Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Title: Caribbean farming
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00101460/00011
 Material Information
Title: Caribbean farming
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Mona, Jamaica
Publication Date: 1971
Copyright Date: 1969
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00101460
Volume ID: VID00011
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 3116219

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
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        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
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        Page 18
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        Page 22
        Page 23
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    Back Cover
        Page 29
        Page 30
Full Text

1 1 4

jaribbean r i

Vol. 3 No. 4



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S 1 FAO has begun publication of a quarterly journal devoted to
World developments in animal production, animal health and
animal products, with particular reference to these subjects in
the developing countries.
The first issue includes an article by Dr. T.R. Preston on the
use of molasses for fattening beef cattle in the Tropics, a
report on livestock cooperatives in the Syrian Arab Republic
Sand a feature on a new type of ear-tag for cattle identification.
Future issues will include articles on Newcastle disease as a
World poultry problem, increasing milk yield and calf
performance by combined milking and suckling, a
report on the Kenya Feedlot Project by Michael Creek, who
4* worked in the Caribbean for some years.
S*|WORLD ANIMAL REVIEW is written primarily for the
Technical reader but also for the livestock policy maker and
S*the decision taker in the developing countries. It will also be
) of interest to teachers in universities and agricultural
colleges. Articles will be illustrated and will normally be
S. about 2,500 words. Three separate editions are available ii
E English, French and Spanish. Annual subscription is
US$3.00 and the address of the publishers is
o c/o Food and Agricultural Organisation of the Uni i
S Via delle Terme Caracalla, 00100 Rome, Italy.

45 z

= .

La '


Caribbeanp ni

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.

Vol. 3. No. 4









The editor will be glad to hear from farmers, research workers, extension officers
and others who would like to offer articles or photographs for publication in
j Preference is given to articles of a practical nature which will help to put the
results of research and experiment into the farmer's hands. Where possible, good
drawings or diagrams should accompany articles. Good quality photographs of not less
than 5" x 7" are welcome they should relate to farming in the region.
Payment will be made (on publication) for all material accepted.

To simplify technical terminology, com-
mercial names may be used. This is not in-
tended as an endorsement of products
named, nor as criticism of similar products
not named.

The opinions expressed in articles
do not necessarily represent
the views of the publishers

by F.W. Shepherd was reprinted in the
last issue of CARIBBEAN FARMING.
The publishers are grateful to Mr.
Shepherd and to the publishers of
ARGICULTURE --the Journal of the
United Kingdom Ministry of Agriculture
- for their kind co-operation and
permission to reprint the article,



Thermoco PVC Pipe is light weight,
cannot rust and is easily and quickly joined.
Thermoco PVC pipes and fittings
available from Stockists throughout Jamaica.


Caribbean Farming

Volume 3 No 4.


In this issue Dr. John Hammerton of the UWI Faculty of Agriculture has written an article dealing with
the techniques of weed control on small farms. Dr. Hammerton's story reminds us that in spite of the time
and thought which extension people devote to the small-scale farmer and his problems, not very much has
been achieved in making the small-holding a profitable and pleasant place to spend one's life.
At least part of the reason for this state of affairs lies in the tendency for small farms to do what big farms
do only on a smaller scale. Thus, the cane farmer with five acres and no tillage equipment, no
transport facilities, poor communication facilities nevertheless tries to stay in business on the margin of
profit (?) allowed by cane prices which barely make sense to the farmer who can pare costs to the bone.
And the man with a few cows does he get the best price for his supplies by buying the "giant economy
size"? Not very often; he has been persuaded that his solution lies in agitating for better milk prices or
beef prices, or whatever. People preach to the farmer about "setting up co-operatives" while he and they
ignore the advantages of group action in an informal way such as dividing the "economy size" package
betweenn four or five neighbours.

sometimes the best bet for the small-scale farmer lies in specialising where a high level of skill may
ring the profits usually earned by the big man with his "economies of scale". Thus pullet-rearing,
rowing-out of replacement heifers and seedling-production are examples of farming with tender loving
are substituting for broad acres and big capital. In the field of swine production, too many small investors
lake a start with ten gilts and a young boar followed by addition of one or two fattening pens and a little
addock where three or four gilts are raised to be bred to their sire as additions to the herd. The pattern
as become a familiar one; the results are almost invariably disappointing if predictable. In some places,
experience or good advice has persuaded farmers to buy a batch of weaners from a reputable breeder -
id then use care and skill to finish for market a pen of hogs that will make the butcher happy and willing
) come back for more. Repeating the procedure year after year and leaving breeding to the large-scale
ecialist has proven to be a wise decision in most cases.

is clear that for a long time to come Caribbean countries will have a large fraction of their total acreage
Id and operated as small farms. If these small farms are not reasonably profitable we will certainly
Sarsen our position with reduced production tonnage and higher production costs. It will take a deal of
anning around the special situation of small farms their cropping, servicing, financing and marketing -
i we hope to make the mini-farm a workable business.

I was good news when the agricultural economists of this Region decided to devote part of their 1970
r meeting to the role of the small-scale farmer in the Caribbean Economy. When the proceedings of that
c inference were published, Dr. David Edwards ( now Professor of Agricultural Economics at St.
Augustine) commented:
Despite the wide range of interesting case studies of small farming and partly because of the number of
papers little progress was made in resolving, by discussion, various views on the role of small farming in the
Commonwealth Caribbean.

We hope that the economists and the other specialists give the subject some more attention soon.

volume 3 No 4. Caribbean Farming

Weed Control Problems and the

Small Farmer

John L. Hammerton
Agronomist, Faculty of Agriculture
University of the West Indies,
Kingston, Jamaica.

More human energy is expended on the control of
weeds by the use of hoes, mattocks, machetes or by
hand pulling, than on any other facet of crop pro-
duction by small farmers in the tropics. The lives
of many peasant farmers and their families are
dominated by the need to spend a large part of
their waking hours weeding their crops. This restricts
the area they can work, so limiting their income and
often their diet; it may deprive their children of
schooling because all available hands are needed
in the fields. Partial freedom from the tyranny of
weeds would immensely improve the lives of
such peasant farmers and their families.

Much of the effort expended in weed control is
probably wasted by incorrect timing of the effort. In
addition cultivation for weed control may lead to soil
erosion. Although weed control is only a part of the
total effort required for production of a crop, it is
often a major part and dominates the entire system
of production.

Losses from Weeds
Failure to control weeds can result in total or near
total loss of edible and marketable produce. The extent
of the loss depends on the particular weed species
present and their density, and on the crop in question,
its spacing and fertilizer treatment. Much more
needs to be known about the effects of such factors
on crop yield and quality in order to plan the best use
of land: some crops, including many vegetables
should not be grown on land infested with nutgrass or
tall growing weeds.

Losses of 80% in Irish potatoes and carrots and of
70% in corn and onion due to the total absence
of weed control have been reported in India. Many

other examples could be given. The importance of
"timeliness" in weed control has been demonstrate,
in numerous experiments: in general, good control
of weeds during the first 30-40% of the crop's life i
good in terms of yield as control throughout the cr
life. Delay in starting weed control until it "looks
worth doing" almost invariably leads to reduction
final yields. The tradition of regrading weeding by i
hoe as a cultivation often results in root pruning an
may lead to soil erosion. Correct timing of weeding
ceasing control when the crop's critical period is pa
and staggering sowing dates to spread the period of
peak demand for weeding, would greatly help the
peasant farmer to economise on his physical effort
unit area of crop.
Role of Herbicides
Herbicides rarely give as good control of weeds as
careful hand work, since species resistant to a
particular chemical are almost invariably present.
But herbicides may delay regrowth and germination
of weed seeds and avoid exposing a loosened soil
surface so reducing erosion. Their advantage to the
small farmer lies in the opportunity to achieve
timeliness of control by enabling him to weed a
larger area at, more-or-less, the optimum time. A ma
with a sprayer, can, in a few hours, check weed grow:
on an area that a hand worker would take days to
cover. Even if the check is temporary or only partial
the follow up hand-work will be easier.
The herbicides currently available for use in food
crops in the tropics are far from satisfactory
Environmental interactions and differences between
crop varieties in sensitivity can result in erratic, un-
predictable and disappointing results even when
properly used. The cost of herbicides and spraying

Caribbean Farming

Volume 3 No 4.

SItad tie laqd aqd htad tie skill. J even
Shad a good greei thumb. But I
S didst have the moqey to buy
Seed aqd fertilizer.

So mde it easy oa
S,, myself..,

Barclayloans are now easily available to finance almost all of your
farming needs. Money for fertilizer, seeds, machinery, fences,
livestock . you name it! So, if there's something you need,
why not make it easy on yourself? Go get a Barclayloan today.

L' .-

.p9 -

: <

r --

MaltAe it eay oq yourself. et a arclayloal today
the better
D'Barclays way

Caribbean Farming




Volume 3 No 4.

equipment may be prohibitive for many peasant
farmers. Illiteracy, superstition and/or excessive opti-
mism can lead to disappointing or disastrous results
from over or under-dosing, or use of totally un-
suitable mixtures. Poor results may deter farmers
from adopting other modern practices. It is there-
fore sometimes difficult to justify the use of herbicides
by peasant farmers in food crops unless there is a
high degree of probability that they will be properly
used and will prove satisfactory almost regardless of
environmental conditions. A man whose livelihood
and food supply depends on securing a reasonable
crop cannot be expected to take the risks his
wealthier counterpart might take, particularly when
purchase of materials and equipment represents a
relatively very large outlay of cash.

Use of herbicides to reduce weed growth preparatory
to cultivation or planting, to check or prevent the
spread of perennials and shedding of seed by annuals
in fallow land, is an area where herbicides can substan-
tially aid the peasant farmer. Farmers should be
encouraged to control as many weeds as possible before
the crops is sown or planted, and to reduce weed
problems by preventing seeding or spread. This is
more important than cultivation of the soil, though
this may be a valtiable means of weed control.
"Gramoxone" (paraquat) has many advantages in
this situation, since its action is rapid and its effect
obvious, and it leaves no active soil residue. Its
disadvantages are its poor or short-lived control of
many perennial weeds, its high cost and its relatively
high mammalian toxicity Ogborn (1969) suggests that
an ideal herbicide for peasant agriculture should have
a mammalian toxicitylow enough for it to be safe
if used (accidentally) in cooking. My own view is
that herbicides should be formulated to smell and
appear obnoxious so as to warn against consumption.
It should ideally be tolerated by all the crops grown
by the farmer with a high selectively index: that
is, there should be large difference between the
dose giving a high degree of weed control and that
giving an acceptably low degree of crop damage. Its
weed spectrum need not be wide, since resistant
weeds can be dealt with by hand later. It is doubtful
if any modern herbicides satisfy these criteria. A
knapsack sprayer is a considerable capital
investment. Dribble bars are cheaper, have no moving
parts and avoid spray drift. If the operator walks
briskly low volume rates can be achieved: this is
important if water must be carried. Granular
materials spread by hand avoid the need for water
or any equipment. They are only suitable for soil-
acting herbicides, but many potentially useful
herbicides are in this class. Granular materials are
bulky however. The ideal might be incorporation of
a really safe herbicide safe in a large number of
important food crops, and safe to these crops over

a wide range of application rates in a fertilizer.
No herbicide currently available is suitable however.


Satisfactory use of herbicides requires a certain
level of literacy and sophistication; their use should
only be recommended and encouraged when it is
fairly certain that good results will be achieved. To
increase yields, new varieties, fertilizer usage and
better basic agronomic practices should probably
take precedence over the introduction of
herbicides. Herbicides should always be regarded as
part of an improved system of production.
It is impossible or certainly unwise to
attempt to leap from traditional methods to
modern rrethods of weed control. Too much is at
stake for a small farmer to risk adopting an expen-
sive, novel, and, to him at least, unproven method ,f
weed control in place of a known and proven
method. Some intermediate steps are therefore
necessary: the following are suggested.

1. Improved hand tools particularly lighter h, s
would reduce the effort needed and increase
timeliness of weed control. This must be link
ed to earlier weeding as a well-established we
stand needs a heavy tool.
2. Farmers must be encouraged to start weeding
earlier before the crop has suffered com-
petition damage. Weeding by hoe at this
stage is easier and quicker so that lighter tool.
can be used and moregroundcovered. Similar
farmers should be discouraged from continuil
weed control longer than necessary. Experi-
ments and demonstrations are needed to con-
vince farmers of the importance of timeliness.

3. Safe herbicides should be gradually introduce.
for use as granules or with dribble-bar. Such
herbicides must control some of the major
weeds, but not necessarily all.
4. Weed fallows between crops should be dis-
couraged. Herbicides such as Gramoxone,
dalapon, and 2,4-D can be used to suppress
weed growth, prevent seeding etc. Introduction
to the rotation of a crop in which herbicides
can be used should also be advocated corn is
undoubtedly the best. If properly used, weed
problems in the following crops should be
much reduced. 0

Caribbean Farming

Volume 3 No 4.

Now! A new, easier way

to make war on worms.

Fire away! -using the new ICI Superjector
with new 'NILVERM' INJECTION for easier,
accurate and safer worming in cattle and sheep.
Just a small concentrated dose, injected under
the skin, to give you the same remarkable
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'Nilverm' Injection sweeps away all important
stomach and bowel worms and lungworm as

Levamisolc TRADE MARK

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destroying profit-reducing worms. And savings
in time and effort, plus avoidance of wasteful
spillage, mean lower dosaging costs.
There's certainly nothing to equal 'Nilverm'
Injection for fighting-and winning-the worm
war: it's another first from ICI.

0 Imperial Chemical Industries Limied
Pharmaceuticals Division
Alderley Park Macdesfield
Cheshire England

The marriage that benefits

160,000 farmers in Jamaica

New strength from the unity of large
industrial families always result in added
benefits to the consumer.
The partnership of W. R. Grace &
Company, huge international manufacturers
of agricultural chemicals, and Jamaica's
Antilles Chemical Company is providing
increased assistance for the improvement of
farmers crops in Jamaica and the develop-
ment of the island's agricultural potential.

Distributed by:
109 Marcus Garvey Drive,
P.O. Box 417,

Antilles technical services, now backed
by Grace's long experience, skill and
research offer a soil and crop programme
that will result in improved yields and
profits for the 160,000 farmers in Jamaica.
Now more than ever, you can depend on
Antilles to be the reliable source of quality
agricultural products and technical service
for the farmer.

7512 Harbour Street,
P.O. Box 86,






. ,*. .

Caribbean Farming

Volume 3 No 4.

Depithing installation with 2 raw bagasse piles in the background.

Cittle Feed from Sugar By-Products

Mar, cane-growing countries have over the past
dec i:e shown an interest in exploring the
suit, uility of sugar by-products for use in feeding
lives .ck. Results from the United States, Cuba,
Indi South Africa, Australia, Puerto Rico etc. prove
that ,agasse and/or molasses can supply a considerable
perc ntage of, the energy requirements of cattle and
hen replace a large part of the grain in rations.
Inte ive production of animal protein for human
cons option is based on poultry, pigs and ruminants
(goa sheep and cattle). Pigs and poultry use energy
frorr 'ighly digestible carbohydrates e.g. starch
from ereals and protein unacceptable to man
fishi eal, oil-seeds, yeast etc). Ruminants, however,
are u que in that their rumen microflora enables
them o break down fibrous carbohydrates
cellu 3se in grass) and, even more important, to
synth size good quality protein from cheap
inorg. lic nitrogenous compounds such as urea or
amme iium salts. For this the major part of their
ration must consist of readily available carbohydrates
in the corm of starch or sugar. (Both cellulose and
starcl .are macromolecules composed of sugar units, and
are br ken down into the latter during the digestive
proce, ;. Feeding sugar directly is therefore a short-cut
toward the availability of energy for the microflora and
the animal.)
Yields of sugar cane in tropical countries are usually
in the range of 20 50 tons per acre, representing 2 5
tons of sugar and 1 2 tons of molasses containing
60 70% sugar. No country has produced mean
annual grain yields approaching even the lower end
of the scale. It has been claimed that sugar has a
lower energy value than grain, which would offset
this yield advantage and therefore molasses was used
as a sweetening agent rather than an energy source.
However, evidence has accumulated that feeding
values of grain and sugar are in fact similar. Tropical
countries can thus produce more energy per unit of
land than temperate regions, but this potential has

not been exploited sufficiently. The price for
sugar over the past 25 years has virtually remained
constant, whereas that for beef has more than
doubled and this price gap is widening. For this
reason there is every incentive for tropical countries
to turn their sugar into meat, and the cheapest source
of sugar is molasses.
The significance for Jamaica is best shown by
some facts. Beef and dairy production on pasture
alone is limited by natural factors that influence
the growth of grass, e.g. rainfall, daylength, type of
soil etc., and even the best management cannot go
beyond a certain number of cattle per acre. The
reason for this is that the animals are taking in their
energy mainly in form of cellulose, which is less
digestible than starch or sugar and hence larger
amounts are needed to satisfy the animals' demand.
However, production is increased dramatically once
"concentrates" are fed. A ration that provides the
animals with good protein and highly digestible
carbohydrates can triple daily weight gains and
may quadruple milk yields.
During 1971 Jamaica imported 8.5 million dollars
worth of beef and dairy products. The breakdown



An increase in production that would create self-
sufficiency can only be achieved by a considerable
increase in the number of animals and, due to the
limited productivity of pasture, this will mean feedlot
- fattening for beef and diet supplementation for
dairy cows to establish the required higher milk yields.
The first point has been recognized, and a central
feedlot was recommended to the Sugar Manufacturers'
Association in the Algeo-Brown Report in 1968. The
idea was taken up in 1970 by a consortium consisting of

Volume 3 No 4.

Caribbean Farming

two private companies,the Agricultural Development
Corporation and the Jamaica Industrial Development
Corporation. A feasibility study was carried out by
Stanford Research Institute of California. In a project
of this size a very careful look will have to be taken at
the problem and cost of feed, most of which will have
to be imported unless molasses and bagasse can be
made to play an essential part. Secondly, an increased
dairy industry is equally worth a very serious study in
the light of the country's long term development.
Production of concentrate animal feeds in Jamaica was
about 100,000 tons in 1971, the bulk being pig and
poultry feeds. An additional 50,000 tons was imported.
Analyzing these figures reveals, however, that 70% of
the locally produced feed had to be imported in the
form of primary materials. The import bill exceeds
J$5 million annually.

Products available and used
Jamaica are:

wheat middlings
brewers grain
citrus pulp
coconut meal


for animal feeds in

used % used
12.000 100
1.500 100
4.500 100
5.000 100
5,000 3
0 0

Neither the livestock nor the sugar industry has
so far taken advantage of the tremendous
potential of molasses and bagasse to feed cattle.
This statement can be justified by the following
Disposal of molasses in Jamaica:

rum 25%
livestock feeds 3%
export 72%
Utilization of exported molasses in the U.S.:
livestock feeds 74%
yeast, vinegar,
citric acid 14%
pharmaceutical &
edible molasses 8%
distilled spirits 4%

This shows that the bulk of Jamaica's molasses is
exported, to be used in livestock feed which produces
beef, milk and butter some of which is then
World research on the use of cane sugar in feeding
cattle has concentrated on three main areas of
investigation. Firstly the feeding of whole sugar
cane, cane juice or high density cane syrup from
which none of the sugar has been extracted. In
these cases the cane is grown for feeding
purposes alone and no sugar is produced. This
may not be economically acceptable to the sugar
industry. Secondly the feeding of a liquid

molasses- urea mixture free choice, with
roughage and/or concentrate provided
separately. Most of this work has been done in
Cuba by T.R. Preston and M.B. Willis who achieved
daily weight gains of 1.35 and 2.1 lbs respectively
overperiodsof 168 days. Amazingly, more than
50% non-protein nitrogen was utilized. The major
disadvantage is that when a molasses-urea mixture
is diluted, fermentation sets in rapidly and so
no more should be mixed than can be consumed
by the animals the same day. Handling of
molasses and blending it with urea is a
cumbersome procedure and requires considerable
care and accurate equipment. The capital cost of
storage tanks, scales, blenders etc and the need for
trained personnel may often make this unrealistic
for smaller farmers.

Thirdly the feeding of dry molasses products. In thi
case the molasses is mixed with a dry fibrous mate-
rial such as ground hay, paper, bagasse etc and is
absorbed by it. It is essential that this material is
dried to below 5% moisture before being blended v i
the molasses in order to reach a moisture level (in t
final product) that does not permit the growth of
mould or fermentation. Depending on its type and
quality, the fibre can then absorb up to 2.5 times
its own weight of molasses, while still yielding a
dry product that is not sticky and can be mixed
with other ingredients in most common feed
mixers. It can be pelleted and bagged and does not
absorb moisture from the air. Samples have been
kept under normal dry conditions for more than
three years without any fungal deterioration.
The food value of the product is dependent to a
large extent on the quality of the fibre, and this
appears to have been the main obstacle in Jamaic;
to the development of rations based on molasses.
The term fibre is used for those parts of vegetable
matter that maintain the shape of individual cells
well as of the whole plant. It is mostly cellulose,
which, however, in itself does not give enough
rigidity to support larger structures. For this
the cellulose is encrusted with lignin to a
greater or lesser degree. Since ruminants are
able to utilize cellulose but not lignin, the
digestibility of the fibre decreases as the lignin
content increases. In addition, the cellulose itself
becomes less accessible to the micro-organisms in
the rumen. This is drastically demonstrated by
the fact that wood, which contains 25-30%
lignin, is virtually indigestible. Once this
lignin has been removed (as in the manufacture of
paper) the digestibility increases to more than 40%.
Thus cows and goats happily chewing a newspaper
on the road-side are not stupid; they are taking
in a highly digestible fibre. Steers on a ration
containing 37% of a molasses-ground newspaper
mixture gained 2 Ibs daily over a period of 120

Volume 3 No 3,

Caribbean Farming

Sugar cane belongs to the family Gramineae, which
includes all the grasses and cereals. Due to its larger
size it contains more lignin than most other grasses.
In fact the lignin content approaches that of wood
(20-25% vs. 25-30%). For this reason the
digestibility of bagasse is rather poor. The lignin is,
however, not evenly distributed in the plant, most
of it is concentrated in the woody rind and in the
long, supporting fibres, whereas the spongy pith,
which contains the cane juice, has a much lower
lignin content.
It is not surprising therefore that the digestibility of
bagasse increases after the lignin has been extracted
ch :mically or the coarse lignin-rich fibres have been
re.-uoved mechanically. In the first case the bagasse is
trc.ited with caustic reagents such as sodium
hN Iroxide and the digestibility can reach 60%. The
se ond method is more economical because the
se rated hard fibres can be used to make particle-
bh rd (bagasse-board), therefore utilising 100% of the
b; asse.

Rations containing large proportions of a bagasse-
molasses mixture (bagomolasses) normally of the
order of two parts molasses to one part bagasse by
weight have been evaluated and are being produced
commercially for cattle feed in many parts of the
world. R.M. Beames in Australia reported daily gains
of 1.4 and 2.3 lb. with 70% and 50% bagomolasses.
P.F. Randel in Puerto Rico achieved daily gains of
2.4 and 2.6 with 40 50% bagomolasses in the
ration and milk yields of 50 lb./day with 42%
bagomolasses. In all these cases the ration contained
25-50% grain.
In Jamaica, Standard Building Products Ltd. has
been taking bagasse from nearby Bernard Lodge
sugar factory and separating-it into fibre and
pith using the fibre (since 1967) for the
manufacture of bagasse-board. Since last year
the new owners of the factory have begun to
develop a product using bagasse pith as a carrier for
molasses. The road is now open for the first chain
of industries in this country making use of sugar
by-products on this scale. *


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Volume 3 No 4.

Caribbean Farming


Florunner Peanut Sets New

Records in Southeast

Mary C. Williams

In its first year of commercial
production, the Florunner peanut
was an outstanding success, set-
ting new records for runner pea-
nut production in the Southeast.
And it's the most talked-about
peanut variety in the world to-
day, according to Dr. D. R. Mc-
Cloud, chairman of the IFAS
Agronomy Department at Gaines-
McCloud says peanut growers
in the southeastern United States
made a $21/2 million gain in in-
come from higher yields pro-
duced by Florunner in 1970. The
variety was planted on 50,000
acres in the South. With more
seed now available, McCloud
predicts that Florunner will be
planted on 300,000 acres in
1971, and growers will make a
$15 million gain in income with
the variety.
The new, high-yielding variety
was released for seed increase in
1969 by the Florida Agricultural
Experiment Stations. Derived
from a cross between Early Run-
ner and Florispan, Florunner has
the runner growth habit of Early
Runner, but much higher yields.
At the time of its release, Flo-
runner had averaged 3,525
pounds per acre in four years of
Experiment Station tests, about
20% higher than Early Runner
under the same management.
The best commercial yield re-
ported in Florida in 1970 was
made by Woodroe Fugate, who
obtained 5,092 pounds per acre
with Florunner on 17.5 acres in

Levy County. Billy Sanders of
Vienna, Georgia, topped 21/2 tons
per acre with a yield of 5,519
pounds per acre on 20 acres
planted with the Florunner va-
riety, for the best yield reported
in Georgia.
Dr. A. J. Norden, University
of Florida agronomist who was
principal developer of the Flo-
runner variety, says the yield ad-
vantage that was obtained from
Florunner over Early Runner for
a number of years in experimen-
tal plantings has been the case
in the commercial plantings
made thus far. "However," Dr.
Norden points out, "seasonal
variation is expected in the va-
rietal response for all crops, and
growers shouldn't place too much
emphasis on the exact pounds
per acre advantage that Florun-
ner has demonstrated over Early
Runner for the past several
Florunner was tested for adap-
tation to Florida, Georgia, and
Alabama, and is expected to re-
place plantings of Early Runner
in these states. Florunner was
also produced successfully in
North Carolina last year.
The cross which resulted in
the new variety was one of a
number of crosses that were made
in the Experiment Station green-
house at Gainesville early in
1960 by Dr. Norden and Dr.
W. A. Carver. Preliminary se-
lections were then made by Drs.
Norden and Carver. After Dr.
Carver left the project in 1963,
Dr. Norden made selections, in-
cluding yield, agronomic, and
Caribbean Farming

quality evaluations which re-
sulted in the Florunner variety.
Experiment Stations Associate
Agronomist R. W. Lipscomb con-
ducted yield and agronomic test-
ing at Marianna.
Others who cooperated in eval-
uating the Florunner variety be-
fore its release include Dr. R. O.
Hammons of USDA at Tifton,
Georgia, and Dr. A. C. Mixon of
USDA at Headland, Alabama,
who conducted yield evaluations
at their locations. Dr. Norden
also acknowledges the assistance
of commercial companies, espe-
cially Corn Products Company,
the Tom Huston Peanut Com-
pany, and Cinderella Foods for
conducting processing tests and
flavor and chemical quality eval-
uations. The Experiment Sta-
tions Department of Food Sci-
ence also helped in sensory
Before its release Florunner
was tested specifically for im-
proved chemical composition,
taste, and flavor characteristics.
Dr. Norden reports that taste
panels continue to find the Flo-
runner variety superior to Early
Runner in flavor quality, and
equal or superior to most of the
new experimental.
In addition to improved flavor
and shelf-life, Florunner is also
better suited to mechanization
than Early Runner. The peanuts
are clustered near the tap root,
they mature at the same time,
and the foliage is less dense than
Early Runner.
Because the shells of Florun-
ner are somewhat thinner than

Volume 3 No 4.

Florunner Peanut

those of Early Runner, Dr.
Norden says growers and han- p
dlers must take more care with
the Florunner variety to avoid
excessive pod cracking or break-
age during the harvesting and
storing operations.
Florunner has more seed dor-
mancy than Early Runner and
Dixie Runner, and considerably
more dormancy than Florigiant.
"This would have been a distinct
advantage some years ago," Dr.
Norden says, "when peanuts
were grown to a large extent for
animal feed. Today it can be
helpful when weather conditions
at harvest time favor the sprout-
ing of seed. But for seed pro-
ducers, increased dormancy in
the Florunner seed increases the
possibility of volunteer plants
coming up in the succeeding
Dr. Norden, who has worked
on peanut improvement for the
past 11 years, is continuing to
evaluate other lines. Like cars,
peanut varieties are popular for
a time and are then replaced by
new, improved models.

Dr. Norden holds freshly dug peanut plants from an advanced experimental line
of the Virginia bunch type. The photo was taken in September 1970 at the Agron-
omy Farm, Gainesville.





g g We're Breeding and Offering BRANDS
Regd. BRAHMAN,Regd. JA. RED POLL as well as Grade
on the Purchase of
3 or more Bulls also-

Volume 3 No 4.

Caribbean Farming

We got good

by getting dirty.

Many oil company engineers and sales-
men love to fiddle around with slide ruies,
calculators and flow-charts.
Not Esso Men.
They also like monkey wrenches, grease
guns and hammers.
In our book, that makes sense. Because
when you've got a problem, you don't need
a man with a headful of theories.
You need somebody who takes off his
jacket, rolls up his sleeves, spits on his

hands, and gets to work. All the theories in
the world won't replace that.
Certainly there's a time for slide rules.
Esso Men are handy with those, too. But
not until after they've had a good, hard,
intelligent look at the job.
And an Esso Man wouldn't dream of
recommending one of our greases or oils or
solvents or waxes unless he knew it was just
right for your problem.
When an Esso product does fix it, they're

And when an Esso product doesn't fix it,
they'll start digging to find out why.
And sooner or later they'll get an answer.
That's why they're Esso Men.
Next time you have a petroleum-product
problem, ask your Esso Man to have
a look at it.
And if the machinery hap-
pens to be at the bottom of a
mine shaft, covered with s
muck and sludge, don't worry.
He'll probably love it.


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 do
this for you. Dont stop your crop...

Call your Wrigt Rain dealer REGINALD
for FREE design study and estimate FIELD E(
435 Spanisl


Helping to change the way of life
of Jamaica's market vendors.

Remember the typical market vendor of a few years
ago? Stout, formidable and friendly, hands deep in
the pockets of her apron, head tied country-style
with a brightly checkered kerchief ... Probably
perched on a donkey ... or riding on top of the
mountain of produce being hauled to market by a
dray or truck ... All this is changing.
Today's market vendor might drive around to the
AMC in her car or pick-up. Her children have the
opportunity of attending secondary school. Gone are
the days of precarious ventures, of trusting to
individual farmers to supply the produce she needs,
of waiting up nights for some unreliable country truck
which might not bring the produce needed.
Take Mrs. Mavis Davis. She is a market vendor and
she has been in this kind of business for more than
twenty years.
For the past eight years she has dealt with the AMC.
And this has brought about a dramatic change in her
way of life.
Today, Mrs. Davis sees the children off to school then
drives around to the AMC at 10.00 a.m. to pick up a
variety of produce at reasonable prices. Her business
with the AMC totals as much as $1,500 weekly and
the produce she buys is supplied to a net-work of 50
Her ten children all go to good schools ... ranging
from Junior Secondary to Private. She has a home of
her own.

For Mrs. Mavis Davis ... and hundreds of market
vendors all over Jamaica ... the AMC has meant a
better life, more money, more respectability, more

This is just one of the ways in which the AMC is
changing Jamaica. The AMC's approach to modern
food crop marketing means a better life for the
farmer and the housewife ... as well as the market
188 Spanish Town Road, Kingston 11.
Phone: 923-9261

Caribbean Farming


h Town Rd., Kingston 11
hone 933-8538



Volume 3 No 4.

Plant Quarantine

in the Caribbean
Dr. Chelston W.D. Brathwaite,
former FAO Plant Pathologist and
presently Research Fellow, Department
of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture,
U.W.I., St. Augustine, Trinidad.

Agriculture is, and will be for a long time to
come, the major source of income and employment for
t .e majority of the people of the Caribbean. During
tie past five years or so, there has been a silent re-
\ Caution in the focus of crop production in the
I egion. Formerly, crop production in this region was
i ared towards the import markets of Europe. It has
1 en realized that a large food import bill is a
s humbling block to economic development and that the
t chnical know-how is available for the production of
i ach more of our local food requirements. Consequent-
1 crop production is changing from the colonial
s stems which involved the monoculture of sugar-
c ie, cocoa and coffee to a system of diversified
t -ming. The six main components of this changing
I ttern are:
(a) Increased emphasis on the production of
fresh fruits and vegetables.
(b) Increased emphasis on the production of
tropical root crops.
(c) Intensive production of crops that were
once grown only in the home-garden, e.g.
pigeon peas and corn.
(d) The introduction of new tropical crops,
e.g. sorghum and peanuts.
(e) Investigations for the possible intensive
production of adaptable varieties of
temperate crops, e.g. soya beans.
(f) The introduction of new tropical crop
varieties to improve those already present,
e.g. citrus, cassava, cocoa, yams, coco-
nuts and bananas.

The fruits of this revolution are yet to be reaped.
However, to obtain the maximum benefit from this in-
vestment at harvesting time, attention must be paid
to those factors which contribute to successful and
efficient crop production; factors such as

(1) Increased use of fertilizers and irrig-

(2) Improved farm mechanisation

(3) Improved farm management

(4) Improved plant protection practices
especially effective plant quarantine
This article is concerned with the role of plant
quarantine in this new agricultural outlook.
It has been estimated that one-third of the
world's total agricultural production is lost owing
to the ravages of plant pests and diseases.Although
data on plant disease losses in the entire
Caribbean are not available, there is no reason to
think that losses from this source is any less here.
In addition to these normal losses, crop production
in many parts of the world is continually being de-
vastated by plant pests and diseases resulting in
considerable economic loss and human suffering. The
classic case is that of late blight of potato. The
potato became the staple food of the Irish and was
consequently planted on large acreage. In the 1840's
a fungus disease of potato called 'late blight' des-
troyed the potato industry of Ireland resulting in
widespread famine and death from starvation to 250,000.
In Jamaica, Panama wilt, a fungus disease of banana
once reduced annual export from 26 million bunches to
10 million bunches. It is estimated that in the
United States the annual loss caused by a single pest
of cotton, the boll weevil, is of the order of 20.3
million dollars. In Florida it cost 11 million dollars
to eradicate the Mediterranean fruit fly, a pest
which is presently a threat to West Indian agricul-
ture. These examples are but a few of the economic
and social tragedy that plant pest and diseases have
caused in the past.
Now then,what is plant quarantine? And how does it
attempt to eliminate these disasters?
Plant Quarantine has been defined as a programme
designed to prevent the entry of destructive
foreign pests and diseases into a country and to
eradicate them effectively if and when they do enter.
When we consider the numerous ways in which
destructive pests may enter a country we
immediately become aware of the dimensions of
plant quarantine work. Insects, snails, weeds and
disease producing organisms may be imported with
agricultural products, but more signifi-

Volume 3 No 4.

Caribbean Farming

cantly, they occur on many non-agricultural products,
e.g. on the under side of automobiles and machinery,
in cartons of canned goods, in straw used for wrapping
ware, in shipments of clothing, steel, rubber, paper,
etc. Consequently, the task of the plant quarantine
officer requires the dedicated co-operation of the
customs service and the public. The responsibilities
of plant quarantine officers are:
(i) Inspection of ships, carriers and aircraft
and their cargo to ensure that they are
free from pests and diseases of quaran-
tine significance.
(ii) Examination of all imported plant mater-
ial and plant products.
(iii) If and when infected or infested plant
material or any other material is en-
countered, prescription of the proper
(iv) Inspection and certification to ensure that
plants and plant products designated for
export are free from pests and diseases.
(v) Enforcement of domestic quarantines to
prohibit the movement of plant pests and
diseases to uninfested areas.
(vi) Performance of continuous surveys of the
local pest and disease situation in order to
eradicate a pest before it becomes estab-
From this list of responsibilities it will be
realized that plant quarantine personnel are on the
forefront of the war against foreign pests and
diseases. Their job is demanding both academically
and socially. A knowledge of agriculture and the
biological sciences is necessary along with plant
quarantine training and an ability to deal tactfully
with the public.
The Caribbean is fortunate in that in spite of a
long history of crop production, the Region is still
free from many internationally notorious plant pests
and diseases. If this situation is to continue
plant quarantine services must be efficient and effec-
tive. Some of the internationally destructive pests
and diseases are not very far from our national
boundaries. The following is a list of what may be
considered to be the Caribbean's seven most unwanted
pests and diseases and their present distribution:
(1) The Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capit-
ata; attacks over 200 different species of fruits
and vegetables including citrus, mango,
guava, tomato and cucumber. Occurs in
Europe, Western Australia and most countries
of Central and South America. Spread by in-
fested fruit.

(2) Golden nematode Heterodera rostochiensis.
Attacks potato, tomato, eggplant. Occurs in
Europe, Canada, New York, parts of
Central and South America. Spread main-
ly by movement of infested soil.
(3) The giant African Snail, Achatina fulica,
feeds on a large number of ornamentals and
vegetables. Occurs in Africa, India, Phili-
ppines, Hawaii and U.S.A. Spread by attach-
ing itself to materials and equipment.
(4) Coffee rust, Hemilia vastatrix; attacks coffee
causing considerable loss; eliminated the
coffee industry of Ceylon. Occurs in Africa,
Asia and certain South Pacific Islands. Recent-
ly reported in Brazil. Spread by movement
of infected berries and leaves, and also air-
borne spores.
(5) Khapra beetle, Trogoderma granarium.
Attacks stored grains causing complete loss
in many cases. Occurs in Asia, Europe,
Africa and U.S.A. Spread by infected
grain and grain products.
(6) Mexican fruit fly, Anastrepha ludens.
Attacks citrus and mango and many other
tropical fruits. Occurs in Central and South
America. Spread by infested fruit.
(7) Banana bunchy top virus disease. This is
the most destructive virus disease of banana
known. Occurs in Ceylon, India, the
Philippines, Malaysia, Africa and Australia.
It is spread by importation of infected
banana plants.

Any one of these pests if established in the
Caribbean, could devastate the respective sector of
crop production in less than a decade. Let us take an
example: The Mediterranean Fruit Fly exists as close
to us as Venezuela; a passenger from there carrying
a single infested fruit could endanger the entire
fruit industry of Trinidad. The objective of plant
quarantine with the co-operation of Customs service
is to stop that infested fruit at the point of entry.

The foregoing is an attempt to awaken awareness to
the magnitude of the problem which must be faced in
protecting the present and future agricultural re--
sources of the Caribbean from devastation by foreign
pests and diseases. It is only through an efficient
plant quarantine service and a cooperative Customs
service that the goal will be achieved. Prevention is
better than cure and a lot cheaper, too. Today, the
population of the Caribbean is increasing very rapidly;
if this generation and the ones to come are
to be fed, present losses must be reduced and new
losses from foreign pests and diseases must be pre-
vented. Efficient plant quarantine programmes have
important role to play in helping us to achieve this
goal. 0

Caribbean Farming

Volume 3 No 4.

Mexican Vegetables in the U.S. Market

For those U.S. growers who compete with Mexican
produce in the American market for fresh winter vege-
tables the news is not good. It is that competition
will harden in years to come, with the prospect o.f
further increases in U.S. imports from Mexico.

Last year's imports of fresh and processed vegetables
and fruits from Mexico broke all records. The import
value, at $191 million, was nearly twice the 1967
level and over four times the value of shipments in
i 960. Fresh vegetables accounted for about $140
million, and of these, tomatoes had the biggest share
with $95 million.

/olume Increases
)f the commodities studied, imports from Mexico of
nost fruits and vegetables trended up during 1967-70.
'he exception was cantaloupes. Imports of cucumbers,
"eppers, and eggplants were sharply higher. Tomatoes
:creased at a fairly even gait. Imports from
countries other than Mexico rose slightly, but volume
,'as relatively small.
lexican producers have steadily carved a bigger slice
f the U.S. market in recent years. Their share of
)ecember-May tomato movements went from about 30
percent in the 1963-64 season to 46 percent in 1968-
9, and to 60 percent in the 1969-70 season.

Florida Loses Ground
Florida's share of winter tomato movements declined
from 62 percent in 1963-64 to 47 percent in 1968-69,
and to 33 percent for the 1969-70 crop when adverse
weather reduced yields. In the Chicago market,
Florida supplied 61 percent of the shipments from the
two areas in 1967, and Mexico, 39 percent. By 1970
these shares were practically reversed.
Pressures from tomato imports are seen building in
the future for the same reasons they have in the
past. Namely, that Mexico's costs of production and
marketing are lower than in the U.S.; and Mexico's
climate is more conducive to vegetable growing.
(Note: These assessments were made prior to the im-
position of a 10 percent surcharge on most items
imported by the U.S.)
Tomato Gains
For vine-ripe tomatoes in the 1970-71 season,
Florida's cost of producing and marketing f.o.b.
totaled $2.39 per 20-lb. equivalent, versus
Mexico's $2.02 f.o.b. Nogales, Arizona. Mexico's
advantage 37 cents compares with 18 cents in
1967-68, and partially explains an eastward shift
in market penetration of Mexican tomatoes and stronger
competitive position in western markets.

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Volume 3 No 4.

Caribbean Farming

Sweet Potato

According to Economic Research Service (ERS), this
widening cost spread combined with the climatic
advantage enjoyed by Mexican producers indicates
that Mexico may continue to supply larger amounts
of vine-ripe tomatoes to the U.S. And, Florida's
relative position may continue to weaken.

Other Imports

In production and marketing of winter cucumbers,
Florida has a competitive edge when it comes to
costs. But cold weather limits large-volume pro-
duction during the severe winter months. ERS con-
cludes, therefore, that annual cucumber imports from
Mexico and the Caribbean may go up.

In green peppers, Florida has remained in a strong
position since 1967-68. However, imports are expected
to increase as adverse weather periodically reduces
Florida's production.

In eggplants, Florida and Mexico have about the
same production costs. Costs are rising faster in
Florida, however. So, Mexico will probably gain an
increasingly bigger share of the U.S. market.

Cantaloupe shipments from Mexico may grow in line
with U.S. winter demand. Domestic spring output will
also rise gradually, and continue to shut out Mexican
cantaloupes during the months of large supplies from
our Southwest.

About strawberries, ERS figures Mexico will probably
expand its portion for the early fresh market.

Mexico has a favourable balance of trade with the
U.S. in agricultural commodities, but the U.S.
continues to enjoy a favourable balance in all
commodities. Vegetables have made major contributions
to the doubling of exports of agricultural products
to the U.S. by Mexico since 1963. The U.S. also near-
ly doubled its exports of agricultural products to
Mexico since 1963, but these were still only about
one-third the value of imported Mexican goods.

Both countries more than doubled their total trade
with each other but the U.S. maintained a net advan-
tage of $449 million in 1970. 0

Varieties in the

Eastern Caribbean

Ronald A. Baynes
U.W.I. Cave Hill

The Sweet Potato is an important food crop in most of
the islands of the Eastern Caribbean. In Barbados it is
customary to grow this crop in "thrownout" or
"preparation land." between cycles of sugar cane on an
estate scale. In the other islands sweet potato is
grown by small farmers, usually in mixed stands with
other food crops, notably pigeon peas and maize. In
St. Vincent production exceeds local demand, so that
over the years St. Vincent has been exporting the
crop mainly to the Trinidad market which
absorbed some 2.5 mil. lbs. of tubers during the
1970 season.
One major limiting factor to efficient sweet
potato production is the difficulty of obtaining
well adapted, high yielding cultivated varieties
(cultivars). The choice of cultivars is usually dic-
tated by tradition, so that one finds cultivars which
have been used by farmers for many years. The quest
for high yielding cultivars arises not only from the
desirability of increasing over-all production, but
also by the need to improve the efficiency of
production. Since demand is usually year round, all
season production should be the aim, since sweet
potatoes do not have a long shelf life. Production,
however is very seasonal, this being influenced by
rainfall, the availability of planting material and
tradition. This makes for adequate supplies
towards the end of the wet season and serious
scarcity at other times of the year, with the
attendant large fluctuation in the price received
by the farmer. This note aims to draw to farmers
attention that a number of superior cultivars exist
which show considerable promise in preliminary
Over the three year period, 1968-1970, a number of
formal replicated fields experiments designed to test
the performance of 16 cultivars at a time, were con-
ducted in Barbados, St. Vincent and Grenada by
the U.W.I. Regional Field Experimental Programme,
Windward Islands. Cultivars included at
least two local popular types in each island, as
well as a number of selections from U.W.I. St.
Augustine in Trinidad. All plots received a blanket
application of N.P.K. fertilizers and regular spraying

Caribbean Farming

Volume 3 No 4.

with insecticide was done. Harvesting was after about
18 weeks and the tubers were graded into market-
able and non-marketable types. Marketable tubers
were those in the U.S.D.A. Jumbo and grade 1 classes.
Mean marketable tuber yields of the most promising
cultivars as well as the local standards on individual
islands are presented in Table 1. Cultivars 26/7
produced a mean yield of 9,946 lbs/acre in
Barbados, while the common local types,B6305,
Caroline Lee and B6207 gave 7,280, 5,127 and
3,935 lbs/acre respectively, over the three year

In ;t. Vincent, "Black Vine", the preferred export
cu ivar gave a mean three year yield of 4,381 lb/acre
an "Barbados Vine" another local popular cultivar
ga 7,105 lb/acre. Other entries in the same
ex eriments, T25, A26/7 and 049 produced 10,130,
9, )7 and 8,334 lb/acre respectively, of marketable
tu _rs.

T; le 1. Marketable Tuber Yield (Lbs/acre) of
Selected Sweet Potato Cultivars over
three years on Individual Islands.

(Sc types 3

Cu ar
B6 i
Car ne Lee
B62 '

0 and 40)

Tuber yields in Grenada were generally lower than in
the other islands, however, A26/7 out yielded all other
entries. Of interest is the fact that "Justine" a local
selection performed extremely well, with 5,392 lbs/acre,
or 400 lbs. per acres less than A26/7.

A comparison of performance of the more
promising cultivars over the period and over these
three islands indicate that A26/7 was superior to all
entries (Table II). This cultivar produced a mean
yield of 8,168 lb/acre as compared with some of the
older selections like M23 and 049 which produced
3,947, and 4,735 lb/acre of marketable tubers

These preliminary experiments suggest clearly that
improved yield can be had with the use of selected
cultivars. They also demonstrate the
value of good husbandry which include (a) the use
of healthy vigorous apical slips (b) clean weeded
culture facilitated by close planting (12' in the
row 2' 6" to 3.0' between rows) (c) control of
insect pests by dipping "slips" before planting in
a solution of a suitable insecticide and regular insect-
icidal sprays. 0

St. Vincent
(Akers Sandy Clay Loam)

Mean Yield

B'dos Vine
Black Vine

Mean Yield

(Capitol Clay Loam)


Cricket Gill

Mean Yield


Marketable Tuber Yield (Lbs/acre) of
Selected Sweet Potato Cultivars over
three years on Barbados, Grenada and
St. Vincent.

Volume 3 No 4.

Mean Yield

Farmers in the Caribbean are realizing that hard labour is becoming in-
creasingly expensive. Small machines of the type shown above are now
being used on farms of all sizes. They have attachments which allow
them to do a variety of jobs in crop production.
Caribbean Farming 21

Table II.



ints ere sed xcluivel
/ater a mjor ousig de
veop en n instn

Jen aint are spec ally. kW

i pants Tht'swhymor

City, M untain errace
Beah i Oco Ros

each Hotel, egasus Hotel
y Aprtmet, illoene
j Schools Pogram e ..
and may more

why do t youinsis
on Gliden net tim
vniirp~aintvnu hnup.7


How well does the

UWI Faculty of

This article by Mr. E.G. Gooding, Food Production Adviser in the
Caribbean Development Bank, is the third in a series.
The first article was by Professor Nazir Ahmad of the UWI and the
second by Mr. Hugh Miller of the Jamaica Development Bank.
Mr. Gooding is a West Indian scientist who has had a distinguished
career notably in the area of tropical food crops.

Agriculture serve the

Caribbean's farming community?

Akl ig with many others in the Caribbean, I too have
wo dered about the real worth of the Faculty of
Ag culture of the University of the West Indies to
Ag, culture in the region. I have come to the.
coi lusion that the Faculty is justifying its existence,
as training institution, as a research institute and
as: pioneer of agricultural thought. It is satisfying
the : needs in a way that extra-regional universities
an( Government Agricultural Departments could
not lo.

Cri :s are suggesting that because the Faculty has
not broughtt about a complete change in agricultural
pat rn in these territories it has failed in its purpose.
The appear not to realise that complete changes in
agr, ltural pattern do not come overnight or in
isol ion from world conditions. To diversify the West
Ind s out of Sugar cane for example (even if it were
eco jmically desirable, which is extremely doubtful)
canm t be done in a few years, and indeed may not be
pra( cable at all, as Fidel Castro has found in Cuba
and s Puerto Rico is now finding.

Prof ssor Ahmad feels that the criticisms of the
Fact ity relate mainly to the training it gives to students,
and is article very clearly outlines the problems
facilh the university. In particular one should note
two of the points he makes. First that an engineer, for
example, can command a higher salary than an
agricultural graduate; agriculture will have to gear
itself to compete in remuneration with other industries.
This is no fault of the Faculty. The second is the low
status of agriculture in the community and for as long
as our politicians, sociologists and economists continue
to equate agriculture with slavery, there will be re-
luctance to embark upon courses of agriculture.

In Barbados we have little criticism to make on the
content of the Agricultural courses. In a given time an
undergraduate can be taught only a certain amount,
and we feel that the U.W.I. courses are reasonably
balanced, though possibly animal husbandry might be

It is true that so far no very great number of
Barbadian students have graduated from the Faculty,
but those that have are all now either contributing their
quota to the agricultural development of Barbados or
are studying for higher degrees. They are neither better
nor worse than might have been expected of a cross
section of agricultural graduates from any good
university. The majority show considerable aptitude
for practical work backed up by a sound knowledge of
basic principles

Just as important as the training of students is the
quality of research being carried out in the University
and its application in the Caribbean territories. After
a lifetime in agricultural research I unhesitatingly say
that, in my opinion, the research of the U.W.I.
Faculty of Agriculture is of a high standard and is
geared to local needs in a way that could only be
carried out by a Caribbean body. If such research
were to be undertaken by individual Territorial
Governments enormous overlapping and wastage of
funds would be involved. Also, in some cases, the
University is able to take a more basic approach of
longer term, but none the less important, significance,
e.g. the current work on conditions affecting
tuberisation in sweet potatoes.

We hear that the Faculty is quietly proceeding with
research which is not applied in practice. Whose fault
is this? If the results of the research are not being used
it is largely (or mainly) the fault of agriculturists in
the various territories, although some also feel that
the extension arm of the faculty needs strengthening.
There is a substantial output of papers and reports;
there are seminars, conferences and meetings; and
university staff always make visitors most welcome
both in Trinidad and Jamaica, and are anxious to dis-
cuss their particular problems. From both the Ministry
of Agriculture and the Sugar Producers' Association in
Barbados, senior staff have frequently visited the
Faculties in Trinidad and Jamaica. Before the

Volume 3 No 4.

Caribbean Farming

Letter from a Reader

Here in Dannenborg Farms we have spent some five years trying
to generate commercial row crop farming. We are now
completely devoted to the production of beef cattle. This has
proved to be by far and away a better commercial operation
than any other agricultural area we could enter.
Dannenborg Farms is located in what would be considered
humid tropics of year around warm weather, high rainfall and
deep forest soils. Utilizing Pangola grass and intensive manage-
ment, we are able to produce 600 to 1,000 pounds of beef per
acre per year. In a Bulletin published in December, 1964 by
Jose Vicente-Chandler, University of Puerto Rice Experimental
Station, Rio Piedras, P.R. called "The Intensive Management of
Tropical Forages in Puerto Rico", Mr. Vicente -Chandler states
in the summary to this bulletin that "the world's greatest
potential of forage and hence cattle production lies in the
humid tropics". He goes on to say the intensive management of
tropical forages resulted in production of over 1,000 pounds of
beef per acre yearly.
We are not utilizing concentrates of any kind but relying
completely on locally grown Pangola pastures. High quality beef
production at extremely high efficiency rates can be obtained in
the Caribbean.
Sincerely yours,

James M.M. Granger
Director of Operations

Diversification Unit of the Sugar Producers' Association
organised its programme on non-sugar crops lengthy
discussions were held with Faculty staff on the general
background, markets, economics, agronomy and
physiology of a wide range of commodities. It is no
exaggeration to say that the programme was put
forward four or five years as a result of these pre-
liminary discussions. Subsequently the Unit has kept
abreast of the latest in research on, among other
crops, yams, sweet potatoes, English potatoes, corn,
soya beans, pigeon peas, pawpaws: also on forage crops,
silage, animal feed concentrates and dairy farming in
general. In some instance joint experiments have been
carried out with the Faculty. The Regional Research
Scheme prepared the Soil Map of Barbados during
1961-63, which is now the basis for all systematic
agricultural planning. The Soils Department of the
Faculty has done valuable work on the analysis of
local soils, particularly of Potassium. The local unit

of the same scheme, situated at the U.W.I. Campus
at Cave Hill, experimenting in the Eastern Caribbeai
has been largely responsible for demonstrating the
potentialities of corn in the region and is now
improving the husbandry of sweet potatoes.

Apart from the value of such research and
discussions the Faculty provided for some time the
only plant pathologist and the only nematologist in
the southern Caribbean, and the only agricultural
engineer, who has himself done pioneering work on
the harvesting of root crops. Certainly we in
Barbados have benefitted greatly from their willing

The Library in Trinidad is the only reasonably
comprehensive agricultural library in the region; this
too has been extensively used by our workers. 0

Volume 3 No 4.

Caribbean Farming

Healthy crops-healthy profits

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Shell Herbicides are selective in destroying

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* Urea Muriate of Potash Single & Triple
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* Bladex Planavin Prefix Industrial
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Shell Animal Health Products
* Atgard V Task Equigard Supona
* Purina Feeds.

Caribbean Farming

Volume 3 No 4.


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Caribbean Farming

Volume 3 No 4.

Reprinted from AGRICULTURE -the
Journal of the United Kingdom Ministry
of Agriculture.

Complete Diets for Ruminants

( IMPLETE diets for feeding pigs and poultry are now
t ;versally accepted but not so long ago there were
Sere reservations about their use. It was questioned
v ether such unnatural feeding could support
Fp duction and, particularly, reproduction without
g ing access to 'natural' foods like grass. Complete
c ts can be defined as an intimate mixture of process-
c ingredients presented in a form so as to preclude
Section and designed to be the sole source of food.
only fairly recently, with the development of
ey beef systems, that ad libitum feeding of
centrates has been adopted for ruminants, and
c 1 in this case commercial practice has involved
s e supplementation with hay and straw.

W complete diets?
W t is the relevance of complete diets for
rL inants today and what are the possible applications
to battle and sheep? They are relevant because labour
co: s are increasing rapidly and because there is an
u1 'nt need to remove the drudgery associated with
m' ;y animal care operations. Then there is the intro-
d:,cion of the scientific and technical information
upon which to formulate complete diets; and, most
important, the way the problems of food processing
have recently yielded to engineering advance.
Surprisingly, little information is available on their
use for feeding to cattle and sheep, particularly so far
as the dairy cow is concerned. However, a recent series
of experiments at Cambridge University on dairy cows
and sheep has outlined some of the factors involved
(Owen, Miller and Bridge, 1969, 1971)*. Fist of all
it is clear that there is no biological obstacle to their
use that correct formulation cannot overcome. Grass -
the model for good complete diets seems to have
no magical properties that set it apart from man-made

Roughage levels
The Cambridge experiments first established the
impracticability of allowing dairy cows simultaneous
free access to long roughage and to concentrates in
separate feeders. The cow tended to behave like a
child might do if allowed to choose between sweets
and bread, insufficient roughage was eaten to main-
tain milk quality. Even worse was the tendency for the
cows to eat the least roughage when they most needed
it, in peak lactation. Subsequent experiments
showed that ad libitum feeding of the dairy cow
could be successfully carried out only if a pro-
portion of roughage was mixed into the diet. The
roughage was incorporated as chopped or
coarsely ground barley straw and the diet given cubed
or as a loose mix.
A critical interaction was demonstrated in these
experiments between the level of straw and type
of processing and their effect on dairy cow perform-
ance. Where the straw was chopped and the diet
given as a loose mix, marked falls in butter fat
level and digestive upsets could be avoided with
as little as 20 per cent of straw; with cubed diets,
containing coarsely ground straw, the critical
level was considerably higher.
It was also shown that lactation performance could
be maintained over a range of included roughage
levels without there being a marked compensatory
increase in food intake. When cubed diets were
used, performance was little affected and dry
matter intake maintained even when straw formed
40-50 per cent of the diet. With loose mixes, intake
and milk production fell when over 30-35 per cent
of straw was included. Milk quality was normal
when the optimum range of straw was taken
but lower levels gave a marked depression of

Volume 3 No 4.

Caribbean Farming

butter fat content with relatively high SNF
levels. Conversely, on the high straw diets the
cows showed all the signs of underfeeding -
lowered yields, loss of condition and lowered
milk SNF.
Other Ingredients
The optimum level of straw to include depends on
the make up of the basal diet, the relative cost of
the straw and other ingredients and the cost of
processing the diet. Of the other constituents of
complete diets examined at Cambridge, barley was
the main energy source although a proportion of
sugar beet pulp has also been successfully used. The
requisite overall crude protein content of about
10-11 per cent has been successfully achieved by
using a variety of protein supplements such as oil
cakes, beans, or grass plus a small level of urea. So
far, a diet containing urea as the sole supplementary
protein has given less satisfactory performance in
comparison with beans or grass plus urea. A com-
prehensive range of vitamin, mineral and fat
additives were included in the diets since the cow is
now entirely dependent on its complete diet for
such nutrients.
A similar type of diet containing 40 per cent of
coarsely ground straw given as a loose mix has given ex-
cellent results when self fed to pregnant and lactating
ewes. Complete diets containing 10-15 per cent of
barley straw are also used for feeding artificially
reared lambs, and conversion rates on such diets
have ranged from about 2.5-3.0 on a dry matter
basis in lambs from 10-40kg liveweight.
These complete diets have numerous practical
advantages. They cut out the complication
of rationed feeding and its labour needs which,
particularly in the case of the parlour milked dairy
cows, is a severe limiting factor to simplifying oper-
ations. The animals can eat little and often, with no
competition, in a fraction of the trough space required
for conventionally fed animals and without the waste
comnionly associated with feeding long roughage -
particularly with sheep. The reduction of stress in
self-fed animals could in itself have a considerable effect
on their well being.
Successful complete diet feeding ensures that the
animal's consumption precisely matches the planned
composition of the diet and cannot vary in the
proportion or roughage to concentrate as is often the
case with group feeding. Dairy cows in early lactation
and ewes in late pregnancy and early lactation have,
at best, a limited capacity for food intake in relation
to their high output; self feeding with a diet containing
the optimum level of roughage ensures that each animal
can eat to its capacity. With low quality dairy cows
in later lactation it may pay to increase.roughage
content in the diet, although there is little reason why
good cows should not perform efficiently on a single

medium level of straw. Furthermore, a similar diet
would probably also suit the dairy heifer calves being
reared, thus further simplifying management.
As to the disadvantages, a primary danger of com-
plete diet feeding when the change is made from con-
ventional feeding is that of acidosis. This can be over-
come by allowing plenty of trough space and by
progressively increasing allowances in the change-
over phase. Other technical snags would be the fault of
the formulatbr and not of the system. Of course much
more information will be needed to fill in the broad
framework we have established in our work.
The economics of complete diet feeding are that, at
present, processing costs for diets, including rough-
age, are rather high, but the advantages in labour and
management can outweigh these on a properly
designed unit. Since the raw materials are
essentially the same as those used in conventional
feeding, complete diet feeding could immediately
replace traditional winter feeding for many
housed cattle and sheep. Entry into the European
Economic Community and the consequential
higher grain prices it will bring should not affect
systems based on complete diet feeding any more
than traditional systems where the roughage and
cereals are fed separately.
Long-term outlook
The feasibility of complete diet feeding has recently
been given a boost through the rapid development of
mobile food processing units capable of manufacturing
diets containing straw, using the raw materials
at the point of.storage on the farm. The on-farm
service provided includes the grinding of
straw and grain and their mixing. A recent addition has
been the incorporation of a high capacity cubing
machine into the mobile unit.
In the longer term complete diet feeding is a
natural complement to large cow units where size
of operation precludes the practical adoption of
conventional grazing during the summer months.
It may also be of use where really high stocking
rates on grass are employed where the self feeding of
a complete diet, deliberately designed to be less
palatable than grass, could buffer high producing
cows from the vagaries of seasonal fluctuations in grass
A specialist function for complete diets is in the
conduct of performance testing. Sire performance
tests for beef and lamb can best be fully standardized
and efficiency of feed conversion properly recorded
where complete diet self feeding is adopted. Future
genetic improvement in cattle and sheep is likely
to come largely from such tests. *
Owen, J.B., Miller, E.L. and Bridge, P.S. (1971). Complete diets given ad
libituni to dairy cows the effect of straw content and of cubing the
diet. J. Agric. Sci. (in press).
* Owen, J.B., Miller, E.L. and Bridge, P.S. (1969). Complete diets given
ad libitum to dairy cows- the effect of level of inclusion of milled straw
J. Agric. Sci., 72.351-357.

Caribbean Farming

Volume 3 No 4.

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