Islands AGRICULTURE AND FOOD FAIR Number 6
UNIVERSITY OIF Ti-F V /IRIm 11 a-
ST. CHROWIX IUL-1-
and Food Fair
"Youth and Agriculture Our Future"
Cover Design ...
............... Dr. Darshan S. Padda
.................... Clarice C. Clarke
............... Maude Pierre-Charles
Jointly Sponsored By
The V.I. Department of Economic Development and Agriculture
The University of the Virgin Islands
Cooperative Extension Service *Agricultural Experiment Station
This year's book cover was done by Maude Pierre-Charles, a local
artist. The cover reflects the theme of the 1992 Agriculture and Food
Fair-"Youth and Agriculture Our Future." A special thank you
goes to the Agriculture and Food Fair Board of Directors for their
support and to everyone who was involved in this publication.
While many people have contributed to this book, a few deserve
special mention: Dr. Darshan S. Padda for his continued support,
interest and involvement; Racuel Silver, Dr. Erika Waters, Robin
Sterns, Dr. James Rakocy and Dr. Stephan Wildeus for their assistance
and technical information, and the entire staff of Antilles Graphic Arts.
Reprinting of articles is permitted as long as the Agriculture and Food Fair bulletin is credited; mention of
product names in this book in no way implies endorsement by the authors or by the Agriculture and Food
Fair Board of Directors.
. 0 ""800
A Publication of the 21st Annual
Agriculture and Food Fair
Bulletin Number 6
Table of Contents
1991-92 Fair Board of Directors ................................................. .v
Governor Alexander A. Farrelly's Message....................... ................... vi
D r. O rville E. Kean's M message ................................................ vii
Commissioner Eric E. Dawson's M message .......................................... viii
UVI Land-Grant Programs...
Helping Virgin Islanders to Cope with Change .................................... 1
Dr. Darshan S. Padda
Virgin Islands Agriculture and Food Fair-Historical Perspective ........................5
Clarice C. Clarke
Islands in Transition ...................................... ......................... 8
Stormwater Runoff-A Diffuse Disaster ........................................ 11
Marcia G. Taylor
Two Local Plants Used for M edicinal Purposes ..................................... 13
Alley Cropping: An Improved Agroforestry System with
Potentials for the Virgin Islands.................................................. 17
Dr. Manuel C. Palada
Agroforestry: An Option for Virgin Islands Agriculture .............................23
Forage Conservation for Improved Livestock Production
in the V irgin Islands ...... ....................................................... 26
Dr. Martin B. Adjei
Sustainable Agriculture: Implications for Virgin Islands
C rop Farm ers ....................................................................35
Benefits from Combined Family Farming System: Livestock
and C rops ....... ............................................................... 38
Shrimp Farming: A Potential Industry for the Virgin Islands ..........................41
Dr. James E. Rakocy
Good News: Nutrition Can Help You Prevent Cancer Risk! ........................46
Virgin Islands Pesticide Applicator Training Program .............................. 49
Pest Control in Organic Food Production ......................................... 50
Dr. Jeff Keularts
Raising Dairy Calves for Beef in the Virgin Islands................................... 52
Careers in the Animal Sciences .................................................... 55
Kofi Boateng & Sue Lakos
20th Anniversary of UVI as a Land-Grant Institution ............................... 59
Dr. Darshan S. Padda
1992 Agriculture and Food Fair
Board of Directors
Commissioner Eric E. Dawson
Vice President of Operations
Eric L. Bough
Clarice C. Clarke
Director of Food Exhibits
Director of Farm Exhibits
Director of Livestock Exhibits
Dr. Duke Deller
Executive Vice President
Dr. Darshan S. Padda
Director of Promotion and Publicity
Director of Youth Activities
Director of Rules and Awards
Dr. Arthur C. Petersen, Jr.
Director of Special Activities
Director of UVI Exhibits
Director of Off-Island Participation
Message from Honorable Alexander A. Farrelly
Governor of the Virgin Islands
It is with great pleasure that I commend those
organizing Agrifest '92.
Agriculture is an important industry in the Virgin Islands, and the
Annual Agriculture and Food Fair has been a vital vehicle for dis-
playing the goods that have been produced by farmers, while dis-
tributing information and demonstrating farming techniques.
This year's Agrifest theme, "Youth and Agriculture Our Future," is
one that embodies my administration's objective in our agriculture
program. If the Virgin Islands is to become more self sufficient, we
must continuously create incentives to get youngsters more involved
On behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands, Joan and I extend
best wishes for a successful Agrifest '92, and thank its organizers for
promoting agriculture in the Virgin Islands.
Alexander A. Farrelly
Message from Dr. Orville Kean
President, University of the Virgin Islands
As each of us pauses to consider which exhibits
we plan to visit at the 1992 St. Croix Agriculture
and Food Fair, let us take a moment to reflect on
this year's theme "Youth and Agriculture Our
Whenever this subject is discussed in the territory, emphasis is
placed on the need for the Virgin Islands Government to promote
agriculture more aggressively and provide more assistance to local
farmers. Additional funding for agricultural education is also
mentioned, most frequently for public school programs at the
secondary level. Seldom is there any talk about the need for com-
prehensive agricultural development policies along the lines of those
formulated by all modern societies which are in a post-agricultural
phase of economic development.
Such a plan is necessary in order to engage the attention of our
youth in agriculture and to motivate them to properly educate
themselves to make a living as farmers. While I do not pretend to
know what policies should be included, I pledge the support of the
University of the Virgin Islands, particularly the Research and Land-
Grant Affairs component, in assisting to develop the plan. I ask each
of you to make the same pledge.
In closing I wish to congratulate the Agriculture and Food Fair
Board for their dedication and commitment in organizing this
community event for all Virgin Islands residents.
Enjoy the Fair A !! __
Orville Kean, Ph.D.
Message from Commissioner Eric E. Dawson
Department of Economic Development
"Youth and Agriculture Our Future" is indeed
applicable to us here in the U.S. Virgin Islands. As
our islands continue to grow economically, our
population too will grow in direct proportion. It is
therefore incumbent upon us to seek feasible ways
and means to provide food for our people.
As we look at the population of our farmers, we note that their
average age is approximately sixty years. This indicates that we are
currently faced with a crisis in that we have a significant lack of
farmers available to us. It is therefore imperative that we strive to
cultivate a new generation of farmers from our youth pool or our
food production potential will be greatly diminished and eventually
disappear. All schools -public, private and parochial must be
encouraged to provide agricultural programs to their student body.
Opportunities must be made available for our youths so that they can
develop their future and ours in farming.
The Department of Economic Development and Agriculture -
Division of Agriculture in conjunction with the Extension Service of
the University of the Virgin Islands, stand ready to provide assistance
to the community as we continue to promote "Youth and Agriculture
Best wishes and good luck to all the participants and visitors to our
1992 Agriculture and Food Fair.
Eric E. Dawson, Esq.
UVI Land-Grant Programs...
Helping Virgin Islanders
To Cope With Change
Dr. Darshan S. Padda
Vice President for Research and Land-Grant Affairs
University of the Virgin Islands
"The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that
has brought progress." (Charles H. Kettering)
We all know that we live in a changing world. All
aspects of our life are being affected by change -
change over which we often have no control.
There are people who are always reminding us of
the fact the Virgin Islands, especially St. Croix, was a
garden of the West Indies. And that has changed.
But agriculture is not the only field where we are
seeing a change. Our lifestyles have changed. The
transportation system has changed. Our eating
habits have changed. The information exposure
through the television media has definitely
changed. The population has changed. The govern-
ment system has changed. Therefore, we should not
be surprised about the changes in agriculture.
Box gardening being demonstrated to 4-H summer campers.
Having recognized that a lot of things have
changed over time, let us now discuss agriculture.
With more demand on our time and the need to
work in other occupations to support a higher
standard of living, interest has been generated in a
type of farming which is new and is in line with the
changes that are going on right now. For example,
box gardening is practiced by people living in apart-
ment buildings or housing projects, or other areas
where land space is limited or unsuitable, and
kitchen gardening is available for those people who
have backyards. This type of farming has several
1 it provides recreation and exercise.
2-it helps produce desired food items which are
fresher and more flavorful.
3 it provides control on how the commodities are
4-it reduces food expenses.
Therefore, box and kitchen gardening should be
encouraged among a large segment of the popu-
lation in the Virgin Islands. Several of our research
programs are geared towards the development of
information in this relatively new method of
The second type of farming is the large scale field
operation. In the Virgin Islands, we are very fortu-
nate that our people have choices in how to earn
their livelihood. In order for agriculture to be prac-
ticed, it has to be operated like an industry, like any
other business undertaking. With this in mind, the
profitability of agriculture as an industry must be
analyzed, keeping in mind the positive factors and
The positive factors are:
1 -We are blessed with a moderate temperature
throughout the year.
2- We have favorable sunshine and day length for
growing most crops.
3-The West Indian people have a basic love for
this way of life.
Let us now look at the constraints:
1 -The availability of land and labor is limited and
in competition for use with the development of
housing, hotels, tourist resorts, shopping
centers and other needs that are dictated by the
2-Our water supply is very limited, and agricul-
tural irrigation requirements have to compete
with human and industrial water requirements.
3-Our soils are not deep and have a high pH
4-Our climate encourages pests and diseases.
Our research efforts at the University of the Virgin
Islands Agricultural Experiment Station (UVI-AES)
and our educational efforts at the Cooperative
Extension Service (CES) are geared toward devel-
oping and transferring technology that maximizes
the use of the positive factors and minimizes the
Let me share with you the various ways we are
tackling the problem of poor soil, water scarcity and
pest control. From the beginning, our philosophy
has been that, rather than changing the soil type or
using excessive chemicals to control pests, we would
like to introduce new crops and test varieties which
can grow in soils with high pH content, require less
water and are relatively tolerant to pests and
At UVI-AES, we are developing a tropical fruit tree
collection, which will serve as a gene pool for our
varietal improvement research. In addition, once
the collection is established, it will be used as an
educational laboratory to improve the awareness of
our young people and adult residents about tropical
fruits that can be grown easily under local conditions.
Forestry research project at UVI-AES on three species of mahogany
In ornamental horticulture, one of our research
projects is the identification of local plant species
that are easy to propagate and have potential as
ornamental potted plants when growth regulators
are applied. Another project in the area of horti-
culture is evaluating methods for the production of
selected fruits, including papaya, plantain and bana-
nas, using minimum tillage, mulching systems, wind-
breaks and a judicious application of herbicides and
pesticides. A mango flowering project is also under-
way. This involves the application of a combination
of varying rates of growth regulators to reduce the
erratic flowering and bearing patterns in selected
Mahogany trees are widely planted throughout
the Virgin Islands for timber, shade and landscape
purposes. Although mahogany is appreciated for its
beauty and wood qualities, the number of mahogany
trees on the islands has slowly declined due to devel-
opment and natural forces, notably the hurricane
that hit the islands in 1989. The forestry program at
UVI-AES is currently carrying out research to
increase our knowledge of the processes by which
the three mahogany species growing in the islands
adapt to local conditions. The research is designed
to determine the mechanisms of drought tolerance
in mahogany and to assess the effect of local climatic
conditions on the fruiting and flowering of
mahogany. A better understanding of these pro-
cesses will enchance our ability to preserve these
Variety trials are continuously conducted on
vegetables, fruits, grasses, feed grains and herbs and
spices. The best varieties are then recommended to
our CES personnel for use in their educational acti-
vities and finally to be adopted by the clientele.
We are experimenting on integrated pest man-
agement systems where cultural practices, rather
than chemicals, are used for pest control. Cultural
practices, such as the use of mulching materials or
ground cover, windbreaks and alley cropping,
planting of drought tolerant crop varieties, proper
placement of drip irrigation emitters, varying fre-
quency and rates of irrigation,fertigation, and moni-
tering irrigation requirements are being pursued as
The aquaculture program is one example where
we are experimenting on growing fish and hydro-
ponic vegetables together using rain water. The fish
generate nutrients that are utilized by the plants,
while the plants in turn purify the water by removing
the nutrients. This is an ecologically balanced system
that grows a lot of food with very little water.
UVI-AES aquaculture research facility with Its research project on
growing fish and hydroponic vegetables together.
To go one step further. We are setting up two
commercial-scale integrated systems for growing
both fish and vegetables. One is a high-tech system
which requires higher inputs and more capital, but
produces greater outputs, and the other is a low-
tech system which is very simple and requires less
capital but still produces large quantities of
As I mentioned earlier, our research and educa-
tional emphasis is continually changing to meet the
new challenges. When the then College of the
Virgin Islands became a land-grant institution and
the Agricultural Experiment Station was established
in 1972, we placed the research emphasis on Senepol
cattle and livestock forage crops like sorghum.
A performance testing program for Senepol cattle
was developed and used to characterize the pro-
duction potential of the breed. The research
covered growth rates, feeding systems, reproductive
performance and genetic evaluations. Our research
on Senepol cattle has resulted in over twenty tech-
nical and scientific publications, two Master's theses
and one Ph.D. dissertation. The International
Research Symposium, hosted by UVI-AES, was to a
large degree based on this research. However, with
time, we have shifted our research from large live-
stock to sheep and small livestock.
The Sheep Research Facility, developed in 1986,
formed the basis for the research on Virgin Islands
White hair sheep. The research covers the charac-
terization of the breed and aspects of improved
nutrition, reproduction, management and health.
The research has attracted over $350,000 in compe-
titive research funding and has resulted in twenty-
three technical and scientific publications so far. The
Hair Sheep Symposium, hosted by UVI-AES,
exposed much of the research work to an inter-
national audience in 1991.
Correspondingly, our research in agronomy has
shifted to crops which produce feed for small
Our educational outreach efforts at the Coopera-
tive Extension Service are geared to meet the chal-
lenges of the 21st century. The Cooperative Exten-
sion Service will be carrying out its educational
mission through base and target programs. Base
programs are the major educational efforts that are
central to the mission of the Extension System, and
UVI-CES will continue to undertake ongoing pri-
ority programs in agricultural competitiveness and
profitability, community resource and economic
development, family development and resource
management, 4-H and youth development, leader-
ship and volunteer development, natural resources
and environmental management, and nutrition, diet
The target programs rise from the base program. It
is UVI-CES' commitment to respond to important
societal problems of broad national concerns with
additional resources and increased effort to achieve
a major impact on national priorities. The Coopera-
tive Extension Service has committed to undertake
target programs in the areas of integrated pest
St. Croix White hair sheep are being studied Intensively at the AES
Sheep Research Facility.
management, pesticide impact assessment, pesti-
cide applicator training, environmental education,
water quality, urban gardening, sustainable agri-
culture, volunteer development and management,
youth at risk, expanded food and nutrition edu-
cation, food safety and quality, limited resources/
low income individuals/families, parenting, family
and family youth, and multicultural diversity.
In particular, the Cooperative Extension Service
will help communities in the territory to establish
child care educational programs for children of ages
5-14 and will encourage existing child care providers
to adopt the Extension curriculum. New recipes will
be designed to augment readily available ingre-
dients in the territory with sound nutritional prac-
tices. Our Expanded Food and Nutrition Education
Program clientele will be provided knowledge, new
attitudes and changed behavior patterns necessary
for the maintenance of nutritionally sound diets that
will contribute to their personal development.
Environmental education programs will be estab-
lished to create environmental awareness and
enhance the development of an environmental
ethic in adults and youth in the territory.
In conclusion, let me state that our research and
educational efforts cannot exist in a vacuum. The
Virgin Islands, like any country in the world, is con-
stantly going through changes. We are all aware of
recent events in Russia and Europe just last year.
Since we cannot always predict and control
change, it is important that we cope with change.
The agricultural development in the Virgin Islands
depends on a lot of contributing factors. And our
role at the University of the Virgin Islands is to help
our community to cope with the changing trends.
Located at "The Builder's Yard" (La Grande Princesse)
Quality Lumber & Hardware
at Reasonable Prices
Utilacrete (underlayment for tile)
Also check out our convenient hardware store.
Contractors: We now have a full-time field
representative on staff to service you with
all your building projects.
Open Mon.-Fri. -- 7:30 5:00
Sat. -- 7:30-12:00
Best wishesfor a successfulfair!
Virgin Islands Agriculture
And Food Fair Historical Prospective
Clarice C. Clarke
Public Information Specialist
UVI Cooperative Extension Service
Traditionally, the Agriculture and Food Fair on St.
Croix is one of the major highlights of the year. The
fair, which is jointly sponsored by the V.I. Depart-
ment of Economic Development and Agriculture,
the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative
Extension Service and the Agricultural Experiment
Station, boasts of an attendance record of more than
twenty thousand. This is a very strong indication of
the fair's importance to the community.
The Agricultural and Food Fair is a place where
local cuisine, crafts, and music are enjoyed. Most
importantly, it is an opportunity for farmers to dis-
play and sell their produce, and a chance for the
community to see new agricultural and environ-
mental technologies exhibited.
The growth of the Agriculture and Food Fair can
be traced from the diverse fair bulletins, which high-
lighted not only agricultural, educational and food
displays, but also the cultural heritage of the com-
munity. For example, the most successful fair bulle-
tin, entitled "Agrifest 1989," had on its cover a color-
ful array of local fruits and vegetables, the cultural
dress and the commitment of family to agriculture.
In his Message from the Governor, which was
published in the first fair bulletin of 1971, the late
Governor Melvin H. Evans recognized that even in
its early stage the Agriculture and Food Fair was an
effective way to inform the public of new develop-
ments in agricultural techniques, soil testing, and
nutrition and health. The governor stressed the role
of the farmer and noted "the soil of our native land is
still a precious possession and the farmers,who have
remained close to the earth, must be admired for
their appreciation and understanding of the more
basic values of life."
The fifth Annual Agriculture and Food Fair in 1976
had gone through a great deal of transition. The
need to address the revitalization of agriculture had
become a key issue. High price increases in food
items, especially fresh fruits and vegetables and the
dependency on imported foods, were issues that
concerned the late Governor Cyril E. King in 1976,
and are still of major concern today. According to
Governor King, "Self-sufficiency in food production
is vital to the future of all of these Islands."
That year, the fair focused on "Food First" as a
point of emphasis and started the use of themes. The
theme served as a focal point for exhibitors to incor-
porate in their displays. "Agriculture is Basic," the
theme for the ninth annual Agriculture and Food
Fair, reiterated the need to make agriculture an
integral part of our economy.
The Bulletins, too, changed over the years and
those of the 1980's provided farmers with advanced
research-based information in drip irrigation, inte-
grated farming, fish culture and hydroponics. They
promoted the idea that agriculture is a business and
should be managed as one. This was emphasized
through such themes as "Agriculture and Business"
in 1987 and "Agriculture Blooms into Commerce" in
In 1987, after attending his first Agriculture and
Food as Governor of the Virgin Islands, Governor
Alexander Farrelly stated that "for agriculture to
survive, technology must play a very important role
with emphasis on sound business procedures."
Especially in 1988 and 1989, schools began to play
an integral role in the fairs. Because of the constant
dissemination of research-based information to
schools and the short courses, seminars and work-
shops that were conducted, students were given a
chance to see the opportunities that are available in
the field of food and agriculture. Because of this,
they began to enter posters and essays depicting
various aspects of agriculture. The agricultural dis-
plays of the schools in the Virgin Islands were so well
presented that the cover of the "Agrifest 1989"
bulletin was inspired by the Claude O. Markoe Ele-
mentary School exhibit.
The involvement of students in the fair was a
welcome addition. Dr. Arthur A. Richards, UVI
President Emeritus, had always endorsed the parti-
cipation of youths in the fair. Dr. Richards urged the
youths to take advantage of the variety of programs
such as 4-H and youth development, natural
resources, agriculture, and water resources, offered
by the University of the Virgin Islands Research and
Land-Grant Affairs. Similarly, he urged all fairgoers
to learn from the research so that agriculture will
become a vital part of the Virgin Islands economy.
In 1990, the Virgin Islands would have celebrated
its 20th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair. However,
because of the destruction caused by Hurricane
Hugo, the fair was not celebrated on the grand scale
as in prior years. With the success of the past fairs and
the urgent need to re-establish normalcy, the Agri-
culture and Food Fair Board of Directors designated
April 7, 1990 as Agriculture Day, thus keeping alive
the commitment to agriculture and farmers, as both
are integral parts of the economic and social aspects
of the community.
A community's tenacity is based on the ability to
bounce back from adversity. Agrifest '91 provided
such an avenue for farmers, food vendors, schools
and government agencies. According to Governor
Alexander A. Farrelly, "The small farmer is the back-
bone of the agricultural industry, and they are to be
commended for their perseverance. Despite Hurri-
cane Hugo's devastation as well as limited rainfall
and land, they continue to produce crops and
Agrifest '91 also provided UVI's President Dr.
Orville E. Kean the opportunity to reiterate his vision
and the role the University must play in the lives of
Virgin Islanders. "One of my main goals for the Uni-
versity is to facilitate the improvement of the quality
of life here in the Virgin Islands. I want the University
to become a center for technology transfer and utili-
zation. In terms of agriculture this will mean
bringing scientific advances to the grass roots level."
\ -, FOOD FAIR
FEB. 16, 17, 18,
The growth of the Agriculture and Food Fair can be traced from the diverse fair
OF ST CROIX
Virgin AGRIC U IIR I
ISld. AGRICULTURE ANDOMOD FAIR4:2",
WEST INDIAN MARKET
^""~'""' "'""'" ""'""
Islands In Transition
Extension Specialist Natural Resources
UVI Cooperative Extension Service
The natural environment of the Virgin Islands has
undergone major changes since the earliest of
human habitation. The plants and animals we see
today present us with a picture much different than
that prior to human occupation. Whether inten-
tionally or by accident, man has been the principal
agent of change, transforming soils, vegetation and
animal life through his activities. The introduction of
exotic flora and fauna throughout the course of
human history has profoundly altered the ecological
composition of the Virgin Islands.
Prior to human settlement, moister conditions are
believed to have prevailed in the islands, along with
associated moist forest plant and animal commu-
nities. Over time, beginning with Amerindian occu-
pation during which shifting agriculture was
practiced, through the exploitation of the islands
during the plantation era, to our present day physi-
cal overdevelopment, man's activities have trans-
formed the islands to a more xeric (dry) state. The
removal of native species and the introduction of
highly adaptable exotic species have contributed to
drier conditions. A cycle of change has resulted
whereby degradation of the natural environment
through the alteration of plant, wildlife and soil
components leads to further drying out which in
turn has favored species highly tolerant of degraded
conditions. Many exotic species have a competitive
advantage over native species, and their establish-
ment maintains the environment in a highly altered
or degraded state.
The aboriginal Arawak and Carib Indians began
this process of change as they journeyed from South
America through the Caribbean island-chain.
Familiar plants and animals accompanied their
progressive settlement of the islands to aid their
survival. Food crops such as maize (Zea mays),
manioc (Manihot esculenta), sweet potato
(Ipomoea batatas) and several kinds of legume were
some of the plants brought from their homeland and
cultivated. Other useful plants such as pineapple
(Ananas comosus), tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum)
and cotton (Gossypium sp.) were established as well.
Even plants that remain today as a familiar part of the
landscape, such as genip (Genipa americana), guava
(Psidium guajava), calabash (Crecentia cujete),
indigo (Indigofera suffruticosa) and mamey apple
(Mammea americana), are thought to have found
passage to our islands through the travels of abori-
ginal people. They also brought along domesticated
dogs for hunting purposes, and it is speculated that
the agouti (Dasyprocta aguti) and the iguana (Iguana
iguana) were pre-Columbian introductions.Though
the full extent of their impact is unknown, it can be
assumed that aboriginal peoples initiated the pro-
gressive trend of alteration of the native environ-
ment still in evidence today.
Immense changes were witnessed with European
colonization of the islands. Early Spanish colonists
brought with them livestock which was allowed to
roam and reproduce freely. Livestock browsing,
grazing and trampling led to further changes in the
islands' ecosystem. Their activities adversely affected
the survival of certain native plant species, while the
success of other, non-native species was encour-
aged. As European presence increased, so did the
extent of its impact. In addition to the introduction
of domestic livestock, commercially valuable hard-
wood trees were selectively removed and gradually
replaced by exotics, further compounding the
degree of ecological alteration begun by Indian
settlement. A number of leguminous species such as
tan-tan (Leucaena leucocephala), casha (Acacia
tortuosa, A. macrantha) and divi-divi (Caesalpinia
coriaria), which thrive today, were introduced in the
early 18th century for animal fodder and for sources
of tannin and fuel. Small-scale subsistence farming
gradually gave way to large-scale labor-intensive
cash crop production as Europeans turned their
interest to economic exploitation of the islands.
The plantation era, born out of an emerging world
market, wreaked havoc with the natural system. The
islands were almost totally converted into an
unnatural landscape of sugarcane, cotton and other
cash crops. Severe soil degradation was fostered by
complete removal of vegetation, thus exposing the
soil to the elements. Massive amounts of soil were
lost to erosion from water and wind. The remaining
soil was depleted of nutrients by the intensive
monocultural farming practices of the plantation
regime. Large-scale vegetation removal and the
depleted soil base intensified xeric conditions,
leaving the land hostile to all but the most adaptable
of species. At the same time, the introduction of
exotics for human and animal use and for ornament
continued. Some highly adaptable species escaped
cultivation to become well established in the natural
environment. Many native plant and animal species
were not able to survive the adverse conditions and
were replaced by more tolerant exotics.
Animal species which accompanied plantation
society had variable impact on the natural environ-
ment. Domestic animals, like dogs, cats, rabbits and
fowl, had minimal effect on the island ecology. Even
the White-tailed deer, brought from Virginia for
game and whose ancestors still roam the islands,
have had minor impact mainly because their popu-
lation levels have remained low. Less desirable
species associated with human habitation, such as
grazing stock and pests, proved far more damaging
to the environment. The destructive activities of
goats, donkeys and pigs have continued unabated
into modern times. Rats and mice were accidental
introductions and first reached the islands as stow-
aways on the numerous ships that plied the waters
between Europe and the Caribbean during this
period. Rats (Rattus rattus, R. norvegicus) proved to
be a major bane to the sugarcane industry, capable
of extensive damage to the valued crop. In 1867 the
government imported the Indian mongoose
(Herpestes auropunctatus) to control the rat popu-
lation. The mongoose, however, proved to have
minimal impact on rat population levels and instead
became a menace to the island ecosystem itself.
Both rat and mongoose have been responsible for
the extermination of many ground-dwelling reptile
and bird species on which they prey and have so
pervaded the environment that they remain a lim-
iting factor to the success of a number of our local
The slave trade associated with the plantation
period added yet another element of introductions,
namely species that arrived via the African conti-
nent. Yams (Dioscorea sp.), pigeon peas (Cajanus
cajan), dasheen (Colocasia esculenta), okra
(Hibiscus esculentus) and eggplant (Solanum
melongena) were a few of the old world crops used
for subsistence by slaves, and they remain important
food plants today. Plant species of medicinal and
other cultural value were also transported from
Africa and can still be found growing in the islands.
The castor bean (Ricinus communis) and the bow-
string hemp (Sansevieria hyacinthoides) likely
reached the islands in slave ships bound from West
Following the collapse of the sugarcane industry,
much of the islands reverted to shrubby secondary
growth composed of a mixture of native and exotic
species largely tolerant of nutrient-poor and dry
conditions. Weedy species invaded waste areas and
started to dominate much of the landscape. Tan-tan,
casha and grass species such as guinea grass (Pani-
cum maximum), crowfoot grass (Dactyloctenium
aegyptium) and nut grass (Cypress rotundus) took a
strong foothold in the environment and proliferate
today as successful colonizers of the islands.
The islands remain in a state of transition in
modern times as man continues to alter the islands'
environment. Exotic ornamentals such as bougain-
villea (Bougainvillea glabra, B. spectabilis), oleander
(Nerium oleander), ficus (Ficus benjamin) and
several palm species are the landscaping choice of
resorts and private residences. These areas are trans-
formed to a less than natural state at the expense of
native ornamental species. Poor landscaping prac-
tices which strip the land of vegetation and expose
the soil to erosion are commonplace. They con-
tribute to the degradation of the soil and to the loss
of native plant species. Domestic animals allowed to
roam or turn feral continue to impact native plant
and animal communities.
Historical review demonstrates the magnitude of
man's alteration of the natural environment, from
the first Amerindian settlements to the present-day
inhabitants. It is unlikely that the Virgin Islandsenvi-
ronment will recover to the state prior to man's
appearance, because the extent and degree of his
activities have so thoroughly transformed the
content of the natural landscape. Many exotic plant
species have become naturalized and widespread
and now form integral parts of the environment.
Native species, some less tolerant of degraded con-
ditions, are supplanted by more tolerant and aggres-
sive exotics. The destruction of vegetation continues
at a rapid pace with little consideration being given
to the protection or reintroduction of native species.
Feral and pest animals left uncontrolled will
continue to exact a toll from native plant and animal
populations, perhaps causing the demise of some
species altogether. Just as man has initiated the
course of events throughout history that have so
altered the environment, it is within man's ability to
reverse this trend, and thus preserve those natural
elements that make the Virgin Islands unique.
For years you've known us as Triumpho Electrical of St. Croix. Now we have
new owners, but the same old commitment to providing the island's largest
inventory of electrical products at reasonable prices.
Electricians and contractors know our extensive inventory.
We invite you, our retail customers to see us for:
St. Croix's best selection of Table Lamps
Lighting and Fixtures by Thomas & Starlight
Onan Generators (Sales and Service)
Power and Hand Tools
Light Bulbs and Tubes
7-C Peter's Rest, St. Croix 773-4630
"If you need advice, we've got it also for free."
- A Diffuse Disaster
Marcia G. Taylor
Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service
University of the Virgin Islands
In the Virgin Islands most people welcome the
rain it brings us fresh, clean water for drinking,
cooking and bathing. But to the marine plants and
animals rain can cause great stress or even death.
This wasn't always so, but as development continues,
the rainwater which runs off into the sea becomes
more and more damaging to the marine
What causes clean rain to become a pollutant to
our sea? During construction activities such as clear-
ing and grading, land is stripped of vegetation,
leaving the soil exposed. When rainwater falls on the
bare soil it picks up large amounts of scarce and
valuable topsoil. On its journey toward the sea, this
dirt and silt is carried with the water. The faster the
journey, the more soil is carried. The more rainwater
running off, the faster the journey.
During a short rain, about 90 percent of the water
falling on undeveloped natural vegetation is lost
into the atmosphere by evaporation and transpi-
ration, and the rest percolates into the soil and con-
tributes to our groundwater. In contrast to this, the
rain that falls on paved areas runs off (this includes
streets, paved parking lots, driveways, and the roofs
of buildings without cisterns or with their cisterns
already full). This water moves rapidly through
waterways that have developed to carry the natural,
slow-moving runoff from the undisturbed
watersheds. Most of these waterways do not have
sufficient capacity for the increased runoff, so ero-
sion or flooding occurs with every rain. The water
and soil eventually reach the inshore waters and
damage both by depositing soil and silt and by re-
ducing the amount of light available to sensitive
When the solids which were carried by the runoff
settle to the ocean bottom, they smother marine
organisms. Corals are especially sensitive to sedi-
ment loads. Corals have the ability to clean them-
selves by secreting a mucous which sticks to the
solids and sloughs off. However, this requires the
expenditure of a considerable amount of energy
which could have been used for growth and repro-
duction. Corals can survive some sediment stress,
but the constant inundation from frequent exposure
to sediment-laden runoff is fatal.
Corals are not the only organisms which suffer
from muddy runoff. Particulates suspended in the
water can clog fish gills and filter systems in filter-
feeding animals. It also reduces prey capture for
sight feeding predators.
In addition to being a physical problem to the
marine organisms, runoff from the land is also high
in nutrients. These nutrients can stimulate the
growth of nuisance species such as unicellular algae.
When algal blooms occur, light penetration is
reduced and the dissolved oxygen in the water can
be depleted. In areas with limited water circulation,
this can cause large-scale fish die-offs.
uinry saormwater enters te sea on the north snore of St. Croix
turning the bay brown.
But dirt isn'tthe only pollutant introduced by rain-
water runoff. Rainwater travels over a variety of
developed surfaces picking up many pollutants
which are toxic to marine organisms. Agricultural
runoff carries high levels of nutrients, pesticides,
herbicides, and other chemicals which are toxic to
marine organisms. Runoff from roads and driveways
carry petroleum and heavy metals which are also
toxic to many marine animals. Runoff from densely
developed residential areas can include bacteria
from septic leach fields and sewage treatment
systems. This runoff can cause recreational bathing
areas to be unfit for swimming.
The effects of silt-laden runoff are apparent after
heavy rains. Entire bays are brown from the intro-
duction of muddy runoff water. This water, which
supports all marine life, can remain turbid for days.
Once this sediment settles it can become resus-
pended when disturbed, re-stressing the marine life
Turbid or sediment-laden waters decrease the
amount of light available to marine organisms, de-
creasing productivity. Like all plants, seagrass and
algae need light to grow. Even some animals such as
corals have tiny plant cells in their tissues which also
Water turbidity reduces the aesthetic and recrea-
tional value of the water. The territory's exceptional
water quality is one of its greatest natural resources
and is critical to tourism, the largest industry in the
territory. Our crystal clear waters allow tourists and
local residents to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, scuba
diving, boating and fishing.
Controlling stormwater runoff is not an easy task.
The diffuse nature of this problem makes it difficult
to control. However, there are several general
guidelines which will help control this problem.
1. Minimize the exposure of bare soil. Only the
areas which will be developed immediately
should be cleared.
2. If an area must be cleared, re-vegetate imme-
diately after construction.
3. Roads cut on steep slopes should be paved to
Silt-laden water from a St. Thomas marina enters the bay.
4. Do not develop on excessively steep slopes.
5. Decrease the amount of impermeable areas
on a construction site.
6. Salt ponds and tidal wetlands should not be
developed. They provide a natural protection
for the sea by allowing soil and silt to settle out
rather than enter the sea.
7. Install detention basins or infiltration devices
for the control of flows from development
sites. This reduces the velocity of the flow and
allows for settling before the water enters the
8. Leave undeveloped areas to filter stormwater
before it enters the sea.
9. Do not develop in areas (such as drainage
ditches) prone to large amounts of runoff.
10. Install silt curtains when a site must remain
exposed for long periods of time.
11. Carefully control land use patterns in sensitive
ISLAND FURNITURE HOUSE
ISLAND FURNITURE HOUSE
P.O. Box 756, Christiansted, St. Croix
U. S. Virgin Islands, 00821
Aida Torres Manager
Ph: (809) 778-5930 Fax: (809) 778-0020
BLUE MOUNTAIN WATER
WATER DELIVERY BOTTLED WATER
P.O. Box 948
Christiansted, St. Croix
United States Virgin Islands 00821
Office: (809) 778-6177
Res: (809) 778-8386
Lowell O. Schuster
Two Local Plants Used For
Extension Agent Natural Resources
UVI Cooperative Extension Service
The traditional useof medicinal plants has been an
important part of the cultural heritage of the Virgin
Islands. More than 400 plants growing in the U.S.
Virgin Islands (USVI) are recorded as having been
used medicinally in the territory. Many Virgin
Islanders continue to be interested in the healing
potential of local plants, even though the role of folk
or bush medicine to a large extent has been super-
seded by Western medicine and modern drugs.
Groups such as the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and
the Environment and Development of the Third
World-Caribbean Group (Enda-Caribe) have been
sponsoring research on medicinal plants tradi-
tionally used in the Caribbean region. Since 1984,
scientists and technicians from the Caribbean region
and elsewhere have been involved in this contin-
uing applied research project. These researchers
have not concentrated on the knowledge of tradi-
tional therapists, nor do they consider themselves to
have the necessary authority to aggressively recom-
mend or discourage the use of the plants studied.
The researchers' conclusions are based on scientific
evaluation of the selected plants through laboratory
investigations, analyzing data from field surveys and
interviews, interacting in scientific workshops and
According to research participants, two local
plants have potential as medicinal plants which may
be both safe and effective, specifically in the treat-
ment of migraine headaches. Both leaf of life
(Kalanchoe pinnata) and congo root (Petiveria
alliacea) are herbaceous plants which are fairly
common in the USVI.
Research participants propose the external appli-
cation of these plants to the affected area rather than
internal use. In the study of the traditional usage of
medicinal plants in the Caribbean region, it is
common to find reference to the practice of the
binding of various plants to the head for the treat-
ment of headache pain.
Investigations did not address the method by
which these plants reduce the pain associated with
migraine headaches. Migraine headache pain
results from changes in cranial blood vessels caused
by abnormally dilated arteries and arterioles in the
region of the scalp, eyes and/or neck. In animal
testing, leaf extract of congo root inhibits edema,
the excess fluids in tissues. It also demonstrated anal-
gesic or pain reducing activity. Aqueous leaf extract
of leaf of life showed vasoconstrictive activity,
narrowing blood vessels.
Although research participants suggested the use
of these plants for the treatment of migraines, their
work does not provide detailed information on
exactly how treatment should be administered.
Experimenters might try crushing leaves before
binding them to the painful area. Record-keeping is
also important. Notes should include details such as
user response, frequency and method of use.
The following is a brief description of each plant:
CONGO ROOT, also know locally as GULLY
ROOT and STRONG MAN BUSH, is a native peren-
nial herb with shiny leaves marked by prominent
veins. Long stems support both tiny whitish-green
flowers and barbed fruit which can stick to clothing
and pierce the skin. The whole plant and root emit a
very pungent garlic smell, especially when crushed.
In the USVI, congo root leaf tea has been used inter-
nally to reduce inflammation, as a cleansing tea,and
externally as an astringent poultice. The roots have
been used to induce abortion, and fatalities have
reportedly resulted from this use. The whole plant
steeped in rum was used to treat intestinal worms. As
a floor cleanser, it is known to kill fleas. In Jamaica,
the leaves have been inhaled to relieve headaches,
and the Carib Indians of Dominica used this plant as
an antidote for poisoning.
LEAF OF LIFE is also locally called LOVE BUSH,
CLAPPER BUSH and GREEN LOVE. It is a naturalized
succulent herb wide-spread throughout America,
but originally from Madagascar. Usually found
growing in colonies, it is distinguished by its
yellowish-green fleshy leaves with scalloped and
notched maroon borders. Showy maroon flowers
protrude from tubular calyxes. Baby plants sprout on
the margins of leaf notches. The recorded medicinal
uses of this plant in the USVI include treatment for
high blood pressure and poor circulation, and as a
soothing tea for urinary problems. Elsewhere,
mashed leaves have been applied to skin diseases,
insect bites and headaches. The crushed mucila-
ginous leaves act as a soothing emollient ointment;
they also stop bleeding and exhibit anti-bacterial
Information about medicinal plants studied in the
applied research project referred to in this Agrifest
'92 article has been published in a book,. Elements
for a Caribbean Pharmacopeia, by Bernard Weniger
and Lionel Robineau. French and Spanish versions
have already been published, and an English version
was in the process of being edited when notice
about the book appeared in the International Tradi-
tional Medicine Newsletter (summer of '90)
produced by the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Some plants which grow in the Virgin Islands are
included in the selection of 88 plants featured in the
book. For information, contact Lionel Robineau at
Enda-Caribe, Huacal, Santo Domingo, Dominican
1. Kuby, Ronald L. 1979, Folk Medicine on St. Croix:
An Ethbotanical Study, M.S. Thesis, University of
Kansas, Lawrence, KS.
2. Morton, Julia. 1981, Atlas of Medicinal Plants of
Middle America, Bahama to Yucatan, Charles C.
Thomas, Springfield, IL.
3. Oakes A.J. and M.P. Morris. 1958, The West
Weed Woman of the United States Virgin Islands,
Bulletin of the History of Medicine 32(2): 164-170.
4. Petersen, Arona. Herbs and Proverbs of the Virgin
Islands, St. Thomas Graphics, St. Thomas, USVI.
5. Ragster, LaVerne E. and S.O. Heyliger. 1991, The
Role of Plants in Medicine in the U.S. Virgin
Islands, Agriculture and Food Fair Bulletin 5, V.I.
Dept. of Economic Development and Univ. of the
6. Soejarto, D.D., L. Robineau and C. Cyllenhaal.
1990, TRAMIL-4: Medicinal Plants of the Carib-
bean Basin, International Traditional Medicine
Newsletter 4 (1), College of Pharmacy, Univ. of
Illinois, Chicago, IL.
8. Weniger, Bernard and Lionel Robineau. 1988,
Elements for a Caribbean Pharmacopeia, Scien-
tific Research and Popular Use of Medicinal
Plants in the Caribbean, Proceedings, TRAMIL III
Workshop in Havana, Enda-Caribe and Program
for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical
Sciences, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago, IL.
8. Woodbury, Roy 0. and Peter L. Weaver. 1984, The
Vegetatation of St. John and Hassel Island, U.S.
Virgin Islands, Unpublished.
RUNNERS OF ST. (R(II
No. 60 Castle Coakley
Tinted or Clear
w/screens and operators
*ARMOR Roof Coating
Heavy Duty top coat Primer
Doors Interior and Exterior
Leaf of Life
ActuaLt bze 1/91
Alley Cropping: An Improved
Agroforestry System With Potentials
For The Virgin Islands
Manuel C. Palada, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor/Vegetable Specialist
UVI Agricultural Experiment Station
Traditional farming methods used in tropical
countries were developed to reduce the risk of crop
failures more than to provide maximum food
production. As a result, the traditional cropping and
grazing systems used on relatively infertile, dry or
erosion-prone sites often involve multiple crops,
intercropping, and complex crop rotation schedules.
The traditional systems, however, are not productive
enough to provide food for the rapidly expanding
population of the tropics. They need to be improved
On fertile and well-irrigated alluvial soils where
traditional farming was based on monoculture of
rice or wheat, it has been possible to increase yields
by adapting modern temperate-zone technologies,
including applications of fertilizers and pesticides.
But on less endowed sites, many attempts to replace
complex, traditional farming systems with modern
monocrop agriculture have failed, apparently
because of high risks from climate, pests and
problem soils, and because of the complex socio-
economic conditions that often prevail. So, in recent
years, some scientists have begun developing
modern technologies to improve, rather than
replace, the traditional farming systems. This
approach to tropical agriculture development is still
promoted by only a small number of agricultural
Agroforestry: An Improved Traditional Farming
One of the traditional systems that is being
improved and promoted by scientists, as well as
development and Extension workers, is Agro-
forestry. Agroforestry is a name for a collection of
land-use systems and technologies where woody
perennials (trees, shrubs, palms, bamboos, etc.) are
deliberately grown on the same land with
agricultural crops and/or animals. Agroforestry is a
new word, but not a new concept. The novelty lies in
formally recognizing that many different tree-based
land-use systems possess certain common features
that hold great promise in the tropics and
On fertile lands, intensive agroforestry systems,
like intensive agriculture, can support dense human
populations. Agroforestry, however, is probably
more important for improving and sustaining the
productivity of the lands with soil fertility and soil
moisture problems; and where lack of rural infra-
structure and cash make it necessary for people to
produce most of their own basic needs for food,
fodder, fuel and shelter.
Agroforestry encompasses many well-known and
long-practiced land-use systems on cultivated or
grazed land in the tropics. Traditional shifting culti-
vation, bush-fallow systems, and all forms of
"taungya" afforestation* fall under this term, as do
the home gardens of the wet tropics and the use of
fodder trees and shrubs in the dry tropics.
Alley Cropping: An Improved Form of Agroforestry
An improved form of agroforestry which has been
developed and promoted recently is alley cropping.
Alley cropping is essentially an agroforestry system
in which food crops are grown in alleys formed by
hedgerows of trees and shrubs. The hedgerows are
cut back at planting and kept pruned during crop-
ping to prevent shading and to reduce competition
with food crops. The hedgerows are allowed to grow
freely to cover the land when there are no crops.
The term alley cropping was first used by scientists
at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
in Ibadan, Nigeria. The alley cropping system was
developed as a stable alternative to shifting culti-
vation commonly practiced in tropical Africa.
Shifting cultivation and related bush-fallow slash
and burn farming is still the dominant food crop
production system in most countries of the tropics.
In this system the land is cultivated for short crop-
ping periods of one or two years and then left fallow
(not farmed so that it reverts back to bush) for a
longer period of six or more years. During the fallow
period, soil fertility is restored and weeds, including
pests and diseases, are controlled.
*Taungya: Burmese for hill cultivation. Agricultural crops are
planted with trees used for wood production.
The regenerative power of the bush fallow is
linked to the regrowth of deep rooted trees and
shrubs that recycle plant nutrients and build up soil
organic matter. During the fallow period, plant
cover and litter protect the soil from the impact of
high intensity rainfall. The roots also help bind soils,
increase water infiltration and reduce run-off and
Where land is abundant, the bush fallow has been
found to be a viable and efficient biological method
for soil productivity restoration. Food crops grow
well in newly cleared land following a long rest
period under bush fallow. However, increasing land
pressure, resulting from rapid population growth in
many parts of the tropics, has led to a shortening of
the fallow periods. Overexploitation of land domi-
nated by poor soils can easily lead to soil degrada-
tion and eventually to a rapid decline in crop yields.
Since limited-resource farmers in the tropics
cannot afford costly inputs, it is necessary to de-
velop a low-input soil management technology that
can sustain crop production. Thus, alley cropping
was developed as a low-input technology and as an
alternative to shifting cultivation. Alley cropping
practically retains the basic features of bush fallow in
a systematic and well-managed system of cropping.
The major advantage of alley cropping over tradi-
tional shifting cultivation and bush fallow systems is
that the croping and fallow phases can take place
concurrently on the same land, thus allowing the
farmer to crop for an extended period without re-
turning the land to bush fallow.
Alley cropping systems have been widely studied
in the tropics for the past two decades. The early
studies were done in tropical Africa and Asia.
Although research started more than two decades
ago, farmers have been using this system much
longer than that. The use of contour hedgerows,
consisting of perennial woody legumes, on sloping
land for erosion control and food production is an
example of alley cropping. The first recorded study
using leucaena (Leucaena leucocephala) contour
hedgerows was done in the Philippines. By con-
tinuous intercropping of corn with leucaena hedge-
rows, erosion was reduced to less than 2.5% of the
control and corn yield increased 380% over the
control. In Indonesia, introduction of contour ter-
racing, using leucaena hedgerows with proper
management, has led to successful adoption by
farmers on the island of Flores.
There is great potential for alley cropping in the
Virgin Islands because many similarities exist in
climate, natural environment and agriculture with
those in countries of tropical Africa.
BENEFITS OF ALLEY CROPPING
Alley cropping attempts to optimize ecological
and economic interactions among various compo-
nents (trees, shrubs, crops and animals) to obtain a
higher, more diversified and/or sustainable total
production than is possible with many single land-
Trees and shrubs in alley cropping systems
provide several benefits which are attractive to
1. Improvement of Soil Fertility when prunings
(clippings) of trees and shrubs are applied as green
manure to companion food crops, plant nutrients
are released through decomposition, thereby im-
proving soil fertility. In the long term, continuous
application of green manures increases soil organic
matter content and soil fertility. Root nodules of
leguminous trees incorporate atmospheric nitrogen
into their cells and then release it to the soil where it
becomes available to promote the growth of food
2. Soil Erosion Control alley cropping on hillside
farms or sloping lands provides erosion control.
When trees are planted along the contours of
sloping land, they provide a barrier to prevent soil
3. Soil Moisture Conservation addition of or-
ganic mulch from tree prunings of alley crops lowers
soil temperature, reduces temperature fluctuation
and increases water infiltration and retention.
Hedgerows may also reduce evapotranspiration by
serving as windbreaks in areas where wind velocity is
4. Weed Control prunings or clippings of trees
and shrubs can be applied as mulch to suppress
weeds. During a short fallow, trees and shrubs
provide shade which also reduces weed growth.
5. Source of Wood and Stakes stems of trees and
shrubs provide fuel wood for cooking, staking
materials for fences, and support for viny plants.
6. Source of Fodder leaves of leguminous trees
like leucaena and gliricidia are good forage for small
ruminant and other livestock, especially during the
dry season when availability of fodder is low.
7. Stable Crop Yields continuous application of
green manure can sustain crop yields for extended
periods without the addition of fertilizers. For
farmers who are reluctant to use chemical fertilizers,
alley cropping is a good alternative.
ESTABLISHMENT AND MANAGEMENT OF
ALLEY CROPPING FARM
Establishing and managing an alley cropping farm
requires a good knowledge of suitable tree and
shrub species, the correct width of the alley, the
proper method of pruning trees and the best food
crop varieties for alley cropping.
Tree and Shrub Species
A number of trees and shrubs are potentially
suitable for alley cropping, but only afew have been
tested. The best choice is to use trees and shrubs that
are already adapted in the area. In the Virgin Islands,
there are several tree and shrub species with poten-
tial for alley cropping. Nitrogen fixing trees like
Tan-tan (Leucaena leucocephala) and Madre de
Cacao (Cliricidia sepium) are well adapted to almost
all agroecological zones of the islands. Moringatree
(Moringa oleifera) is another species that is also well
adapted to the Virgin Islands. This tree is drought
tolerant and grows well in alkaline soils. Other trees
with potential for alley cropping are Acacia (Acacia
albida) and Neem tree (Azadirachta indica). Pigeon
pea (Cajanus cajan), an annual or perennial
leguminous shrub, is also indigenous to the Virgin
Islands. If these tree and shrub species are managed
in a way that agriculture and environment can bene-
fit, they will become a blessing rather than a curse, as
in the case of Tan-tan.
Fruit trees can also be grown in alley cropping
systems. During establishment years, when the trees
are not in their productive stage, the wide spaces
between trees can be planted with animal food
crops. Several seasons of cropping are possible until
trees are fully grown and shade the interplanted
Trees and shrubs suitable for alley cropping
should meet most of the following criteria:
1. Can be easily established
2. Grow rapidly
3. Have a deep root system
4. Produce heavy foliage
5. Regenerate readily after pruning
6. Are easy to eradicate
7. Provide useful by-products
Luguminous trees and shrubs are preferred over
non-legumes because of their ability to fix atmos-
pheric nitrogen. Few species meet all of the above-
mentioned criteria and some have disadvantages
that must be overcome. Leucaena, for example, has
slow early growth, and its seedlings must be pro-
tected against weeds during early establishment. But
once it is established, leucaena seedlings grow
Multipurpose species are generally preferable
because they give the alley cropping system flexi-
bility. Occasionally, it may be necessary to select a
species that is excellent for a specific purpose. For
example, in Southern Nigeria, Acioa barterii is pre-
ferred for its slow decomposing mulch, and the fast
growing Calliandra calothyrsus is preferred for its
ability to produce a large amount of firewood within
a short time.
Establishment of Trees and Shrubs
Direct seeding, transplanting of seedlings and
planting of stem cuttings are the methods used for
establishing hedges of trees or shrubs. Direct
seeding is the easiest and cheapest method of estab-
lishing hedges in rows. Seeds carried in pockets or
small bags can be planted by hand or with simple
planters. However, seedlings from direct seeding
are usually very small during the early development
and must be given extra care and protection.
A low-cost and easy way of establishing leucaena
hedgerows is by direct seeding in the same row with
a crop. With this method, there is no extra weeding
cost for the leucaena during early growth. The
slower growing leucaena can also benefit from resi-
dual fertilizer applied to the associated crop. By the
time the crop is harvested, leucaena normally
reaches a height to outgrow the weeds.
Transplanting is used when seeds rapidly lose their
viability during storage or when direct seeding does
not give desirable results. Seedlings, grown in per-
forated plastic bags, are either transplanted with the
bags, or the bags are removed at transplanting.
Bagged seedlings, however, are bulky, difficult to
transport and thus expensive to handle. Generally,
the seedlings are tall enough to have a competitive
edge over weeds and require less care and protec-
tion during early development.
Planting of stem cuttings is an alternative method
of establishing some species, but it is only recom-
mended when direct seeding is not feasible. For
example, gliricidia can be established by direct
seeding, but woody cuttings 20 inches or more in
length often give better results.
Soil and climatic factors are important for success-
ful establishment. Leucaena and gliricidia, for exam-
ple, establish well in non-acid soils with adequate
annual precipitation. On strongly acidic soils, soil
amendments, particularly phosphorous and lime,
are needed for good growth of these species. Inocu-
lation with compatible rhizobium strains of bacteria
is sometimes necessary for rapid establishment. The
rhizobium bacteria must be in large number to
inject the roots of the legume and increase nitrogen
The distance between hedgerows determines the
width of the alley (space between hedgerows).
Several alley widths were tested in Nigeria to deter-
mine the best spacing, but it was found that the opti-
mum width depends on the associated or interplanted
crop. For corn and vegetable crops like tomato, okra
and cabbage, 12 feet between hedgerows is quite
satisfactory for continuous crop production. This
spacing allows the use of a tractor for mechanizing
the operation. If the purpose of alley cropping is to
provide staking material for a yam crop, the spacing
should be adjusted to suit the yam spacing. For yam,
a 6-feet interrow spacing is optimum. Within the
hedgrows, trees and shrubs can be spaced ten to 40
inches apart depending on the species.
Pruning of Trees and Shrubs
During the cropping season, pruning of hedge-
rows is necessary to avoid shading of the companion
crop. Pruning is done only for species which are
mainly used to provide green manure. The hedge-
rows are pruned at the height of ten to 30 inches,
which is optimum for fast growing trees. Pruning can
be done manually using a sharp machete. A dull
machete that strips the bark will delay coppicing
(regrowth) and result in the death of trees. For
pruning large plots a tractor-driven rotary blade
(mower) is required. This implement can prune an
acre of one-year-old leucaena hedgerows 12 feet
apart in about one half hour. Small, 2 1/2 horse-
power backpack brush cutters will also give satisfac-
tory results for pruning uniform-sized plants with a
diameter of less than 1.2 inches. Pruning one acre
with brush cutters requires approximately four
Pruning intensity varies with the shrub or tree
species. As a general rule, the lower the hedgerows
and the taller the crop, pruning is needed less fre-
quently. Under humid (high rain fall) conditions, fast
growing trees such as leucaena and gliricidia require
pruning every five to six weeks during cropping. In
semi-arid regions, the interval between prunings
may be longer since the rate of regrowth will be
slow. Too frequent pruning of the hedgerows
should be avoided as it may result in dieback.
Tillage and Weed Control
In alley cropping systems, conventional tillage
involving plowing and harrowing may not be neces-
sary. Field trials in Nigeria showed that whether or
not tillage is used makes only a small difference in
the yield of the alley crop as long as there is adequate
mulch from the prunings. However, occasional
shallow tillage between the hedgerows that will par-
tially trim the surface roots of the trees or shrubs is
The control or suppression of noxious weeds is
also a major attribute of alley cropping. Shading of
trees or shrubs during the fallow suppresses most
weeds. The prunings applied as mulch also suppress
weeds. In an alley cropping trial in Nigeria, most
weed species were suppressed by leucaena after a
one year fallow. Although leucaena became the
major weed during fallow, its adverse effect on crop
yield was less than that of weeds from short natural
fallows where weeds are not controlled. The sup-
pression of weeds is therefore viewed as a major
advantage of alley cropping, especially in small-scale
farming where weeding can take more than 30% of
the labor used in crop production.
Under normal soil conditions, application of ferti-
lizers to trees and shrubs is not necessary, especially
when leguminous species are used for hedgerows.
Leguminous trees and shrubs can fix their own nitro-
gen, and their deep roots can extract nutrients from
subsoils. Associated crops should be fertilized
during the first year of planting, since prunings are
not done during establishment of hedgerows. In the
second and succeeding years, fertilizer application
can be reduced depending on how much green
manure is applied to the crop. In the long term,
yields of crops under alley cropping can be
sustained without fertilizer application.
^FT GALLOWS BAY
For the Lowest Prices in Meat
& Poultry, Grocery Items.
Check out our Bakery & Deli
where you could find
delicious pastries, fresh baked
bread, fine cheeses, tender
steaks and gourmet items
Open Mon Sat 7:30 6:30
Sun 8:00 3:00
Crops Suitable for Alley Cropping
Almost all agronomic and vegetable crops are
suitable for alley cropping systems. Agronomic
crops like corn, sorghum, soybean and field beans
benefit from alley cropping. Yields of vegetable
crops such as tomato, okra, spinach and Chinese
cabbage are also improved by alley cropping with
leucaena. Experiments in Nigeria have shown that
yield of corn can be maintained at two tons per acre
for ten years under alley cropping without fertilizer
application. Likewise, yields of tomato, okra and
spinach under alley cropping were similar to those
under fertilization and no hedgerows. These results
can be easily duplicated in the Virgin Islands using
similar crops and trees or shrub species.
ALLEY CROPPING SYSTEMS FOR THE
Introducing trees can often increase water and
nutrient availability and lead to increased crop pro-
duction. However, this may not always be true in
semi-arid regions. In these regions, the main factors
affecting primary production are water and nutrient
availability. In the presence of trees, moisture avail-
ability for plant growth can be affected in various
ways. For example, greater evaporation demands of
woody species can lead to faster depletion of water
NEW ARRIVALS WEEKLY!
#47 King Street (In Old Continental Building)
773-1959 MAJOR CREDIT CARDS WELCOME
Cr-e.ative\ CcoicepFs fcl. tl\c Ca,'ibbe \ci~ \Cllkt plCce
Monique M. Clendinen
Bo\ 664 92 Annj's Hope
C'stcd. St Croai. LISVI 00821
i x.MN -, -7730
(MI, '" 3-5727 tfax)
BoutiquC forMen& Women
Offering A Look Beyond Fashion
in Silks, Linens & Rayons
resources. Therefore, in a semi-arid region, the
management of alley cropping systems should be
modified so that competition between trees and
food crops is minimized. This can be achieved in
three ways: 1) selecting tree species that have low
water and evaporative demands during active crop
growth stage (e.g., Acacia albida); 2) reducing the
tree population density per unit of crop area; and 3)
increasing distance between hedgerows and
between crops and hedgerows.
In the semi-arid region of Senegal, intercropping
of the leguminous tree species Acacia albida with
millet or sorghum is one of the oldest traditional
agroforestry systems. This system, as traditionally
practiced, has many distinct ecological and eco-
nomic advantages. The trees lose their leaves during
the cropping season, so there is little light, nutrient
or water competition with crops. Acacia albida at a
density of only ten trees per acre reduces evapotran-
spiration in the dry season by up to 50% and in the
rainy season by up to 10%. Alley cropping is feasible
in a semi-arid climate by adopting improved and
modified management system.
Studies in alley cropping in semi-arid zones are
still very few. This is an area where more research
can be done to determine the role of trees in sus-
tainable agriculture. The agroecology of the Virgin
Islands resembles that of many countries in the semi-
arid tropics, and alley cropping systems developed
in drier areas of the tropics can be also adapted to fit
our local environment. The potential of alley crop-
ping systems for sustainable agriculture should,
therefore, be explored in the Virgin Islands.
Agroforestry: An Option For
Virgin Islands Agriculture
Research Specialist Forestry
UVI Agricultural Experiment Station
In the past decade agroforestry has gained impor-
tance as a land-use system. The driving force behind
agroforestry is the concept that trees are an essential
component of tropical agriculture. Agroforestry
recognizes that trees,when grown in conjunction
with food crops, add stability and sustainability to an
agricultural system. Although the name itself is new,
agroforestry is not a new concept. Indigenous
peoples have practiced agroforestry since ancient
times. Slash and burn agriculture, widely practiced
in the humid tropics, is a traditional form of agro-
forestry. Other traditional agroforestry systems
included mixed gardens, crops grown beneath
shade, intercropping and trees in pastures.
What do we mean by the term agroforestry? Agro-
forestry, as the name implies, is the cultivation of
agricultural crops and forest trees on the same
parcel of land. Agroforestry systems combine trees
with food crops and/or livestock. The combination
of trees with agricultural crops can be either spatial
(a specific arrangement of trees and crops on the
same plot of land at the same time) or temporal
(trees and crops on the same plot of land but at dif-
ferent times). Agroforestry systems have three main
characteristics: 1) they involve two or more species
of plants or animals, one of which is a woody peren-
nial; 2) have two or more outputs or products; and 3)
have a cropping cycle that is longer than one year.
Agroforestry systems have three important attri-
butes; productivity, protection and adaptability. The
productivity of a piece of land is increased in an
agroforestry system because more than one product
is harvested. In addition to the agricultural crop,
firewood, fodder, fruits and construction wood can
also be harvested from the parcel. Also, the trees are
able to utilize solar radiation during parts of the year
when no agricultural crop is present. Agroforestry
protects the resource base by conserving the soil
and maintaining or increasing soil fertility. This is
because the trees in the system maintain a constant
cover on the land throughout the year. Finally, agro-
forestry systems can be adapted to local conditions
and require low levels of input and technology.
Thus, they are accessible to local people.
Trees are an important component of tropical
agricultural system because they add stability and
sustainability. Their root systems help to prevent soil
erosion and increase infiltration of rainwater. The
roots also capture nutrients deep in the soil before
they can be leached out and lost. These nutrients are
returned to the soil surface for use by other crops
when the trees drop their leaves or are pruned. The
leaf drop also adds organic matter to the soil which
decreases soil compaction and improves water infil-
tration. The tree litter acts as a mulch protecting the
soil from erosion, conserving soil moisture and re-
ducing weed growth. Trees also protect crops and
animals from wind and sun. Trees intercropped with
agricultural crops provide shade and reduce wind
speed. This lowers soil temperatures and helps to
conserve moisture. Finally, trees supply other
products (food, fuel, fodder and wood) which add
economic value to the land and "stretch out" the
growing season by allowing harvests of more than
one crop. The additional products also furnish a
degree of economic protection by providing other
revenues to farmers in the event of loss of their
Trees play an important role in agriculture regard-
less of the other products they provide. But, it is
often their other uses that make them desirable.
Many times when selecting trees for agroforesty
systems we try to select trees that can provide many
products or uses to the farmer. Such trees are re-
ferred to as "multi-purpose trees.". These trees are
generally fast-growing species that combine well
with other crops. Examples of some of the many
products multi-purpose trees can provide are:
firewood, posts, construction wood, charcoal
fodder, food and fruits, medicine, gums and resins,
green manure and mulch. In addition, they may also
provide services such as windbreaks, live fences,
shade, flowers for honey production, beautification
and soil conser-vation. Many multipurpose trees
also have the ability to "fix" nitrogen by converting
nitrogen in the air to a form that is useable by plants.
Thus, they can be a source of organic fertilizer for
Although trees have many beneficial attributes,
they also have drawbacks which must be considered
when planning an agroforestry project. Perhaps the
greatest problem with combining trees and agricul-
tural crops is competition. Trees can compete with
food crops for light, water, nutrients and space.
Because of a tree's extensive root system it has a
greater ability to utilize water and nutrients in the
soil. A tree can also grow taller than most food crops
and shade them, reducing the amount of sunlight
available for the crop's growth and development.
More importantly, trees can take up valuable space
in a farmer's field that could be used for other crops.
Some trees also produce chemicals which can
inhibit the growth of other plants.
It is possible to reduce the impact of trees on other
crops through the careful selection of appropriate
trees and proper management. It is important to
select trees that fit the required use and space. Use
of deep-rooted tree species can decrease competi-
tion for water and nutrients. Trees with narrow or
light crowns will not shade as much ground as trees
with wide, heavy crowns. Also, trees can be pruned
or coppiced to reduce competition with crop plants.
Careful attention to the placement of the trees when
planting can avoid problems later.
There are innumerable combinations of trees with
food crops and/or livestock. Some of the more
important agroforestry systems are taungya, shade
trees with crops, live fences, windbreaks, trees in
pasture, vegetative barriers with crops, and mixed
gardens. Taungya is a practice used to reforest land.
Farmers plant trees on a plot of land and continue to
cultivate the land until the trees are too tall to allow
crops to grow. The land is then managed as a forest
plantation until the trees are ready for harvesting.
The practice of shade trees with crops combines
trees with crops (such as coffee, tea and cacao) that
grow well under shade. It is common to plant shade-
tolerant crops under timber or firewood species in
order to harvest both wood and a crop from the
land. Live fences are the use of living trees as fence
posts. Living trees will not rot like wooden posts
would and can also provide shade, wind protection,
forage, wood and fuel. Windbreaks are common in
areas with high winds. Trees are planted in rows
across the path of the prevailing wind to protect
crops downwind from the trees. Windbreaks helpto
reduce wind erosion and decrease crop losses due
to wind damage. Trees in pastures can provide
browse, fodder or shade. Low growing trees can be
grazed by cattle to provide an additional source of
forage. Larger trees in pastures provide shade for
livestock and also firewood or construction wood
for the landowner. Trees planted on the edge of
pasture provide windbreaks and firewood, and the
foliage can also be pruned for forage. Vegetative
barriers are strips of trees planted between rows of
crops; these are sometimes referred to as hedge-
rows. Hedgerows can provide protection from soil
erosion on slopes and act as windbreaks in windy
areas. Their prunings can be a source of mulch and
green manure for agricultural crops. Mixed gardens
are multi-storied and multi-layered plots which have
a mixture of plants and products. A mixed garden
may include tall trees that provide shade, firewood,
posts and construction wood; medium-size trees
which provide fruit, firewood and fodder; and a
layer of low-growing plants such as vegetables,
herbs, medicinal plants and flowers.
Many of the agroforestry systems described, as
well as others, can be seen in the Virgin Islands,
although they may not be recognized as such. Man-
jack and gumbo limbo trees are commonly used as
live fenceposts. Many pastures have large tibet or
mahogany trees in them for shade. The lots around
many homes in the Virgin Islands resemble mixed
gardens with combinations of banana, fruit trees,
herbs and vegetables. And many people on the
islands who have livestock may unknowingly make
use of an agroforestry practice when they stop by the
roadside to cut tan-tan foliage to feed to their cow or
goat. As with many agroforestry systems, these are
traditional practices which Virgin Islanders have
adapted to their needs and the local environment.
There is a great potential for the use of agrofor-
estry practices in Virgin Islandsagricultureto reduce
external inputs and enhance sustainability. Agro-
forestry techniques that are presently being used
can be modified to increase production and new
systems can be adapted to Virgin Islands conditions.
Some of the agroforestry systems and practices that
show promise for use in the Virgin Islands are live
fences, trees in pastures, hedgerow intercropping,
windbreaks, mixed gardens and intercropping. The
Agricultural Experiment Station at UVI is beginning
research to determine which agroforestry systems
are most applicable to conditions found in the Virgin
Islands. The research will include trials of multi-
purpose trees for use in the Virgin Islands and the
development of agroforestry systems and practices
appropriate for Virgin Islands conditions.
BOOKS CARDS STATIONERY GIFTS
#3 Strand St., Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S. V.I. 00820
Tel: (809) 773-2592
X X X X X Crops
X X X X X Trees along
X X X X Border
Food row -ri f- TMerow
X X X
X X X
X X X
X X X
X X X
X X X
X X X
X X X
Strip of Food Crops
X X X X X
X X X XX
XXX X X
x x x X: X
XXX X X
X X X X X
X X X I X X
X Annual food crop
Spatial arrangements of crops in agroforestry.
Strp of Trees
Forage Conservation For Improved
In The Virgin Islands
Martin B. Adjei
Research Assistant Professor Agronomy
UVI Agricultural Experiment Station
The natural grasslands of the Virgin Islands are a
valuable asset, capable of supporting a livestock
industry much larger than that which now exists.
Statistics given by the U.S. Department of Commerce
indicate that there were approximately 5,000 cattle
(beef and dairy) and 5,000 sheep and goats raised on
6,000 hectares (ha) of farmland in 1985. With pasture
improvement and proper management, these
figures could be doubled since smaller acreage will
then be able to support a much larger herd. In effect,
pasture improvement is equivalent to opening up
vast new acreages of land. With the present space
demands for industrial development, pasture devel-
opment and management become the only options
to relieve areas under heavy pressure of over-stocking.
Generally, nutrients for ruminant livestock
feeding can be produced cheaply from grassland. It
is therefore proper that the livestock industry of the
Virgin Islands is supported largely by grazing the
native pasture containing guineagrassand leucaena.
However, the climate of the Islands is characterized
by alternate wet and dry seasons which leads to
abundance of forage in the wet season but severe
shortages (both quantity and quality) in the dry
season. Presently, cyclic livestock reproductive and
growth rates in response to fluctuating forage avail-
ability are among the main, if not the main, con-
straints to improved livestock production on the
Islands. The recurrent animal weight losses during
the dry seasons need to be reversed. Storage of
excess forage in the wet season as hay, forage banks
or silage provide options for overcoming the poor
feed distribution problems.
This is feed produced by dehydrating green
forage which normally has a moisture content
between 75-80% to a moisture content below 20%.
Wet hay tends to ferment, generates heat and will
deteriorate or even burn. The best time to harvest
grass for hay is in the early flowering (boot) stage.
When cut in the early growth stage, nutritive value is
higher though yield is low and moisture content is
high. When cut after flowering, the increased yield
does not compensate for the decreased nutritive
value and palatability. Rapid drying with minimum
exposure to rain is necessary to avoid excessive loss
On St. Croix, large scale hay production is
achieved through tractor-driven balers. Approxi-
mately 700 tons of hay were produced in St. Croix in
1987. However, analyses of hay from four farms the
same year indicated low nutritive value of 3.5-4.6%
crude protein and 35-50% organic matter digesti-
bility. The major reason for the poor quality of hay is
that harvesting is usually done on emergency basis
when the guineagrass/leucaena forage is too
mature. The situation is compounded by the loss of
leucaena leaves during the drying process, leaving
only the fibrous stems in the hay bales. Additionally,
forage growth coincides with the rainfall season
making it extremely difficult to obtain good quality
Pangolagrass and stargrass are excellent alter-
natives to guineagrass for hay production on the
Islands. The UVI Agricultural Experiment Station and
Extension Service are encouraging the establish-
ment of grass mixtures with trailing legumes such as
siratro and perennial soybeans to improve the qual-
ity of hay produced. The improvement of quality of
mature grass hay through urea-ammoniation is also
receiving priority research attention.
These are reserves or areas of special purpose
pastures which are not utilized during the rainy
season but set aside to accumulate forage for future
use when forage growth is limited. They do not incur
the high cost of labor and machinery involved in the
production of hay or silage since forage is left in the
field, rather than being cut for storage in a shed or
silo. The main disadvantage of stockpiling forage is
that maturity effects usually result in low forage
Dry season cut-and-carry of guineagrass/leu-
caena forage is commonly practiced by small scale
farmers on the Islands to provide feed to livestock.
Research is being conducted at UVI-AES to screen
slow-maturing, seed-producing, dwarf elephant-
grass hybrids and other legumes for forage banks.
The effects of sequential deferment periods and har-
vesting intervals on yield and quality of several
grass/legume mixtures is being investigated locally.
This is forage preserved in fresh succulent condi-
tion by partial fermentation. The container within
which fermentation occurs and the end product is
stored, is the silo. The process of making silage is
referred to as ensiling. Ensiling is based on reduced
pH anaerobic conditions which prevent the adverse
effects of microbes and plant enzymes. The advan-
tages of making silage as compared to hay or forage
banks are that (1) less hindrance results from un-
favorable weather conditions (2) field shattering
losses are reduced with improved harvesting and
handling equipment, and (3) a well made silage can
be preserved indefinitely with little loss of nutrients
if not exposed. However, two prerequisites must be
met for proper ensiling. These are an anaerobic con-
tainer (silo) and an adequate supply of fermentable
substrates such as carbohydrates present in forage or
a sugar additive. Therefore, cereal crops such as corn
or sorghum produce the best silage. Molasses is
normally added to other grass/legume forage
Forage sorghum when planted in early September can produce dry
matter yields of approximately 7 tons per acre in St. Croix under rain-
fed and minimum fertilization conditions. Dr. M.B. Adjei, Research
Agronomist, discusses a leaf disease condition on one of the
sorghum varieties with Dr. D.S. Padda, UVI's Vice President for
Research and Land-Grant Affairs.
Sorghum production for silage was a popular
farming activity on St. Croix up to the late 1970s.
Increased production costs, diseases such as root-
knot nematodes which tend to increase under
repeated sorghum monoculture, and a price slump
for meat products are some of the reasons for the
discontinuation of silage making. Recently, how-
ever, there has been a renewed interest in growing
sorghum for silage on St. Croix, culminating in the
establishment of approximately 80 acres at Upper
Bethlehem in the 1991 growing season.
Mr. Antonio Rodriquez of A.E.S. mixes molasses in chopped
elephantgrass forage before ensiling to promote the proper fermen-
At the UVI-AES, research is being conducted to
develop sustainable grass/legume alley cropping
systems for silage production. For example, total
forage yields of approximately seven tons per acre
were obtained from alley-cropping Puerto Rico
forage sorghum with either leucaena or desman-
thus under rain-fed conditions and minimum ferti-
lizer input at St. Croix (Fig. 1). The crude protein
content and digestibility of sorghum forage at time
of harvest were 8.5% and 60%, respectively. How-
ever, both the crude protein content and digesti-
bility of leucaena forage (22% CP and 60% IVOMD)
were superior to those of desmanthus (14% CP and
45% IVOMD), indicating the great potential
leucaena holds for forage in the Caribbean. In that
S Leucaena alleycrop
Igg Desmanthus alleycrop
0 -- ---- I
FA PR HA ME
Figure 1. Cumulative total (grass + legume) dry matter yield from
two harvests as influenced by cropping system and grass variety
in St. Croix. (FA=Dekalb forage sorghum 25A; PR=Puerto Rico
forage sorghum 5BR; HA=Haygrazer sudangrass; and ME=Millet
- elephantgrass hybrid).
study, the addition of molasses to forage before
ensiling promoted the proper fermentation (pH 4.2)
and preservation in plastic bucket silos. Legume
growth during the dry season was used as mulch to
reduce the nitrogen fertilizer requirement for
subsequent sorghum crops.
Structures that can be considered for silos include
trenches, bunkers (horizontal trenches above
Plastic buckets with sealed plastic lids were successfully used as small-scale silos for forage conservation in the U.V.I.-A.E.S.
ground) and small sized silos such as concrete cul-
verts, plastic buckets, drums, and polyethylene bags,
provided they meet the following requirements of a
good silo: (1) that it excludes air from stored mate-
rial, (2) that it be properly reinforced to withstand
pressure, and (3) that adequate provision be made
for the escape of surplus juices either by drain or
gravel bottom. There is also a variety of machinery
presently available on the market for either large- or
small-scale chopping of forage for silage. Good
silage practices could be summarized as (1) using a
crop of high quality (high in energy nutrients), (2)
harvesting forage at the proper stage of growth (e.g.
sorghum at the soft dough stage, corn at the hard
dent stage or 35% dry matter content), (3) fine-
chopping forage (cut material to about 1/4-1/2 inch
pieces), (4) using a silo which excludes air and water,
(5) filling the silo rapidly and packing thoroughly to
remove air, (6) using a suitable seal at the top such as
a 6-mil plastic sheet to exclude air, and (7) leaving
the silo covered and undisturbed until ready to use
The shortage and low nutritive value of dry season
pasture impair ruminant livestock productivity -
growth rate and reproduction are adversely affected.
In order to realize the potential production of local
sheep, goats and cattle, every effort must be made to
improve the year-round quality of available forage.
Forage conservation options as described provide
useful alternatives to importation of expensive
A14rest '9 'f
'l ,. 6 ~Governor Alexander A. Farrelly also received a framed
I "Agrifest 91" poster from the Fair Board.
Rudolph Shulterbrandt, Director of Farm Exhibits, presented Gov-
ernor Alexander A. Farrelly with a copy of the "Selected Essays on
Food and Agriculture in the Virgin Islands." The essays were edited
by Dr. Darshan S. Padda, UVI's Vice President for Research and
Land Grant Affairs.
The Agriculture and Food Fair is a place where a variety of local
Larry Bough, Vice President of Operations for the Fair, accept- foods can be found. Over the years, Mrs. Alma Doward has been
ing a plaque for his outstanding work over the past twenty years feeding fairgoers with her exquisite cuisine.
from Fair Board member Rudolph Shulterbrandt.
The Agriculture and Food Fair gave local farmers the opportu-
nity to display and sell their produce to V.I. residents.
Cane anyone? Agrifest '91 had many local fruits; sugarcane was
the most sought after.
it's bath time!!
- -t j
., ,-. I ,
Sharing a special moment at the fair are 4-H member
Ruben Carti and his young doe goat.
4-H'ers demonstrating the proper procedure for presenting their animals
during the livestock competition.
- B-v*y' m
Scdoot fntat4cito at tdae ?ac
HOME E N-M'SS 0,- RE
r* 7 iL~i s sig a
kND TECH OL GY
S I I'i A
Showcasing V.I. culture is one of the highlights of the
fair. The Mocko Jumbie did a spirited dance routine
Calypsonian The Mighty Pat and the Express Band entertaining fairgoers.
-il-lar Oa PuM
Errol A. Chichester, DEDA Horticulturist, exhibiting the variety of fruits and
vegetables grown at the nursery.
Dr. Louis Petersen (right), Extension Program
Supervisor-Agriculture, discussing the CES
Agriculture Program with Governor Alexander A.
/i , -. -'. V 0
Dr. James Rakocy, associate Director for UVI Agricultural Experiment Station,
discussing the tilapia research with UVI President and Mrs. Kean.
k-'* i-"" i r
Abundant smiles accompanied the bountiful harvest at the Fair.
If You're in a Growing Business, Let Us Help You Grow TM
Before you buy, call Arthur Petersen, our Caribbean
Expert for a Quote
WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTORS FOR:
Lawn & Garden Supplies Greenhouses Auto-watering
Equipment Plant Containers Fungicides
Fertilizers & Fertilizer Injectors Insecticides
Ornamental Plants & Cuttings Soil Conditioners&
Growing Mediums Flower & Vegetable Seeds
Regional Sales Office
P.O. Box 484, Frederiksted, St. Croix, V.I. 00841-0484
Home Sales Office
2746 Chouteau Ave. St. Louis, Missouri 63103-0646
856586 HUMMERT SEED
FAX No. 314-771-5203 or 809-772-9289
Call or write for a free copy of the A.H. Hummert Seed Co.
Catalog of Horticultural Supplies.
Serving the Horticultural Community for Over 54 Years
Vitelco is making a positive
difference by being
involved in the community.
That's why we developed
a Big Brother Mentor
program with Addelita
Cancryn Jr. High School;
why we sponsor the
Governor's Cup Youth
Regatta; why we provide
up to $40,000 annually for
scholarships; and why we
support so many other
Whether its telephone
service or community
service, Vitelco is making
a positive difference and
that difference means a
better Virgin Islands.
VlmtSC S aur 6(Lio COrPoRMIoI
I^ t C I)
Implications for Virgin Islands
Program Leader Agriculture and Natural Resources
UVI Cooperative Extension Service
As various social, economic, political and bio-
logical systems deteriorate, the importance of sus-
tainability as a necessary fundamental goal has
received attention worldwide. In the field of agri-
culture, the need for sustainability has become a
major issue since it strongly influences the quality of
the environment and health of the population. For
example, the heavy use of chemical fertilizers and
pesticides has resulted in the increase of pesticide
resistant insects and contamination of groundwater.
Over the past few years, several national symposia
and conferences have been held and organizations
formed to address these issues.
In the U.S. House of Representatives, a bill, "The
Sustainable Agricultural Act of 1989," was intro-
duced to provide the opportunity for crop farmers
to convert from conventional methods of farming to
more sustainable agricultural practices.1 In return,
the farmers would have their crop base protected
and be eligible for deficiency payments on acreage
planted in resource-conserving crops or practices.
The bill also calls for an Extension Service Program to
assist producers in adopting sustainable agriculture
production systems and for USDA Soil Conservation
Service to revise its technical guidelines to include
the range of sustainable practices.
What is sustainable agriculture? A comprehensive,
working definition which accommodates all aspects
of sustainability, including farm profitability, has
been widely adopted by increasing numbers of
researchers, farmers, policy-makers and organiza-
tions worldwide. Sustainable agriculture is an agri-
cultural system that is designed to be productive, in
the short- and long-term, while being ecologically
sound, economically viable, socially just and
humane.2 This concept of sustainable agriculture
establishes four basic standards by which widely
divergent agricultural practices and conditions can
be evaluated and modified, if necessary, to create
sustainable systems. Also, the four criteria for sus-
tainability can be applied over both the short and
long-terms to all aspects of any agricultural system,
from production and marketing to processing and
The first criteria for sustainability is that the system
would be ecologically sound or "healthy ... whole
and in good condition." The first and most impor-
tant step is assuring the health of the soil. It is essen-
tial to establish and maintain an active and abundant
soil life in order to produce healthy plants. Soil
health is achieved by such practices as balanced crop
rotations, cover crops, addition of organic matter,
essential nutrients and organisms, proper tillage
practices and sound water management. An eco-
logically sound agriculture must also be resource
efficient in order to conserve precious resources,
avoid system toxicity and decrease input costs.
The second test of a sustainable agriculture is that
it should be economically viable. Essential to this
perspective is that there should be a positive net
return in terms of total resources used, including
The third requirement for a sustainable agricul-
ture is that it should be socially just or "equitable,
right or fair." There are two essential components of
social justice: equitable control of resources and full
participation. Farmers need access to land and ade-
quate resources to succeed, including capital, tech-
nical assistance and marketing opportunities. They
also need to participate fully in the vital decisions
that determine their lives. A farmers' cooperative is a
good example of this requirement, where there is
recognition of basic rights, including democratic
voting and shared ownership.
The fourth and final requirement for sustainability
is that it should be humane or "humankind: kind,
sympathetic, etc." It is important that the highest
values apply to human interactions. The funda-
mental dignity of farmers must be recognized, and
relationships must incorporate such values as
honesty, self-respect and cooperation if we are to
survive. Also, for agriculture to be sustainable, the
culture must be preserved and nurtured. Cultural
roots are as important to agriculture as plant roots.
Without strong community and vibrant cultures, a
sustainable agriculture will not flourish.
What implications does sustainable agriculture
have for the Virgin Islands? In the Virgin Islands, asin
other regions of the Caribbean, the concept of sus-
tainable agriculture has become somewhat of a
debatable subject meaning different things to dif-
ferent people. The use of other terms, such as alter-
native agriculture, low-input agriculture, renewable
and organic farming, as synonymous to sustainable
agriculture, have added to the confusion. Virgin
Islands farmers have been using traditional, low-
input agriculture practices for many years. These
practices include the use of indigenous crops and
local varieties, animal manures for fertilizers, dried-
grass mulches to control weeds, intercropping for
pest and weed control, and terracing to control soil
Although low levels of crop yields and income are
normally derived from traditional farming practices,
local producers (the majority of which are over 50
years old) oftentimes associate a change in tech-
nology with an increase in risks and, therefore, they
do not readily adopt the modern technology. To the
average farmer this new technology requires a great
deal of capital outlay. The typical farmer is more
concerned with minimizing his risks rather than
maximizing profits. Also, more farmers are realizing
that some of the conventional practices such as
chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers are
giving a negative impact on both the environment
and public health. Thus, it appears that most tradi-
tional and conventional agricultural systems contain
fundamental flaws. But, is there a viable alternative?
Sustainable agriculture offers the possibility of a
new common ground: a balance between tradi-
tional and conventional agriculture. It seeks to take
the best aspects of both traditional wisdom and the
latest scientific advances. This results in integrated,
nature-based agriculture systems which are
designed to be more self-reliant, resource-
conserving and productive in both the short and
Listed below are production practices using tra-
ditional, conventional and improved sustainable
technologies. The improved sustainable technology
is based on the requirements to increase production
yield and income with concern for resources and the
Improved varieties, tested
under local conditions
Manure and commercial
Integrated pest management
1. Alternative Agriculture News, Institute of Alter-
native Agriculture, Vol. 7, No. 12, Dec. 1989.
2. Gips, Terry. "What is Sustainable Agriculture?"
Manna, Vol. 1, No. 4, July/August 1984, p. 2.
Bananas inter-planted with sorre and pak choy.
- Baansin ter-p t, se .
Bananas inter-planted with sorrel and pak choy.
,- 4 1.. .-4' .
sr . .r-* .,.'U.. ag .
M W-C, .t .Q.^-,, h. -
"" r- .,- .... -?, ..fc- ^ ,
Recycled animal manure adds nutrients and improves organic matter content.
Benefits From A Combined Family
Farming System: Livestock And Crops
Extension Assistant Agriculture
UVI Cooperative Extension Service
In the Virgin Islands the majority of farmers and
small producers have mixed enterprises that include
crop and livestock production. This integrated
approach allows for the optimum use of these enter-
prises, consumerable yields and residues which are
continuously recycled in (1) an ecologically self-
sustainable and (2) an economically feasible family
farming system. In fact, it is the recyclable nature of
these products and by-products which allows for the
supplementing of fertilizer, pesticide and energy
production inputs. These synthesized inputs, used
exclusively or even just liberally, would raise input
costs to production-crippling heights and lower
farm family incomes to household threatening
TYPES OF LIVESTOCK AND
LIVESTOCK FOOD PRODUCTS
Meat, Milk, Animal Power
(Utilization of grazing
lands, harvested forage
and crop residues)
(Utilization of concen-
trated feed and by-
The following is a listing of points that highlight
some of the benefits of this combined system:
1. More effective use of natural resources: climate,
land, soil, vegetation, animal life, etc.
(a) Conversion of crop residues and by-products
into "bio-waste" production inputs for crop
(b) Production of animal manures for application
to land for improvement of soil productivity.
(c) Contribution to soil conservation and sus-
tained land productivity by use of forages
grown in rotations to control weeds and pests
and to improve soil fertility.
2. Increased contributions to income and food
(a) Livestock enterprises, utilizing forages, pro-
vide supplemental income and increase food
(b) Livestock enterprises stabilize and expand
seasonal and yearly food production, maxi-
mize the distribution of labor and power re-
quirements for production, and promote
more self-sustainable production operations
which improve net income and maintain a
more profitable farming system.
HOW LIVESTOCK IMPROVE THE PROFITABILITY
OF FAMILY FARMING SYSTEMS
Providing Nitrogen in the Crop Rotation
Forage legumes in cropping systems largely elimi-
nate the need for nitrogen fertilizers. There is evi-
dence that a well-adapted perennial forage legume
will contribute 100 190 pounds of nitrogen per acre
to the soil for each year of growth. The nitrogen will
be released by normal decay of legume roots and
nodules over a period of two to three years.
Providing Feed for Livestock
Forage is easily managed in order to produce
highly nutritious feed for ruminant livestock in the
form of pasture, feed cut and feed green, grass
silage or hay. These forages should be harvested or
grazed before or whenever the crop reaches the
blooming or heading stage to ensure maximum
Providing Animal Manure for Soil Productivity
The raising of ruminant livestock in mixed farm-
ing systems allows for the collection of animal
manures on the land for incorporation in soil during
land preparation for crop production. Manures are
strongly recognized as being beneficial to crops
when incorporated in the soil, but their supply is a
when incorporated in the soil, but their supply is
very small unless livestock enterprises are included
in a substantial way in farming systems. In addition to
-': ..- p
i;L~Zi 'L .-
supplying major nutrient elements (nitrogen, phos-
phate, potash, calcium and magnesium) manures
are quite useful in producing "trace" elements in an
accessible form. These elements are essential for
crop growth. They are iron, zinc, manganese,
copper, boron, and molybdenum. The manures also
extend through two or more cropping seasons.
Their effective use involves little or no purchase
Profitable Use of Crop Residues and By-Products
Livestock provide an excellent means of utilizing
crop residues and by-products to add to total farm
production. Vines, stalks, banana leaves, beantops,
and other plant residues may be used for live-stock
feed. These plant products, after being fed, may be
returned to the soil as manure. In such forms, they
are more useful in maintaining soil fertility than
being incorporated into the soil directly.
LAND RESOURCES AND LIVESTOCK
Improved Control of Plant Pests
There is a reduction in the abundance of insect
pests, nematodes, plant diseases and weeds that
attack crops when there is a regular sequence of
perennial forages for two or more years. These pests
are naturally decimated during the periods when
forages are grown on the fields because of the
absence of susceptible host plants.
Cattle, sheep and goats have a dual role, being
important both for utilizing natural grazing land,
and for combined crop/livestock farming. These ru-
minants produce milk and meat and could also
supply animal power as done in the other islands and
Pigs and poultry are widely used in developing
countries, supported largely by concentrated feeds
and by-products. These animals could consume
kitchen waste and other available feedstuff that
would otherwise be discarded. However, for com-
mercial enterprises, more substantial feed sources
Pigs and poultry enterprises enjoy a good market,
but feed costs often make them less profitable than
the ruminant types; however, cellulosic feed mate-
rials, in general, are beneficial to crop production
and provide opportunities for strengthening the
family farming system.
FOR yOUR pApER, plASTiC
ANd clEANiNq suppliES
32 STRAND STREET CHRISTIANSTED
ST. CROIX, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00820
PHONE: (809) 7730030
THE FIGAR, INC.
RUFINO MORALES, JR.
STEELWORKERS UNION, NATIONAL
P C'S BOOKSTORE
MIDDLE EAST LAUNDRY
TALK OF THE TOWN
ANGELIC BOOK STORE
KIRBCO RADIO & T.V.
UNITED IND. WORKERS UNION V.I.
SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
STEELWORKERS UNION, LOCAL
Local No. 8248
M & J SPORTWEAR
NICK & JERRY'S
V.I. SMALL BUSINESS
DR. C. TEJO
DR. B. FRANK
APT & CO.
MID-ISLAND MEN'S WEAR
Computers & Software
Children & Infants
Jewelry (Gifts & Things)
Furniture & Appliances
Deli & Snackbar
Electronics, Sales & Repairs
Boutique & Custom Shop
Bar & Restaurant
Bar & Restaurant
Books & Gifts
Electronic Sales & Repair
Ice Cream Parlor
U.S. S.B.A. &
University of the Virgin Islands
General Practitioner & Lab
Accting. & Notary Public
To All Participating in the 1992 Agriculture and Food Fair
P.O. Box 763 Christiansted, St. Croix U.S.V.I. 00820
Shrimp Farming: A Potential Industry
For The Virgin Islands
lames E. Rakocy
Associate Director and Research Aquaculturist
UVI Agricultural Experiment Station
QUESTION: What has five pairs of legs, eyes on
stalks, and a skeleton on the outside of
ANSWER: No, it's not a character in a Steven
Spielberg film, but it does play a large
role in the world commerce in spite of
a name that implies puniness. It's the
lowly shrimp, which is creating quite a
stir among a new breed of farmers who
grow their crops in water.
While shrimp landings from the capture fishery
approach their limit and no longer satisfy world
markets, the marine shrimp farming industry is
making remarkable progress. More than 50
countries are currently engaged in the farming of
shrimp in saltwater ponds or tanks. In 1990 the
world's shrimp farmers produced a record crop of
1.4 billion pounds (Ibs.) of whole shrimp, which re-
presented more than 25% of the total world supply.
If production continues to expand at the current
rate, one out of every two Ibs. of shrimp will be farm-
raised by the year 2000, when farm output of shrimp
is expected to reach 3.3 billion Ibs., worth an
incredible $8 billion.
The leading shrimp-farming countries are China
(364 million Ibs. in 1989), Indonesia, Thailand (198
million Ibs. each), the Philippines (110 million Ibs.)
and Ecuador (99 million Ibs.). In the United States, 2.2
million Ibs. of shrimp are grown on approximately 25
farms located in South Carolina, Texas, Hawaii and
Puerto Rico. Among the Caribbean islands, Cuba is
the leading country with shrimp production of
772,000 Ibs. from two farms, followed by the Domi-
nican Republic with 110,000 Ibs. from four farms.
There are also marine farms in Anguilla, Antigua, the
Bahamas, St. Kitts and Trinidad. Puerto Rico has one
shrimp farm in operation with several more in the
construction or planning stages.
The picture of world shrimp farming is changing
rapidly as tropical and subtropical countries
scramble to cash in on the lucrative shrimp market.
The world's two largest shrimp importers are Japan
(580 million Ibs. in 1989) and the United States (470
million Ibs.), but shrimp exports to the European
Economic Community are increasing rapidly (13.5%
annually between 1977 and 1986). The United States
Farm-raised tiger shrimp are being sold live at a Hong Kong market.
imports approximately 275 to 290 million Ibs. of
farm-raised shrimp with a value of $825 million to $1
billion. These hugh markets have a staggering
impact on the economies of shrimp producing
countries. For example, shrimp farming generates
20% of Ecuador's export earnings ($378 million in
1988) and provides direct employment for nearly
82,000 people. Ecuador has 1,422 shrimp farms, 55
hatcheries, 75 packing plants and 120 export
The delicious-tasting shrimp, at the center of so
much activity, belongs to a group of aquatic animals
known as crustaceans, that have external skeletons,
jointed appendages, segmented bodies, and use
gills to breathe. Shrimp have 19 body segments,
three pairs of antennae, five pairs of walking legs,
and five pairs of appendages pleopodss) on the
abdomen that are used for swimming. An interesting
feature of crustaceans is that they must periodically
shed their exoskeleton (carapace) to grow. How-
ever, a new, larger carapace is quickly secreted for
There are more than 15 species of shrimp
belonging to the genus Penaeus, that are commer-
cially important. The bulk of world production
comes from the species P. monodon (tiger shrimp),
P. indicus (Indian shrimp), P. merguiensis (banana
shrimp), all of which are from tropical and subtropi-
cal Asia, P. orientalis (oriental shrimp) and P. japon-
icus (kuruma shrimp) from temperate Asia, and P.
vannamei (white-leg shrimp) from Central and
South America. Additional shrimp of economic
importance in Central and South America, including
the Caribbean Region, are P. stylirostris (blue
shrimp), P. aztecus (brown shrimp), P. duorarum and
P. setifera (pink shrimp), and P. schmitti (southern
white shrimp). These shrimp species differ in many
important aspects such as ease of breeding, growth
rates, survival and tolerance to environmental stress.
Most shrimp farms in the Caribbean use P. vannamei
or, to a lesser extent, P. stylirostris, but some Asian
species are also being utilized.
Traditionally, shrimp were cultured in simple
ponds that were built in tidal flats and filled by
incoming tidal flow carrying large .numbers of
shrimp larvae. When the pond was full, a sluice gate
was closed, thereby trapping the shrimp larvae in the
pond where they grew on natural foods. To harvest
these shrimp, the sluice gate was opened during low
tide and the shrimp were captured in a bag net that
was placed across the flow of outrushing water. This
harvest method is still used today along with seines
and cast nets. Without feeding the shrimp or ferti-
lizing the pond to stimulate the growth of natural
foods, production was quite low, about 100
Ibs./acre/year. There was no control on the number
or type of larvae that entered the pond. Therefore,
harvests could be disappointing if predaceous fish
larvae gained access to the pond.
This intensive production pond (2.5 acres) in Southern Thailand will
produce 17,600 Ibs. of tiger shrimp per year. Note that six of the eight
paddlewheel aerators are visible. In the foreground is a drainage
Today, there are many advances on the traditional
method. Fertilizers or manures are added to the
pond to enhance the production of natural foods.
Diets are supplemented with either fresh feedstuffs
(clams, mussels, trash fish) or formulated feeds. Arti-
ficial feeds, which contain high protein levels and
essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, are often
used exclusively to satisfy all nutritional require-
ments. High quality culture water is maintained by
daily partial water exchanges and by continuous
aeration. Shrimp larvae are captured in the wild so
that desired species are stocked at optimum rates, or
else shrimp hatcheries are utilized to produce a con-
tinuous supply of larvae to meet production
schedules. Antibiotics and other chemicals are
available to treat diseases.
Although hatchery production of shrimp larvae is
expanding rapidly, most of the global requirement
for seed-stock currently comes from the capture of
wild larvae. Mature male and female shrimp mate far
from the coast. Their eggs quickly hatch into larvae
that are carried by currents toward the shoreline.
After three or four weeks of development the larvae
reach a postlarval stage in which they resemble
miniature shrimp about 1/2 to 1 inch in length. Indi-
vidual fishermen capture these postlarvae (PLs) with
fine-mesh scissor nets held out in front of them as
they wade through shallow water. In Ecuador some
32,000 fishermen are involved in this activity. On a
good day a fisherman can capture 20,000 to 50,000
PLs. After fish and unsuitable shrimp species are
sorted out, the valuable PLs (P. vannamei in Ecuador)
are sold to middlemen who transport them in
aerated containers to farm sites. The disadvantages
of capturing PLs are the difficulties of sorting them,
the unpredictable fluctuations of supply, and the
social conflicts that arise if too many PLs are taken
and the shrimp fishery declines.
Shrimp hatcheries are needed to ensure a con-
sistent supply of larvae and controlled expansion of
the industry. Artificial breeding methods have been
developed for all major shrimp species. With some
species it is relatively easy to collect gravid females
from the wild and bring them to the hatchery where
they readily spawn. In Ecuador gravid females are
worth a veritable fortune ($15 to $20 each) to fisher-
men because just one female can produce more
than 100,000 eggs per spawning. Other species are
difficult to catch in the wild and must be raised to a
state of spawning readiness in the hatchery, a
process that is referred to as "maturation." Excellent
water quality (achieved through aeration and water
exchange), controlled environmental conditions
(light, temperature, salinity), and natural foods
(squid, clams, mussels, shrimp) in sufficient quanti-
ties are needed for maturation. Some species
require an additional technique to induce matura-
tion and spawning. Unilateral eyestalk ablation
appears to be rather bizarre, but its discovery was a
major breakthrough. It involves the removal of one
eye and the supporting stalk from the female. The
eyestalk is the production site for a gonad inhibiting
hormone. With the removal of the eyestalk, egg
protein synthesis is stimulated and the interval
between spawning is reduced from 10-67 days to 3-
Mating occurs at night shortly after pairs or
batches of mature females and males are placed
together in small circular tanks at a 1:1 sex ratio. The
male transfers a sac of sperm (spermatophore) into a
structure (thelycum) on the underside of the female.
The female may carry the spermatophore around for
some time before spawning. The sperm stay alive for
several weeks and can be used to fertilize as many as
three successive spawns. The female spawns at night
by extruding her eggs past the spermatophore
where they are fertilized. The eggs, which hatch in
less than one day, or the newly-hatched larvae are
generally siphoned into a larval rearing tank where a
density of 200-300 larvae/liter is maintained.
Shrimp go through three larval stages (nauplius,
protozoea and mysis) before they become post-
larvae (PLs) and begin to resemble adult shrimp (see
diagram of developmental stages). The nauplius is
planktonic (floats in the water) and exists on its yolk
sac. After two to three days it metamorphoses into a
protozoea which begins to consume unicellular
algae. This is a very critical stage because the pre-
ferred species of algae must be present at optimum
concentrations. After three to six days the protozoea
metamorphoses into a mysis which continues to
filter-feed on algae but also begins to consume small
zooplankton. The mysis metamorphoses into a
postlarva in three to five days and loses its ability to
filter-feed on algae. Postlarvae prefer to capture and
eat zooplankton, but after five days, when they are
referred to as PL5, they begin to settle on the bottom
and sides of the tank and become capable of eating
other natural foods and formulated diets. Density is
reduced to 150 larvae/liter at PL At 20 days (PL20)
and a length of one inch, postlarvae are considered
to be juveniles and are strong enough for stocking
into production ponds.
Raising food for shrimp larvae is a science in itself.
Special facilities are used to raise nutritious species
of algae (Chaetocerus, Skeletonema, and Tetra-
selmis spp.), brine shrimp nauplii (Artemia salina),
and rotifers (Brachionus plicatilis). Algae are cul-
tured under optimum temperature, lighting and
aeration in filtered seawater that is enriched with
essential growth nutrients. When optimum numbers
of algal cells are inoculated into enriched seawater,
they multiply rapidly, reaching a population peak in
two to four days. Using cells from a stock culture that
is continuously maintained, algae are first cultured
in small flasks (50 milliliters (ml) in volume), which
are used as the inoculum for larger cultures (12-20
liters), which in turn are used as the inoculum for the
final cultures (300 to 1000 liters). Algal cells may be
harvested with plankton nets, by centrifuging, by
chemical flocculation, or by pumping the cultures
directly into the larval rearing tank. A density of at
least 10,000 algal cells/ml is needed in the larval rear-
ing tank. Brine shrimp nauplii and rotifers provide
the zooplankton component of the larval shrimp
diet. Brine shrimp are miniature shrimp that are less
than one-half inch in length at maturity. Brine
shrimp nauplii are obtained from eggs that are col-
lected from accumulations along the shores of salt
lakes and are available commercially. The eggs are
placed in aerated seawater at a rate of less than ten
grams/ liter. Hatching occurs quickly, at which time
the nauplii are filtered through a screen, washed,
and then fed to the shrimp larvae at a density of 1-2
nauplii/ml in the mysis stage and 3 nauplii/ml in the
PL stage. Rotifers, which are grown on cultures of
green algae and yeast, can be used in place of brine
Tiger shrimp postlarvae ready to be stocked into production ponds.
Systems for growing juvenile shrimp (PL20) to mar-
ketable size are classified by level of production
intensity, the three major classifications being
extensive, semi-intensive and intensive. With in-
creasing intensity, there is an increase in the number
of inputs and a corresponding increase in the
amount of production. Extensive production takes
place in large ponds that are filled by tidal flow. Juve-
nile shrimp are stocked at a rate of 0.5-2/m2(square
meter). The ponds are fertilized with triple super
phosphate and urea. Animal manures may be used
for additional nutrient input. Water quality is main-
tained by periodic water exchange through tidal
flow. The shrimp are harvested after four to five
months of growth; therefore two to three crops per
year are possible. The average size of tiger shrimp at
harvest is 50 grams or nine shrimp/lb. Annual pro-
duction is low (100-500 Ibs./acre), but production
costs and risks are also low, making this system prof-
itable in regions where land and labor are inexpensive
and large tracts of coastal land are available for pond
Semi-intensive production is generally carried out
in rectangular ponds about 2.5-5 acres in area,
although ponds as large as 50 acres are used in South
and Central America. The ponds are stocked with
juvenile shrimp at a rate of 2-10/m 2. Semi-intensive
farms are likely to have a hatchery. Fertilizers and
manures are used to enhance the production of
natural foods. In addition, fresh feedstuffs (trash
fish) and formulated feeds (dry pellets) are fed one
to five times daily at a rate of 25% of shrimp body
weight in the early juvenile stage, decreasing grad-
ually to 2-4% before harvest. The feed conversion
ratio (FCR) ranges from 1.0-1.5 with high quality
feeds and 1.5-2.1 with diets that are less nutritionally
complete. A FCR of 1.5 means that shrimp gain 1 Ib.
when they are fed 1.5 Ibs. of feed. Over a 4-month
production cycle, daily water exchange, using
pumps, is gradually increased from 0% initially to
30% during the last month. Electric paddlewheel
aerators may be used in the final stages of produc-
tion to improve water quality by increasing oxygen
concentrations. Between crops, the pond bottom
may be tilled to promote the oxidation of organic
matter and limed to neutralize acids. Annual pro-
duction from two crops ranges from 1,000-3,500 Ibs./
acre. With this system the average tiger shrimp size
at harvest is 33-40 grams or 14-11 shrimp/lb. Semi-
intensive systems are more profitable than extensive
systems. Although production costs are higher, net
revenue is greater due to increased production.
Intensive production is practiced in small rectan-
gular ponds that are 1.25-2.5 acres in area. These
ponds are often built with central drains that facili-
tate the removal of organic wastes. The ponds are
stocked wtih juveniles at a rate of 15-50/m2, the
average being 30/m2. Fertilization is seldom neces-
sary because there are generally enough nutrients in
Tiger shrimp brood stock being prepared for spawning at a hatchery
in the Philippines.
the bottom sediments to trigger a phytoplankton
bloom when the pond is refilled. The pond bottom is
tilled and limed between crops. The shrimp are fed a
nutritionally-complete diet 3-6 times per day for 4
months. Feeding trays, small rectangular or circular
nets with a fine mesh, are used to avoid under-
feeding or overfeeding. About 1-3% of each feed
allotment is placed on the tray and submerged in the
pond for 2 hours. Examination of these trays for feed
residue allows the farmer to guage feeding
response. It is particularly important to avoid over-
feeding as this will lead to rapid deterioration of
water quality. Daily water exchange ranges from 0-
5% in the first month to 20-40% in the fourth month.
The continuous use of paddlewheel aerators is
necessary to provide adequate oxygen concentra-
tions with such heavy stocking and feeding rates.
Four paddlewheel aerators (1 horsepower each) are
needed for every 1.25 acres of pond surface area.
However, only some of the aerators are turned on in
the early stages of the production cycle when
feeding is relatively light and adequate oxygen is
supplied through natural mechanisms. The high
stocking densities of intensive systems result in
shrimp of smaller size at harvest, the average size
being 28-33 grams or 16-14 shrimp/lb. for tiger
shrimp. With two crops per year, annual yields from
intensive production range from 4,000-19,000
Ibs./acre. Although intensive systems generate sub-
stantial gross income and have significant profit
potential, operating costs are many times higher
than semi-intensive systems, especially when labor
and electrical costs are high. During periods of de-
clining shrimp prices, intensive producers generally
fall back to semi-intensive systems.
The Virgin Islands has ideal conditions for raising
shrimp. The warm climate would allow year round
production. The abundant sunshine and strong
trade winds would create a healthy environment for
shrimp by stimulating phytoplankton growth and
ensuring good mixing of pond water. The alkaline
soils would neutralize acids in pond bottom sedi-
ments. And the ocean would be a limitless source of
unpolluted saltwater for filling ponds and ex-
changing water during the growing season. St. Croix
already had a shrimp hatchery at Rust-op-Twist with
a proven record of success. In the early 1980s, a
company (Maritek) ran the hatchery to produce PLs
(1 million per month) which were shipped by plane
in styrofoam boxes to its production facility in the
Bahamas. The company eventually relocated the
hatchery to its Bahama facilities. Most of the highly
trained employees from St. Croix are still in the
Virgin Islands working in other capacities.
Shrimp farming in the Virgin Islands should be
directed at meeting local demand and providing
limited exports to neighboring islands. The Virgin
Islands could compete in this market by offering a
superior product on a regular basis with little
advance notice. The product could be sold fresh
(never frozen) or even live if customers were willing
to buy them at the farm. Most of the shrimp now sold
in the Virgin Islands are imported in 5-lb. ice blocks.
They were processed months earlier and may have
come from as far away as Southeast Asia. The Virgin
Islands could not compete in the international
shrimp market because production costs are quite
low in the major shrimp-producing countries and
prices are very competitive.
The local demand for shrimp is uncertain. If Virgin
Islanders consume shrimp at a rate equal to the
national yearly average (2.3 Ibs./person), then
annual shrimp imports would be approximately
230,000 Ibs. Government statistics indicate lower
import levels, but seafood importers say that 230,000
Ibs. is a minimum figure and that the actual amount
is probably much higher. The value of shrimp
imports would therefore exceed $1 million annually.
This quantity of shrimp tails represents 368,000 Ibs. of
whole shrimp (tail weight is 62% of whole weight).
Local production would not displace all imports, but
the volume of demand indicates that there is room
for a local shrimp farming industry.
Availability and cost of land are major constraints
to shrimp farming in the Virgin Islands. Ponds are
constructed on level land at low elevations adjacent
to the sea. On St. Croix there is suitable land on the
south shore behind Halfpenny and Menchenil Bays,
which is currently being used for livestock grazing.
The high cost of land would necessitate some sort of
leasing arrangement rather than purchase and the
utilization of intensive production methods.
Early developmental stages of
penaeid shrimp: a) nauplius; b)
protozoea; c) mysis; d)
postlarva. (From S. Dobkin.
1961. Early developmental
stages of the pink shrimp,
Penaeus duorarum, from
Florida waters. Fisher Bulletin
190. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Ser-
^^ 4- ^T^'C -
^ /l I
An intensive shrimp farm with eight 1.25-acre
ponds on 17 acres of land could produce 100,000 Ibs.
of shrimp annually with a wholesale value of
$400,000. This is a conservative production estimate,
but the wholesale price of $4.00/lb. is higher than
world market price (about $3.00/lb.) to allow for
extra quality (freshness) and reduced shipping and
storage expenses. (Farmgate value of shrimp was
$4.40/lb. in Hawaii in 1988.) Moreover, much of the
product could be marketed directly at retail prices.
With intensive farming, production costs must be
held down to ensure profitability. Major production
expenses would be feed (imported from the U.S.)
and PLs (imported from Central America initially and
later produced on site, the surplus being sold to
other producers). The annual requirement for seed-
stock (PL0) would be two million, assuming 75'% sur-
vival and a 30-gram harvest weight (24 tails/lb.).
Labor and electricity would be the other major
expenses. An operation of this size could be run by
one manager, living at the farm, and two full-time
laborers with additional part-time help during
harvest. The farm would have to be managed very
efficiently to reduce electrical costs, and the lower
industrial or agricultural rates for electricity would
be needed. Substantial savings in investment and
operational costs could be realized through econo-
mies of scale, i.e., building larger farms.
Shrimp farming offers an exciting possibility for
the diversification of the Virgin Islands economy. As
recent events (hurricane, war, recession) have
shown, tourism cannot be relied upon solely to fuel
economic development. New economic endeavors
are needed if we are to command our course into
the 21st century. Perhaps a little creature with five
pairs of legs will assist us with our journey.
Good News: Nutrition Can Help
You Prevent Cancer Risks!
Extension Specialist Food and Nutrition
UVI Cooperative Extension Service
Cancer is a life threatening disease that should be
of everybody's concern. It affects people regardless
of age, sex, race, ethnic groups or countries of
origin. For that reason, well should be interested in
finding ways to prevent it.
Recent research has been constantly pointing out
the relationship between nutrition and cancer. Even
when in some cases the evidence is still not conclu-
sive, there are strong indications that nutrition can
increase or decrease the risk of cancer.
Scientists have found in their cancer research that
eighty percent of cancer may be related to the
environment and the things we eat, drink and
smoke. Thirty-five percent of all cancer deaths may
be related to what we eat, according to the National
Since food habits are formed early in life, it is
important to start the cancer prevention as soon as
possible. The American Institute of Cancer Research
(AICR) has developed Dietary Guidelines to lower
1. Reduce the intake of dietary fat both satur-
ated and unsaturated from the current average of
approximately 40% to a level of 30% of total calories.
2. Increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables
and whole grain cereals.
3. Consume salt-cured, smoked and charcoal-
broiled food only in moderation.
4. Drink alcoholic beverages only in moderation.
In order to implement the guidelines, the AICR
also developed a Food Guide (see inverted pyra-
mid). They gave major consideration in the guide to
meeting the Recommended Dietary Allowances
(RDA) for essential nutrients.
The pyramid shows the emphasis given to food
consumption in each category. Foods at the top
should be eaten liberally and those at the second
level should be eaten more moderately. Foods in the
bottom categories of the guide should be eaten very
moderately, or sparingly.
The National Cancer Institute has proposed the
following to reduce your cancer risk:
Check on your dietary fiber intake:
Dietary fiber is material from plant cells that
human cannot digest or can only partially digest. It
helps move food through the intestines and out of
A diet high in fiber (20-30 grams) a day and low in
fat (30%) may reduce the risk of cancer of the colon
Americans now eat about 11 grams of fiber daily.
The National Cancer Institute recommends that the
amount of fiber in the diet be doubled, but should
not exceed 35 grams daily, because of possible
adverse effects. Consume rich foods rathan than
fiber supplement; unless your doctor advises you to
To increase your fiber intake, increase consump-
tion of the following foods:
1. Bread, rolls, pastas, cereals made with whole
grain and whole grain flours of all kinds.
2. Fruits and vegetables, both fresh and frozen;
apples and potatoes with skin left on.
3. Dry beans and peas.
Check your fat intake.
Some evidence indicates that diets high in fat may
increase the risk of cancers of the colon, breast,
prostate and lining of the uterus. Diets low in fat
(30%) may reduce these risks and also help to reduce
To reduce the fat in your diet:
1. Choose more often the lean cuts of beef, lamb
2. Trim away all the fat you can see before you
cook the meat, and again before you eat it.
3. Choose more often poultry such as chicken
and turkey. Remove the skin and visible fat before
4. Choose more often fresh fish and shellfish. Use
frozen seafoods without sauce and canned fish
packed in water rather than oil. Avoid fried seafood.
5. Use dry beans and peas. Use fewer nuts and
6. For snacks use fresh or frozen fruits and vege-
tables and fewer pastries and deep fried foods.
7. Choose low fat dairy products rather than those
made with whole milk or cream.
8. Choose reduced-calorie or low-fat salad
dressing and margarine.
9. Use cooking methods that add little or nofatto
Fruits and vegetables:
Diets rich in foods containing vitamins A and C,
and a precursor of vitamin A called betacarotene,
may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Diets low in
vitamin A actually may increase the risk for some
Those nutrients are found in manyfruitsand vege-
tables such as the following:
Dark green vegetables
Red, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits
Juices made from the above fruits and
Vegetables from the cabbage family:
Cruciferous vegetables may reduce cancer risk.
The following are some examples:
Turnips and their greens
If you decide to follow these guidelines for
healthy eating, you are probably not only lowering
your cancer risk, but reducing your heart disease
risk, improving your sugar levels and avoiding
obesity. Healthy eating does not have to be boring.
A variety of recipes to lower cancer risk, have been
developed by the nutritionists of AICR and others.
They can help you enjoy tasty and satisfying food.
Alvin Speck says:
Be Water Smart!!!
Call us at Caledonia Springs at
For all your bottled water needs!!!
0/ and his friends at
salute the 1992 Agriculture and Food Fair
and remind everyone that all living things
need water to grow !!!
Selling your car or
Having a yard sale?i
'a irJ I !U11
Sending a message
to a loved one?
How about a birthday
We'll Run Your Classified ad for
That's right. We'll run your non-commercial
classified ads for free in the St. Croix Edition
of the Daily News. This special section pub-
lishes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday,
and features news and advertising of special
interest to you.
So don't be shy. Just call in your ad 773-
4425 or fax it to us 773-1621. If you're calling
to wish a friend a birthday greeting, please
call in advance so it will appear in the
newspaper on time.
This offer is subject to expire at anytime.
The Virgin Islands
6 Company St.
Christiansted, St. Croix
Virgin Islands Pesticide Applicator
Extension Specialist Natural Resources
UVI Cooperative Extension Service
The University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative
Extension Service provides learning opportunities
for pesticide users or interested persons who desire
to be legal and competent applicators. The
Cooperative Extension Service is the only agency in
the Virgin Islands authorized to conduct pesticide
applicator training for certification.
The Cooperative Extension Service works jointly
with the Department of Planning and Natural
Resources (DPNR) in certifying applicators after they
are trained. The Federal Insecticide Fungicide and
Rodenticide Act and the Virgin Islands Pesticide
Control Act are the basis for the pesticide applicator
training program. Besides issuing licenses to pesti-
cide applicators DPNR also assists the United States
Environmental Protection Agency in ensuring that
only registered pesticides are used in the Virgin
The Department of Planning and Natural
Resources is also responsible for inspecting busi-
nesses that sell or apply pesticides. They visit exter-
minating companies, pesticide dealers, farmers, etc.
to ensure that these pesticides are being used
properly and that there is no misuse of the pesticide
that would endanger the public health and the
To ensure pesticide applicators know how to
apply pesticides correctly, the UVI Cooperative
Extension Service pesticide applicator training
program has two categories: private and commer-
cial applicators. Private applicators are those persons
who use or supervise the use of restricted-use
pesticides on property owned or rented by
themselves or their employer for the purpose of
producing any "agricultural commodity." Private
applicators are trained and tested in the general use
of pesticides and the handling of pesticides.
Private users of pesticides such as farmers or nur-
sery growers are also trained how to identify pests,
know the life cycle of pests and determine the best
methods of controlling pest, such as cultural control,
mechanical control, biological control or chemical
Commercial applicators are those persons who
use or supervise the use of restricted pesticides for
any purpose or on any property other than specified
for private application. Commercial applicators are
trained and tested in the general areas of pesticides
and handling of pesticides. They also receive further
training in one or more specific categories of appli-
cation, such as ornamental and turf pest control or
public health pest control.
Pesticide workshops are conducted throughout
the Virgin Islands. These workshops are announced
on the radio systems, television stations and in the
local newspapers. It is very important for persons
who apply or sell pesticides to attend the workshops.
Also, there are pesticide companies from the main-
land and Puerto Rico with whom joint workshops
are conducted each year.
These pesticide workshops are free to the public.
Participants purchase a study manual only for what-
ever workshop is being given at a particular time. For
further information on UVI Cooperative Extension
Service pesticide applicator training program
contact us by calling 778-0246.
Tropic Foto Industries, Inc.
V.I. EXPRESS PHOTO 0
P.O. BOX 7021 SUNNY ISLE
CHRISTIANSTED, ST. CROIX
U.S. V.I. 00823
In Organic Food Production
Plant Protection Specialist Natural Resources
UVI Cooperative Extension Service
Organic food production has been practiced
since mankind changed from food gatherer to food
producer, but the label "organic" started only a few
decades ago. This term differentiates this type of
food production from that in which synthetic
materials like fertilizers and many man-made pesti-
cides as well as methods of cultivation which are
considered environmentally unsound are used.
Nevertheless, the term "organically grown food"
means different things to different people. Some
organic growers are stricter in their choice of mater-
ials and methods than others. Without specifying
the details of this choice on the produce and
product labels, consumers have no way of knowing
exactly what was used or not used to produce these
food items. Fortunately things are about to change.
Part of the 1990 Farm Bill, or the Food, Agriculture,
Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (Act of 1990) as
it is officially called, provides for organic certifi-
cation. This new law requires the Secretary of Agri-
culture to establish an organic certification program
by setting national standards for the production and
handling of organically produced foods. States and
territories may develop a State/Territorial organic
certification program which may contain additional,
more restrictive certification, production, and
One of the most important parts of the Organic
Foods Production Act of 1990, which is Title XXI of
the Act of 1990, is the Secretary's mandate to estab-
lish a national list of approved and prohibited sub-
stances for organic production. Finally consumers
may know which substances were definitely NOT
used in the production of the food they wish to buy.
This national list has not been finalized yet, but some
information on it is available. In principle, natural
substances are permitted and synthetic ones
The national list will, however, provide for excep-
tions. Some of the synthetic substances may be per-
mitted only if a number of criteria have been met.
They may not be harmful to human health or the
environment, they must belong to an allowed cate-
gory of pesticides (e.g. copper and sulfur com-
pounds, pheromones, soaps) and must fulfill some
other conditions. One of these synthetic com-
pounds which probably will be permitted is piper-
onyl butoxide, an ingredient of many insecticides
presently available. This product is used most fre-
quently together with the natural substances pyre-
thrum and rotenone and works as a synergist, i.e. it
enhances the killing action of these insecticides.
Arsenic is one of the natural substances already pro-
hibited because of its long-term effects and per-
sistence in the environment. This means that arsenic-
containing pesticides cannot be used and possibly
that most treated lumber will be prohibited from use
in agricultural enterprises with organic certification.
The certification program may certify farms or
specific fields of farms after they have met and will
continue to meet certain conditions. Accredited
certifying agents conduct annual on-site inspections
to ensure that these conditions are being met.
Before a farm or field will be certified as "organic"
no prohibited substance may have been used on the
land during the preceding three years. Farmers who
annually sell less than $5,000 in value of agricultural
products are exempted from certain provisions of
Organic animal production also prohibits the use
of growth promoters or hormones. In addition, feed
must have been produced organically. No agricul-
tural products may bear the label "organic" after
September 30, 1993, if they were not produced or
handled in accordance with the Organic Foods
How different is organic farming from modern-
day intensive non-organic farming?
Many farming practices are followed in both of
these as well as other food production enterprises.
Selection of high quality, environmentally suitable,
and pest resistant/tolerant varieties of plants and
animals should be a common goal. Appropriate cul-
tural methods like crop rotation, irrigation and
mulching can be used in both types of enterprise.
Frequent monitoring of the crops and animals for
pest problems and introduction, augmentation, or
conservation of natural enemies of the detected
pests should also be a sensible part of the system.
The differences appear mainly in soil preparation
and the use of pesticides. In organic farming no syn-
thetic fertilizers may be used and most synthetic
pesticides are also prohibited. Although plastic
mulching and organic farming seem contradictory,
the Act of 1990 allows the use of plastic mulches only
if they are removed at the end of each growing or
harvest season. Nodoubt many non-organicfarmers
probably would incorporate "organic" materials
and methods in their enterprises. Mixed, multiple,
trap and companion cropping can be part of any
cropping system. Mechanized harvesting is not
practiced on most small Virgin Islands farms, so
mono-cropping does not provide any major advan-
tage. Financial constraints, lack of availability of
effective natural products for foods and feeds as well
as a shortage of labor may be reasons for choosing
techniques not consistent with organic farming.
THE WRITER'S BLOCK
BOOKS WITH EVERYONE IN MIND
St. (ca/W '
iacLi^ nu e ao~tate.
36C Strand Street Christiansted
St. Croix, USVI 00820
Free Baggers, carry out is
a service. No tipping please.
*Western Union, the fastest
way to send money
Gift Certificates, the perfect
gift for any occasion
We are an active part of the
community and gladly support
Pitch in! Anti Litter Campaign
!- the tool box
The Island's Best Selection
Screws and Tools
Located on North Shore Road
Raising Dairy Calves For Beef
In The Virgin Islands
UVI Cooperative Extension Service
The limited land area in the Virgin Islands makes it
impossible for a lot of interested people to raise
large livestock for beef successfully. But one need
not despair; it is still possible to raise a couple of
dairy calves for meat or for extra income. There are
extra calves produced on St. Croix dairy farms,
which makes it possible for people to purchase
good, healthy pre-weaned calves that they can raise
successfully by following a few recommended man-
Normally, calf mortality is greatest during the first
two to four weeks of life. Therefore, your greatest
insurance against this loss is proper management.
Successful calf rearing depends on abiding in-
terest, sound feeding and management practices,
and recognizing problems early so that corrective
steps may be taken.
It is a good idea to buy calves that are more than
two to four days old. This will ensure that the calf re-
ceived colostrum from its mother before being
taken away. Colostrum is the first milk produced by a
cow after giving birth to a calf. It contains a higher
than normal content of vitamins, as well as protein,
plus antibodies for protection against disease. A calf
is born with little or no vitamin A or antibodies to
fight off attacks by disease organisms. Ingestion of
these substances in the colostrum substantially
increases the calf's chances for survival.
The prices for these pre-weaned calves range
from $75 to $100 on the St. Croix farms depending,
on the age, size, and breed of the calf. People from
St. Thomas and St. John should be prepared to pay
additional shipping costs.
The calves should be transported efficiently to
avoid stress. Before people bring the calf to their
house or farm, they should make sure that equip-
ment to carry the calf through the first eight to ten
weeks of life before weaning is provided.
A place to house the calf is a necessity. Try to
provide an inexpensive structure which is econom-
ical to maintain and easy to clean and disinfect. All of
this will help to minimize calf mortality. If a structure
is not available, tie the calf where it can get shelter
4-H'ers displaying their calves at the 1989 Fair.
(Photo by Carrol B. Fleming)
from the sun and rain, for example, under a tree. The
structure or place should be draft-free and well
ventilated. Several items such as a two-quart plastic
nursing bottle and nipple, a utility feeder which can
hold almost five pounds of calf developer, a 12-quart
utility bucket for mixing milk replacer, and a mineral
salt block holder are needed. All of these items can
be purchased at local stores.
Since the calves have been taken away from their
mothers, they need a milk replacer as a substitute for
the first eight to ten weeks before they are weaned.
In the Virgin Islands, milk replacers, called
"Suckle" or "Red Hat," are used and are easily
available at local feed shops. These are high quality
milk replacers and contain a large proportion of milk
The amount to feed the calves each day is
dependent upon the calf's body size and age.
Mixing instructions for the milk replacer are printed
on the bag. These instructions should be followed
closely to avoid overfeeding and illness in the calf.
The calf should be fed the recommended amount
only twice per day and no more. After feeding the
milk replacer, if the calf is still hungry, warm water
may be fed in the bottle or bucket.
In addition to the milk replacer, calves normally
start eating a small amount of dry starter mix at about
one week of age. To start them eating, rub a small
amount of the mix in their mouths or put a little in
the bottom of the pail after feeding milk. Fresh
starter mix should be placed in the feed box every
day in amounts that they will just clean up.
Complicated calf starters are not necessary. The
most important characteristics of a starter mix are
that it should be palatable (tasty so the calf wants to
eat ), be high in energy and contain 16-18% percent
protein. In the Virgin Islands, calf manna is used. This
is easily available and is excellent in composition.
As soon as the calf is consuming at least one pound
of calf manna daily, milk feeding can be discon-
tinued. The time to reach this level of consumption
will vary with the breed and the individual calf. In
the Virgin Islands, an average of eight to ten weeks is
normally recommended for weaning.
Since pasture roughage (grass and legumes) is the
future staple of the calf, it should get used to it as
soon as possible. At one week of age, you should
start feeding your calf as much high quality hay or
greenchop as it will eat. This encourages early
rumen development with subsequent beneficial
effects on health and economy of weight gains.
Water is indispensable and it should be clean, fresh,
and available to the calf at all times.
After weaning, the calves should get their feed
mainly from grazing. Let them out on pasture or
tether them and move them to clean grass every day.
A mineral salt block should be placed in an area near
the calf. This will provide all additional minerals and
vitamins for growth.
Sanitation reduces the number of disease organ-
isms in the environment, and, thus, the risk of
diseases caused by them. Some diseases cannot be
eradicated because the causative agent is so wide-
spread in the environment. However, sanitation can
reduce exposure to a level where clinical disease will
be rare. Everything possible should be done to
provide disease immunity to the calf and to mini-
mize stress conditions that include: damp sur-
roundings, rapid temperature fluctuations, poor
ventilation, high humidity, drafts, over or under-
feeding, abrupt feeding changes, and contaminated
pens and feeding equipment.
Proper management and sound feeding is ex-
tremely important to the success of raising a calf.
Naturally, there is no substitute for sanitation. To
help detect disease problems early, the observation
of calf temperatures for the first 10-4 days of life will
provide the quickest recognition of a disease
problem. When a young calf's temperature goes
above 103 F, infection usually occurs. A temperature
rise will take place before the calf will show usual
signs of sickness.
The key to low mortality and high profits in raising
dairy calves is a sound program of feeding and man-
agement carried out by individuals who are both
experienced and interested in calves.
Although tender loving care is difficult to define,
it still plays an important role in calf disease
Two of the most common calf diseases that occur
on our islands are calf scours (diarrhea) and pneu-
monia. Calf scours or diarrhea may be caused by
several viruses and bacteria. Early feeding of colos-
trum is the best preventive medicine, along with
isolating calves after birth and preventing drafts. Do
not overfeed the calves as this may cause scours.
If a calf develops scours, early detection is impor-
tant and treatment must begin as soon as the first
symptoms are noticed (loose feces). Other
symptoms of scours include: strong smell of the
feces, feces are liquid and whitish in color, anus and
buttocks are dirty and the calf appears droopy. If you
notice any of the above symptoms, stop feeding milk
replacer completely and immediately feed warm
water that has been sterilized by boiling. It is a good
practice to add one teaspoon of baking soda and
one teaspoon of salt, and if available, some dextrose.
The salt is added to replace the salt lost during
scouring. If no improvement is seen after a day,
contact your local veterinarian at the Department of
Agriculture who will provide antibiotics for the calf.
The other disease is pneumonia which can be
caused by bacteria and viruses but is normally
caused by several external factors such as draft,
dampness, high humidity and poor ventilation in the
calf area. Calves are most susceptible just after wean-
ing until five to six months of age. Symptoms may
include coughing accompanied by a runny nose and
watery eyes. In most cases, there is a high fever (103-
106 F). Because the calf's environment can con-
tribute so much to respiratory health problems, it is
important to keep the calf in a draft-free area and to
prevent strong manure and urine odors. Early treat-
ment with antibiotics by your local veterinarian give
the best results.
The last important item to remember is that when
diseases develop, early diagnosis and treatment by
your local veterinarian may avoid severe losses. The
veterinarian can help develop a program to prevent
recurrence of these problems.
Raising a calf can be a rewarding experience if
these guidelines are followed. If you have any
questions on how to get started raising calves for
beef, please feel free to contact the Livestock
Program at the UVI Cooperative Extension Service
or call 778-0246.
4-G Sion Farm
Island Dairies Milk is 100% pure milk,
directly from the cows.
(/2 pints, quarts, z2 gallons, 6 gallon)
(z2 pint, 10 oz., 2z gallon)
ICE CREAM (4 oz., pint, quart, gallon, 2% gallon)
Vanilla Butter Almond
Rum Raisin Frozen Fruit
Pistachio Cherry Vanilla
Coffee Chocolate Chip
Butter Pecan Banana
Rainbow Coconut Bar
Banana Bar Ice Cream Sandwich
Deluxe Ice Cream Bar
Careers In The Animal Sciences
Livestock Extension Agent
UVI Cooperative Extension Service
The choice of a lifelong career is one of the most
critical decisions a young person faces. When
examining the options, one should consider the
many careers available in the animal sciences.
Careers in animal science are diverse and cover the
entire globe. Here, we will outline some of the
options available to the youth of today as they plan
A job in the animal sciences does not necessarily
mean working in the pens with animals. There are
also many options available that deal indirectly with
livestock. Animal science careers can be grouped
into four major areas: 1) production-management,
2) agribusiness, 3) government and private con-
sulting agencies, and 4) research and teaching. If you
are considering a career in the animal sciences, each
of these areas should be explored carefully.
This field is specifically for the individual who
enjoys working directly with animals for the produc-
tion of meat for human consumption or animal
products such as milk, wool or eggs. Examples of
individuals in the production-management area
would be a farmer, farm manager or a herdsman.
Also included in thisfield isa career in the veterinary
sciences for those interested in the health care of
animals. An additional bonus in this field is that it
maximizes the amount of time spent outdoors.
This is a field for the individual who enjoys being
around livestock, but is not interested in the produc-
tion aspect. Persons in this field supply the goods
and services needed by those in the production
sector of the industry. Some of the possible careers
in agribusiness include:
1) livestock buyers, commission agents and man-
agers of livestock auction yards;
2) management personnel and associated sales-
persons of feed, medical and livestock supply firms;
3) consultants to livestock producers;
4) supervisors, quality control specialists and
management personnel of businesses processing
5) reporters and writers for newspapers, maga-
zines, radio and television;
6) agricultural credit managers for banks, Produc-
tion Credit Association, the Federal Land Bank and
other lending agencies.
Extension and Government Agencies
The Agricultural Extension Service and other
government agencies provide career opportunities
for individuals who want to provide assistance and
services to producers and consumers. A job in this
field is for the person who gets satisfaction from
helping other people. Possible careers in this field
1) Extension agents to assist farmers and produ-
cers of livestock and livestock products;
2) United States Department of Agriculture per-
sonnel, such as meat inspectors and graders in
packing plants, livestock market analysts and
Research and Teaching
Research and teaching offer opportunities to indi-
viduals with inquiring minds who desire to help
other people. Research opportunities are available
at many universities and colleges, in many govern-
ment agencies and through private industry. Teach-
ing positions in the animal sciences are available at
both the high school and college level.
Preparations for a career in the animal sciences
must begin when the individual is in high school,
which is as important in this field as in any other
career endeavor. Graduation from high school is
normally considered a basic requirement. In many
fields, additional education is also required. To be
prepared for this higher education, certain courses
must be taken while in high school. In addition to
four years of English, a strong background in science
and mathematics is desirable. Science courses
include general science, biology and chemistry.
Math courses should include both algebra and
geometry. A college degree will enable quicker
advancement in any of the chosen professions. In
addition, it will make it much easier to change occu-
pations down the road if necessary.
LOOKING FOR PERFECTION?
HAS ONLY THE FINEST 3-8 FEET GRAFTED
FRUIT TREES READY FOR IMMEDIATE TRANSPLANTING
NO FINER TROPICAL & SUB-TROPICAL FRUIT TREES AVAILABLE ANYWHERE.
WITH PROPER PLACEMENT & CULTURAL PRACTICES, 6-8 FT. TREES WILL FLOWER AND
FRUIT WITHIN ONE YEAR.
Julie, Haden, Carrie, Jakata, Val-Carrie, Edwards, Glenn, Kent, Palmer,
Parvin, Tommy Atkins, Keitt, Irwin, Valencia Pride
Pollock, Marcus Pumpkin, Simmonds, Lula, Choquett, Monroe, Russell
Citrus (Grapefruit, Tangerine, Tangelo, Orange, West-Indian Lime, Chironja,
Persian Limes), Ambersweet (Hybrid, Grapefruit x Orange x Tangerine),
Ortanque (Hybrid, Sweet Orange x Tangerine), Pummelo (Shaddock), Sugar
Apple, Custard Apple, Mamay (Sapote), Carambola, Breadfruit, Dwarf
Golden Malaysian Coconut, West-Indian Cherry, Surinam Cherry, Jack Fruit
Sour Sap, Allspice, Cinnamon, Mesple, Guava (White, Red and Seedless) and
More Exotic Tropical Fruits
For Information Convenient Ordering and Prompt Service, Please Call
(809) 772-4129,(809) 772-1088, Beeper: (809) 772-8791.
Or Write: Arthur C. Petersen, Jr.
STRICTLY NATIVE INC.
P.O. BOX 484
FREDERIKSTED, ST. CROIX USVI 00841-0484
Strictly Native Inc. Specializing in Tropical & Sub-tropical Fruit Trees & Palm Species
From Around The World. Free Technical Advice Available on Handling,
Transplanting and Establishing Fruit Trees.
COMPARE OUR QUALITY & PRICES.
Advice on career selection is available from many
different sources. One should not be afraid to ask
questions of people in animal industries. People to
talk to are teachers, guidance counselors, animal
science professionals and, of course, parents. The
final decision, however, should be that of the indi-
vidual and based on personal interests and prefer-
ence. Many individuals chose to work for a time in
internship programs offered through many univer-
sities. This offers experience in a specific area and
allows them to decide if it is what they want in a
career. As with many careers, the earning potential
of careers in the animal industries varies widely, with
the highest pay generally going to individuals with
the most education. This should be taken into
consideration when deciding on a profession.
Careers in the animal sciences can be very suc-
cessful. With the continually increasing size of the
world population, production of food to feed the
masses will forever take a front seat in the world
economy. There will always be a need for skilled and
well-trained professionals willing to take on such a
task. If you feel that this is what you want to under-
take, then a career in the animal industries is for you.
The following is a summary of educational require-
ments for different careers in the Animal Sciences.
For further information, please feel free to contact
us at UVI, in the Cooperative Extension Service
Animal Science Programs offices between the hours
of 8:30 and 4:30, Monday through Friday, or call us at
EDUCATION NEEDED FOR A CAREER IN ANIMAL SCIENCE
SUGGESTED LEVEL OF
High Voc.School or
School Junior College
Livestock Market Operator
Feed Store Manager
Agricultural News Reporter
Farm Credit Representative
Breed Association Representative
Farm Product Consultant
Education beyond the Level indicated is desirable; however,
the Last three careers listed.
it may not be required for employment except in
ST. CROIX ST. THOMAS ST. MAARTEN GRAND CAYMAN
Sunny Isle Frederiksted Cruz Bay
1167 King St., C'sted, 00820-4928 318 King St., F'sted, 00840
k Salutes the 1992
V. I. Agriculture & Food Fair
and the farmers, fishermen,
cooks and craftsmen
who keep our
agricultural heritage alive!
Call us at 772-2300 or 772-2400
We're your choice for insurance and financial planning.
20th Anniversary Of UVI
As A Land-Grant Institution
Dr. Darshan S. Padda
Vice President Research and Land-Grant Affairs
University of the Virgin Islands
The U.S. Congress granted land-grant status to the
University of the Virgin Islands in 1972. The land-
grant programs at the University have undergone 20
years of growth, institution building and interna-
tional networking, and as we celebrate the 20th
anniversary in 1992, it is time to reflect on what has
The central lesson is that agriculture can no longer
survive as a way of life. It must be practiced as a
It is no secret that the pressures of society are put-
ting a strain on agriculture. Today growers compete
with hotels, homeowners and businesses for limited
resources and infrastructure.
In order to look at agriculture as a business, one
must look at it in business terms: profit and loss,
economic viability, marketing and management.
Economic survival requires a farmer to be a smart
businessman, a diligent manager, an entrepreneur
who creates his own markets, and a ruthless realist.
Successful growers need to forget for a moment
what they grow or produce now, what they have
produced in the past, what their fathers produced.
Instead, they must become hawk-eyed customers.
What goods command the highest prices in grocery
stores? Which are in shortest supply and biggest
demand? Which products could they provide at a
Another lesson learned is: growers don't need to
reinvent the wheel. They can make use of the exper-
tise of those around them. They can form groups
with producers like themselves and use the power of
numbers to make an impact on the market.
The classic success story of Virgin Islands agri-
culture is the development of Senepol cattle. Early in
this century, enterprising St. Croix cattlemen began
crossing N'Dama cattle from Senegal, West Africa,
with Red Polls, originally imported from England.
What resulted was a polled hornlesss) breed of
cattle, well-adapted to the tropical environment of
the Caribbean. They are good milk producers, sure
breeders and have a very gentle disposition.
In spite of these good traits, Senepol cattle could
not put money in farmers' pockets until the Senepol
Cattle Breeders' Association was formed in 1976.
Since then, the University of the Virgin Islands Agri-
cultural Experiment Station (UVI/AES) and the
breeders' association have worked closely to
develop the industry into a profitable one.
These days, success in agriculture depends on
three forces research (technology development),
education (technology transfer) and farm manage-
ment. The U.S. Virgin Islands is in good shape,
because of the presence of a land-grant university,
whose mission is to develop and disseminate new
For example, in the area of aquaculture, UVI/AES
researchers are working on an integrated system
that combines the production of both delicious food
fish and a healthy vegetable garden by reusing nu-
trients and precious fresh water.
Animal scientists at UVI/CES are conducting a
number of projects with Virgin Islands White hair
sheep, Barbados blackbelly sheep and Florida native
sheep to compare basic performance, lambing rates
Research on irrigation methods at UVI/AES has
shown that drip irrigation, which deposits water
directly to each plant's roots, is the best suited and
most effective irrigation method for our climate.
Recent vegetable research has included trials on
varieties of tomatoes, sweet potatoes, bell peppers,
thyme, and cucumbers. There is also an on-going
project on papaya varieties best suited to the U.S.
The Cooperative Extension Service provides
farmers with research based information on indi-
vidual crops or livestock breeds, including costs,
returns, marketing and processing. The Home Eco-
nomics Program staff is educating the public on the
role of diet in disease prevention. And the 4-
H/Youth Development Program helps youth
develop crucial leadership skills.
The Virgin Islands, like the rest of the world, is
constantly changing. Since we cannot always predict
and control change, it is our role at the University of
the Virgin Islands to help our community-and the
larger community of the Caribbean-cope with
Breeders of Senepol Cattle
^*^.'cl ^*.,"t, '"
; , , 4 t "
ANNALY FARMS INC.
(Local and U.S. Choice)
Pork Chicken Fish Vegetables
Quality at low prices
Estate Upper Love RT # 72
Monday-Friday 8:00-4:30, Saturday 8:00-12:30
UVI-CES Educational Projects offered to the V.I. Community
Community and Rural Development
Sustainable Agriculture in the Virgin Islands
Small Livestock Production
Pasture and Forage Development in the Virgin Islands
Integrated Farm Management Systems in the Virgin Islands
Extension Information Dissemination
Virgin Islands Extension Exhibitions/Fairs
Volunteer Development and Management
4-H Club System
4-H Youth Summer Camp Program
Youth at Risk
Food Safety and Quality
Limited Resources/Low Income Individuals/Families
Parenting & Family and Family Youth Programs
Improving Diet, Nutrition and Health
Developing Marketable Skills
Virgin Islands Comprehensive Water Quality Program
Soiland Water Conservation
Integrated Pest Management
Pesticide Impact Assessment
Virgin Islands Pesticide Applicator Training
Eastern Caribbean Extension Outreach and Interchange
Incentive Programs offered by the V.I. Division of Agriculture
Farmland Tax Exemption
90% Subsidy to Farmers
Soil Conservation Services
Animal Health Care
Farmers and Fishermen Exemption from Tax and
This program offers 95% Tax Exemption on land used for
Qualified farmers are given a 90% rebate on Taxable
Construct farm ponds or dams for water storage or reten-
tion at no cost to farmers.
Our Veterinary Health Program assist in combating and
controlling animal diseases in the Virgin Islands.
Provide slaughtering services under the USDA Inspection.
This insure the consumers wholesome meat.
Fruit trees, package seeds and a variety of slips and vege-
table seedlings are made available to our farming citizens.
Assist farmers in the preparation of land for farming.
Provide farmers with molasses which increase the pala-
tability of poor quality roughage feed.
The Division bales hay and make same available to our
This program shares in the cost of producing fruits, vege-
tables, animals and other agricultural practices.
Under this program, farmers and fishermen are exempted
from payment of trade or excise taxes, franchise taxes and
21st Annual Agriculture And Food Fair
Of The Virgin Islands
February 15 17, 1992
10:00 a.m., Saturday, February 15, 1992
Central High School ROTC
MASTER OF CEREMONIES
Mr. Eric L. Bough
V.I. MARCH AND NATIONAL ANTHEM
Ricardo Richards School Steel Band
Rev. Leon Mathias
WELCOMING REMARKS AND INTRODUCTIONS
Mr. Eric E. Dawson
INTRODUCTION OF AWARDS
Dr. D.S. Padda
PRESENTATION OF AWARD TO FFA AND REMARKS
Sen. Bent Lawaetz
PRESENTATION OF AWARD TO CRUZAN GARDENS AND REMARKS
Sen. Virdin C. Brown
PRESENTATION OF AWARD TO BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS
Del. Ron de Lugo
PRESENTATION OF THE 1992 YOUTH AWARD AND REMARKS
Dr. Orville E. Kean
PRESENTATION OF THE 1992 FARMER OF THE YEAR
AWARD AND ADDRESS
The Hon. Alexander A. Farrelly
Rev. Leon Mathias
RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONIES
Mrs. Joan Harrigan Farrelly
OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE FAIR
Calendar Of Events
SATURDAY: February 15, 1992
All Day ............................................................ Soul Train Rides
9:00 am 10:00 am ......................... Pan Connection (R. Richards Steel Band)
10:00 am ................................................ Opening Ceremonies
12:00 pm 1:00 pm ................................................ Pan Connection
1:00 pm 2:00 pm ............. Livestock Judging Contest/Box Garden Exhibit Contest
2:00 pm 4:00 pm ................................... STX Hobbies Demonstrations
2:00 pm 6:00 pm ............................................ Violators Band
3:00 pm 6:00 pm ............................................. Ag Olympic Games
4:00 pm 5:00 pm .............. ..........................Theme Poster Contest
SUNDAY: February 16, 1992
All Day ............... ... ....................................... Soul Train Rides
9:00 am 12:00 pm ........................ .. ................ E-Massiv Band (PAL)
10:30 am 11:00 am ............................... Equestrian Contest-STX Pony Club
11:00 am 12:00 pm ................ ................... Box Garden Demo Contest
11:00 am 1:00 pm ............................... . STX Hobbies Demonstrations
12:00 pm 1:00 pm .............. ... ......................... Ag Olympic Games
1:00 pm 2:00 pm ......................................... Youth Fashion Show
1:00 pm 5:00 pm ................................................ Heat W ave Band
2:00 pm 3:00 pm .......................................... Ag Olympic Games
3:00 pm 3:30 pm ................ ..................... Mini Prix-STX Pony Club
4:30 pm 5:00 pm ............................. . Jumping Classic-STX Pony Club
5:00 pm 5:30 pm .................. ................... M usic, Poetry & Dance Co.
MONDAY: February 17, 1992
All Day ........................ ................. ............... Soul Train Rides
9:00 am 10:00 am ................................. Youth Food Preparation Contest
10:00 am 1:00 pm ........................... Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knights
11:00 am 12:00 pm ............. ....... ............. St. Croix Heritage Dancers
12:00 pm 2:00 pm ................... .......................... Ag Olympic Games
1:00 pm 4:00 pm ..................................... .............. Xpress Band
2:00 pm 3:00 pm .............. ............ ...................Youth Talent Show
3:00 pm 3:30 pm ................. ...... ................ STX Mocko Jumbies
3:00 pm 5:00 pm ..................... ............ STX Hobbies Demonstrations
4:00 pm 5:00 pm ........................ ................. Awards Ceremony
UNIVERSITY OF VIRGIN ISLANDS
3 3138 00178 8859
Farmer of the Year
-^ w- I "
Mr. Allan Schuster received the Co-Farmer of the Year Award for his many years of
dedication as a livestock farmer from Governor Alexander A. Farrelly and Dr. Darshan S.
Padda (left), UVI's Vice President for Research and Land-Grant Affairs.
Mr. Kirk Benoit received the Co-Farmer of the Year Award for his many years of dedi-
cation as a crop farmer from Governor Alexander A. Farrelly.
UNIVERSITY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS
OT. CiO Ix
The V.I. Department of
Economic Development and Agriculture
The University of the Virgin Islands
Cooperative Extension Service
Agricultural Experiment Station