded that to break~ evenD Writh a fastenwing opesratrmie we
Ebsini, year-old weanersa wrould have Ito saDil at $1152 ~pasr 1had,
and that iin order to covra coYSds itlid bc~D~Re rma~nawyl Ocyr
a paice of $~626 to be rgealize after couodstlj Aaltdaewing,
This would su~ggest that a wre9auune qu~atiMve QwwildlM ik s~ulbre as
Caribbean Falrming April/June 1970
Breeding for Beef
by P. Mahadevan Dean of Agriculture, The University of the West Indies
( A paper presented at the Seventh Biennial Convention of the British C~aribbean Ve~terinary
Association held in Georgetown, Guyana, June 1970)
The Caribbean Food and Nutrition Institute's bi-
monthly newsletter CAJANUS is directed to all
workers in health, education, commnity develop-
ment and agriculture whose professional concerns
relate to human nutrition or the production in the
Caribbean of nutritious foods. CAJANUS is distri-
buted gratis. Requests for inclusion on the mailing list
should be directed to The Editor, C~AJANUS,
C.F.N.I., U.W.I., P.O. Box 140, Kingston 7, Jamaica.
unprofitable as a fattening operation. It would have the
additional disadvantage of facing a more variable market
for its product.
It would seem therefore that the prospect for expanding
beef production in Guyana moves away from the best marginal
contribution which the Intermediate Savannahs might make
to a consideration of alternative sources of beef. The
Rupununi, coastal beef herds and by-product beef from
the dairy herd all warrant the kind of study that we have
undertaken at Ebini before any major policy decisions
can be made. In particular, by-product beef from the
dairy herd merits close scrutiny.
It is not generally realized that even in many of the
temperate countries of the world, beef cattle breeding has
become uneconomical due to such factors as the high cost
of maintaining a cow for a year, since this represents a
prohibitive overhead charge on the calf at birth. Exceptions
are countries such as the U.S.A. and Argentine where pure_
bred beef stock can be maintained cheaply on ranches. Else-
where, one sees a growing dependence on alternative methods
of beef production. Thus, dairy cattle are increasingly pro-
viding a larger proportion of the beef, and the role of beef
breeds in this situation is to provide bulls for crossing
with dairy breeds which themselves are not good beef
In the United Kingdom, nearly 70 per cent of the beef con-
sumed today is dairy beef. Unlike in the case of calves born
to the beef breeds, calves born in the dairy herd are a
necessary by-product of milk production and therefore do not
carry the high overhead charge at birth. It is also well to
remember that one half of the-calves born each year are males
and, with the exception of a small number that may be re-
tained as potential herd sires,.the majority are available
for rearing as beef.
In order to exploit to the maximum the potential of
surplus dairy steers for beef, dairy farmers resort to the
practice of crossing to beef sires a portion of their herd -
particularly heifers and culled cows which will not be used
to produce progeny for replacement. This system of
breeding is so widely accepted that, in the U.K. for in-
stance, nearly 45 per cent of all artificial inseminations
are beef inseminations. Crossbreeding improves both the
birth weight and the growth rate of calves when superior
beef breeds such as the Charolais or Hereford are used, and
for this reason it is gaining popularity with dairy
There is no doubt that in the context of the Guyana
situation, this and other methods of beef production should
be carefully evaluated to identify capacity, constraints and
any needed technical investigation, and to establish
economic feasibility and priorities for development. At
the same time, it should also be noted that the beef cattle
industry is facing increasing competition from synthetic
meat products. If beef is to hold its own against such
competition, greater attention would have to be paid to
beef quality. This would mean putting stress on such things
as larger rib eye area and less waste, which can be brought
about only by progeny testing and the subsequent use of
top proven sires artificially. However, the AI of beef
cattle has hitherto not had the big expansion that AI of
dairy cattle has had. But if the heat synchoronization
efforts that are now being made yield good conception rates,
then we may find ourselves on the threshold of a big ex-
pansion in the Al of beef cattle as well.
I,.Bt.D.. assuistoance fr lise deteeloposerst
of beefP prosutasree its firsyars
This discourse would not be complete without reference to
Guyana's current efforts to develop beef production. In
December 1969, the Government of Guyana applied to the
International Development Association (IDA) for a loan of
US$4.15 million to help finance the first stage of a live-
stock development programme, which consists of the im-
provement of the Guyanese beef cattle sub-sector in the
Coastal and Intermediate Savannah regions. It is designed
principally, to extend development, through credit, to
about 27 ranches. Twenty-four of the ranches comprising
the project are to be spread throughout the Coastal region,
while the three remaining ranches will be located in the
Intermediate Savannahs. It is expected that in addition to
direct production benefits, the project would provide
other more intangible benefits to the livestock industry
as a whole. These would include the availability of larger
numbers of breeding stock in the country as well as the
demonstration of improved livestock and pasture management
techniques; there would also be a better base for
developing improved standards for the future expansion of
the livestock industry.
' An economic study of the Ebini Livestock Station, Guyana."
Dept. of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management.
U.W.I. March 1969 (Mimeographed. Restricted circulation)
"First project for the development of the livestock indsutry
Loan application I.B.R.D. Gov't of Guyana, Ministry
of Agriculture. December 1969.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
1.ive n up
onlyr PUBRIIU adNA lC cmmsunrioreiall itr tHrigh
qauarry aaradam prLcc P mel ran Irtrruin mite
Stammisn laerIImee"s n 4das edingliane itmr uapliy,.
as quit is what r van Buntitm laIPWRIS
CHOIPS adhidicn B Icamn lsem usp yor manyn thyX
goeA~ mogou aranew Iprslit iironne Iyur Ilbueldand. Itlt
Ipays aD Ihwpl qualimpy ~tuen at asadh nea imedi a~p
deartnMmand~ Bim offypmwur Janiice I~eds~atlkele.
t]IGNEE1nk S.I.T .I~G I~ill.li". ILIE5 LT
fp*fgLL. r. ait ll ILu.TI
W4tag olgae ~ p a raine tog grsamoonen 1Buan ftround at Summe cusrtt
Urea is a white crystalline powder which is soluble in water. It is sold in different
grades. The purest urea available to farmers is commonly referred to as "fertilizer grade" or
"technical quality." Another grade is "feed grade", which is also marketed under different
trade names. This urea is also pure urea, but every grain has got a coat of substance kaolin to
minimize the tendency of urea to cake and thus makes it more suitable to mix with solid feeds.
It is possible to satisfactorily mix "fertilizer urea" in liquid feed and so avoid paying the
higher price for "feed grade" urea.
The price for "fertilizer grade" manufactured in Trinidad is 8.7c lb. while the price for
"feed grade" urea imported from U.S.A. is about 12.7c lb. Due to the coating of "feed grade"
urea, a pound of it contains less urea than a pound of "fertilizer grade," which is urea only.
Feeding Urea to Livestock
It is important to know that only ruminants can utilize urea, that is, sheep,
goats, dairy and beef cattle and buffaloes (but not calves under four months of age). In simple
stomach animals such as the pig and the hen, on the other hand, urea has harmful effects, and
is for this reason not fed to them.
All animals need five groups of nutrients. Besides (1) water, (2) minerals and vitamins,
and (3}fat, they need (4) an energy source, carbohydrates and (5) a protein source. The
protein component is the most expensive part of the diet and is often the major limiting
factor within the framework of costs. It is essential therefore that the use of protein
supplements is judicious and compatible with animal requirements.
Caribbean Fr;iming April/June 1970
In recent years there has been growing interest concerning the value of urea in
animal feeding. Considerable research has been done particularly in the United States of America,
Europe and Australia, and the results suggest that, as a source of non-protein-nitrogen (N.P.N.)
urea has great potential in the nutrition of ruminants. This is even more so in the tropics where
protein is often the limiting nutrient in the diet of ruminants.
The Use of Urea in 'o" nhe u sb a nd oeyltle
Ru m *~~ e d n livestock currently and
Ruxunat Fed ngmay well in partbe due to
by B.I. Goh/ (F.A.O. Regiona/Associate Expert. Trinidad) a lack of understanding
and C. Devendra (FacultyofAgriculture~ of its properties and usefulness. This article attempts to
The University of the West Indies St. Augustine. Trinidad) summarise these points.
Unlike simple stomach animals (pigs and poultry), which depend a on the protemn
in the feed, ruminant animals are independent of an outside source af proteinr providerd thrat a
source of nitrogen is present, as they have the ability to synthiesise protein by virtue of
the microflora of their paunches. An excellent review of the present knlowledge onl the
mechanism of the utilization of urea has recently been made (Chal upa, 1968), Briejbfly, the'
mechanism involves the participation of small organisms called pro~tozon; and~t balccfteri inr the
rumen. Some bacteria can consume urea and convert it into proteinI. Thre mlix ture of un ld igestedC
and pre-digested fodder, protozoa and bacteria move from thle rumenl to thle true6 sf~tomachJ where
the animal digests the rest of the fodder and the organisms. Thre digested mauteriarl is thena
absorbed in the intestines. Thus, the urea is first consumed by bacteria andl thie balcteria
(containing the protein) are digested by the ruminant animal
Urea however can be poisonous, but it need not be dangerous~ if certain fea~tures' aboutb
feeding it are recognized. The reason for this is that the bacteria ultilize thue alreu inl t;wo
stages. When urea enters the rumen, ammonia is first produced froEm the uresu, The8 iamm~onjia
produced is then consumed by the bacteria. If ammonia is genesrated too rapidly ~and inl exelsaiive
amounts, it can enter the bloodstream of the animal whichu could be fatall.
The symptoms of poisoning are rapid breathing, shivering mus8cl and e~Xce6gS; fSjtl~ivatio~nlI,
The antidote is to provide the animal with acid to neutraai~se heu ammvoneii, If thJle ;fniimVAl 5,$
rapidly given a gallon of vinegar or 5 per cent acetic acid it wa~ill, iiny muo3t a1Ss, lE3recover ver
It is obvious that in order to prevent poisoning, an exess9 of ammonlia in6 dPI remen~ mumP~4h IIIWCB
prevented. This can be done by giving only, small amupntsaw of~a- ws~ arl abo by swri~Wding~ fthe
the animal will not get lumps of it that wijll cause a sauden~~ increa-a of tel~ ;ammrlon~i a~t dies
rumen or by ensuring: that the ammonia producdnna wiH be AsraplysU c~~us~tormed by d-16
TwJo common ways to ensure that the amount of Ures~ is~ withlinI ithef ade liiml~lits ave::
1. The amount of urea should not exceed one p~er cent of thle~ d~y' matteV iint d~ en~tire~- P'AtiCke..
2. The amount of urea should not exceed~ IthreeB9 per ct of$ theV concentratell~d~ patBan1~j31 Adv eI kw~t..
In increasing the amount of urea in the dlier a19Y~bovec these Ieve,, 6\WoN ;Ilr;i,rt... <.1I l. .imula
be recognized to ensure that the largr ~amounmrt of lramnumjb p~vl..' lll...Alil iilll de41 newew~l-~ \XailJ lkwaidil
consumed by the bacteria. Firstly, the apunumber orbeaer~t~ia navatrrly k i Ilr'tw E Iwe~rlll-l ll (IIIet
the bacteria must be pro~vided with~ enough~ enery t kee2fpdhY i t ihe actiise. IThelbul attlker dbait
can be increased by adaptation of tne lavnmal rto iircesMsiing lIsaveky df`~Pi~ fovea. Th Y~ib es ttha\tt
the proportion of bacteria to IprotozoaY inD the6 remen~ i~ tsi~n61-craadl ibm faraEto tha~tt dw\1 ;lmannow~,ile~
produced is rapidly utilized.
In diets containing urea, the 3noYrmala iinta-ilke o iib iis shou111t tnwot tlh~iirrd a w ~AW nacell~~ swi
day. Furfther increases a~rbove this leveP cn9 be~f aDe y' fadii~ing ihlia1Warous (er W~tfdoediTral daw11
ounce every second da~y for the first week SubmP~il eelly,,4~~: de~M iluttak~ eIP~ deva1~3 c ~a seira~tal
by the same increment of one-thuird of an1 cone~b everyi dby..11d singhb clisacst he ~ diimanala arerrt
up to 100 per cent of the Irequ~lreme~n t fo BProtein t t~a~ haes atr Iby wer iis~ tde~ f~tdht Gallingdd~iy
cows in Finland.
Th bacteria cannot surviveon ara~ alone~P~ madl day1 81a,~j w jPElly~ f m nte ArebL~~t amm lra1 fkew ar
if at the same time~ they hawe~ aces t aN energy sltoruarc. As1 entaiY 9summe \khjldh ii>4ptiidW y etti
easily stiized is sugar (o~r mol~nagisses)an thlite p~ naS:Ik gi)Sers trooptir~br wisdh aurac~ htwomeWr~r,,Suga
is so q uickytiize thuat it wia~ibe~9 f~iPinishe eA~re trib saw..71bardereo,,ii't it Ismt emagha
meeymix as~ with suar~r or mollame iinl a llaiighLWareaurtiimel iifffhalestau~r traintral dis..11\w
enry sources with longer IlStungW effecu a~~nUS siwt p~reviiddL 11@ tTSrHclAnadT~I.@. ((Fr~iaudi
digesiblenutrients ~itisadiab leBP thatbiias wUch ~areiimeas pe~fr ~lr~Antddl~e7.2M!ti.commsfkawi~r
(molasses),P ~ 35 per cen fromP cealkwe mai 1Aber ((htyI srt~s greau4)u il) purentr f kew~n
strh(ai zec or~iC citru meal), Where area~ B~ iis fedtl ompinsMumov.fjlsy 3~~4trhmyout ttlu: hy~ (hinv~~ii tanag/t~
ourea liCks is~ ~ProvidfEd inP the Iiidk iiS safe ~1Ptlautiles. ABinvltandl~lintltibM~lituethulklade
be i, Ini adequate mo~dunte dipglkovllves adi sslpkur in lite.
Otral~~1base Faitag~ AppIl/lUtwe iZtPA
The cost of the additional protein will be low, as one pound of "feed grade" urea is equivalent to
2.62 pounds of crude protein. In this way many of the energy-rich feedingstuffs, including by-
products such as citrus meal and bagasse pith, can be utilized to a far greater extent than
they are at the moment.
Now off the press:-
Goat Production in the Tropics
by C. Devendra and M. Burns
OBTAINABLE FROM THE COMMONWEALTH AGRICULTURAL
BUREAUX, CENTRAL SALES BRANCH, FARNHAM ROYAL, BUCKS;
ENGLAND, OR FROM ANY MAJOR BOOKSELLER.
28 Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
It should be noted here that the ruminant loses adaptation to urea very quickly. If an
animal has been off urea for as little as two days, the adaptation process must re-commence from the
beginning. The mechanism of urea utilization is such that it is understandable wvhy a cow on poor
pasture is more sensitive to urea feeding than a cow on good pasture.
Perhaps the most important contribution of urea in animal feeding is its usefulness as a
source of nitro en to supplement low quality forages. In several parts of the Caribbean seasonal
changes cause fuctuations in forage production, so that during the dry season the ruminant is
barely able to subsist on the coarse roughage available. Provision of conventional protein con-
centrates is frequently either impracticable or uneconomic. Under these circumstances it is
normally not a question of increasing the weight but of reducing the weight loss and mortality
during the dry season.
Urea, even if it is fed in small amounts, increases the consumption of herbage, and both
protein and energy intakes are thus improved. In addition salt licks made of common salt, phosphate
and urea, or molasses mixed with urea, are valuable under such conditions as a survival ration.
GENERAL WAX PRODUCTS LIMITED
43 HANOVER STREET '
KINGSTON, JAMAICA, W.I.
RATTEX is a ready prepared, ready to use Warfarin Rat Bait.
It contains a high percentage of Paraffin that protects the
active ingredient from being washed out by water, or rainfall,
and makes it ideal for agricultural protection against rodents
in Tropical countries.
Warfarin prevents the formation of Prothrombin; without
Prothrombin no Thrombin is produced to combine with
fibrinogen to form fibrin or blood clots. The rats thus
develop leakage from internal blood vessels, leading to
extensive hemmorages and death. The rats feed on the bait,
without feeling any ill effects, and thus do not develop "Bait
Shyness" consequently whole areas of infestation can be
cleaned out. Rats die within 4 to 14 days.
Rattex Agents in Carifta Countries.
Trinidad T. Geddes Grant
Guyana Daysons Caribbean Agencies.
St. Vincent Orange Hill Estate
St. Lucia Renwick Geddes Grant
Grenada Belfast Estates
The Per for xnanc
of a Charbray and
Grade Charolais Herd
x n T r x n d a d tendent Agricultural Operations,
Texaco Trmnidad Inc.
A small herd of Charbray beef cattle, with a Charolais bull, was introduced to Trinidad at
the end of 1961, by the Star Farm, where Charbrays and local beef-type cross-breds have since-4"
been bred to the Charolais. This paper describes, in practical terms, the experience with this herd
and the new breed. It is not a scientific study and in particular the figures presented are -,
limited in scope and intended to give merely a general indication and not a precise evaluation of
the herd's performance. .
For some years prior to 1960/61, several beef cattle herds had been developed in Trinidad
& Tobago, main ly from Jamaica Red and Brahman cattle and a cross-bred admixture of these breeds. At
that time, it was believed that the introduction of another breed of beef cattle could improve
the scope for and contribute to the further development of the industry locally and, with this
main object in view, Texaco's Star Farm decided to introduce another breed and, if successful,
to use its herd as a nucleus from which to supply breeding stock to other herds.
Three breeds, which had been developed in the Southern United States and were reported
to be doing well under tropical conditions, suggested themselves, viz: Santa Gertrudis, Brangus
Following a visit by the author to Florida and Jamaica, where he saw several herds of
these and other beef breeds, under conditions reasonably comparable to those in Trinidad &
Tobago, the Charbray was chosen as the breed which seemed most suitable for local conditions
and to have the characteristics most likely to improve the local cross-bred types of beef cattle.
History In November, 1961 a small herd comprising one Charolais bull (14 months old) and eight
unrelated in-calf Charbray heifers (16 months 2'/ years old), varying in grade from V2 to 7/8
Of Thse Heret Charolais, was purchased from the K-Bar Ranch, one of the leading Charolais and Charbray breeders
Following a period of one month's quarantine in Florida, during which a bull calf was born
to one of the heifers, the herd was air-freighted to Trinidad on 31st December 19 61, at a landed
cost of US $7,800. Their prices ex K-Bar Ranch were US$ 1,400 for the bull and US33,800 for the
Thle imported animals were put out on Pangola pastures immediately on arrival at the Star
Farm, but brought indoors daily for their temperatures to be taken. Two weeks after their arrival,
the wh ole herd went down with anaplasmo sis, but it was some days be fore the disease, at first
thought to be piroplasmosis, was accurately diagnosed (by laboratory tests) and treated, during
which time the calf and onle in-calf heifer died, two heifers aborted and one heifer calved pre-
maturely, but the calf survived. Within a week of the disease bei ng diagnosed and treated, the
herd was recovering. T'hey eventually made a complete recovery and have shown no ill effects smnce.
During 1962, nine cross-bred cows and heifers of indeterminate origin, but mainly with
Jamaica Red and Sabiwal blood, were added to the herd, to, be bred to the Charolais bull, as it
was felt that Charolais blood would improve the weight gains ,ind conformation of the progeny
of these cross-bred types, which are representative of many) beef herds in Trinidad &( Tobago.
The o iinal herd in 1962, therefore, consisted of the Charolais bull, seven Charbray heifers
and nine cross-bred Jamaica Red and Sahiwal cows and heifers.
M~ranagesment The herd has been kept outdoors from 1962 to date, rotationally grazing Pangola pasture,
without any supplemental concentrate feeding (except for bull calves sold for breeding, which have
been fed concentrates between weaning and sale.) Conditions at Pointe-a-Pierre, where the Star
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
Farm is located, present a number of problems in pasture management. The nutritional quality and
palatability of the Pangola grass are very variable and frequently appear to be poor, mainly for
the following reasons:
(a) A very uneven distribution of rainfall, averaging less than 2 inches per month
during the first four months of the year and over 8 inches per month for at
least f our months during the latter half of the year, so that it is usually
too dry or too wet for good pasture growth and recovery after grazing.
(b) A heavy clay soil, with extremely poor internal drainage, which puddlesle"
badly in the rainy season.
(c) A hilly terrain which, coupled with the soil type, makes mechanical operations
Virtually imp possible during the rainy season.
From 1962 to date, the estimated stocking rate has varied between 1 and 1%/ mature (or
equivalent) beasts per acre, calculating a cow as 1, a bred heifer as %/, an unbred heifer as V/2 and
a calf as %/ mature.
The pastures are fertilized at the rate of 6 cwt. per acre of a nitrogenous (20-21%oN)
and 3 cwt. per acre of an N.P.K. fertilizer annually, in 3 applications, broadcast by hand.
In order to avoid calving during the rainy season (June December), when young calves
cannot contend with the muddy conditions at pasture, the bull is removed from the herd and
kept indoors between the end of October and the end of March each year, but runs with the
herd at pasture during the rest of the year. Consequently, the calf crop is born usually
during the first two or three months of each calendar year. Calvings occur outdoors, at
pasture, without any special attention.
All animals in the herd are weighed at birth and thereafter at monthly intervals up
to maturity. Calves are routinely treated for worms monthly during the rainy season and every
three months during the dry season, with proprietary anthelmintics. Tick control is effected by
spraying periodically when it appears necessary.
Calves are weaned from their damns at between 7 and 8 months of age, heifer calves directly
on to grass alone, but bull calves to be sold as breeding stock are also fed concentrates between
weaning and when they are sold, usually between 9 and 11 months old.
Heifers are exposed to the bull, to be bred for the first time, when they weigh 700 lb.,
which is usually at about 15-16 months old in the case of the Charbrays and 18 19 months old in
the case of the cross-breds.
Breest~ing Having acclimatised successfully, the original Charbray cows have continued to be bred
Policy to the Charolais bull, in order to provide breeding stock for other herds, and a few of their
female progeny have been retained and artificially inseminated with Charolais semen imported
from England, in order to obtain Charbrays with a higher proportion of Charolais blood and avoid
in-breeding. A few of the Charolais x Jamaica Red x Sahiwal cross-bred females have also been
artificially bred with imp orted Charolais semen, and their female progeny have been bred to
another Charolais bull, to get some idea of the effect of up-grading by second and third Charolais
crosses. Unfortunately, the conception rate from these artificial matings has not been good
and there have been a few sire-daughter matings in the herd, the progeny of which have been
However, by exchanging bulls with the owner of another pure bred Charolais bull, un-
related to the Star Farm bull, during the 1968 and 1969 breeding seasons, new Charolais blood
has been introduced into the herd and the female ~progeny from this bull are being retained
to replace the older cows, up-grade the herd and avoid in-breeding.
In order to avoid over-stocking of the pastures, 4 of the original Charbray and all of
the original Jamaica Red and Sahiwal cross-bred cows have been sold, as well as many of the
Charbray and Charolais x Jamaica Red x Sahiwal cross-bred female progeny, at varymng ages
between weaning and as in-calf heifers. The majority (26) of Charbray bull calves, varying in
grade from %/ to 15/16 Charolais, and two Charolais x Jamaica Red x Sahiwal cross-bred bull calves
have been sold to other herds, between weaning at 7-8 months and 9 or 10 months old, as breeding
bulls. A few (7) sub-standard Charbray and the remainder (10) of the cross-bred bull calves were
castrated, raised as steers and sold for slaughter.
30 Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
Texaco Star Farm's Beef Herd at Pasture
Because of sales from the herd at various ages, as mentioned above, the records of
performance are limited and, moreover, no similar records are available from other local beef
herds for comparison. The following records cover the period 1962-69:-
AVERAGE AGE AT FIRST CALVING was 26V/2 months for the imported Charbray heifers, (excluding those
which aborted), 25 months for the locally-born Charbray heifers and 28 months for the Charolais
x Jamaica Red x Sahiwal cross-bred heifers. The policy has been to breed heifers for the first
time according to weight (a minimum of 600 lbs. up to 1966 and 700 lbs. since 1967) and condition
rather than age. The difference in age between the Charbray and cross-bred heifers at first
calving is, therefore, attributable to the more advanced growth h of the former.
THE AVERAGE CALVING INTERVALS for the imported Charbrays, locally-born Charbrays and the cross-
breds (including the original Jamaica Red and Sahiwal cows) are almost identical 370 374
days. The attack of anaplasmosis from which the imported heifers suffered did not affect their
subsequent fertility. The overall average calving interval of 371 days is considered excellent. In
addition, cows and heifers exposed to the bull, but sold prior to calving, were almost certainly in calf.
WEIGHT GAINS. At two years the Charolais bull weighed 1,290 lb. and in the first year he put on
400 lb. At four years old, he was weighing 1850 lb. and by 5-6 years, he weighed 2,200 lb.
Average weight for seven Charbray cows was 1,100 lb. at three years, 1,230 lb. at four years, and
1,320 lb. at 5-6 years.
Weights are shown for calves and heifers born in the herd. The weights of all calves born in the
herd and raised to we aning are included in this table. Normal weaning age in this herd is 2 10
Average Weight (lb.) at: Gain (lb.)
No. Birth 60 Days 120 Days 210 Days Total Per Day
Bull Calves 33 78 216 338 508 430 2.05
Heifer 35 70 198 316 476 406 1.93
Charolais x J.R. x S. Cross-Bred
Bull Calves 12 70 190 296 451 381 1.81
Heifer 18 66 195 305 444 378 1.80
N. B. 4 of the Charbray and 6 of the cross-bred bull calves were castrated by the elastrator
method at about one mo nth old, which probably depressed their early weight gains.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
Average Weight (lb.) at :
Total Per Day
210 Days 1 Yr.
J.R. x S.
N. B. These heifers were in calf at 2 years old (on average, one month before calving in the
case of the Charbrays and four months before calving in the case of the cross-breds).
At 3 years old (after raising their first calves), 7 of the Charbray heifers and 7 of the cross-
bred heifers averaged 1,0641Ib. and 1,0261Ib. respectively. The others were sold before attaining
Only two of these Charbray heifers were retained thereafter and they averaged 1,130 lb. and 1,200 lb.
at 4 and 5 years old respectively.
The original imported Charbray herd, their locally born progeny and the cross-breds have
all appeared, from observation, to be heat tolerant and hardy. They have been observed grazing, in
strong sunlight, without apparent discomfort, when grade Holsteins in the same area are seeking
shelter. Similarly, from observation, they appear to be relatively tick-resistant.
The health of the herd has been excellent and no calving difficulties have been experienced:
Excluding the original losses as a result of anaplasmosis,,from 73 conceptions by Charbray cows,
three calves have died between conception and weaning (including one under an anaesthetic for
an operation), one was still-born and one was born deformed. From 31 conceptions by the cross-
bred cows, one calf died before weaning. Two of the original Charbray cows had to be sold for
slaughter, one at 8 years old, because of a hip injury, and the other at 9 years old, because of
an adder defect.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
Particular mention must be made of the sale of 26 Charbray bull calves to 19 different herds,
including 3 in St. Vincent and 1 in Grenada to be used as herd sires. One of the largest cross-
bred herds in Tobago has now purchased 5 Charbray (7/8 15/16 Charolais) bulls as herd sires. This
suggests that, in the relatively short period since the breed was first introduced to Trinidad,
it has become popular with breeders who have some experience of beef-cattle rearing.
Conduating The Charbray appears to have acclimatised well and its performance can be considered
Comrrgrrtn good for the tropics in general. From observation, there appears to be little doubt that the
Consaents introduction of Charolais blood to local Jamaica Red x Sahiwal types of cross-bred cattle improves
the conformation of their progeny. Of 10 Charolais x Jamaica Red x Sahiwal cross-bred females
retained in the herd to two years of age, 5 are the progeny of a second and 1 the progeny of
a third Charolais cross and these are almost identical in conformation and general appearance
with the Charbrays.
While land areas suitable for beef cattle rearing, as an exclusive enterprise, are limited
in Trinidad and Tobago, it is believed that the Charbray, particularly bulls with a high proportion
of Charolais blood, can make a contribution to already established cross-bred herds. There also
seems to be some scope for expansion of beef cattle rearing on coconut plantations, if soil
conditions are suitable, where beef can be produced as a second crop on cultivated grass under
the coconuts and simultaneously reduce the cost of clearing, provided that over-stocking is
avoided. Consideration might also be given to combining beef-cattle rearing with afforestation
The use ofCharolais semen on lower-producing dairy cows or first-calving heifers for the
production of beef as a by-product of dairying may also be worth considering.
However, if the breed is to continue to make its presence felt in these regions, the
importation of new blood will be necessary. In 1967, one other breeder in Trinidad imported a
Charolais bull and 2 heifers, which are unrelated to the herd at the Star Farm. By the additional
use of artificial breeding with imported Charolais semen, there should be a small supply of
bulls to meet the need and possibilities of the immediate future and avoid in-breeding.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
SUPPORTING FARMERS' YEAR 1970
Pillsbury Feeds...for bigger, healthier, more productive animals on farms throughout Jamaica.
"~ *~ * ~ \-Ir
Pillsbury Animal Feeds are famous throughout the world for the highest quality
at the most economical prices.
Why not put Pillsbury Feeds to work in producing healthier, more profitable
cattle, pigs, chickens and other farm animals for you?
:if BES .
S:.. -ee .ah
ALLIED INDUSTRIES (JAMAICA) LTD.
& DISTRIBUTED BY
IACE AGRICULTURAL & INDUSTRIAL CO. LTD.,
75 Va Harbour St., Kingston.
a e ed ..
*I. xxxx .1*
--~-~You can get better
yields- more money-by
giving your crops the right
amount of water to keep them growing
right through the year. Wright Rain over-
head sprinkler irrigation systems can d~o
this for you. Dont stop your crop...
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970 35
h Town Rd., Kingston 11
This tractor shown above is towing a TRITTER a device which uses hammers swinging from a revolving horizontal shaft to pulverize
rocks and stones, small stumps and similar field obstacles.
The TRITTER was introduced and demonstrated in Jamaica by Reginal Aitken Ltd. last year. It is driven by PTO from the towing
tractor and cuts a 5-foot path. The makers suggest that it be used with a tractor of 45 HP plus.
DON'T STOP YOUR CROP!
Call,, yo riglRi dealer
for FREE design study and estimate
I you' ve got t
wor ns...w ve
go te ammo
With'Nilverm' from ICI you control all
major worms including Lungworm with
practically loo% efficiency. 'Nilverm
will control worms swiftly and without
risk. Wormy sheep and cattle can cost
you plenty. 'Nilverm' will save your
stock and your money.
It is a wide-spectrum, ready-to-use
golden drench. 'Nilverm' is easy to use
and flows freely through any gun. You'll
see rapid ipovement in the condition
of yur sockafter drenching with
'Nilverm'. Get in your ammo and start
Supplies available from your
usual agricultural stockist.
SImperial Chemical Industries Limited
a drea ta lld
\ Cheshire England
Despite all efforts to control and eradicate Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD), this troublesome
disease continues to inflict heavy economic losses in poultry flocks.
Scientists and poultrymen now universally recognize Mycoplasma gallisepticum, a pleuro-
pneumo;1ia-like orgamism (PPLO), as the causative agent of CRD. Mycoplasma are complex organisms
which share some of the characteristics of both bacteria and viruses. They are difficult to
isolate and grow in the laboratory, and, therefore, a quick diagnosis may not be possible.
Mycoplasma generally become most troublesome following periods of stress when other factors
complicate the disease situation.
Howe Do PPLO Enter Your Fl~'och?
Usually PPLO are introduced with newly hatched chicks which are already infected. Infected
hens lay eggs contaminated with PPLO. These organisms infect the developing embryo, and the
baby chick is hatched harboring PPLO infection which spreads directly to non-infected
chicks. The infection soon builds up to costly levels.
PPLO can be carried directly into your flock on clothing, equipment and feed bags that
have been contaminated by chickens in an infected flock. Birds, rodents, dogs, and cats can
also me chanically spread PPLO. The wind may carry infective organisms on dust particles
from one broiler house to another.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970 37
Dr. D.L. Meyer
Division of Eli Lil/v
'arr rr olPl~e
RE~E S P IRATORY D I SEA~SE
PPLO causes CRD when chickens are subjected to stress. Chilling, overheating, crowding,
improper handling, vaccination and poor management produce stress on the birds. When
stressed, the chickens have less disease-fighting natural resistance and PPLO may multiply
and spread to disease-producing levels.
It is easy to appreciate that damage to the respiratory system causes the coughing and
snicking that occur in affected birds. Lesions caused by PPLO are entryways for other
DAMPNESS NEWCASTLE DISEASE
OTHER STRESS INFECTIOUS BRONCHITIS
P.PLO >- COMPLEX
j9 BACTERIA 1. SLOWER GAINS
VACCNATONSE. COLI 2. POOR FEED CONVERSION
NEWCASTLE DISEASE STAPHYLOCOCCI 3. DEATHS
4. SPREAD OF DISEASE
INFECTIOUS BRONCHITIS STREPTOCOCCI
PPLO, the cause of Chronic Respiratory Disease, is the central agent in the
Air Sac disease complex. PPLO alone produces a mild disease, but PPLO infection
is extremely responsive to stress factors. This is why control of PPLO removes
the strongest leg of the air sac Disease complex. In the presence of PPLO
and stress factors, secondary bacteria, mainly E. Coli and Staphylococci,
invade the body cavity. This invasion rarely takes place in the absence of
PPLO. The resulting mixed infection is commonly known as "Air Sac Disease
Bacteria Folloow PPLO
When air sacs are damaged by PPLO, bacteria which enter cause severe air sac lesions. Air sac
walls become thickened with the formation of heavy yellowish pus which may be foamy. As the
disease progresses, th e me mb ranes covering the liver and heart become thickened and fibrous.
When these advanced lesions of CRD are present, the condition is termed air sac disease. Air sac
disease is dramatic, visible proof that profits have been stolen by PPLO. However, PPLO can also
drain away your profits by less noticeable, gradual depression of growth, lowered feed efficiency
and reduced egg production. These dramatic and hidden losses are the key reasons why prevention
of CRD is so imp ortant.
PPLO Casse Bual Losses
PPLO passed from the hen not only inflict direct loss by killing some embryos, but also infect
embryos that may pass as quality chicks. When these chicks are placed in a house, they can spread
the disease to other birds.
LESIONS PRODUCED IN CHICKS MAY NOT BE SEVERE ENOUGH TO CAUSE
SICKNESS OR DEATH. HOWEVER, THESE CHICKS CAN SERVE AS A
SOURCE OF CONTAMINATION. ONLY A FEW CARRIER BIRDS CAN INFECT
THE REST OF THE FLOCK UNLESS SOMETHING IS DONE TO PREVENT THE
SPREAD OF THE INFECTION.
Bird-to-bird transmission is the second most imp ortant method of PPLO spread. Mycopl2asma cause
lesions in the upper respiratory tract, nostrils, sinuses and trachea. Wherever the lesions
38 Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
occur,Mycoplasma also occur and serve as a source of infection for other birds. PPLO can be
carried on droplets of water. The most logical source of infection is from the breath
of the chickens. Any snicking, coughing or sneezing resulting from the upper respiratory lesions
can cause the spread of PPLO.
Vir~eses C~onspicate CRD
Several viruses, primarily Newcastle, infectious bronchitis, laryngotracheitis and fowl pox
are potential invaders in chicks. These viruses attack the same tissues as PPLO the upper
respiratory tract lining and air sac membranes. Acting alone, the viruses cause lesions in
the upper respiratory tract similar to those caused by PPLO. Acting in combination with PPLO,
the degree, the inflammation, and the size of the lesions produced are much greater. When a
double infection of PPLO plus viruses occurs, the severity of the "complicated" CRD outbreak
is greatly increased.
Bacterial invasion of PPLO lesions causes a much more severe infection.E. coli is the most
commonly recognized secondary invader, but several others, including Staphy lococci, Strep tococci,
Pseu domonas and Pro teus can be involved. These bacteria nearly always need help to become
established in air sac lesions. They are called "opportunists" because conditions must be~
right before they can become established. Another agent, usually PPLO, must reduce
the resistance of the air sac me mb ranes to the secondary infection.
PRESENCE OF PPLO LESIONS, ESPECIALLY THE LESIONS WITH MUCH TISSUE
DAMAGE AND PUS CELLS, OFFERS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE SECONDARY
BACTERIA TO ESTABLISH THEMSELVES.
Hi~'Iat Alsosst E. C'oll?
Tests have shown that E. coli in eggs do not produce air sac lesions in newly hatched chicks.
When E. coli were put into 18 day old embryonating eggs under laboratory conditions, the
embryos died before they hatched. Examination showed that their air sacs were normal. Chicks
may hatch and survive with E. coli infections, but their air sacs will not show lesions
unlessh~ycoplasman infection is present.
SINCE E. COLI ARE FOUND SO COMMONLY IN NATURE, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE
TO PREVENT THEIR ENTRY INTO THE CHICKENS. WHEN THE NATURAL BODY
DEFENCES ARE LOWERED, INFECTIONS ARE MORE EASILY ESTABLISHED.
THEREFORE, CONTROL OF PPLO THROUGH A PREVENTION PROGRAM
OFFERS A BETTER DEFENSE TACTIC THAN ATTEMPTING TO CONTROL
E. COLI WHICH FOLLOW THE PPLO.
Massagerssent P~rograssa Isasportarst
The most effective measures for maintaining the health of the flock involve the development
of sound management practices. We must not only consider the PPLO, but also the associated
opportunist bacteria. Clean premises, including buildings, surrounding area, clothing of personnel
coming into contact with the birds, eradication of rodents, and prevention of animals such as dogs,
cats, pigs and goats from being near the birds will help reduce transmission of infective organisms.
When a flock is sold, the entire barn should be emptied at one time, old litter should be removed
and the building thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. All equipment should also undergo cleaning and
disinfectant should be applied.
Birds which are obtained should be of known quality and as free as possible from disease. A well-
planned, sound disease prevention program may include the use of antibiotics. A number of drugs are
recomme nded for use in CRD prevention programs. Tylosin is an excellent choice because it is
recomme nded specifically for prevention of CRD caused by Mycoplasma gallisep ticum. Other drugs
whose general re comme nations include prevention of CRD and air sac infection are: bacitracin,
chlortetracycline, Oxytetracycline, erythromycin and penicillin. Furazolidone is recommended for
non-specific disease conditions including CRD.
Use drugs recommended for specific disease problems and make sure you have a reliable diagnosis of
the problem. Avoid the indiscriminant use of drugs and follow the manufacturer's recommendations in
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
order for the drugs to remain effective. Whlen choosing a drug, be sure to review trial data,
especially comparisons agai nst comnpeti tive prod ucts wh ich will give assurance o f the effectiveness
of the one you decide to use
In conclusion, in order to be a profitable grower, a few points should remain in mind:
1. Buy stock of known quality from a hatchery interested in selling healthy birds.
2. Planl a ma nageme nt program wh ich will preserve the healthi of the birds after thecy are
3. When me dications are used in a preventive or treatme nt program, choose the one wh ich has
proven its value in your specific disease situation. Do not indiscriminantly use broad spectrum
drugs, wh ich treat a wide range of diseases, hoping that one willI be effective.
4. Be alert for new knowledge that you can apply to your operation. Apply those new ideas
which will improve your management and flock health and increase your profits.
helps you produce
more meat .. weith less feed
HOGS .. Tylan combats troubles, helps you grow thriftier hogs
from start to finish. Faster gains .. More efficient use of feed ...
Protection against costly infections. It pays to stay with Tylan all
the way to market.
Disease fighter, PPLO controller, gain booster, feed saver-How
should Tylan be serving you?
S JaELI LILLY S.A. (PUERTO RICO BRANCH)
ELANCO sasanuerto me.o
BROILERS ..Tylan is first choice in Chronic
Respiratory Disease control programs. It kills
PPLO (pleuropneumonia-like organisms), the
primary cause of CRD. Tylan helps you cut
mortality during the critical early growing
period, helps broilers gain faster and make more
efficient use of feed.
Caribbean Farming April/June 1970
I i ..
ON ON W ECN
The_ seet-w cosad avs ntebreig edi
thi phtgahrpesn ny12 o la' oa
198 he reesult of carefuld cale ttle breeding and slcion
Beefis ponlyphrprsn oney wa% inwhc Alcan cnrbts to the
country's 60 agiulual. secor.Tes Coman also pro-utonb
duces citrus, milk and for lieset productsadits 4,60
tenanh rsut farer makefu catl s bstantia contribution t
Jamaica's food crop production from the 20,000 acres
of Alcan land which they are farming.
Alcan, Alumina and Agriculture are three A's which
mean a lot to Jamaica's economy.
AN..ALCAN JAMAICA LIMITED
Printed By Lithographic Printers Ltd. 78 Hanover St.
Bryden & Evelyn Ltd.
54-56, Church Street
onlreay nman tcompsekx fertilizers
For '-:her information please contact:
Gera!d S W Srnith & Co Ltd.
P? O. Box No 14
St George s
J. O. Charles Ltd.
P. O. Box No. 279
Geo. F. Huggins & Co. Ltd.
P. O. Box No. 179
Port of Spain
T. Gedders Grant (Guyana) Ltd. Qa Costa & Musson Ltd.
P.O. Box No.407 P.O. Box No.103
LEN 2021 e