j; "( "' t.
ANNUAL. Ox '
EIGHTH ANNUAL V.I. AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
Saturday, February 18, 1978
GUARD OF HONOR
V.I. National Guard
Civil Air Patrol
Master of Ceremonies ................ ............ Mr. David Benjamin, Deputy Commissioner,
V.I. Department of Conservation and Cultural Affairs
The National Anthem ....................................... St. Croix Community Band
The Invocation ............................................... Pastor Vincent E. Gordon
Welcoming Remarks and Introduction
of Distinguished Guests. ........... ... ................... The Honorable Oscar E. Henry,
Commissioner of Agriculture
Musical Selection............................................. St. Croix Community Band
Remarks by the President of the 12th Legislature ............... The Honorable Elmo D. Roebuck
Musical Selection............................................ St. Croix Community Band
Address and Presentation of Awards ....................... The Honorable Juan Luis, Governor
The Benediction ............................................... Pastor Robert Wakefield
Closing Remarks ................................................. Master of Ceremonies
Ribbon Cutting Ceremonies and
Official Opening of the Fair .................................. ......... Mrs. Juan Luis
Raffle tickets for daily drawings sold at the main gate and main exhibit building.
THE VIRGIN ISLANDS OF THE UNITED STATES
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Message from Honorable Juan Luis
Governor of the Virgin Islands
I wish to extend congratulations to the organizers
of the eighth annual Agriculture and Food Fair of the
Virgin Islands. This fair over the years has become an im-
portant occasion for the community not only of seeing
the many exhibits but also of meeting farmers and others
who are exhibiting their livestock, fruits and vegetables,
local art and craft, and more importantly, the school chil-
dren displaying their skills with their hands.
I hope the Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair
will serve as testimony to the hard work and industry of
our people and Virgin Islands Government's determined
efforts to promote local food production with a long-
range goal of achieving self-sufficiency in fruit, vegetables,
and meat production. It is heartening to note that the
V.1. Department of Agriculture and the College of the
Virgin Islands' land-grant program are working closely to-
gether to provide much needed agricultural, extension,
and research services to the people of the Virgin Islands.
The success of the fair, the development of the Senepol
breed, and the community gardens are some of the
examples of achievement accomplished through the joint
efforts of these agencies.
A majority of our farmers are small and/or part-time
farmers and the technological recommendations made to
them must be applicable to our small size and other unique
agricultural and environmental conditions. In order to
achieve a balanced economy, our various development ef-
forts must compliment each other. For example, an ex-
panded agricultural industry can compliment tourism by
providing not only local food to the tourists but also will
create employment opportunities for our youth.
I commend Commissioner Henry, Dr. D. S. Padda
and all those who have taken part in making this fair pos-
sible and trust our visitors and our residents alike will en-
joy the viewing of agricultural, art, industrial, and food
C- t-/ o-
CASTLE NUGENT FARMS.. MARIO GASPERI
CORN HILL FARM ......HENRY NELTHROPP
WINDSOR FARM ............ STACY LLOYD
MON BIJOU FARM ...........OLIVER SKOV
SIGHT FARM.......... CHARLES SCHUSTER
VIRGIN ISLANDS DAIRYMEN' ASSOC.
VIRGIN ISLANDS DAIRYMEN'S ASSOC.
Fresh Grade "A"
For Your Table
Message From Commissioner Oscar E. Henry
President of Agriculture and Food Fair
The eighth annual Agriculture and Food Fair has a
special significance for all the members of our farming com-
munity. During 1977 a severe drought hit the islands and
crops and animals suffered. This situation posed a real
challenge to the farmers and also to the V.I. Department of
Agriculture. Fortunately, by working together we coped
with the situation rather well and the emergency assistance
for survival livestock feeding was arranged through federal
emergency funds made available by Federal Disaster Assis-
tance Administration. The V.I. Department of Agriculture
in cooperation with the College of the Virgin Islands land-
grant programs developed a plan to mitigate the need for
future livestock feed assistance and prevention of emer-
The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture has
continued to provide services to its clientele by helping the
farmers to produce high quality food, thereby, making the
consumer the real beneficiary. As a result of my continuous
efforts and finally a personal visit with the U.S. Secretary
of Agriculture, services of a veterinarian were made available
to the Virgin Islands by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This new staff addition has offered much needed animal
health care to the large as well as small livestock farmers.
The community garden plots were concentrated at one
location in Estate Castle Burke and 321 plots are in cultiva-
tion. Considerable progress has been made in the areas of
the development of Senepol cattle and sorghum programs.
An excellent cooperative effort between the V.I.
Department of Agriculture, College of the Virgin Islands
and the Senepol breeders was responsible for founding a
Virgin Islands Senepol Association and arranging to export
Twenty-two animals to the mainland.
I consider the Agriculture and Food Fair as an im-
portant function of the V.I. Department of Agriculture.
It is a vehicle for reaching the people with technical infor-
mation in agriculture and food. It was my pleasure to en-
courage the College of the Virgin Islands to co-sponsor the
fair. This has strengthened our relationship and has im-
proved our limited capabilities to serve our common
clientele the people of these beautiful Virgin Islands.
Since the beginning of my tenure as commissioner
and president of the Fair,I have emphasized the need for
focusing increased attention on agriculture. This year an
additional step has been taken in this direction through
initiating a dairy calves show. This program is designed to
provide an opportunity to 4-H and Future Farmers of
America members to raise and show dairy calves. The
young 4-H and FFA people were given a 4 6 day old dairy
bull calf to take care of and show at this Fair and again at
next years' Fair. Educational assistance in teaching the
youngsters animal husbandry and showmanship was pro-
vided jointly by the V.I. Department of Agriculture and the
College of the Virgin Islands' Agricultural Experiment
Finally the recent damage by the fire at the main
exhibit fair building caused considerable suspense about the
future of the Fair.The board of directors held a meeting
just after the fire and decided to proceed with plans for the
February 18-20 target date. I was asked by the board to
spearhead the leadership role to get the necessary funds and
support from the Virgin Islands Government. I have been
very pleased with the concern and support provided by our
elected officials. However the Fair would not be possible
today, but for your help who, as a community, asked that
the Fair be held.
ANNALY FARMS ST.
Box 1576, Frederiskted
"Breeders Of Purebred Senepol Cattle"
Bulls for sale
Purebred Heifers for sale.
.,- o ,,: -.- ..
":- :.." ; ... . ..'
,. ...:,.... ..... ;. ..
"EAT FRESH ISLAND BEEF"
SMessage From Arthur A. Richards
Acting President, College of the Virgin Islands
For several years the "man on the street" held the
S belief that the various agencies which existed to provide
Agricultural and extension services seldom reached the man
or woman who owned a small plot of land or a few animals,
or lived in a small house. It was thought, and sometimes
demonstrated, that it was necessary for one to be an en-
trepreneur in order to receive adequate attention from
those agencies. True or false, such was the perception of the
people who needed the services most.
Fortunately, the College's Agricultural Research and
ST Extension Programs in cooperation with the Virgin Islands
Department of Agriculture, have gone into the homes and
onto the farms of all segments of the Virgin Islands com-
munity to provide advice and training where and when
JE vtR needed. Extension Service personnel are working on many
other projects such as 4-H and Community Resource De-
velopment which are already of benefit to the people. In
addition, extensive research is in progress in several areas,
including animal husbandry, horticulture, pest control,
1962 sorghum development, and the rearing of fish in fresh
The activities of the Fair demonstrate the results
COLLEGE OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS of cooperation. I trust that the effort would continue.
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
_^--~'~cc C L~_-- -- >
JW5P YJ7 77 V JF2 V:1IdMw
DEDICATED TO HELP
BUILD A BRIGHT FUTURE
FOR ALL IN THE
U. S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
A Virgin Islands Equal Employment Opportunity Corporation
MARTIN MARIETTA ALUMINA
P. O. BOX 165 KINGSHILL
ST. CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00850
VIRGIN ISLANDS AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR
Honorable Oscar E. Henry
Dr. Darshan S. Padda
Eric L. Bough
ST. THOMAS/ST. JOHN ACTIVITIES
Horatio A. Million
FACILITIES & SERVICES
Huan C. Van Putten
RULES & AWARDS
Preston D. Sides
Dr. Darshan S. Padda
assisted by Elaine R. Gomes
Raising Cattle in St. Croix since 1934
Will Buy and Sell Beef Cattle
Post Office Box 68
Frederiksted, St. Croix
U. S. Virgin Islands
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX, V.I.
MAX AUTO PARTS
CLAREMORE BLDG., ST. THOMAS, V.I.
TIRES, AUTO PARTS,
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX, V.I.
Expanding Agricultural Sector Of The Virgin Islands Economy
Orville Kean, Director
Policy, Planning and Research
V. I. Department of Commerce
St. Thomas, V. I.
The recent signing of the farm bill by President Jimmy
Carter is a vivid reminder of the fundamental importance
which a comprehensive farm policy plays in maintaining
the predominant economic position of the United States
of America. The bill, with its price support mechanism,
is the most recent of a long line of Federal government
subsidy programs in support of the agricultural sector
of the economy. In fact, the history of federal support
of the sector is so long that most Americans do not
remember when the farm subsidy program first began. They
simply assume that is is an essential plan which has always
Since local agencies and programs tend to model closely
their federal antecedents it is rather paradoxical that no
broad agricultural policy has even been developed by the
Virgin Islands' Government as part of its economic develop-
ment efforts. If for only this reason, it would appear
timely for the Territorial Government to consider the
development of an overall agricultural policy as an integral
component of its economic development program.
It is ironic that agriculture, which was once the most
important sector of the V.I. economy should now be the
most neglected. After the islands were colonized in the
early 17th century the principal economic activity was
agriculture. With the emancipation of slavery, the discovery
of beet sugar, technological advances, and several natural
disasters in the 18th and 19th century the agro business
declined. Despite these acute social and economic changes,
agriculture remained the economic lifeblood of St. Croix
until the mid sixties when several manufacturing and
industrial companies were lured to the island and the U.S.
abandoned the sugar subsidy. Unlike St. Croix, the plan-
tation economy of St. Thomas was transformed from an
agrarian community to a commercial center. St. John was
virtually abandoned as a viable economic entity.
Occupation preferences indicate that agriculture is not
a prestigious job, and a bias stemming historically from the
equation of agriculture with slavery remains. During
slavery all of the benefits of agriculture accrued to Euro-
pean planters and administrators. After emancipation
from slavery, blacks viewed farming as being subservient
and demeaning. This point of view has been reinforced
by the hard work, low profits and low wages which have
prevailed in the territory's agricultural sector. Today,
the Virgin Islands finds itself in a situation where a shortage
of agricultural labor co-exists with high unemployment
and underemployment. Therefore, although we possess
underutilized and unemployed arable land, coupled with
an existing guaranteed internal market for agricultural
produce there has been no gravitation of people to this
sector of the economy.
Local members of the Rastafarian religious cults have
been a viable exception to this rule. Their basic belief
that the self-sufficiency of a people can only be achieved
through a commitment to developing the agricultural po-
tential of the land, has resulted in a noticable participation
by members of the cult in the sector. Faced with constantly
increasing food prices, and witnessing the work in the
agricultural sector by the Rastafarians, antipathy to the
land and the social values it historically underscores have
begun to change. Currently, there seems to be more willing-
ness on the part of Virgin Islanders to consider the
economic benefits which will accrue to them as a result
of an expansion of the territory's agricultural sector.
Although many of these benefits are very apparent, it is
nevertheless useful to state those which are considered
to be the most significant.
1. The creation of a viable agricultural sector will
have a profound impact on employment oppor-
tunities. Workers will be needed for all phases
from planting to distributing. Thus, expansion
will aid in the reduction of our unemployment
2. High freight cost is one reason given for our high
food prices. Growth in our agriculture sector will
eventually lead to an economic policy of import
substitution. From this program we will obtain
fresh produce at lower prices.
3. Small size necessitates wise and efficient utili-
zation of our natural resources. This is particularly
true of our scarce land holdings. Agricultural acti-
vities will serve as a barrier against future urban
sprawls and the various social services which they
require. Prevention of this type of poor land use
policy will save money for the financially strained
4. A surge in agricultural activities could lead to
heightened investment in other sectors of the
economy. Self-sufficiency will lower the outflow
of capital from the islands. These finances could
be mobilized in other investment opportunities.
Although we have fertile land and several advantages
exist for developing an agricultural sector, numerous
constraints to growth are present. In view of the relative
inactivity of this sector, the economic feasibility of agri-
culture must be fully explored as soon as possible. If it is
practical, then we should determine the major problems
confronting the industry and devise methods for solving
(1) Perhaps the most crucial constraint in agrarian
development is an efficient water distribution sys-
tem. Over the years the V.I. has been plagued by
long and severe droughts resulting in a low rainfall
average. Rainfall at extreme periods of the year
compounds the problem.
(2) Tourism is another significant impediment to the
creation of a strong agricultural sector. The agri-
culture industry faces stiff competition from
tourism for workers, government resources con-
struction. and other 'tourist related activities
However, it is the escalating land values which
has had the most telling impact on the industry.
Real estate developments have made farming at
best, a marginal endeavor.
(3) Lack of specialization is also a barrier to the agro
industry. In the V.I. there are no middlemen,
consequently a farmer must manage, plant, harvest,
and distribute his product. It is extremely doubtful
that they possess the essential entrepreneurial
skills to perform all of these tasks. Besides being
deficient in managerial skills, the farmer loses
valuable time working in all of the activities. For
example, the poor marketing or distribution net-
work compels the farmer to journey to market
and sell his products thereby losing valuable farm-
(4) External factors such as the oil crisis, the U.S.
dollar devaluation, rampant inflation, coupled
with economic recession have led to higher costs
of imported pesticides, fertilizers, feed, machines,
etc. Increased agricultural output involves an
increasing demand for these supplies. This is a fur-
ther inhibitor of agricultural activities.
FEATURING PLYMOUTH & OTHER FINE CARS
MAIN OFFICE AT AIRPORT -772-1365
ANCHOR INN 773-4377
We Try Harder!
Worldwide food shortages and an ever increasing
inflation rate have awakened the residents of these islands.
Talk about the production of food for local consumption
has been revived after years of neglect. Private investment
is dependent on government policies. Likewise, effective
government action is needed for the revitalization of
this dormant industry. Presently, there are several tax
relief programs available to farmers, but the adoption of
a broad overall approach by the V.I. Government should
result in a comprehensive subsidy program which is essen-
tial for the rejuvenation of agriculture in the islands.
Public aid in agriculture comes in many forms.
The eradication of the historical bias against agriculture
should be one of our foremost projects. Educating the
public on the vital role of the agriculture sector in the
economy can help remove the stigma associated with
agriculture. In addition, mechanisms for the development
of professional entrepreneurial skills must be provided.
Technical assistance in the form of land preparation, pest
control, irrigation, etc., should be undertaken. Research
should be conducted and the information widely dis-
seminated. An efficient marketing system should be
Presently, the Economic Policy Council of the
Government of the Virgin Islands has adopted the expan-
sion of the agricultural sector as one of the objectives
for inclusion in the territory's Economic Policy Guide-
lines document. In addition, they have endorsed the fol-
lowing seven recommendations in an effort to achieve
(a) Establish a comprehensive farm policy for the Virgin
Islands which would effectively integrate the agricul-
tural sector into the insular economy.
(b) Revise the subsidy program to encourage the local
agricultural pursuits, particularly the cultivation of
fruits and vegetables.
(c) Investigate the possibility of wider participation by
Virgin Islands farmers in the federal farm program
and price support system.
(d) Expand technical and financial assistance to farm-
ers through the Department of Agriculture in order
to improve their marketing capabilities. Considera-
tion should be given to the establishment of a
(e) Encourage local hotels, restaurants and groceries
to purchase locally produced fruits, vegetables,
(f) Consider making additional government owned land
available on a lease basis at a nominal cost for culti-
vation purposes only.
(g) Utilize new technologies such as hydroponics, to
expand the agricultural capacity of the islands.
Agricultural Development In The Virgin Islands
Through Intermediate Technology
Darshan S. Padda, Director
Agricultural Experiment Station &
Cooperative Extension Service
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix Campus
Intermediate farm technology is science-based farm-
ing techniques designed to be used by a small farmer for
efficient production and management operation. In the
United States, high-level and high-energy agricultural tech-
nology has been stressed in the traditional Land Grant
Colleges. Over-emphasis on large scale mechanization has
squeezed the small farmers out of business and as a result
the number of family farms has been constantly decreasing.
But a recent book entitled, "Hard Tomatoes, Hard Times",
has focused public attention on the fact that over the years
agricultural technology development has been directed
towards meeting the needs of agri-business firms and cor-
porate interests. As a result, state legislators and other
community leaders are stressing the role of land grant
colleges as public institutions to serve the family farmers,
workers, and rural people generally.
In places like the Virgin Islands where agriculture is
still in the process of being developed, any efforts to pro-
mote agriculture must consider the interactions between
agriculture, its technology and socio-political processes. At
the College of the Virgin Islands which is the land grant
institution for the territory, emphasis in development and
transfer of technology is focused on the needs of small and
part-time farmers with limited land and capital resources
and toward improving production and marketing efficiency
of the family farms.
The development of agriculture in the Virgin Islands
is the result of interactions between various factors like
natural resources, technology, economic, political, cultural,
social and governmental institutions. Although all these
US. Virgin Islands Area in Square Miles & Acres
Island Area in Square Acres
St. Croix 84 54,563
St. Thomas 28 17,985
St. John 20 12,835
Total 132 85,383
factors are important in their influence on the end result,
discussion in this paper will be limited to the relationships
between agricultural resources and technology.
The agricultural resources include land area, weather,
finance and labor. The United States Virgin Islands have a
total area of 85,383 acres.
Only 24,703 acres are under agricultural use at the
present time, (Table 2). Approximately, another 24,000
acres are suitable for agriculture but are not being utilized
at the present time. With efficient farm management and
the use of proper technology, the 24,703 acres presently
under agricultural use can produce enough for the islands
to become self sufficient.
LAND USE DATA FOR U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
Land Use Number of Acres
Crop Land 203 2,458
Pasture and grazing land 181 15,452
Woodland not pastured 72 5,321
Other agriculturally used land 287 1,472
Total 743 24,703
The agricultural weather is not very favorable. The
temperature and day-length are conducive to year round
production of most crops, but an inadequate supply of
water is the main limiting factor. The rains are sporadic
and undependable; and irrigation water is non-existent.
The U.S. Virgin Islands is not the only place with water
problems. Water supply may well be the most major natural
resource to limit economic development. We must learn
conservation and more efficient use of water. Technology
SOF ST. JOHN, INC.
REALTOR' U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
ST. JOHN INSURANCE AGENCY
REAL ESTATE P.O. BOX 40, CRUZ BAY
(809) 776-6776 ST. JOHN, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00830
1 Shopping Center
AND MERCHANT'S ASSOCIATION
Salute the Virgin Islands Department of
Agriculture on th
Unique Shop (Ladies)
Town & Country
Ideal Touch Beauty Salon
Post Office Station
Sunny Isle Twin Theaters
Ole's Snack Bar
American Red Cross
"Colorama" (Home Improvement)
Sunny Isle Sewing Center
St. Croix Industrial Painting
Bata Shoe Store
e occasion of the
\ND FOOD FAIR
Kinney's Shoe Store
V. I. Police Station
V. I. Lottery Sales
Logan's Pet Supply
Hughes' Photo Studio
Terry's Children Wear
People's Drug Store
Grand Union Super Market
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Community Insurance Corp.
V. I. Logo "T" Shirts
Goderich-Guerra Shipping Agency
Speedy Secretarial Service
Singh's Barber Shop
U.S. Navy Recruiting
Quick Pics Kiosk
St. Croix Medical Center
to accomplish this is available and CVI's Agricultural Ex-
periment Station is working on the establishment of a
model irrigation system. The monthly rainfall, average
hours of sunlight and temperature ranges are presented
in Table 3.
The rainfall data clearly indicate that crop produc-
tion is feasible during the 5-month period August to Dec-
ember. Most of the annual vegetable crops can be success-
fully grown during this period. However, success will hinge
on selection of the right crop, variety, production methods
and pest control.
The situation relative to farm financing is not bad.
machinery and minimal hired labor can manage the farm.
Most of the farm help available needs considerable train-
ing in modern agricultural skills.
The appropriate use of technology for our local
situation will depend on the right selection of the type
of farming, right use of materials available, right produc-
tion and marketing methods and right timing of decision
making. To indicate an approximate level of income that
would be feasible from a model fruit and vegetable farm,
information on costs and returns is presented in Table 4.
The food crops operation is suggested at 15 acres of
cropland, of which 13 acres would be planted each season.
Monthly Rainfall, Duration of Sunlight
and Temperature Ranges
Month Rainfall (inches) Av. Hours of Mean Daily Temp.
Average of 100 Sunlight Max. Min.
January 2.52+ 1.31 11.18 83.1 70.0
February 1.84 + 1.32 11.54 83.2 70.0
March 1.71 + 1.19 12.02 84.3 70.0
April 2.67+ 2.16 12.52 85.6 72.5
May 4.20+ 3.27 12.96 86.4 74.3
June 5.32+2.38 13.14 87.8 75.7
July 3.52+ 1.99 13.09 88.0 75.8
August 4.26+ 2.70 12.72 88.5 75.7
September 5.81 + 3.16 12.26 88.1 75.0
October 6.08 + 3.24 11.80 87.6 74.8
November 5.26 + 2.60 11.32 85.9 73.3
December 3.71 + 2.13 11.05 84.3 71.7
Presently 306 farms are financed by the operators them-
selves, 19 through private sources, 5 through commercial
banks and loan associations and 9 are financed through
government agencies. Financial help for developing and
maintaining pastures and other economically feasible
farm operations is available from the U.S.D.A.'s Farmers
Home Administration and other federal and local agencies.
Agricultural labor is very scarce and therefore the
operations of a farm has to be centered around family
labor. The size of a farm operation must be limited so
that the family member with the use of appropriate
A total net income of $25,443 per year from a 15-acre
farm is reasonable for a decent family living.
The poultry industry in the island is small but has
real potential. A poultry farm with 12,000 birds and based
on $8.50/cwt feed price, 5 pounds feed per dozen eggs and
a large egg price of $0.90 per dozen can earn a net profit
of $20,202 a year.
Goat and sheep raising has long been practiced in this
area. A family oriented goat and sheep operation can be
profitable only as a supplemental family enterprise.-The
Estimated per Acre Gross Product Value, Production
Cost and Net Return for a Food Crops Farm
Tomato Pepper Okra Onions Pineapple
Gross Value 3,100 2,220 3,300 5,600 2,030
Production Cost 933 686 698 717 1,558
Net Value 2,167 1,514 2,602 4,883 472
Suggested Acres on a
15 Acre Farm 3 2 2 3 3
Total Net Income 6,501 3,028 5,204 9,766 944
average return to family labor for a 20-acre goat and sheep
farm is estimated at $2.00 per hour.
Dairy farming is the most viable agricultural enter-
prise in the Virgin Islands. From a 75-cow farm, assuming
milk production of 11,500 pounds per cow, per year, re-
turns to operators' labor and management are estimated at
$18,754 per year.
Although climate is suitable for beef farming, due to
recurring drought the stocking rate of cattle is not high.
For beef farming to be profitable, stocking rate must be
improved by feeding sorghum silage as supplemental feed.
With 2.75 animal units per acre and sale of 79 cows and
118 heifers and bulls, a gross receipt of $66,370 can be
realized. However, due to high operational costs the net
returns are not encouraging. In order to make beef cattle
farming a profitable enterprise, animal breeding must be
combined with beef production. The Senepol, a main beef
cattle on the islands, has real potential as a breeding stock.
The CVI's Agricultural Experiment Station is pleased to
have the opportunity to help the Senepol breeders to
characterize their breed and the high dividends of the
effort are already evident.
St. Thomas, V. I. 00801
The CVI's Agricultural Research and Extension pro-
grams are designed to bring a positive change in the local
agricultural industry. Our sorghum, Senepol, grape, papaya,
sweet potato and aquacultural programs are clear examples
of helping local part-time and commercial farmers through
intermediate technology a technology that is being
developed right here keeping local needs in the forefront.
BR YAN'S PLANTS &
GARDENS SUPPLY Y
INSECTICIDE HAND TOOLS
POTTING SOIL SPRAYERS
PEAT MOSS PLASTIC POTS
DECORATIVE PLANTS CLAY POTS
HANGING BASKETS, VARIOUS TYPES
AND SEVERAL COLORS.
FOR ALL YOUR GARDEN NEEDS CALL
BRYAN'S 774-1136 ST. THOMAS, V.I.
/Agricultural Potential In The U.S. Virgin Islands
Jerome L. McElroy
Associate Professor of Economics
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas
Once again the ancient and forgotten lessons sur-
rounding the contribution of the agricultural sector to
industrial expansion are being re-learned. Agriculture is
resurfacing as a viable growth pole for supplying industrial
labor and raw materials, technology, and investment
capital and opportunity on the one hand, and on the other
for demanding both final and intermediate manufacturing
output. The renewed appreciation of this complementary
symbiotic interaction is sourced in a fortuitous intersec-
tion of several disparate forces in both the regional and
global economy. The major ones includes: (1) the food
population imbalance dramatized by recent world wide
shortages in certain staples; (2) a cycle of international
stag-flation which has stimulated interest in agriculture
as a source of domestic price stability and employment
creation; (3) OPEC oil price actions that have slowed
industrial engines and caused severe balance-of-payments
deficits and thus called forth a search for all available
import substitution possibilities, including agriculture,
in order to conserve foreign exchange; (4) and finally,
in academic circles, the simultaneous rediscovery of the
historical role agriculture played in the transformation
of developed Western economics along with the disappoint-
ing record of industrialization-at-any-cost strategies in
many modernizing capitalist and socialist countries.
In the larger countries, the reappraisal is timely
since the resource reserve is still adequate and the chal-
lenge is to properly structure incentives for primary produc-
tion mobilization. However, in small insular systems under-
going rapid development like the V.I. the problem is one
of retarding the erosion and containing the daily encroach-
ment upon a dwindling resource base by the dominant,
more commercialized sectors. In the V. I. the agricul,
tural-to-industrial mechanism has basically functioned
as a highly elastic one-way transfer of land, labor, capital,
and managerial expertise from sugar to tourism and manu-
facturing. As a result, the economic base has become
transformed in classic linear fashion via a policy of export-
substitution that is virtually complete. Moreover, the com-
plementary expansion of the major domestic sectors has
exacerbated this already intense rural resource drain. Be-
cause of rapid population and income increases, local ser-
vices and construction activity have grown apace with sub-
urbanization. Most notably, government has become a very
sizeable and attractive labor market offering employment
security, stable (non-seasonal) incomes and fringes, and
access to job market information in a society where mul-
tiple earner families and multiple job holding are more the
rule than the exception.
In addition to these structural pressures in the factor
markets, local producers also face severe direct competi-
tion since foreign suppliers through volume and cumu-
lative island marketing experience.
Besides these formidable economic obstacles, domes-
tic land and marine culture are restrained by a well-docu-
mented array of physical, climatic and institutional barriers.
Aside from smallness itself, island topography further
constrains the absolute size of both arable land tracts
and coastal fisheries alike. Irregular terrain also causes a
broken and uneconomic distribution of limited resources
that remain available for exploitation, In combination,
terrain and climate and land-and coastal-use patterns
produce a kind of perverse catalysis involving variable and
geographically-concentrated rainfall, high evapotranspira-
tion, rapid run-off, and leeching of a fragile soil cover.
The outcome is a humid tropical land environment that is
relatively arid and pest-prone, and a young reef system
inhibited by siltation and damaged nurseries in mangrove
areas. Furthermore, there is a heritage of two outstanding
institutional restrictions. The first includes a history of
sugar monoculture characterized by low wages and occu-
pational immobility even across the post-emancipation
era, as well as an inherited inferior socio-economic status
associated with fishing. The second is the traditional
bias of public policy toward protecting the export base
and expanding the federal subsidy to the neglect of agri-
As a consequence of all these natural and man-made
forces, local production of foodstuffs today, with but a
few exceptions (dairying and beef growing), operates as
a marginal subsistence sector crowded into the periphery
of the mainline economy. Presently, agriculture en toto
employs less than one percent of the work force. Farm-
ing has become mainly a part-time, secondary, supple-
mental-income activity. In many instances cultivation
and livestock operations have become methods of
temporary land tenure insuring sufficient income flow to
pay the operating expense of land-holding until an indivi-
dual can capitalize on more favorable real estate values.
In domestic fisheries, as well, full-time employment and
catch figures show declines since 1968. On the other
hand, imported food, fish, and livestock products from
the U. S. are growing rapidly in importance. i.e., from 15
percent of the total dollar value of all U.S. imports in
1971 to approximately 25 percent this year.
F.E. O. S.
FOOD EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTORS
SUB BASE 21
P.O. BOX 9293
ST. THOMAS, V.I. 00801
EPHRIM A. BENJAMIN
Coca-Cola and Coke are the registered trade marks of
the Coca-Cola Company.
it's the real thing
Bottled by the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of the Virgin Islands
In fact, the very anomaly of a soaring domestic
market against a withering productive base provides stark
testimony to the commanding power of the enumerated
obstacle functioning in concert. The future outlook is
uncertain at best, and more probably the deterioration
will continue along an equilibrium path of secular stagna-
tion despite the positive possibilities that exist. These
factors include: The obvious incentives of excessively
high rates of insular inflation; growing local awareness
of the nutritional superiority of fresh produce: the poten-
tial for multi-cropping; a relatively flexible internal mar-
keting system; moderate success in hydroponics: and most
importantly income, population, and demand forces in
general that favor the kinds of income-elastic outputs
meat, poultry and dairy products, fresh fruits and vege-
tables that CVI Agricultural Experiment Station has
identified as profitable.
Both as a byproduct of this general malaise and as
another ingredient compounding the downward spiral.
there is no comprehensive, well-articulated official
policy of agricultural development and/or stabilization.
This is not to say that agriculture is not publicly supported
since in-kind services in research, marketing, processing.
and storage are available directly or at subsidized rates.
In addition, the government provides certain tax advan-
tages and low-cost, input-purchase facilities. But taken
together these represent rather limited, piece-meal efforts
in comparison with the wide range of infrastructure.
support services, and coordinated policy (including invest-
ment incentives) institutionalized for the tourist and
manufacturing sectors. In contrast to the case of these
latter industries, there is no cohesive and consistent policy
thrust at the macroeconomic level that clarifies the role
primary production is expected to play alongside the other
sectors within the overall operation of the insular economy.
Without a coherent elan to inform the program of one
component like agriculture and to identify points of sym-
biosis and complementarity with the other components,
a general economic policy that favors the stronger, more
developed industries necessarily disfavors the weaker,
less protected ones. This is doubly true in small systems
where all elements are intensely interdependent and com-
pete for the same fixed bundle of scarce resources.
To construct a territorial agricultural plan requires
a string of at least five interrelated tasks. These include:
(1) sketching the fundamental structure and behavior of
the economy; (2) detailing the kinds of agricultural oppor-
tunities that obtain within the existing network: (3) indi-
cating how the realization of these opportunities would
improve the performance of agriculture, the other sectors
and the economy as a whole; (4) calculating from (2)
and (3) a cost-benefit ratio to determine the plan's feasi-
bility; and (5) if positive, outlining the specific instruments
and directives necessary to operationalize the program,
The brief analysis to follow makes a broad-brush attempt
in qualitative terms to address the first three of the tasks
listed. First, the key contours of the local economic
structure are delineated. Secondly, the behavioral dysfunc-
tions of the system are emphasized. Finally, the potential
contributions of a viable agricultural sector towards
ameliorating these deficiencies are examined.
By way of introduction, it is instructive to draw
a preliminary sketch of the major macro features of the
local economy in order to situate the operation of agricul-
ture within this special framework. The V.I. system is
characterized by extreme resource scarcity and consequent
openness as evidenced by the preponderant position of
the foreign trade sector. The production structure is largely
dominated by the export sectors of tourism and heavy
and light manufacturing. In addition, there are three
domestic sectors comprising, government, construction,
and private services. The consumption structure is basically
a conduit for durable and non-durable imports. In short,
functions as a mode of export-import activity along
international tradeways in which raw materials are
processed and assembled for re-export and recrea-
tional services directly provided. In this process, a
heavy flow of imported inputs, including capital
and some labor, is transformed into outputs desig-
nated to meet metropolitan demand locally (tourism)
ISLANDIA REAL ESTATE* 1SLANDIA SI4OP
and abroad (manufacturing). In turn, export proceeds
are translated mainly into imported final goods
to satisfy domestic needs*.
Characteristically, this open through-put system, borrow-
ing foreign inputs at one end and supplying foreign markets
at the other, illustrates at least broadly the operation of
the traditional dependent economy; it produces what it
does not consume and consumes what it does not produce.
The kinds of behavioral dysfunctions that usually
flow from such a small open structure are several; tenden-
cies toward over-specialization, resource-depletion, and
environmental deterioration; a high degree of external
decision making and control; excessively high price struc-
ture deriving from both monopolistic markets (including
transportation) and imported inflation; underemployment
and occupational rigidity; and dependence and economic
instability in general. The key permeating feature which
encapsulates all of the above -is the chronically low
local multiplier, i.e. the number of times injected income
is respent on locally produced output and thus contributes
to increases in domestic GNP. This derives from a dual
and unbalanced set of economic linkages which comprise
on the one hand, a strong matrix of external connections
that support overall commercial activity, and, on the other,
a relatively thin fabric of domestic linkages that are primed
*J. L. McElroy, The Virgin Islands Economy: Past Performance,
Future Projections, Planning Alternatives, (St. Thomas, V. I.
Planning Office, 1974, p. 4.
For passenger reservations and information
St. Thomas or St. Croix call 774-7111
or see your travel agent.
CONCORDIA ROAD GROCERY, INC.
WHOLESALE & RETAIL
P.O. Box 63
Frederiksted, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands 00840
The Eighth Annual Agricultural and Food Fair, to be
held at the V. I. Department of Agriculture Estate Lower
Love, on February 18, 19, and 20. Rotary West Club
will participate with food exhibits conducted by members
of Rotary West. We asked the Public to come and meet
Rotary members ...
Reflects the clean shore breezes that freshen our
pastures and blue sea that frames them.
Our healthy flocks of cattle give St. Croix the taste
treat and eye appeal to please islander and tourist alike.
SUPPORT ALL LOCAL AGRICULTURE
CASTLE NUGENT FARMS
Home of the
and the big
and fed by the former. To exemplify, a tourist dollar
injected into the system quickly dissipates through secon-
dary rounds of responding on capital and consumption
imports, repatriated dividends, royalties, remittances, and
The outcome of this low multiplier estimated to
be less than one -is excessive income leakage deriving
from the lack of internal integration between domestic
production and consumption sectors. Without these local
inter-sectoral feedback loops, an organic process of cumu-
lative growth cannot evolve from within. Escalating
amounts of external commercial stimuli are required to
prime the system forward. But growing manufacturing
exports and higher levels of tourist injections skew an
already fragile and specialized production base further
away from diversification, greater internal stability, and
autonomy, and further toward dependence upon con-
tinuously accelerating external cycles of supply and
demand. Moreover, the situation of dependence and exter-
nal instability is chronic. During periods of buoyant foreign
demand and elastic off-island input supplies, there is the
capacity to diversify but little incentive since the status
quo is profitable, During periods of slack external demand
and inelastic supply, when the incentive to restructure
is strong, the capacity to do so is limited. In short, growth
in small economies generates dynamic dependence and
cyclic instability, and it is within this context that new
options must be explored.
One obvious strategy for breaking through this
boom-bust cycle is to replace imports with local produce.
The effect is to weaken foreign and strengthen domestic
economic networks, to expand the channels available for
internal income circulation, to raise the multiplier, and
to reduce external vulnerability. In this sense, local land
and marine culture can to some extent arrest and plug
leakages by capturing a portion of income before it filters
away through household and business spending abroad.
This income is re-injected into the system and re-directed
through local exchange circuits to stimulate further rounds
of both internal and external spending. Even though such
possibilities may indeed be limited, even a slight advance
in the value of the multiplier can add significantly over
time to local incomes, taxes and economic autonomy.
Moreover, history indicates that the crucial factor in
development for small countries is precisely their ability
to perceive, create, and exploit in small incremental steps
the multiplicity of little openings that arise.
More importantly however, the fundamental purpose
of a truly comprehensive plan is to uncover opportunities
that become only apparent when a coordinated program
of agricultural development is envisioned. This implies
blue-printing a type of agri-business complex which might
include sorghum growing and processed fish meal feed
supplement (from discarded lobster bodies and scrap fish)
to supply the cattle, dairy and poultry industires; and/or
reclaimed wastewater and reactivated catchment cisterns
to irrigate, on the one hand, more nutritious pastures
for grass-fed goat and mutton and, on the other, for vege-
table and fruit farming. In addition, perhaps honey produc-
tion, timber harvesting, manure reclycling, and certain
forms of mariculture could become potential ancillary
industries. Obviously, such as inter-locking network of
domestic feedbacks on both input and output sides could
achieve internal and external economies of scale in mar-
keting, storage, and transportation that might bring on
stream as profitably viable those enterprises considered
marginal from an isolated, narrow, microanalytic perspec-
The catalogue of possibilities can be expanded to
include, among others, complementary linkages with the
export sectors and, in some cases, extended to encompass
increased economic intercourse with neighboring islands.
For example, tourism would benefit from a more ample
supply of local fresh produce and beverages, and adjunct
arts-and-crafts cottage industry, and improved landscaping.
In addition, preserving marine habits and managing coral
and fish population in controlled areas would assist research
on harvesting and strengthen the domestic fishery and
visitors amenities concomitantly. Likewise, because of the
combination of domestic, with visitor, demands, there
In the Virgin Islands everybody needs
OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
may be locational advantages in the V. I. for processing
produce from the surrounding areas that could effectively
compete with the U.S. trade. Such a strategy would also
tend to raise the V. I.'s regional or inter-island multiplier
since a significant proportion of dollars spent on Caribbean
Basin imports, especially from Puerto Rico and the BVI,
is recycled to purchase V. I. exports, re-exports, and
In effect, a critical minimum effort may be necessary
to reverse agriculture's observed secular deterioration,
and this will demand a threshold of resource mobilization
and support far beyond levels heretofore suggested in
individual feasibility studies. It may also require geogra-
phically defining an agricultural zone and restructuring
S Sulb Ise
Where Bright Ideas'Spark
LAMPS WIRE BREAKERS HEATERS
FIXTURES FANS PANELS WATER PUMPS
P.O. Box 2872, St. Thomas,
Virgin Islands 00801
Sub Base, St. Thomas, V.I.
ST. THOMAS 774-4440 ST. CROIX 773-4085
BARBEL PLAZA 774-0990
"IN BUSINESS TO BETTER YOUR BUSINESS"
OFFICE SUPPLIES, STATIONERY,
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or our fresh water pool. Superb
See your travel agent
qfard difnin. or Robert F. Warner, Inc.
SFrom just New York, Boston,
$28 per person daily, double occupancy. Washington, D.C.
EP. Tennis, golf and family packages.
Villas up to 3 bedrooms.
incentive legislation to include an umbrella-type system
flexible enough to cover the time-squeezed phases of an
overall complex that progressively knits together a disparate
set of commercial ventures uneven both in size and impact.
Yet the historical record is proof that such a big-push
approach may be imperative to sustain a take-off into
endogenous growth, or at least to retard the slippage
sourced in the inevitable encroachment of aggressive
tourist and export expansion and biased public policy.
However, there is more to recommend this broad-
ranging concerted agricultural initiative than some marginal
increase in the domestic multiplier, a more diversified
productive base, and reduced dependence. If further
analysis reveals such a program is commercially profitable,
other positive spillovers could occur to soften the persis-
tent operation of dysfunctions endemic to small open
systems. First and foremost, the upward movement in
basic food prices would be curtailed to some degree by
the stimulation of more intense domestic competition
and a less-than-total reliance on imports during a predict-
ably foreseeable future of long-swing secular inflation
emanating from both foreign industrial and raw material
suppliers. Second, in so far as local agriculture develops, re-
sidential control over the economic base would increase re-
sulting in an improved effectiveness of domestic economic
policy in general.
Third, the erosion of environmental amenities would
become arrested by a balanced and properly managed
agriculture which tends to stabilize the present ecology
and preserve existing life forms, and under optimal condi-
tions even to enhance the system by creating the climate
for myriad other flora, wildlife, and marine species to
emerge. Fourth, the kinds of linkage required to establish
an agri-business complex may also favorably impact the
local labor market along two major lines. First, the pro-
cesses involved transporting, processing, grading, whole-
saling, and retailing are largely labor-intensive and can
serve to reduce unemployment. Second, in some job
categories upskilling, occupational diffusion, and job
mobility may occur.
Finally, the survival of agriculture, especially on
St. Croix, may provide the kind of continuity with past
traditions of rural stability that luxury tourism and the
capital-intensive heavy manufacturing enclaves have vio-
lated. Though economically less viable, agriculture may
in fact be socially more acceptable, and thus an indispen-
sable anchor of increasing significance in a complex society
that is ethnically diverse, highly tranisent, technologically
discontinuous, and powerfully pressured by the pace of
change. The promise of realizing only a fraction of such
positive repercussions warrants at the minimum further
discussion and serious research. For if the proposed medi-
cine can affect all the major systemic illnesses of the
economy for the better, such a cure deserves pursuing.
Progress In Sorghum Research In The Virgin Islands
A. John Conje, Research Agronomist
V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix
The livestock industry is the most viable agricultural
enterprise in the Virgin Islands at the present time. How-
ever, it is afflicted by a shortage of locally produced feed.
Feed grain has to be imported from the mainland at a very
Because of its adaptability to the soils and climate
of the island, sorghum offers a real solution to the peren-
nial problem of feed shortages in the Virgin Islands. The
high yields of good quality forage from forage sorghum
could be used as green chop forage, temporary pasture,
and for silage to produce feed reserves for supplemental
feed during the dry season, as well as for emergencies.
The grains from grain sorghum is a source of high energy
feed for our dairy, beef, poultry, goat, sheep and swine.
Sorghum can be grown profitably in the Virgin
Islands under the land strategy concept of tourism, aesthe-
tics, and food production. However, the success and
profitability in growing and utilizing these agricultural
products is very closely related to timely management
and production expertise.
It is imperative that we develop improved cultural
practices so that maximum production can be obtained
within the limitations of our soil, climate, and available
moisture. Sorghum yield is influenced by many factors
such as, land preparation, variety selection, fertilization,
planting dates, planting methods, seeding rates, pest and
disease control, weed control, and methods of harvesting.
All of these factors interact and one or two good practices
will not compensate for one or several poor ones (for
example, use of fertilizer will not reduce losses from
poor weed control). We must determine the methodology
that can best be used to meet Virgin Islands needs and
ensure a sound sorghum production program. The lack
of information about the response of crops and livestock
in this environment, which limits production, has been
recognized. These gaps in our knowledge have become
the basis for the planned sorghum research program at the
College of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Experiment
Sorghum research efforts during the initial phase
of the program has been directed towards variety testing,
*Part of talk delivered at the Resource Conservation and
Development Council Meeting, June 8, 1977, St. Croix By The
Sea Hotel, V.I.
soil fertility evaluation of sorghum production areas, and
fertilizer recommendations. Studies designed to determine
optimum planting dates and evaluate the efficacy of dif-
ferent insecticides have been made. Studies of forage
quality have been initiated.
The results of our experiments indicate that a sub-
stantial number of new sorghum varieties are superior
than the ones currently used (See "Virgin Islands Grain
and Forage Sorghum Performance Trials in 1976-1977,
"V.I.A.E.S. Technical Bulletin No. 1). Several grain
sorghum varieties yielded 6,000 pounds of grain per acre
which will provide more than enough energy to produce
a ton of chicken, 1,500 pounds of pork, and nearly a ton
of grain-on-grass fed beef. Sorghum-sundangrass hybrids
looked promising because of standability, excellent
regrowth ability, and high annual forage yields (50-60
tons green forage per acre).
Nitrogen and phosphorus are the most deficient
elements on the island of St. Croix. Calcium and mag-
nesium are found in abundance. The availability of zinc,
iron, mangenese and copper are very low due to high soil
pH. Fertilizer recommendations were given to sorghum
growers on the island (See "Sorghum in the Virgin Islands",
V. I. Experiment Staion Farmers Bulletin No. 2). Refine-
ments on recommendations will be made as more informa-
tion is obtained from fertilizer response experiments.
Insecticides Sevin and Diazinon provided satisfactory
control for sorghum midge, cutworms, and aphids. Furadan
was effective against the lesser cornstalk borer. No serious
outbreaks of diseases has been observed but rust,
anthracnose and kernel smut may become a problem in the
future. Screening of varieties for resistance to these mala-
dies has begun.
Planting forage sorghum early in the season was
better than planting late. Late planting resulted in early
flowering (figure 1) shorter plant heights, and consequently
reduced forage yield (table 1). When sufficient moisture
is available for germination and seedling growth, June-
July seeding of forage sorghum may be beneficial due
to favorable photoperiods during the growing season,
optimum rainfall at critical bloom time, less incidence of
pest and diseases, and sufficient growing time to produce
4 or 5 harvests per year. Unless artificial drying facilities
are available, grain sorghum should be planted near the
end of the rainy season so that harvesting could be made
during the dry months. The strategy for an early planting
is to get that land ready for sowing when the small rains
arrive early in the season.
MANY THANKS TO
Produced Daily On St. Croix
From Six Purebred Dairy Herds
Grade A Fresh Milk
Non Fat Skim Milk
Fresh Whipping Cream
24 Ice Cream and
made fresh daily
Ask for Island Dairies Products at your local grocery store
or stop at THE GOLDEN COW in Christiansted.
ST. CROIX, VIRGIN ISLAND
Table 1. Green forage yields of three sorghum cultivars
planted on four different dates in 1977, St. Croix.
Planting Tons per Acre per Year
Date Silomaker 775 W Yieldmaker
June 7 56 33 52
August 2 40 16 36
September 13 15 15 18
November 8 13 10 14
An expanded grain sorghum production in the Virgin
Islands -would open up many possibilities. Among these are:
self-sufficiency in high energy grain feed for dairy, in-
creased production of poultry, pork, and grain-on-grass fed
beef. It will open up possible export of feed grains to neigh-
boring islands. Not to be overlooked is the enhancement of
residents and tourist enjoyment of the island by replacing
an unsightly brush with an attractive crop.
Field Days Keep Farmers Informed On Recent Develop-
ments In Sorghum Research At The C.V.I. Agricultural
1l 775 W
90 0 YIELDMAKER
Jun 7 Aug 2 Sep 13 Nov
Fig. I Effect of planting dates on days to mid-bloom of
three sorghum cultivars.
A Group Of High School Students Visiting Sorghum Re-
C.V.I. Agricultural Experiment Station Sorghum Research
There Is More Than Paint At The...
STAR ROUTE 00864
CRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
VIRGIN ISLANDS, U.S.A. 00820
Your Complete Paint Store
Sorghum As A Food
Olivia H. Henry
Home Economist and Program Leader
Cooperative Extension Service
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix
Sorghum is relatively new to this community and
as such is only used for animal feeding. Sorghum can
also be used as a valuable cereal food. In many parts of
Africa and other countries of the world sorghum grain
is used as a basic food product.
Presently, research is underway at many agricultural
stations and universities, with the primary goal of defining
the food and feed attributes of sorghum. It has also become
important and necessary to search for basic information
not already known on the relationship of the chemical
and physical properties of sorghum to determine its
acceptability for processing in food, feed and industrial
In order to understand why we are interested in
working with the sorghum grain, it will be helpful to
outline the grain composition which could serve to
indicate its possible importance and value as a food grain.
The protein content varies considerably among the
varieties of sorghum grain. This is due to genetic control
and partly to the influence of the environment in which
the plant grows and the cultural factors involved in fos-
tering its growth, such as fertilizers, irrigation, etc. Agri-
culture and food scientists are working to develop a
sorghum grain which is high in protein and the amino acid
lysine. If this is possible and indications are pointing to
the fact that it will be, then sorghum will be useful in
supplementing the diets of those people who are without
animal protein in their daily diets.
In our case, we are interested in finding a way of
obtaining such a sorghum grain, processing it into flour
or meal, and from this prepare new and tasty cereal foods
for the family's table.
Like other cereal protein, sorghum grain is deficient
in the amino acids lysine, threonine, tryptophan and
methionine. "Lysine is the most limiting amino acid in
sorghum protein", and this amino acid is essential for
normal growth of the body. The discovery and partial de-
velopment of corn that is high in lysine has stimulated the
search for sorghum grains with high lysine content.
Efforts to find sorghum grains with the improved
amino acid content; as well as being easy to digest are
The fat content of sorghum grain is known not to
vary as much as its protein content. Lipidsl from sorghum
grain have been identified by extracting and then separa-
ting the extracted lipids. It was discovered that the lipids
of sorghum contained significantly more hydrocarbons
(fatty acids) than the lipids of corn and wheat.
The color factor of the sorghum grain presents a
problem, and even though not serious, it could influence
its use as a cereal food. The coloring of the grain is due
to the pigment tannin. This gives a reddish color to flour or
meal made from sorghum grain which in turn influences
the color of any food product made of sorghum flour.
It has been found that the lower the tannin in the grain
the better is its quality as a food cereal. When color is not
an important contributing factor, sorghum flour or meal
can be used successfully for making a variety of products.
(Polysaccharides)2 Even though minor pentosans
are important as a composite part of any cereal grain.
This is also true of the sorghum grain. The pentosans
content of sorghum grain is greatly influence by its environ-
ment or growing conditions. It has been determined that
when the same varieties of sorghum are planted in dif-
ferent location, the pentosans content differs significantly.
The content of starch in sorghum varies inversely
with the protein content of the grain, and therefore it is
influenced by the same factors that determine the quantity
of protein in the grain.
Whether sorghum can be of value for industrial and
food use could only be determined by its cooking proper-
1Lipid is a broad term for fats and fat-like substances characterized
by the presence of one or more fatty acids. This includes fats,
cholesterol, lecthins, phospholipids and similar substances, which
do not mix readily with water.
2Polysaccharides polysaccharide any of a group of complex
carbohydrates as starch that decompose by hydrolysis into a large
number of monosaccharide units or the simple sugars or glucose.
The viscosity properties of the starch from various
types of sorghum have been analized by use of the
amylograph. It has been found that the viscosity properties
of starch from different sorghum vary significantly,
especially in the waxy type of sorghum in which charac-
teristics were observed to be the same as waxy-corn starch.
Based on these characteristics, it might be assumed
that the sorghum grain does not have gluten protein like
that present in wheat. And so. sorghum flour by itself will
not produce leavened, light, aerated products,. It can be
successfully used in baked products where lightness is not
a desired characteristic; such as muffins, biscuits, etc.
In products where lightness and fine texture are desired
characteristics, it is necessary to let wheat flour replace
a part of the sorghum flour. In this manner successful
cooking formulas can be accomplished. The following
sorghum recipes are suggested for the use of the Virgin
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sorghum flour
'i tsp. double acting baking powder
3 cup margarine
A cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour with baking powder. Cream butter. Add sugar
gradually. Cream well after each addition. Add egg and
vanilla, beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, mixing
well after each addition. Force through cookie press into
ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 4000F for about 13-14
minutes or until brown.
SORGHUM COCONUT DROPS
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1h tsp. vanilla
1 cup sorghum flour
A cup all purpose flour
1 cup shredded coconut
Place in saucepan sugar, evaporated milk, and margarine,
Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a
boil. Cook for 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and
cool slightly. Add vanilla. Stir in and mix gently sorghum
flour and coconut. Mix well. Cool to room temperature.
Add all purpose flour and combine well.
Drop by spoon on to greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350OF
until golden brown.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sorghum flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1% cup milk
Sift flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Beat egg, oil
and milk well. Add dry ingredients to liquid and beat
Bake on lightly greased griddle pan.
OATMEAL SORGHUM BISCUITS
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup sorghum flour
% cup white flour
tsp. baking powder
tsp. baking soda
FERTILIZER CO., INC.
G.P.O. BOX 3128
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO 00936
SULFURIC ACID AND OTHER
Combine dry ingredients, cut in shortening until grainy.
Beat eggs and add to milk, Add to dry ingredients using
a fork. Roll out on lightly floured board about 1/8 inch
thick. Cut in desired shapes. Place on ungreased sheet
and bake at 3250F for 20 to 25 minutes.
1 cup butter or margarine
1% cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cardamom
1 cup sorghum flour
12 oz. raisins
3 cup frozen orange juice reconstituted
2 teaspoons baking powder
Cream fat and sugar until creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a
time. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, carda-
mom, sorghum and raisins. Add alternately with orange
juice to creamed mixture, blending well. Spread dough
in greased sheet pans.
Mix Vz cup of crunchy peanut butter with 1% cup brown
h cup sorghum flour
Put these ingredients together. Sprinkle over dough and
pat down. Bake at 4000F for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool
before cutting into squares.
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup sugar
cup oil or margarine (melted)
1 cup ripe bananas mashed
Sift flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Beat eggs until
foamy. Add melted margarine and bananas. Add dry
ingredients and mix thoroughly. Grease loaf pan and
powder with sorghum flour. Pour batter in pan. Bake at
3500F for approximately one hour. Let cool for about
20 minutes before removing from pan.
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he Subsistence Farm, A Noble Ideal
The Subsistence Farm, A Noble Ideal
Franklin W. Martin and Ruth M. Ruberte'
Mayaguez Institute of Tropical Agriculture
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico
Personal independence is one of the most beautiful
ideals that grace Western Civilization. The ideal that each
person should be free to develop his potentialities, to suc-
ceed or to fail on his own, and to take care of himself was
one of the driving forces that developed this hemisphere.
Nevertheless, as population increased and mutual depen-
dence developed, it has become more and more difficult
for any one person to take care of his own needs. As self-
reliance has decreased, dependence on government has in-
creased, until now some people think the government is
responsible for everything, including their personal happi-
ness. Some of us believe that more has been lost than has
Yet in all parts of the world the practice of personal
independence persists. Often the circumstances of life are
so difficult that there is no other choice possible other than
to strive for one's own subsistence. The phenomena of wel-
fare and food stamps are something new and perhaps not
lasting. Probably two thirds of the world's people have to
make it alone. Their way of life varies, and in many cases is
unacceptably hard. But for others, personal independence
is achieved and life is fulfilled through a simple instrument,
the subsistence farm.
Usually the subsistence farm is depreciated for it does
not contribute to the gross national product. Nevertheless,
the subsistence farm incorporates that beautiful ideal, per-
sonal independence. Making a success of the subsistence
farm requires many abilities and a wide range of knowledge.
The subsistence farm yields not only food, but shelter, fuel,
and clothing. As the subsistence farm is developed, one be-
comes aware that much of what modem civilization has
produced is not necessary. Making a success of the subsis-
tence farm requires personal maturity and develops per-
sonal maturity. Thus, the subsistence farm is a noble ideal.
How practical is it to develop a subsistence farm in
the Virgin Islands? Well, subsistence has been a way of life
here for centuries and has only recently been disappearing.
Some old skills are already here and new techniques and
materials are available to those who want to have them. The
land available is enough, if equitably distributed. It is not
obvious whether or not the will is available. But the noble
ideal represented by the subsistence farm requires only
three things, land, technical know-how, and the will to
The Mayaguez Institute of Tropical Agriculture is
cooperating with an international program to test the nu-
trient output of a small home garden. We believe that much
personal independence can be achieved on a very small plot
of ground, intensively cultivated. The size chosen for inten-
sive year round gardens is only 300 square feet. This is rec-
tangle of 10 by 30 feet or a circle 20 feet in diameter (see
drawing). What we wish to find out is what proportion of
the nutrient requirements of a family can be produced on
such a piece of ground. We believe that the amount is much
more than has ever been appreciated.
PLOT PLAN FOR CIRCULAR GARDEN
DIAMETER: 20 FT
OVERALL SIZE: 312 SQ. FEET
CENTER FOR ROTATING SPRINKLER AND HERB PATCH:
3.2 FEET IN DIAMETER
CENTER PLOT AREA: ,.0 SQ. FEET
EACH OF 8 PIE SHAPED AREAS: 3. SQ. FEET
Model of the circular garden divided into 8 pie shaped plots
and one center plot.
The choice of a piece of ground so small has many ad-
vantages. A small piece of ground is not as costly as a big
piece. A small piece of ground can be easily controlled with
respect to weeds, irrigation, etc. A small piece of land re-
quires only simple tools, hand labor, and home produced
fertilizer. On a small piece of land few pests and diseases
occur, and these are easier to handle than on a large piece.
Nevertheless, to make a success of a 300 square foot
garden requires knowledge. Can that knowledge be encap-
sulated in a few pages so that he who has land and will can
T R [ICA-
PRECISE PLANT FOOD
SOLBAN SHADE CLOTH
CLAY AND PLASTIC POTS
SOLD IN GARDEN CENTERS -
DEPAR TMENT STORES AND SUPERMARKETS
Avenue Fernandez Juncas Parada 10
Box 5157 San Juan, P.R. 00906
use it? In part, it cannot, for successful small plot farming
is only partially a science, and is partially an art, acquired
The first step is in the preparation of the land. Virgin
Islands' soils are not very fertile and require suitable treat-
ments to make them so. Probably the best of these is the
mixing into the soil of large quantities of compost. When
available, the compost is easy to use. To get it is the
Compost is prepared from decaying organic materials
that develops heat as it rots. The heat is necessary to kill
weed seeds, and undesirable bacteria and fungi. Therefore,
compost is generally made in piles, bins, or holes. The tech-
nique is to mix ingredients (garbage, cuttings from the gar-
den, animal manures, a little seaweed and beach sand), to
wet this, and to maintain it in piles covered with a plastic
cloth to avoid drying out. The piles should be turned once
in a while.
The garden site may be of any size and shape. We
present here a plan for a circular garden for this can be
watered from a single rotating sprinkler. If the plot is
small, it can be very well treated. It should be in full sun
and away from roots of large trees that might interfere.
It is useful to have a more or less level area. The site is pre-
pared by digging and mixing the soil with compost or
mineral fertilizers. Some authors recommend digging to
24 inches. This might be excessive, but nevertheless, one
should dig as deeply as possible. Rocks, trash, wood and
roots are removed.
In our circular plan, the garden is divided into 8 pie-
shaped pieces that are then maintained independently. Each
of these plots is planted continuously according to its in-
dividual plan. Crops are not planted in rows but as individ-
ual plants at the distances recommended. When a harvest
has been completed, or replanting is desired, all plant
material is carefully removed from the plot, and this can be
composted elsewhere. Fresh compost is then added and
turned into the soil.
Plots are rotated at least once each year in order to
avoid planting the same kind of crop in the same soil year
after year. The principal classes of crops in the garden for
which such rotation is desirable are legumes, roots and tu-
bers, fruit vegetables, and leafy vegetables.
The various crops we recommend for the hot, humid
tropics are given in the next table.
The photo demonstrates such a garden about a month
The small garden suggested will not make the back-
yard into a subsistence farm. It will teach the gardener
about some very useful plants, however, and will supply
surprisingly large amounts of food. Principles used in the
circular garden can be applied to some extent on a larger
Plot Plan for the 20 Foot Circular Garden
Number Crops Planted Time of Plant Variety Inches Notes
1 Winged bean March-April Tinge, Toano 36 Trellis
Sweet potato March-April Gem, Tai 57 24 Below
2 Tomato December Better boy 30
Okra May Clemson spineless 16
3 Soybean Jan., April Jupiter 4
Eggplants June Rayada 24 Subplots
Peppers June Yolo Wonder 30 Subplots
4 Amaranthus, Celosia Jan., April Aupa, Sierra Leone 4 Subplots
Kaichoy Jan., April Waianae strain 4 Subplots
Catjang cowpea June MITA 58 20
5 Soybean July, October See above -
Eggplants, peppers December See above Subplots
6 Amaranthus, Celosia July, October See above Subplots
Catjang cowpea January See above -
7 Cluster yams April Beti 30 Trellis
8 Pigeon peas March, April African 30
Ceylon spinach March, April Green 15 Below
9 Selected herbs or As necessary 12
GENERAL INSURANCE AGENTS
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P.O. Box "B"
DONO'S LITTLE CORNER BAR,
RESTAURANT and POOL ROOM
Native Food such As Souse,
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RESTAURANT EQUIPMENT AND GLASSWARE
CHEF.READY & PORTION CUT MEATS
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PREPARED FOODS TULIP HAMS
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STAP GENERAL FOODS
-O DURKEES FINE FOODS
However, for those who wish to take a further step,
fruit trees are suggested. In addition to the common fruits
found throughout the island, papaya, mango, tamarind,
queneps (keneps), lime, soursop, Virgin Islands can produce
really excellent grafted mangoes and avocadoes, sapodillas,
guavas, and a host of minor fruits. For the permanent resi-
dent a little effort now spent in obtaining the best of fruit
trees will pay off in rich eating within a few years. The sub-
sistence farmer is proud to use what he has, finding new
ways to extend and preserve his fruits so that they can be
used throughout the year.
Surely many Virgin Islanders already know the values
of raising small animals. These are very important to the
subsistence farm, but in every case they must be controlled.
Chickens and goats that are not controlled make subsis-
tence farming impossible. Loose dogs can also be a problem.
The techniques of raising small animals are fairly well
known, but it may be useful to mention some important
points. Small animals are not a blessing in the Virgin Islands
if it is necessary to feed them on imported feeds. To be
economic, the feed must be grown on the subsistence farm.
On an island where drought is common and water precious,
production of feed is not easy. Some of the small animals
most useful, and suggestions for their locally available feed
t MARIE MURRAY
WE BUY SELL TRADE APPRAISE
QUALITY USED FURNITURE & ANTIQUES
28A KING STREET, CHRISTIANSTED
LEOCADIO CAMACHO, INC.
P.O. Box 817 Tel. 773-3354
ESTATE PEARL, #4
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
Wholesale & Retail
Quail (for eggs)
The lawn, grass in general, weeds
Vigorous grasses, legumes, home-
grown comfrey, home-grown corn
Weeds in general, fruits, home-grown
grains, fish scraps
Home-grown grains, weeds
Probably the most meat for the effort will be had
from the rabbit. It is an easily managed animal that rapidly
repays for the attention it receives.
Goats, pigs, chickens and even rabbits are very useful
when tethered to clean up weedy patches. Let these animals
eat all they can from a given area. Then remove and destroy
the inedible weeds left.
In talking about the noble idea of the subsistence
farm it should be understood that food is only part of the
subsistence problem. For he who is interested, all other as-
pects of subsistence, water, sewage disposal, sanitation, con-
struction, fuel for cooking, lighting, clothing, etc. have
practical, although sometimes unconventional, solutions.
The Virgin Islander may not want to solve all of these prob-
lems for himself, but he can begin with his food. Anyone
with a backyard and the will to succeed can acquire the
know-how and materials, and make himself more inde-
A circular garden with retaining wall at an early stage of
BORINQUEN BEEF EQUIPMENT
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P.O. BOX 5322
PUERTA DE TIERRA STA.
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO
TELS. OFIC. 785-9751
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Practical Hints For Potential Grape Vineyard
Establishment In The Virgin Islands
Agricultural Experiment Station
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix
Although the grape, represented by its many species,
hybrids, and races, is one of the world's most ubiquitous
and popular fruit-producing plants, its growth and cultiva-
tion is restricted primarily to temperate and sub-tropical
regions. In tropical climates the grapevine is evergreen and
in nature produces very poorly. It has been found, how-
ever, that by forcing the vine into two growth cycles, one in
the wet and the other in the dry season, it can produce
profitably. Grape growing in tropical areas is of relatively
recent origin. However, both India and Thailand have pio-
neered for a number of years in the production of grapes
under wet, tropical conditions. In the New World Tropics
successful large-scale grape production has an even more re-
cent origin. Both Brazil and Columbia have rather large and
successful acreages. Within the past 10-15 years, the mid-
central and Lake Maracaibo regions of Venezuela have be-
come important tropical grape producing areas. In the
Caribbean area, prospects for successful grape production
appear to be relatively high. The Rio Piedras Agricultural
Experiment Station has obtained moderately good produc-
tion with some of the traditional vinifera varieties.
Attempts at grape growing are also underway in Costa
Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. The outlook
for growing grapes in the Virgin Islands seems quite opti-
mistic. In a recent report, it was pointed out that several in-
dividuals on St. Croix and St. Thomas cultivated and main-
tained fruiting grape vines. Although a tropical environment
such as is found in the Virgin Islands can present certain
problems to agricultural crops, manipulation of cultural
practice and use of plant growth regulators could help with
the profitable adaptation of grape cultivars to the Virgin Is-
lands. There was a feeling among the Virgin Islands agricul-
ture community that a cash crop such as grapes could be of
great benefit to the Virgin Islands' agriculture program. The
presence of many land holders with small acreages of land,
submarginal by agronomic standards, could provide an addi-
tional incentive by considering the more intensive crops
such as grapes, with high income possibilities. There may be
problems which will require practical experience and con-
tinued study to overcome. If with certain varieties poor
climatic adaptability should occur, lack of vine vigor and
uneven or delayed fruit ripening may result, causing disrup-
tion and delay of a yearly dual growth-cycle. Vine manage-
ment in the tropics is a delicate, complicated procedure due
to the lack of a definite dormant period, and the vines may
be rather short lived. There is a strong tendency for few or
only the apical buds on the fruiting units to grow. Thus
many units are required to obtain large yields.
The first step toward answering the question "Will
grapes grow in the Virgin Islands?" is to establish a well-
organized investigative facility where varieties may be tried,
and cultural practices explored. Such a project is currently
underway at the College of the Virgin Islands Agricultural
Experiment Station. A 11 acre experimental vineyard has
been established using the arbor trellis system. Initially, two
species of grapes have been planted, including the following
traditional table grape varieties:
Vitis vinifera L. (or other Euvitis):
Alphonse Lavallee (Ribier)
Unknown from Water Isle, V. I.
Vitis rotundifolia michx. (Muscadinia):
As of the preparation of this article, plantings with rooted
cuttings have resulted in 100% bud break. After growth of
one month from planting, some vines of the Water Isle var-
iety have reached five feet toward a 6 foot high arbor trellis.
Varieties Until more complete research information
can be accumulated, the most reasonable alternative would
be to try traditional table grape varieties which have already
proven successful under tropical conditions. In Venezuela,
Cardinal, a red grape from California; Italia, a white grape
from Italy; and Alphonse Lavallee (Ribier), a black grape
or purple grape from France, have been successful. In Co-
lumbia, Italia is grown in the Cauca Valley, whereas in
other regions Gros Coleman and Isabela are grown. Tokay
has done well in warm regions of California; Exotic, For-
tuna blanca, Fortuna Roja, and Alphonse Lavallee (Ribier)
have been successful at Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. Musca-
dinia varieties from the Southern U.S. region have been
suggested. Some of these recommended varieties are in-
cluded in the fore-mentioned experimental vineyard in-
ventory. Vitis vinifera varieties may be obtained from:
Stribling's Nurseries, Inc. P.O. Box 793 Merced, Califor-
nia 95340; California Nursery Co., Fremont, California
Trellis In tropical areas, an arbor trellis system
(Fig. 1) seems most advisable and has proven to be most
successful. For the V. I., future research development
should include experimentation with row trellis systems
as well. The arbor trellis system provides a number of ad-
vantages for vine management: (1) maximum use of small
area for planting, (2) maximum leaf area exposure to sun-
light, (3) maximum radial distribution of arms and spur
shoots for the cordon-trained, spurpruned type manage-
ment advisable for most vinifera varieties suggested for tro-
pical use (Fig. 2), (4) overhead vine shading from the trellis
inhibits weed growth, facilitating and reducing frequency
of cultivation; (5) clusters hanging down under the Canopy
thus are protected froph sunscald. Disadvantage: the overall
initial cost of construction is higher than for row trellising.
1 R ,"ndI 8 V
Figure 1. Graphic illustration of typical grape arbor
trellis construction using locally obtainable
materials. (Courtesy of Rojnic, et al.).
Chosen sites should be relatively level and the soil
should provide for good drainage and reasonable deep (3-4
feet) root penetration. Drip irrigation or hand watering will
have to be implemented during the dry season, so a reliable
water source such as a pond, dam, or cistern should be
The vineyard area is marked off as a square or rec-
tangle by using a transit. Four 8" x 8" x 9' corner posts are
set in. Each corner post is provided with 2 anchors, placed
mended distance between the posts is 3 m along both the
length and the width of the vineyard. Oriented across the
field by the posts, the grape plants are equi-distantly placed
at 3 m spacing. A single anchor is provided for each wire
at 3 m spacing. A single anchor is provided for each wire
Figure 2. Graphic illustration of arbor-trained grape vines:
a. topped and ready for arm development, b. ma-
ture vine before pruning, c. mature vine after
pruning. (Courtesy of Rojnic, et al.).
support post. Bury-type Mobile-home anchors are good for
this purpose. Six-foot 2" x 2" supports are provided for
each plant. The plants are trained vertically up the supports
to the overhead trellis, where they are then trained to ex-
pand radially (Fig. 2). No. 8 or 9 steel wire is strung around
the border of the vineyard, connecting the 4 corner posts,
and strung through holes at the tops of the wire support
posts. This wire is secured to each of the four corer posts
and pulled tight. No. 10 wire is used to connect each pair of
wire-support posts crisscrossing the field. As this wire is
tightened, care must be taken to also tighten the anchor
wire in order to maintain equal tension on both sides of the
posts. Finally, No. 12 wire is strung crisscrossing the field
between posts at 50 cm spacings. A No. DD-800 stretcher
and splicer manufactured by Durbin-Duro, Inc., 1435
Woodson Road., St. Louis, Missouri 63132 is an appro-
priate tool for vineyard wire stretching. A list of materials
with their relative cost as of August, 1977 used to construct
the 1 acre experimental vineyard trellis at the Experiment
Station is presented in Table 1 (labor not included).
Vineyard Establishment and Management Dig ap-
proximately 12" diameter x 15" deep holes at each plant
site. The holes should line up evenly at right angles and dia-
gonally across the field with the wire support posts, which
are spaced 3 m apart. Allow lose soil to remain at the bot-
tom of each hole. Place in the holes approximately one-half
to a full shovel of well-aged chicken manure, and mix thor-
oughly with the loose soil. Place a thin layer of plain soil on
-777f777 m.......ff ...i...f.77
top of the soil-manure mixture. Wet the holes down with
water, then place a rooted cutting in the center of each
hole, and plant, covering the roots well. The roots should
be trimmed to 6 cm 10 cm in length, and the current ma-
ture cane growth pruned back to 2 or 3 dormant growth
buds before planting. The graft union should not be in con-
tact with the soil after planting. It would be advisable to al-
low at least 20 cm to 25 cm spacing between the graft and
the ground. For ungrated plants, a similar distance is recom-
mended between the ground and the dormant growth buds.
After planting, apply approximately 100g of a
balanced fertilizer such as 12-12-12, or a high phosphorus
N-P-K mixture at or just under the soil surface in a circular
pattern around the periphery of the hole away from the
very base of the plant. Mound up slightly around each plant
with soil and water well.
By the second or third week, complete sprouting
should have occurred. After the shoots have leafed out well
and grown to about 30 cm to 40 cm in length, select two of
the most vigorous and trim or pinch off the rest. If growth
is slow or vigour poor, allow additional shoots to remain
until a selection can safely be made.
When the shoots reach about 20 cm in length, select
the healthiest and most vigorous and begin tying it to the
2" x 2" support provided by each plant. The stem should
be tied with a 1" 1" wide material such as cloth strips or
plastic flagging every 15 cm as shoot growth proceeds up-
ward. The shoot should be trained to grow vertically. Do
not allow the stems to become crooked or develop a "zig-
zag" appearance. After the shoot reaches about 1 m in
height, the remaining "reserve" shoot may be removed. As
the trunk shoot grows, lateral shoots will start to grow in
the axils of the trunk-shoot leaves. These lateral shoots
should be pinched off as they develop.
Upon reaching the trellis wire, the shoot should be
allowed to grow an additional 30 cm to 50 cm. At this
stage, the trunk shoot is then cut just below the level of the
trellis wire, and 3 or 4 lateral shoots are allowed to develop
from nodes near and at the top of the cut trunk shoot.
These laterals will later develop into radial support arms
over the trellis as shown in Fig. 2. The lateral crown shoots
(radiating arms) should be allowed to grow and develop un-
til the first 30 cm to 40 cm of cane has matured (the green
color typical of the growing shoot has changed to a brown
color with bark). At this stage, the vine is ready for the first
pruning, and subsequent development of the first fruiting
As mentioned earlier, vineyard management in the
tropics usually results in a 6 month production cycle. In
addition, disease control is facilitated during the drier
periods of the year. Although the vines will remain ever-
green during the rest period, reduced moisture will help to
arrest growth and allow the plant to re-build needed food
reserves for the next growth and production cycle. In addi-
tion, disease control is facilitated during the drier periods,
maintaining valuable leaf area for plant food manufacture
by the sun. The following vineyard management schedule
might be feasible for the Virgin Islands:
Growth and Production
Growth and Production
ON HAND AND READY FOR
Standby Power Supplies
Downy and powdery mildew are the two major
disease problems for grapevines in the tropics. Downy mil-
dew usually occurs during the wet season and attacks the
leaves first. Succulent shoots, petioles, and tendrils may be
attacked. Flowers and young fruits may also be attacked
andkilled;afterward they fall from the cluster. Effective
control may be accomplished with Bordeaux mixture, Dia-
thane M-45, and. aptan applied weekly and after heavy
rains. In contrast to downy mildew, powdery mildew does
most of its damage during the dry periods. The disease is
favored by cooler weather, such as may occur during the
December January rest period, and during the early period
of shoot growth (February). Green parts of the vine are af-
fected first, showing whitish patches of cobweb-like
growth. Affected areas later darken to reddish-brown or
black, owing to injury of vine tissues. These areas are partic-
ularly conspicuous on the fruit and dormant canes. Flowers
may be attacked, with the result that they fail to set fruit.
Large berries that are attacked develop irregularly into ab-
normal shapes; sometimes they crack or become badly
scarred. Control is accomplished by applying sulfur dust as
follows: When the shoots are 6, 12, 18, and 24 inches long,
and every 14 days until several weeks before harvest. The
applications must not be delayed in anticipation of rain,
and are repeated after heavy rains. Benlate is also recom-
mended for the control of powdery mildew.
A laboratory analysis of soil samples taken from se-
lected areas on St. Croix indicates that nitrogen is the most
deficient major chemical element followed by phosphorus.
Potassium appears to be at adequate levels in most soils.
Calcium and magnesium are abundant. The availability of
micronutrients such as iron, and manganese are low due to
high soil pH. Nitrogen may be supplied by applying 100g
urea per plant every 30 days for the first eight months, and
150g per plant for the next four months during the first
year after planting. For each year after the first, 200g of
urea per plant may be applied every 30 days beginning at
pruning time and ceasing just prior to veraison (stage at
which the grape berries start to color) for each growth and
production cycle. Recommendations for phosphorus and
potassium have not yet been formulated and will vary
depending on the soil nutrient condition for a particular
site. Tentative recommendations for your grape site may be
obtained by a soil test. Information regarding such testing
may be obtained from: U.S. Testing Co., Inc., Agricultural
Laboratory, Cotton Exchange Building, Memphis, Ten-
Suggested Materials With Their Relative Cost As Of August, 1977 Needed To Construct
A 1'/2 Acre Grape Arbor Trellis System On St. Croix. Labor Not Included.
Quantity Unit of Unit Total
Measure Price $ Price $
4"x8"x20' treated lumber 5 ea. $35.10 $ 175.50
4"x4"x8' treated lumber 112 ea. 7.15 800.80
2"x2"x16' treated lumber 350 ea. 3.04 1,064.00
No. 9 steel wire 200 Ib. .69 138.00
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VIRGIN ISLAND SENEPOL ASSOCIATIONOF ST. CROIX
BOX 969, CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS PHONE (809) 773-1508
A PERFORMANCE BREED FROM THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
The Senepol Breed is Noted for Being:
Polled Fertile Good Foragers
Maternal Heat Tolerant Good Meat Production
Adaptable Early Maturing Good Milk Production
All interested producers with Senepol Cattle are strongly encouraged to
become members and register their cattle with the Senepol Association.
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The Papaya And Its Uses
Olivia H. Henry
Home Economist and Program Leader
Cooperative Extension Service
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix
The papaya was one of the first fruits introduced to
the new world. It was described as a usable fruit in 1526.
Since then it has successfully grown, and is widely distri-
buted in the tropics due to is abundance of seeds which are
highly viable of up to 3 years under cool conditions. It has
become a well-known and popular edible fruit.
While the fruit was being introduced, and in its
movement from place to place, the original name fre-
quently changed and took on other adaptation. It is now
known by various names which mostly derived from a
misunderstanding of the word papaya. The English calls
it papaw or pawpaw. The Portuguese name is mamao.
In the French colonies it is papaye. German colonies
refer to it as papaja and papajabaum. Other names such
as fruit de bomba is heard in Cuba and melon zapote in
parts of Mexico, and many others such as papaia, papeya,
The fruit which is similar in appearance to a melon,
can be used in recipes calling for the rind of such, exhibits
remarkable variation in size, shape, color, fragrance, flavor
and quality, even among fruits grown on the same tree.
The flesh is white before the fruit matures, and gradually
turns to a rich orange-yellow when ripe, and of a smooth
tender consistency. It is difficult to keep the ripe papaya
for any longer than a few days, even in refrigeration. Once
it ripens it deteriorates very fast.
The flesh of the fruit surrounds a cavity which
contains many round, grayish-black seeds. The seeds are
the size of small peas. covered with a thin clear skin and
attached to the sides of the cavity. These seeds can be
eaten with the fruit, but this is an individual perference,
and mostly they are not. They also can be crushed or
served whole in salad dressing to impart a nutty flavor.
The flavor resembles horseradish in taste and gives a sting
to the mouth similar to black pepper. Whenever the fruit
is cooked as a vegetable or preserve, the seeds may be
left intact and cooked with the fruit. If this is done, it
is wise to test seeds separately first, for even though the
seeds of several varieties add a pleasant, nutty flavor,
the seeds of some other varieties are unpleasantly dry,
grainy and bitter.
To strangers, as is the case with many other tropical
fruits, a likeness for the taste of the ripe papaya must
be developed. However, this is never a problem and does
not serve to make it unpopular. The fruit is most always
readily enjoyed by newcomers to tropical islands, and
eventually wins a favorite spot as a breakfast fruit. Many
people associate and describe the taste of the ripe papaya
as similar to a peach. The flavor of the ripe fruit is rather
sweet and is believed to improve if it is lightly scored when
taken from the tree to permit the milky juice to run out,
and then allow to stand for a few days. The fruit contains
very little, if any, starch.
In addition to its popularity as an edible fruit, the
green papaya has medicinal value. The fruit, as well as
all other parts of the plant, contain papain, an enzyme
with tenderizing and high digestive properties capable
of breaking down protein. The digestive property makes
it similar in action to the animal enzyme pepsin, and there-
fore, is used as a substitute for this enzyme in digestive
medicines. The protein breaking down quality of papain
is the factor responsible for its effect as a tenderizing agent.
Papain is extracted from the rind and leaves of the
papaya, dried and used as the basic tenderizing agent in
many commercial tenderizers.
From a dietetic view point, it is generally accepted
that yellow fruits and vegetables are good sources of
vitamin A, and the brighter its color the higher is its caro-
tene content. The papaya falls in the category of a yellow
fruit and as such is an excellent source of vitamin A,
a rich source of Vitamin C, and a fair source of vitamin G
(riboflavin). The fruit also contains some thiamin, vitamin
B, and is good in its content of calcium and phosphorous.
Unfortunately, the papaya is not used enough, nor
is it given an opportunity to prove its versatility in the
kitchen. There are many other ways of utilizing this fruit
other than just using it in its skin for breakfast or dessert.
It can be very useful, and a valuable addition to meals
in many ways.
1. The green leaves of the papaya plant could
be crushed or slightly chopped to cause bleed-
ing from veins, and wrapped around or packed
between less tender meats for a period of
fifteen to twenty minutes in order to hasten
the tenderizing process. The meat should be
washed immediately after to prevent too much
digestive action, or breaking down of the
protein and to avoid giving the meat a decom-
posed or mushy texture.
2. The green papaya is flavorless. It has a low
acid but high pectin content. Due to these
combined qualities, the fruit by itself, is
unfavorable for making jelly. However, because
of its high pectin content, if it is combined
with fruits that are low in pectin, but high in
acid and have strong flavor, it will facilitate
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successful jelly making. When the green papaya
is used in this manner it is recommended that
it be grated before boiling with other fruits.
This procedure causes a maximum extraction
of pectin from the green fruit.
3. In its full ripe stage the papaya makes a delec-
table dessert or breakfast fruit, served alone
or with lemon or lime.
4. As a cocktail, in fruit salads and fruit cups
it combines deliciously with the more acid
fruits like pineapple, orange and grapefruit;
with bananas, mangoes, grated coconut and
many other tropical fruits.
5. The pulp, when mixed with milk or cream,
makes a very tasty milk shake, a splendid
frozen dessert, sherbert, cream and custard.
6. Sliced or cubed and seasoned with spices, the
firm, ripe papaya can be used for pies and
cobblers, either alone or combined with other
fruits such as pineapple, apple or orange juice.
Put the pulp through a sieve, combine with
milk, eggs and spices and it makes a delicious
7. Papaya is useful for making sweet sauce, butter,
preserve, candy, jam and sweet spiced pickels
and chutney, For these preparations use the
firm-ripe or slightly underripe papaya com-
bined with the green fruit.
8. In its young, green stage when the skin is still
tender, and the seeds are a bit underdeveloped,
and yet white, use the papaya as a cooked
vegetable. Prepare the fruit in the same manner
as you would squash. Also, at this stage blanch
the fruit slightly, and combine in vegetable
9. Stewed in a sugar syrup: when used in this
manner, the seeds of some varieties can be
included in the process to add an interesting
nutty flavor. If seeds are to be used, remember
to test before using.
10. Ripe or green papaya can be successfully
canned and stored. If properly done, it does
not lose any appreciable flavor or food value,
and can be a helpful addition to the menu in
dishes such as casseroles, stews, pies and sauces.
Canned papaya comes in handy for emergency
occasions or when the fresh fruit is not
The following papaya recipes are suggested for use
by the Virgin Islands homemakers:
LAYERED BAKED PAPAYA
2% cups papaya peeled and thinly sliced (green or
slightly underripe but firm)
1% tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
cup stewed tomatoes (canned), or plain canned tomatoes
1 tablespoon cooking oil
pinch of pepper
pinch of cinnamon
cup cream of mushroom soup
2 slices processed cheese (parmesan cheese)
Cook papaya until tender, but not soft. It should be crisp
when tested. Drain and measure enough to make 2
cups (any left over can be fried and served).
Make a sauce by sauteing onion and pepper in oil until
cooked but not brown.
Crush tomatoes and add. Continue cooking for a minute
Add cream of mushroom soup, pepper and cinnamon,
combine and remove from heat.
Spread a layer of cooked papaya in greased baking dish.
Spread with layer of sauce and sprinkle with parmesan
cheese. Top with second layer of papaya, spread with sauce.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and top with chopped
processed cheese. Bake in 4000F oven for % to 34 hour.
Hint: mashed white potato plus mashed ripe papaya
proceed as with your favorite Potato Pie.
4 tablespoons margarine
1 cup papaya pulp
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1% cup flour (unsifted)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of pumpkin pie spice
1 Teaspoon brandy or vanilla
cup raisins (optional)
Cream butter and sugar. Beat egg and add to creamed
mixture. Add papaya pulp.
Combine flour, soda and baking powder and spice. Add
to pulp mixture alternately with milk. Mix well, pour
in very well greased pudding pan or 9"x9" square pan.
Start baking at 4000F after 20 minutes, lower tempera-
turn to 3500F and continue baking until done for about
When done pudding will be crusty on outside but soft on
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inside. Inside will become firm as it cools. Best to serve
the day after making. It slices better and tastes better.
Serve plain or with your favorite lemon or wine sauce.
3 cups cubed papaya (green or firmly underripe
2% cups brown sugar
3/4 cup vinegar
few whole cloves
V teaspoon whole allspice
1 stick cinnamon
few slices of red sweet pepper ring
cook papaya until tender
Boil vinegar, sugar and spices for about 5 minutes. Add
cooked papaya and boil down until of a syrup consistency.
Place into hot sterilized jars and seal, or cover and refri-
gerate if pickle is made for immediate use.
3% cup papaya grated
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 cup flour (unsifted)
1 teaspoon baking powder
% teaspoon salt
2 pinches pumpkin pie spice
Add granulated and brown sugar to grated papaya and
stir until sugar is dissolved. Mix other dry ingredients
and add alternately with water to papaya mixture.
Fry in shallow fat or in deep fat if preferred, turning
once until delicately brown.
Papaya should be slightly underripe, but firm. Green on
outside but turning yellow on inside.
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V. I. Department of Agriculture
Mangoes have been grown in the Virgin Islands
for many years. However, established varieties such as the
Kidney and Peach are of small size, high fiber content
while many of the other local varieties have other undesir-
able characteristics such as high turpentine flavor and low,
or high seasonal production. Due especially to size and
fiber content, these fruits are restricted in their market
appeal and, therefore, make expanded plantings a highly
Several years ago the Federal Agriculture Station
on St. Croix, Virgin Islands mounted a program to upgrade
mango varieties in the United States Virgin Islands. What
impact this could have had upon the mango population
on the islands is uncertain as is the total number of trees
planted or those that may have survived. It is, likewise,
difficult to evaluate the effects of such an attempt on the
islands of St. Thomas and St. John as there is no trace of
any improved varieties on these islands which dates back
to those early attempts at upgrading this fruit locally.
In 1968 the Agricultural Experiment Station of the
University of Puerto Rico initiated efforts to introduce
into that island large attractively colored mango varieties
of high quality. These were planted in different areas with
widely differing micro-climates and subjected to very
close observation. In 1971, personnel from the Virgin
Islands Department of Agriculture visited the Fortuna
Station in Puerto Rico to observe the progress of their
work in that area since their climate and soil types are
similar to many of ours in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Simul-
taneously, communication was established with the mango
producing nurseries in Florida and the Pennock Gardens
of Puerto Rico.
Subsequently, new mango varieties have been brought
into the islands from Trinidad, St. Kitts. Montserrat, the
Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico and several other
countries. These are being subjected to extensive trial in
the U.S. Virgin Islands.
History records that the mango has been grown in
tropical regions for several thousand years. India, Ceylon
and Taiwan have featured prominently in its development
with India listing well over five-hundred distinct varieties
- Mexico is the biggest current exporter into the United
The most desirable location for growing mangoes
is in the hot and dry areas on sandy soils or dry heavy
clay soil. Low rainfall areas are preferred for growing
mangoes because water supply can be controlled by irriga-
tion, thereby avoiding the possibility of fungus attacks
on the flowers and fruits.
Although the majority of mature mango trees found
in the islands are the result of seedlings from our main
local varieties, during the past 8-10 years an increasing
number of plantings have been made of the new breeds
of this fruit mainly originating in South Florida. These
new introductions appear destined to add a completely
new dimension to the production of the mango in the
U. S. Virgin Islands. Over 500 varieties were brought into
Puerto Rico and tested at the Agricultural Experiment
Station of the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras,
Puerto Rico. Incidentally, the Rio Piedras station is located
in the high rainfall area of the island. As this condition
is contributary to anthracnose infestation, the mango
research was moved to the Fortuna Station on the drier
South Coast of Puerto Rico. Here, water supplied to the
trees is applied only to the roots by irrigation (drip) and
the damage to blossoms and fruit is eliminated. Unit
production, fruit size and weight, skin coloration (market
appeal) improved markedly in this new environment and
a new, high class fruit was added to the industries of that
Somewhere around 1962-1963, a trial shipment
of the new varieties was brought into the Virgin Islands
and planted in specially selected areas. Sites were especially
selected for factors such as dryness with maximum expo-
sure to sunlight, relative nearness to sources of water -
dams, springs, etc. -low to medium elevation sea level
to 1,000 feet -with some check areas up to 1,400 feet
(fungus diseases of flowers and skin surfaces feature at
these higher elevations).
Subsequently, several trips were made to the Fruit
Experiment Station at Fortuna, Puerto Rico and a quantity
of their selections was brought into the Virgin Islands.
Today these trees are producing fruit of exceptional size
and quality on soils which were once considered unsuit-
able for other crops) poor clays; marls of low water hold-
ing capacity; rocky, steep areas; low, wet lands: etc.)
These bring prices far above those generated by those
traditionally grown in the islands. Several of the larger
varieties produce fruit weighing 3.5 pounds which sell
for around S1.80 2.00 each on the farm.
Of the several soil types found in the U.S. Virgin
Islands, the following seems to be the ones best suited
to mango production: sandy, combinations of sandy and
clay, heavy clays, even the most compact clays. The least
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recommended are the marl soils which are difficult to wet
in the lower horizons and those lying on rather solid rock
formations. Also, high rainfall areas and elevations over
1,000 feet should be avoided as low fruiting, along with
poor quality, often result. A 12-6-8 fertilizer, at the rate
of 5-15 pounds per year, should be applied to each tree
depending upon its size.
Several mango varieties were tested for productive
capacity at the Fortuna Agricultural Experiment Station.
These tests were designed to determine the highest pro-
ducers of the types that had generated the highest accep-
tance level on both the local and New York markets. Also
considered were such other commercial attributes as large
fruit size and consistency of bearing. The high yielding
group emerging from these tests includes the varieties:
Ruby, Eldon, Lippen and Irwin.
Of the varieties producing the largest mangoes (in
high demand on the New York market), Edward, Keitt,
Kent, Springfels and Tommy Atkins proved to be most
acceptable. An attractive skin color (market appeal) is
another of the characteristics which determine the sales
potential. In this area, Keitt and Tommy Atkins ranked
higher than the other large sized fruit.
One other major consideration in the establishment
of a mango orchard involves the bearing season of the
particular variety in question. Both Kent and Keitt have
high sales appeal, good quality, and are a late fruit. Keitt,
in particular, has the latest season and holds some fruit
as late as December.
For early season production, Haden, Edward and
Early Gold are an excellent selection although Edward
is a low producer but of exceptional quality and good
appearance. Early Gold, on the other hand, is a medium
sized fruit of relatively high production but less attractive
and poorer in quality. As early as 1972, these mangoes
were selling on the New York market for up to 65c. a
pound. Over a six year production test period, 16 varie-
ties of mangoes under test produced from 252.45 pounds
to 575.18 pounds per tree. Trees were planted at the
average rate of 88 per acre (somewhat too close for long-
range maximum expansion of individual trees except
the dwarf varieties "Sensation" and "Julie"). Total yield
increased from 29,412 pounds during the first test year
to 242,437 pounds during the sixth year. making a total
of 628,624 pounds of fruit over the six year test period.
The average yearly production, therefore, was 104,770.66
pounds of fruit. The average yield in terms of cash returns
was $78,100.50 from 16 acres of trees or S4,881.00+
The mere fact that the importation of mangoes
from many of the nearby Caribbean Islands (Haiti,
Dominican Republic, Dominica, Montserrat, etc.) is on the
increase indicates a ready local market for this fruit. Addi-
COMMUTER FARE STT-SJU-STT
tionally, the majority of our local soils and our relatively
dry climate make the U.S. Virgin Islands an ideal area
for producing high class mangoes. These factors, coupled
with the fact that fresh mangoes and their finished pro-
ducts are being shipped into the U.S. mainland at an ever
increasing rate and in the millions of pounds annually,
is a clear indication that the people of these islands are
passing up a rather lucrative enterprise. Although during
the past ten years a fair cross section of the higher class
varieties of mangbes have been distributed across the
Virgin Islands these were intoken numbers only. The
results of these plantings can be seen in the yards of many
homes. What is currently needed is that these isolated
results be converted into a firmly-based commercial enter-
prise extended, possibly, into the Mainland markets.
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The Continuing Development Of The Senepol Cattle
Harold Hupp, Animal Scientist
Agricultural Experiment Station
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix
Over the past century of beef cattle breeding, pure-
bred production has dominated cattle breeding activities
and selection. Purebred production attempts to concentrate
combinations of existing useful genetic characteristics that
are too dispersed in the general population for practical
utilization. A breed developed in a particular environment
expresses certain characteristics particular to that environ-
ment. This breed or strain can be adapted to other areas
of the world with similar conditions.
Past experiences in the Caribbean support the general
conclusion that cattle with great production potential
brought in from temperate areas have broken down because
of the low plain of nutrition, heat and parasite stress. When
existing breeds do not meet the needs of an area, a new
strain or breed must be developed compatible with the
limiting factors of the area. One of the main objectives of
developing new breeds by crossbreeding is to combine de-
sirable characteristics from several breeds to meet the
specific needs of a specific area. Thus, the Senepol was
developed to combine the production of a temperate breed
(Red Poll) with the tropical adaptability of a tropical breed
Today, the N'Dama cattle are in six countries of
North and Western Africa: Nigeria, Senegal, Chad, Congo,
Ghana, and Liberia. The N'Dama cattle are indigenous to
the tsetse fly infested rain forest areas of Africa. Only the
sturdy N'Dama cattle are maintained in these areas because
they have developed a high tolerance to trypanosomiasis.
The breed does well on the low protein roughage grasses
of the tropics. The N'Dama have medium size horns that
spread out and up. However, in some areas the breed has
polled hornlesss) tendencies. The N'Dama cattle are well
adapted to hot humid areas and have developed insect and
disease resistance in addition to doing well on high rough-
age diets. These traits are beneficial to the Caribbean area.
The Red Poll was developed in England about 1815
by crossing a dairy breed with a beef breed. The Red Poll
breed was developed as a polled dual purpose breed of
cattle for both milk and meat production. The Red Poll is
well adapted to the cruel cold winters and moderate sum-
mers of England, which again is a humid region.
In the development of the Senepol cattle, Bromley
Nelthropp initially tried to develop a tropicalized dual
purpose breed of cattle. Progress in selecting for both milk
and meat production was slow, Bromley settled for a breed
of cattle that was an excellent beef animal. The animals he
developed were gentle, polled, had good conformation,
matured early and the cows produced sufficient milk for
their calves. A brief history of the Senepol cattle by Hans
Lawaetz appeared in the 1972 Second Annual Agricultural
and Food Fair Bulletin.
The Senepol cattle resulting from the crossing of the
N'Dama (Senegal) and Red Poll cattle breed true and show
uniform characteristics. The Senepol cattle went through
58 years of selection before efforts were intensified in
1976 to: (1) organize a Senepol Breed Association, (2)
performance test the animals and (3) initiate research pro-
grams. Since the fall of 1976 the College of the Virgin
Islands Agricultural Experiment Station and the Virgin
Islands Department of Agriculture have worked closely to
develop the Senepol cattle industry into a profitable en-
In the fall of 1976 the College of the Virgin Islands
Agricultural Experiment Station entered into a cooperative
research project with the USDA Agricultural Research Ser-
vice centered in Brooksville, Florida. This research project
compares the performance of crossbred animal produced by
mating Senepol and Brahman bulls to Angus heifers. Phase
one will compare the performance of the crossbred calves
raised through market weight. Phase two will compare the
performance of the crossbred Senepol x Angus and Brah-
man x Angus cows for maternal characteristics and perfor-
mance. In December 1976 semen from a representative
sample of 18 Senepol bulls was sent to the Brooksville
station to begin the project. The first crop was born in
Also, in August 1976 the College of the Virgin Islands
Agricultural Experiment Station became a contributing
member to the regional research project: Breeding Methods
for Beef Cattle in the Southern Region. The Virgin Islands
and eleven Southeastern States combine data and personnel
to adequately test and characterize breeds and their crosses
for desirable beef types. The objective of this project in the
Virgin Islands is to initiate and maintain a sound on-the-
farm performance testing program and to collect additional
data to adequately characterize the purebred Senepol. The
performance program begins when the Senepol breeders
enroll their cattle in the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement
Association (VaBCIA) Program. The breeders supply birth
weight and dates, weaning weights, 12-month weights and
15-month weights and the respective dates of each weight
was taken to the VaBCIA. For a small fee the VaBCIA pro-
vides each breeder with a summary sheet which includes
the weights and dates supplied, average daily gains between
all periods and adjusted weights and weight ratios. These
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summary sheets are a valuable selection and management
tool that aids the Senepol breeder in selecting his parental
stock. The data supplied by the breeders is used to charac-
terize the Senepol growth performance. Other data to be
examined include calving interval, gestation length, fer-
tility, longevity, color, temperament, mature weights,
length and height, and carcass data such as loin eye area,
back fat, percent marketable product and dressing percent.
On October 12, 1976, the Virgin Islands Senepol
Association of St. Croix was incorporated. Anyone with
purebred Senepol cattle is strongly encouraged to become a
member and register his cattle with the Association. The
breed registry was developed to varify the purity of the
breed and to establish breed standards of the registry. The
Association's primary objectives are the development, re-
gistration and promotion of the Senepol breed by promot-
ing and maintaining high breeding standards with emphasis
placed on heat tolerance, fertility, docility and production,
Of the 22 Virgin Islands producers reported to have Sene-
pol cattle, only 10 are members of the Association.
Senepol Cattle on a St. Croix Farm
128 PORT TERMINAL CHRISTIANSTED PLASTICS
It is believed that the Senepol breed can make an
important contribution to the improvement of the beef
cattle industry in tropical and subtropical regions. 'Over
the past year the breed has generated interest with main-
land cattle producers. Some of these producers visited the
island, and arranged through the Senepol Association with
the local breeders for the purchase of some registered
Senepol. The Department of Agriculture built a quarantine
station to facilitate the exportation procedures. This quar-
antine station was necessary to meet federal, state and
possibly international health and shipping regulations.
June 1977 was the first time in history the Virgin Islands
began exporting its Senepol cattle to the U.S. mainland.
The future of the Senepol cattle is promising. With
the continual development, the breed should increase the
availability of quality beef for local consumption and pro-
vide superior breeding stock for exportation to potential
markets in the United States, and the Latin American and
Caribbean countries. Senepol cattle are presently raised in
Kentucky and Georgia, the Virgin Islands, and many other
islands in the Lesser Antilles.
Typical Senepol Bull on St. Croix Farm
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Anaplasmosis A Threat
To Virgin Islands Cattle
Duke Deller, Veterinarian
Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, St. Croix
Anaplasmosis is the most serious cattle disease in
the U.S. Virgin Islands. Organisms are found in the infected
animals red blood cells.
Acute clinical cases on St. Croix vary slightly from
the textbook descriptions. The first signs apparent are
dehydration, weakness, constipation and bloat. Often the
owner's complaint is that he has a bloated animal. Labored
breathing and pale yellowish mucous membranes are noted
in the latter stages of the disease. The clinical signs can be
attributed to the destruction of red blood cells and the
resulting lack of oxygen to body tissues. There are other
forms of anaplasmosis in addition to the acute form des-
cribed. Sudden deaths with very little warning can occur.
Mild forms of the disease probably go unnoticed in calves
since they are not severely affected by the disease until
after one year of age. Zebu cattle do not contact the
disease as easily as the European breeds. Once an animal
has the disease, it probably remains a carrier for life.
Anaplasmosis is transferred naturally by the feeding
activities of blood sucking insects (ticks and flies). For
example, when a tick feeds on an infected animal, it ingests
the disease agent along with the blood. The organism sur-
vives in the tick. If this tick then feeds on a noninfected
animal, it in effect innoculates the animal with the disease
causing organism. Contaminated needles and instruments
can also spread the disease. By preventing tick infestation
the disease can be prevented for the most part. A rigid
dipping program with an organophophatic insecticide has
practically eliminated anaplasmosis in some herds and
reduced the incidence in others. In 1963 the incident on
St. Croix using the complement fixation test was 62.4%.
Recently we tested a group of cattle on four farms, and the
overall incidence of anaplasmosis was 23%.
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Principles Of General Ruminant Nutrition
Research Animal Scientist
Agricultural Experiment Station
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix
Joseph P. Fontenot
Department of Animal Science
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and
Farm animals can be categorized according to their
digestive systems as either monogastric or ruminant ani-
mals. Poultry and swine are monogastric animals and have
only one stomach in their digestive system. The mono-
gastric digestive system is adapted for low roughage, high
concentrated feeds. Digestion is accomplished by the
enzymatic action of the stomach. Cattle, sheep, and
goats are ruminants. The ruminant's digestive system is
adapted for the utilization of roughage feeds, such as
grasses which have a high cellulose content. Ruminants
have four distinct digestive cavities: the rumen, reticulum,
omasum and abomasum. The cavities have different func-
tions. The largest compartment, the rumen, has a capa-
city of 20-48 gallons in a mature cow. Seventy to eighty-
five percent of the dry matter in a feed is digested in the
rumen by micro-organisms. Consequently the rumen is
considered an excellent "fermentation vat". The animals
diet directly influences the species composition of the
microorganisms in its rumen. These microbes are known
to synthesize certain vitamins and proteins, and are capable
of producing amino acids from non-protein nitrogen
(NPN) sources such as urea. The rumen is capable of
assimilating microbial end products. The recticulum acts
as a screening device removing coarse materials in the
rumen while the fine materials pass into the omasum.
The function of the omasum is not clearly defined. The
function of the abomasum or "true stomach" is similar
to that of the stomach in monogastrics. The relative sizes
for the reticulum, omasum and abomasum in a mature
cow are 1-3 gallons, 2-5 gallons, and 2-5 gallons, re-
Because of the unique structure of the ruminant's
digestive system and the microbial population in the
rumen, a few basic facts should be reviewed relative to a
feeding program. Ruminants more readily digest high
roughage rations than high concentrate rations. The appe-
tite of a ruminant is largely governed by the rate of food
passage through the digestive tract. This, in turn, depends
on the time required by the microbes to digest and utilize
the fiberous components in the diet. A change in the diet
will dictate a corresponding change in the microbial popu-
lation. Thus, when switching from one diet to another,
there should be a transition period so that the microbial
population can adjust to the new diet. When using NPN
sources in the diet, there are several factors to consider.
NPN can fulfill 1/3 of the dietary protein requirements
for ruminants. However, if not fed in the proper propor-
tions with other ingredients, NPN can be toxic and even
fatal. When changing to a diet containing NPN sources,
there should be at least a three week adaptation period.
At first, the animals should be offered only a small quan-
tity of the new feed in the total feed allotment, with
gradual increases over a three-week period. Once the
transition to the new diet is complete, it is essential that
the daily feed allotment is not changed. For example, the
drought disaster feed distributed in the fall of 1977 con-
tained NPN sources. Before feeding any ration, check its
composition and feeding instructions.
The wet-dry climate cycle of the Caribbean causes
management and nutrition problems. During the 4-6
month wet season, grazing livestock make modest- gains.
However, during the 3-5 month dry season, the livestock
suffer substantial weight losses. Thus, the low net gains
make it difficult to produce quality marketable product
the year round. During the wet season the grass land
produces abundant high quality forage. Animal reproduc-
tion and growth are increased to the carrying capacity
of the wet season pastures. As the dry season approaches,
the abundance and quality of the pastures decline, reduc-
ing the carrying capacity of the pastures. Consequently,
the expanded herds or flocks exceed the dry season carry-
ing capacity. Much too often the farmer waits until his
pastures are sparse and low quality before giving his
livestock supplemental feed. This causes two main pro-
blems. First, the livestock is placed under a tremendous
stress while switching from poor quality grasses to the
supplemental feed. Secondly, the livestock graze the
forage too short which may seriously damage the improved
To alleviate these problems the farmer has three
alternatives. One alternative is not to exceed the pasture
dry season carrying capacity. This is the cheapest and
easiest alternative, but it does not take advantage of the
abundant wet season vegetation. A second alternative is
to bale, ensile or somehow store the lush foliage or grow
other supplemental feeds during the wet season. The
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last and probably most expensive alternative would be
to buy a substantial amount of supplemental feed during
the dry season for the overstocked livestock.
Mineral deficiencies are widespread in the tropical SHELL
and semi-tropical areas particularly where the major source
of feed is grass. The best way to provide supplemental
minerals is to offer a "complete mineral mix" free choice
in a single compartment feeder. Mineral blocks or min-
eralized salt blocks can also be used. Mineral consumption LA REINE SHELL SERVICE STATION
will vary due to the quality of grass and the quality of any VILLA LA REINE SHOPPING CENTER
supplemental feed. Thus, the mineral box should be check- 778-0450
ed on a weekly basis. The mineral box should be near a
good water supply and should not be exposed to the
The characteristic growth and development patterns
of most tropical grass (i.e. increased lignin content and COMPLIMENTS OF
decreased digestibility as maturity increases) makes it
difficult to supply consistent high quality feed for grazing OBANDO'S SUPERMARKET, INC.
animals. It is equally difficult to make feeding recommen-
dations since there is a shortage of digestibility data on IMPORTERS WHOLESALERS
tropical forages. Therefore, temperate zone data are often
used in the tropics which may not be applicable. How- P.O. BOX 1445, FREDERIKSTED
ever, using the data available, the following feeding ST. CROIX, U.S.V.I. 00840
guidelines will be made using available feed stuffs. TEL: 772-0351
Given good sorghum silage, guinea grass or pangola
grass, a medium size nursing beef cow (1,100 lbs.) should
have her nutritional requirements met. The maintenance
diet for a mature bull (1,980 lbs.), small nonlactating,
pregnant dairy cow (770 lbs.) and a large nonlactating,
pregnant dairy cow (1,543 lbs) would require additional
supplementation since the forages described would not
have sufficient protein and energy to fulfill their
requirements. The maintenance ration for a 132 poundWINDS *
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minimal supplementation. For proper growth and condi- Large Selection of
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and beef steers and heifers (550 lbs.) gaining 0.55 and
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'Growing Pineapples For The Home Garden In The Virgin Islands
George Samuels, Agronomist
Agricultural Experiment Station
University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, P. R.
Pineapples are grown in most of the Caribbean Is-
lands. The major part of the production is limited to local
markets or home gardens. The leading growers and export-
ers are Cuba, Martinique and Puerto Rico.
Although the Virgin Islands do not have all of the
major requirements for optimum commercial pineapple
production, it does have adequate conditions for growing
pineapples for the home garden or small local sales if cor-
rect agronomic practices are followed. For large scale com-
mercial production, the reader is referred to the College of
the Virgin Islands' Agricultural Experiment Station or the
Agricultural Experiment Station, University of Puerto Rico,
College of Agricultural Science, Mayaguez Campus, Rio Pie-
dras, Puerto Rico for details.
CLIMATE Pineapple plants grow well between 70 to 90'F.
Variation in amounts of rainfall suitable for pineapple pro-
duction is very wide ranging from 20 to 80 inches per year.
Irrigation may be needed during the extreme dry spells
common to the Virgin Islands.
SOIL The best soil suited for good pineapple production is
an acid, well drained sandy loam. Unfortunately, this soil is
not very common in the Virgin Islands. However, many
soils can be used for growing pineapples if they are ade-
quately drained and are not too alkaline (pH below 7).
Soils containing limestone or marl can only be used if the
portion near the surface in which the pineapple roots are
growing are acid. In general pineapples prefer an acid soil
(pH 5 to 6). The Red Spanish variety prefers more acid soils
(pH 4.5 to 5.5) and the Smooth Cayenne variety can grow
well in less acid soils (pH 5.5 to 7.0).
The better growth of pineapples in acid soils is related
to its nutritional needs for certain trace elements especially
iron. Acid soils have more iron in solution. Alkaline soils us-
ually have high levels of calcium which prevent the proper
uptake of iron and other trace elements. Foliar iron sprays
can help overcome this problem (see Fertilization). High
levels of organic matter is also of help.
VARIETIES A number of varieties of pineapples can be
grown in the Virgin Islands. The three leading varieties are
Red Spanish, Smooth Cayenne and Sugar Loaf (Abacaxi or
Abakka). These varieties have different qualities as to
flavor, color, shape, size, disease and insect resistance and
certain soil conditions. Their qualities can be summarized
briefly in Table I below.
Smooth Cayenne is a good variety for the Virgin Is-
lands' growers because of its better adaptation to neutral or
mildly alkaline soils. Also it has large size fruits with attrac-
tive yellow flesh that is sweet and juicy. However, for a
hardy, vigorous growth with more disease resistance, the
Red Spanish is preferred if soils are more acid. A favorite
of many Islanders is the Sugar Loaf, because of its pleasant
aroma, sweet flavor and juicy and tender texture. It is not a
vigorous grower, but can be used in the home garden.
The Cabezona, the only naturally occurring triploid
pineapple of commercial value, makes an interesting home
Local Fresh Fruit
Export Fresh Fruit
Globular, deep red
Pale yellow to white
Coarse and juicy
resistant to wilt
Smooth with few
spines near tip.
slight tapering, flat
Core Medium size
Pale yellow to yellow
Sweet, mildly acid
Tender and juicy
Fair to poor
3 Pounds Core
Small to very small
Pale yellow to white
Tender and juicy
garden variety. This variety can produce very large fruits,
sometimes weighing as much as 12 to 15 pounds. It is often
used for special display and banquets.
LAND PREPARATION Make sure that the soil is well
drained. If drainage is poor after heavy rains, plant on
raised beds with a deep furrow between each bed. The soil
should be well prepared with no large clods. If nematodes
are a problem, use a nematocide before planting. A product
such as Nemagon is suitable for small planting.
Pineapple plants are usually planted closely together
with distances ranging from 12 to 18 inches between plants
in the row and 18 to 22 inches between rows. The closer
the distance between plants the smaller the fruit size, but
the greater the yield per acre. Commercial plantings are
usually made in 2 row beds. The plant should not be placed
too deep in the ground so that soil can sift into the bud
which may injure or kill the plant.
PROPAGATION The pineapple is propagated by planting
pieces taken from a mother plant. These planting pieces are
usually one of the following: Crown, slip, or sucker.
Those planting pieces which arise from the top of the
fruit itself are referred to as crowns. Slip is the name given
to planting pieces arising from the inflorescence. These are
of two general types, those which arise from the fruit and
those which arise from the fruit stalk. Suckers originate
from the buds in the leaf axils along the stem, both above
and below the ground. It is customary to refer to those
suckers which originate on the above-ground portion of the
stem simply as "suckers", while the ones coming from the
belowground portion of the stem are called "ratoons" or
Any of these planting pieces will serve to produce
new pineapple plants, but slips and suckers are most often
used. It is wise to do some selecting of planting material
when gathering slips. It is better to use slips which originate
on the fruit stalk rather than the ones that arise from the
fruit itself. These latter tend to pass along the characteristic
of slip production on the fruit. This results in a reduction of
fruit size and the formation of fruits less desirable for the
These planting pieces are cut from the mother plant,
dipped in a solution of Systox (see Insects) and planted.
The planting pieces are dried one week in the sun. Planting
material of any size may be used, but the larger the planting
piece, the sooner it will produce fruit.
At least 2 crops of fruit should be obtained from a
field before replanting is necessary. Only one fruit is pro-
duced on each stem. Subsequent crops are produced on
suckers which develop from the original plant. These are
commonly referred to as "ratoon crops".
When replanting an old field, remove or plow in all
the old plant material to help keep the mealybug popula-
tion to a minimum. Also, the use of a soil fumigant such as
DD at the rate of 25 to 30 gallons per acre to control nema-
todes in an old field is desirable.
Seed material of the Red Spanish and Smooth
Cayenne can be obtained in Puerto Rico if not available in
the Virgin Islands.
FERTILIZATION Pineapples grow well commercially us-
ing inorganic fertilizers. Such fertilizer formulas as 12-6-12,
12-6-10, or 12-6-8 are good for pineapples. If possible, ask
for potassium sulfate rather than potassium chloride as the
potash source in the fertilizer formula. Research has shown
that muriate of potash (potassium chloride) may give an
"off taste" and less yellow color to the fruit. For home
gardens, this may not be too important.
The fertilizer should be applied in three applications
rather than all at once. Fertilize first month and every four
months after planting until when the plant begins to fruit.
About two tablespoons (1 ounce) per plant should be used.
The pineapple has a limited root system for the first few
months. Thus for the first application the fertilizer should
be placed either in the lower leaf axils of the plant or very
near its base.
Once the plants become established and their roots
fill the area between plants, it is possible to spread the fer-
tilizer evenly over the entire surface of the bed. It is essen-
tial that the fertilizer be kept out of the bud of the plant.
Pineapples may require magnesium as well as micro-
nutrient elements (iron, zinc, manganese and boron), espe-
cially in very sandy or calcareous soils. Soluble micronu-
trient sprays can be applied when needed. In some cases
monthly applications may be necessary until fruiting. The
major problem in micronutrient deficiency is often iron
deficiency which can be corrected by use of iron Chelates
(Fe Sequesterene) available from agricultural chemical
suppliers. Use as directed.
CULTIVATION AND WEED CONTROL In pineapple
production, cultivation is done solely to keep weeds from
growing in the beds. Any method which accomplishes this
inexpensively without damage to the pineapple plant is sa-
tisfactory. The most common method of weed control is
the use of a scuffle hoe or similar equipment. For home
gardens, this is preferred to chemical weed killers.
FRUITING Most of the varieties grown in the Caribbean
normally bloom and mature their fruit between May and
July. It is often desirable to have pineapples fruiting at
other times during the year. To do this, chemicals can be
used inducing bloom out of season. The easiest and most
common method of inducing out-of-season bloom is to
drop a few (3 to 6) grains of calcium carbide in the bud of
the pineapple plant early in the morning when there is a
heavy dew. It is possible to apply a small amount of water
with the calcium carbide and accomplish the desired result.
The acetylene gas formed by the mixture of calcium car-
bide and water causes the early flowering.
Ethrel, a chemical maturing agent, may be used to in-
duce bloom out of season. Use a solution of 1 tablespoon/
gal. (4 lbs. 2.1/gal. Ethrel) sprayed in the bud of the plant.
To obtain maximum fruit size and quality the plants
should be large (6 to 8 pounds) and 12 months old. When
calcium carbide or Ethrel are applied fruit is ready for har-
vest 5 to 7 months later.
INSECTS AND DISEASES -Fortunately, the pineapple is
not subject to great devastation from insects and diseases.
Its primary insect pest is the pineapple mealybug, Pseudo-
coccus brevipes (Ckll.). This is a sucking insect about 1/6
inch long. It is a fleshy, wingless, white or grey insect cov-
ered with a mealy white waxy excretion. It is commonly
found on the base of the plant or just below the surface of
the soil and on the tender portion of the leaves where they
are pressed together. As the mealybug sucks the plant
juices, a type of wilt is produced. This wilt causes the
plant to be stunted and imparts red or reddish-yellow color
to the leaves. Other characteristics are light green spots on
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the leaves and withered, dead and dying. The insect is best
controlled before the planting material is set in the field.
The easiest method is to dip the planting stock in a malath-
ion water solution made by using 3 to 4 pounds of 25% wet-
table malathion or its equivalent in 100 gallons (3 to 4
tablespoons per gallon) of water or in a solution contain-
ing 1 quart per 100 gallons (2 teaspoon per gallon) of Sys-
tox (21.2% liquid concentrate). This usually gives good
commercial control .
To control this pest in pineapple beds, spray with
malathion. For best results, use a spray made of 3 pounds
of 25% wettable malathion, or its equivalent, per 100 gal-
lons of water (3 tablespoons per gallon). Apply 300 to 400
gallons per acre.
Ants will spread mealybugs from one part of the pine-
apple field to another. If ants are present in or around the
field, measures which control the ants, such as the use of
chlordane or other chemicals, will help to control mealy-
REMEMBER: When'using malathion or Systox take precau-
tions listed by the manufacturer on the label to prevent
JOHN A. BERNIER, JR.
IN-FLITE, V.I., INC.
P.O. BOX 86, KINGSHILL
ST. CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00850
Catering for all occasions.
A Possibility For The Virgin Islands
Robert L. Busch
Agricultural Experiment Station
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix
Aquaculture can be defined as the culture of aquatic
organisms under controlled conditions. This includes the
culture of both plants and animals, and among the animals,
both vertebrates and invertebrates. Aquaculture practiced
in brackish or saltwater is referred to as "mariculture".
This article will consider finfish aquaculture in freshwater.
The phrase "under controlled conditions" describes
the level of management applied to any aquaculture opera-
tion. For example, the fish farmer who catches fish from
a stream and places them into a pond without further
care practices a primitive form of aquaculture with a low
level of management. The fish crop produced will be
dependent on the natural fertility of the pond, and the
pond's suitability for growth and reproduction of the
fish species utilized. As the farmer applies certain aquacul-
ture techniques to the fish pond, a higher level of manage-
ment is attained. Such techniques can increase his fish
harvest many times the natural production possible.
Several management practices used to increase
fish production include: pond fertilization with organic
or inorganic nutrients; supplemental feeding; manipula-
tion of stocking densities; polyculture (multiple species
culture); control of species reproduction; and control
of the pond environment. These management techniques
influence different aspects of the fish culture system
in order to increase its production of marketable size fish.
Fertilization and supplemental feeding artificially
raise a pond's fertility and food supply. Supplemental
feeding directly stimulates fish growth by providing an
outside feed source that is eaten by the fish. Pond fer-
tilization indirectly stimulates fish growth. Fertilization
provides nutrients to the pond which increase the produc-
tion of the pond's natural food organisms (algae, worms,
aquatic insects) which are available to the fish.
Polyculture, manipulation of stocking densities,
and control of reproduction attempt to maximize commer-
cial fish production at a given level of pond fertility. Poly-
culture of two or more fish species with differing feeding
habits allows for more efficient utilization of the total
food supply in a pond. For example, a channel catfish
(Ictalurus punctatus) pond receiving supplemental feed
could produce 3,000 pounds of catfish per acre (3368
kilograms per hectare). A polyculture system of catfish and
tilapia (Sarotherodon sp.) might raise the total pond fish
production to 4,000 lbs per acre (4490 kilograms per
hectare) without increasing the amount of supplemental
feed allowed to the pond. Because of different feeding
habits, the tilapia are able to utilize food materials in the
pond not available to the catfish. The tilapia do not seri-
ously compete with the catfish for the supplemental feed
and catfish production is not reduced. In fact, catfish
production can increase through predation on small tilapia
and improved water quality effected by more efficient
waste recycling by the tilapia.
Manipulation of stocking densities and control of
fish reproduction are management practices that regulate
the fish population size for a pond with a given food supply
or level of fertility. These management tools increase the
percentage of marketable size fish at harvest.
Environmental control mechanisms raise the carrying
capacity of the culture system through habitat manipula-
tion or water quality improvement. Pond aeration is an
example of a mechanical environmental control that can
artificially support higher water quality standards under
fish culture conditions of high fish densities and heavy
nutrient loads (heavy feeding; fertilization; waste accumu-
lation). Such environmental controls support culture
conditions that a natural pond system could not withstand
without a severe water quality depletion that would kill
the fish. The aquaculture technique discussed can increase
fish production, however, they also increase the cost of
operation and the risk of catastrophe should artificial
support systems fail or nutrient overloads occur.
What type of fish should be cultured? The ideal
fish for aquaculture would have several characteristics.
The species must withstand the climate of the region
where it is to be cultured. It should exhibit a high rate
of growth and resistance to disease, while sustaining high
population densities. The fish should reproduce in capti-
vity so that the culturist is not dependent on wild stocks
of fish for his fingerling (small fish) supply. The species
should be a lower, trophic level herbivore (plant eater),
and/or readily accept and thrive on abundant and cheap
artificial feeds. The harvested fish must be of a size and
quality acceptable to the consumer. Few, if any, cultured
fish species exhibit all of these qualities.
The fish family Cichlidae has several tropical, fresh-
water species that satisfy many of the ideal requirements.
On St. Croix, there are two Cichlid species, called tilapia,
that have a potential for fish culture even with the limited
freshwater resources on the island. These fish are the blue
tilapia, Sarotherodon area, and the Java tilapia, Saro-
therodon mossambica. Both species are cultured in many
parts of the world. They are hardy fish, and can withstand
high water temperatures and poor water quality. They are
relatively easy to transport. They will eat a variety of
agriculture waste products and produce a good quality,
fine tasting, high protein flesh.
With such good qualities why aren't the tilapias the
"wonder fish" for fish culture throughout the world? There
are two deterrents to tilapia culture. Tilapia are warm-
water fish and cannot withstand water temperatures below
55- Fahrenheit (13' Celsius) for long periods of time. This
is not a problem in the Virgin Islands. The major obstacle
to tilapia culture develops from the reproductive capacity
of the fish.
Tilapia are very prolific. They can attain sexual
maturity at an age of 3-4 months and a body length of 4-6
inches (10-15 centimeters). In tropical waters they can
spawn at 6-8 week intervals throughout the year. The blue
tilapia and the Java tilapia are mouthbrooders. The male
hollows out a round depression (nest) in the pond bottom.
The female enters the nest, and spawns from 200-500 eggs
which the male fertilizes. After fertilization, the female
picks up the eggs in her mouth and incubates them until
they hatch. Even after hatching the "fry" (newborn fish)
remain in the female's mouth, or in the surrounding water
near the female. When frightened they retreat to the safety
of the mother's mouth. This high degree of paternal care in-
sures maximum fry survival. Tilapia can spawn in earthen
ponds, concrete tanks, or plastic pools. They reproduce to
the extent that they will overpopulate a culture system and
lead to the production of many small fish, but few market-
able size fish. This is a limiting factor to successful tilapia
Tilapia cultures usually involve a management tech-
nique that inhibits reproduction to some degree. One
method of reproductive control involves the culture of only
one sex of the tilapia. This is called a monosex culture
system. The male is the preferred sex as growth is more
rapid for males than female tilapia.
Three approaches that have been used to obtain all
male monosex cultures include hand-sexing, hormone
treatment of small tilapia (fry), and hybridization of adult
tilapia species. The least complex of these methods involves
the hand-sexing, or separation of the sexes by sexually
dimorphic external characteristics. Tilapia can be hand-
sexed accurately at 5-6 inches (13-15 centimeters) in
length. Hand-sexing is difficult, especially for the beginner,
and even an expert is certain to miss occasionally. The
larger the fish, the easier it can be sexed by its external
characteristics. Hand-sexing tilapia is time consuming. It
requires a conscientious effort by a responsible individual
to insure success. This method can be useful in small fish
The following methods used to produce all male
fish for monosex culture require expertise by the culturist,
and substantial laboratory or hatchery facilities.
In some species of mouthbrooding tilapia it is known
that the sex of the fish is not differentiated at hatching.
That is to say, the newly hatched tilapia is neuter in gender.
Its internal genetic and hormonal stimuli have not yet acti-
vated the embryonic tissue to develop into either a male or
a female gonad. It is possible, therefore, to direct the de-
velopment of the undifferentiated sex cells by the admini-
stration of synthetic steroid hormones. These hormones
override the natural development of the organism as dic-
tated by its own internal genetic and hormonal stimuli.
The term "androgen" applies to any of the steroid
hormones that develop and maintain masculine character-
istics in an organism. Scientists have fed certain androgens
to groups of newly hatched tilapia with the result that all
fish developed into males. Theoretically a group of newly
hatched fry would develop into 50' males and 50'` females.
The use of an androgen thus causes the 50' of the fish
that would have developed naturally into females to be
"sex-reversed" to male fish. G. i: ii...jii1, speaking, the sex-
reversed fish are females, but they develop as normal males
with functional testes. The all male fish are cultured with
no reproductive problems. A third technique used to ac-
quire one sex progeny for monosex cultures involves the
hybridization of various tilapia species that when mated
produce only offspring of one sex.
In Brazil, scientists cross the male Zanzibar tilapia.
Sarotherodon hornorun, with the female Nile tilapia
Sarotherodon nilotica. The hybrids produced are all males.
The highest tilapia yields ever recorded for standing water
research ponds have been obtained with the culture of this
hybrid using supplemental feeds and fertilizers. Although
this method is successful, commercial production on a
large scale has not been possible to date. Consistent pro-
duction of large numbers of hybrid fingerlings is unpre-
dictable. As such, the availability of small fish for pond
stocking is a limiting factor to large scale tilapia hybrid
In addition to monosex cultures, there are several
other methods of tilapia aquaculture. In some areas, tilapia
are stocked, at low densities, into freshwater ponds and
fed heavily. Although the fish reproduce, they are har-
vested in a short period of time (3-4 months) before
reproduction overcrowds the pond.
The polyculture of tilapia with a predator species
can reduce the number of small, reproduced tilapia, al-
lowing for more marketable size fish at harvest. At this
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time, to my knowledge, there is no suitable, freshwater
predator species in the Virgin Islands.
At densities of 20,000 fish per pond surface acre
(49,400 fish per hectare), tilapia reproduction is inhibited
in some species. Tilapia culture in floating cages also
prevents reproduction, either through crowding which
disrupts reproductive behavior, or by the mechanical
loss of spawned eggs falling through the cage mesh.
Finally, several tilapia species can survive and grow
in brackish water, and the water's salinity inhibits tilapia
All of the tilapia management techniques have
advantages and disadvantages for a particular set of culture
conditions. Before any method is attempted, a thorough
evaluation of the available resources such as manpower,
water quantity and quality, fertilizers and feeds available,
fish species present, and market preference of the area,
must be undertaken.
The Agricultural Experiment Station of the College
of the Virgin Islands has initiated a freshwater aquaculture
research program. With over 200 freshwater ponds on the
island of St. Croix, there exists, at least, a potential for
small fish culture operations. The aquaculture program
is developing three areas of research. These include: an
evaluation of the St. Croix ponds for their suitability for
fish culture; the investigation of tilapia cage culture tech-
nologies suitable to conditions in the Virgin Islands; and
the development of small "backyard" tilapia culture
schemes that could provide fish for the individual family.
IMAlJi :.,_ -. ... . f ...
Mr. Barnaby Watten, research assistant, measures tilapia
raised in a cage culture system.
Extension Service In St. Thomas/St. John
Extension Home Economist and 4-H Agent
College of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas
The Cooperative Extension Service is a unique in-
formal educational system with programs in agriculture and
home economics that was established in 1914 by the
United States Congress. Extension Service offers educa-
tional programs for the entire family. Its Home Economic
Program reflects the needs of today's living with emphasis
on family stability, consumer education, health and nutri-
tion education, housing and community development.
Since its inception in the Virgin Islands in 1966, the Home
Economics Program of the Virgin Islands Cooperative
Extension Service has provided families with educational
information on a one-to-one basis through Extension Aides,
newsletters, newspaper columns, consumer leaflets and
radio and television spots.
At present, in order to help families acquire a better
understanding of food and nutrition, the St. Thomas/St.
John office of the Extension Service is involved with teach-
ing families the principles of nutrition. These principles in-
clude the basic four food guide, menu planning, food pre-
paration for interested homemakers to learn basic clothing
construction and advanced clothing techniques.
In addition to continuing to provide instruction in
the above-mentioned areas, the St. Thomas/St. John office
plans to focus on some other specific areas such as, back-
yard and kitchen gardens. With the cost of living always
rising and the use of imported fruits and vegetables most
always necessary, Virgin Islands homemakers could, by cul-
tivating and harvesting products from their own backyard
and kitchen gardens, reduce family grocery spending. A
series of training seminars and demonstrations are being
conducted by the Extension staff on the subject of home
and kitchen gardens. It is the intent of Extension Service
to provide assistance to families to enable them to prepare
foods using innovative recipes that utilize their home
grown fruits and vegetables.
Another aim of the Extension Service is to provide
an educational program with emphasis on pre-natal care.
In recent years it has become increasingly evident that
proper pre-natal care is essential to the health and well
being of both the mother and the developing child. This
program is geared toward the expectant mother and teaches
her the importance of nutrition and proper pre-natal care
for the health of her unborn child as well as herself.
The Extension Service also conducts, through 4-H
clubs, educational programs for youth. The purpose of the
4-H program is to develop youth through the involvement
of parents, other adults and volunteers who organize and
conduct learning experiences in a community setting. The
focus is on human interaction designed to develop skills,
abilities and understanding in youth and adults as partici-
pating and influential members of their community.
The St. Thomas/St. John office of Extension pre-
sently conducts a six week educational and recreational
summer day camp. This program provides meaningful
learning experiences for young people and provides em-
ployment opportunities for high school and college stu-
dents who serve as counselors. Although year-round 4-H
clubs were at one time quite active on both St. Thomas and
St. John, presently there is a need for adults to serve as
leaders in order to revitalize this interest.
For information concerning the program of the St.
Thomas/St. John office of Extension, please contact Mrs.
Cynthia Yobs, College of the Virgin Islands, New House,
St. Thomas Campus or call 774-0210. If you need addi-
tional information call C.V.I. Extension headquarters on
St. Croix, telephone 778-0246.
Through A Child's Eyes
Preston D. Sides
4-H Youth Program Leader
Cooperative Extension Service
The wonder of childhood is a fleeting time; a time of
growing and learning which passes so rapidly that, if we are
not extremely aware, it is gone before we realize what has
happened. If we let it pass unnoticed, we have deprived
ourselves of one of life's greatest joys to see a child's
progress from infancy through adolescence to adulthood.
On the journey from infant to adult, each child, no matter
what the environment, passes through a series of develop-
mental stages which are as predictable as time itself. To
know and recognize these developmental stages is only a
part of the adult responsibility. To help a child to cope
with and to progress through these stages is the adult
reward. But, in order to understand the child's world and
to help them through these developmental stages, we, as
adults, must learn to view the world through a child's
Child psychologists may differ slightly in their term-
inology and definition of the various developmental stages
of youth. They may even disagree as to the age groupings of
the stages and their duration. Most, however, agree that
these stages cannot be clearly defined chronologically
but that they normally occur within a fairly definable time
frame. Both the sex of the child and the child's environ-
ment can affect the timing of these stages. Girls mature,
Presentation of certificates to homemakers
on the average, slightly faster than boys. Therefore, girls
may run slightly ahead of the expected time schedule.
Children with slightly older brothers or sisters may copy
the older children's behavior and thus move more rapidly
through some stages. The general attitude of parents toward
the child may influence the speed of movement through
certain stages. There are many variables but, for the sake
of understanding, let us consider these stages in these
terms: STAGE I birth to one year of age, STAGE II -
one year to four years of age, STAGE III four years to
nine years of age, STAGE IV nine years to thirteen years
of age, STAGE V thirteen to sixteen years of age, and
STAGE VI sixteen to twenty years of age. Beyond STAGE
VI is normally considered adulthood, therefore we will
not deal with subsequent stages. Within these stages of
development, there are at least four identifiable areas
critical to the growth of a child. These four critical areas
may be defined as those areas of development crucial to
the characteristics of a whole person PHYSICAL, MEN-
TAL, SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL. No one area of develop-
ment stands alone. All are necessary and interdependent.
Poor mental development may well influence the child's
emotional development. How often have we seen a child's
physical development influence his or her social develop-
The following chart may help to clarify and bring
into perspective the various developmental stages as we
have tried to define them. Each stage attempts to highlight
major events within that stage rather than to give a com-
DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES OF YOUTH
STAGE OF PHYSICAL DEVELOP- MENTAL DEVELOP- SOCIAL DEVELOP- EMOTIONAL DEVELOP-
DEVELOPMENT MENT HIGHLIGHTS MENT HIGHLIGHTS MENT HIGHLIGHTS MENT HIGHLIGHTS
A noticable growth rate Mental functions may not' The maternal influence is Though not overly notic-
both in weight and in be clearly apparent but strongly evident. The moth- able, some child psycholo-
STAGE I birth height. Some coordination much of the grouping of er figure is the center of gists believe this stage to be
Sof hand and eye begins, such things as shapes, colors the child's world during the focal point of emo-
to one year of age and texture takes place. this stage. tional development for life.
Basic emotions may be
Rapid growth rate con- Associations of the present Maternal influence contin- Basic patterns developed in
tinues with much improve- with the past take on mean- ues to be strong but there Stage I persist. Anger and
ment in eye-hand coordi- ing. True learning begins to is a tendency toward re- fear are outwardly shown
STAGE II one to nation. The ability to walk take place. Some excep- liance on a father figure while other emotions may
Upright and to speak is tional children even learn and some freindships are be more subtle. Love for
our years ofage developed, to read and write during formed with siblings and family membersand friends
this period, other children, may be demonstrated in
ways copied from other
children or adults.
Increases in height and Mental processes greatly The family remains the Emotional patternsarenow
weight may slow somewhat increase. Reading and writ- focal point of social in- becoming more evident.
but rapid growth continues. ing skills are learned. Ab- terest. A few meaningful Extrovert and introvertten-
Coordination beginsto take stract ideas are beginning relationships among friends dencies, shyness, etc. are
STAGE III four to on meaning as more com- to be understood. The may be formed. The accep- more pronounced. A con-
nine years of age plex tasks are attempted. ability to relate learning tance of peers takes on cept of self and self worth
Skills take on an added to real life situations takes special importance. Friends values are formed. It is in
importance. place. tend to be of the same this period that a child
sex. begins to view himself or
herself as having a place
Growth rate slows. The Child often reaches a pin- The world view and thus Adult emotional responses
child begins to take on acle of learning during this the social views of the child are taking shape. More
adult-like characteristics, stage. The ability to grasp develop rapidly. Family be- control is exercised over
The final bone structure ideas & to understand con- comes less important as strong emotional feelings.
STAGE IV nine to development takes place. cepts is very pronounced. friends become the focal Peer pressure may force
thirteen years of age Permanent teeth are almost Child begins to relate learn- point of social relationships the child to restrain or
complete. Many children ing to career goals. The Some notice is taken of the vent emotional responses.
reach the stage of puberty. parent may be hard pressed opposite sex and some The concept of self may be
Clumsiness begins to dissi- to keep up in discussions of mixing of sexes in friend- a motivation factor in the
pate. school work. A major devel- ship circles is common in child's emotional responses
opment is the tendency to- the latter part of this stage. at home and at school.
ward independent reading. Peer pressures are strong
and influence the child's
Early teen years bring on a Selective learning begins to The family takes a back Emotional influences are
time of wonder and worry take place as the individual seat to friends as the entire strong. Although the emo-
about the physical appear- relates knowledge to life social world nowcenters on tions are at adult levels in
ance. Common adolescent goals. A high degree of in- peer relationships. Boy-girl many cases, the ability to
problems such as skin dis- terest may be show in ab- relationships develop into deal with these feelings is
STAGE V age orders occur. The body stract ideas and indepen- singular focus as the "mate not fully developed. Emo-
thirteen to takes on adult shape and dent learning may occur as choosing" process begins. tions begin to play a major
sixteen years size. Eating patterns may knowledge relates to life A feeling of concern for role in social relationships,
be crucial during this per- goals in both vocational the less fortunate becomes especially as they relate to
iod. Refinment of physical and avocational areas, pronounced and social con- the opposite sex. Much
skills takes on great im- cerns of the entire society guidance and understand-
portance. take on a deeper meaning. ing is needed on the part of
parents in order to guide
the young person through
these trying times.
Adulthood is reached in Learning for the sake of ac- Although social relation- Adult level reactions to
physical terms. Coordina- quiring knowledge takes on ships will continue to focus adult level emotions are ex-
tion and dexterity becomes added importance as the on friendships outside the pected near the end of this
fully developed. Weight person now centralizestheir family, it is not uncommon stage. Failure to deal with
fluctuation may occur and goals in education as they for marriage to take place emotions ar this level is
STAGE VI sixteen some increases in height relate to a chosen field of and for the person to begin often a sign of immaturity.
to twenty years may continue into the work. During this period, a a family of their own. So- Changes in emotional re-
of age latter years of this stage. person often acquires the cial issues and involvement actions will continue to
The physical appearance of desire for continuing learn- in many social organiza- occur throughout the life-
the individual retains its ing and this desire may be tions concerned with these time of the individual in
importance but understand- a motivational force for issues is not uncommon. accordance with accepted
ing and acceptance be- the remainder of their life. society standards or with
comes more evident, the personal maturity of
S____ the person.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
ESTATE LOWER LOVE
5. Garage and Shops
6. Farmers Market
8. Fence Post Treatment
10. Nursery and Plant Sale Area
12. Horse Show Ring
13. Mango Orchard
14. Goat Corral
15. Quarantine Pens
'er the Fair
The 0ALe Supermarkets in
the Virgin Islands