Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 1996 agriculture and food fair...
 Message from Governor Roy...
 Message from Dr. Orville Kean
 Message from Commissioner Dr. Arthur...
 Agriculture and food fair - a success...
 The need for trees
 Meeting the challenges with drip...
 Moringa: A multipurpose tree with...
 Agriculture - its economic impact...
 Chronology of major developments...

Title: Agrifest
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/CA01300011/00032
 Material Information
Title: Agrifest
Physical Description: Serial
Publication Date: 1996
Copyright Date: 1996
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300011
Volume ID: VID00032
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 20948561


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Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
    1996 agriculture and food fair board of directors
        Page 4
    Message from Governor Roy L. Schneider
        Page 5
    Message from Dr. Orville Kean
        Page 6
    Message from Commissioner Dr. Arthur C. Petersen, Jr.
        Page 7
    Agriculture and food fair - a success story in partnership
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    The need for trees
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Meeting the challenges with drip irrigation
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Moringa: A multipurpose tree with diverse opportunities for the Virgin Islands
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Agriculture - its economic impact on the Virgin Islands
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42-43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    Chronology of major developments in forage-livestock feeding systems in the Virgin Islands
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
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Full Text

Tiwenitywive Years

Chaalle ng es
\ if i

0 pp o rtunities


25th Annual Virgin Islands Agriculture & Food Fair
February 17th, 18th & 19th, 1996
Jointly Sponsored By The VI Deparimrnent ol Agriculture and The University of the Virgin landss Cooperative Extension Service Agricullurol Experiment Slolion


Clarice C. Clarke
Editorial Board
Marvin Williams and Dr. Lawrence Lewis

Jointly Sponsored by
The Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture
The University of the Virgin Islands
Cooperative Extension Service Agricultural Experiment Station


five Learsqf'Challelwes, Chum-res

and Opportunities



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 the Agriculture and Food Fair Board of Directors.



A Publication of the 25th Annual Virgin Islands
Agriculture and Food Fair
Bulletin Number 10

Table of Contents

1996 Agriculture and Food Fair Board of Directors.............................................................................................,4

Message from Governor Roy L. Schncidcr....................................................................................................... 5

Message froaim Dr. Orville Kean. a ............................................................................................................ 6

Message fr Commissioner Dr. Arthur C. Petersen, Jr .....................................................................................7

Agriculture And Food Fair-A Success Story In Partnership...................................................................
Darshan S. Padda, Ph.D.

The Need For Trees .................................................................................................................................. 11
Rudy G. O'Reilly, Jr.

Meeting The Challenges With Drip Irrigation ............................................................................................ 13
Stafford M. A. Crossman

Moringa: A Multipurpose Tree With Diverse Opportunities For The Virgin Islands.............................17
Manuel C. Palada, Ph.D.

Agriculture-Its Economic Impact On The Virgin Islands...............................................................................23
Olasee Davis

Chronology Of Major Developments In Forage-Livestock Feeding Systems In The Virgin Islands..............48
Martin B. Adjei, Ph.D.


1996 Agriculture and Food Fair

Board of Directors

Arthur C. Petersen, Jr, Ph.D.

Clarice C. Clarke
Executive Secretary/Director
of Publicity & Publications

Willard John
Director of Special Activities

Kwame Gacia
Executive Vice President

Pholconah Edwards

Lawrence Lewis. Ph.D.
Vice President of Operations

Sharon D. Hill Petersen Louis Petersen, Ph.D.
Director of Friday Night Director of Off-Island
Activity Participants

Clinton George Dorothy Gibbs
Director of UVI Exhibits Director of Ground

Rudy 0. O'Reilly, Jr.
Director of Judging &

Dorothy Walcott
Director of Food Exhibits

Errol Chichester
Director of Crop Exhibits

Zoraida Jacobs
Director of Youth Activities

Kofi Boateng
Director of Livestock Exhibits


Message from Honorable Dr. Roy L. Schneider
Governor of the Virgin Islands


Greetings and congratulations are offered to the participants
and friends of the 1996 Agriculture and Food Fair in celebration of
twenty-five years of "Challenges, Changes and Opportunities."

This year's celebration is particularly significant due to the
many important changes that have been made with regard to the
improvement and implementation of additional services provided
to the Territory's farmers. The establishment of the new Department
of Agriculture now allows for the individual focus and recognition
for its contribution to the economic prosperity of these Virgin Islands.

In our efforts to improve the plight of our farmers who have
dealt with drought and more recently, the ravages of Hurricanes Luis
and Marilyn, we must include in the curriculum of our educational
system, the advantages of agriculture and its importance to our
advancement. We must encourage the participation of our young
people in the agricultural process, thus increasing job opportunities
and growth in production.

On behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands, Mrs. Schneider
joins me in offering our congratulations to the Department of
Agriculture and other organizers for their efforts to promote
agriculture as an important and viable source of income for the
Territory. Best wishes for an enjoyable day.


Message from Dr. Orville Kean H
President, University of the Virgin Islands

It is my pleasure to extend congratulations to everyone
involved in the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the
Agriculture and Food Fair of the Virgin Islands. I am
extremely proud that the University of the Virgin Islands
is a co-sponsor of this community event. I am also pleased that the theme, "Twenty-five
Years of Challenges, Changes and Opportunities," accurately expresses my vision of
UVI's position in the community.

During the twenty-five years, the Research and Land-Grant component, working in
partnership with the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, has played a major role
in the development and success of the Fair. It is my pledge that the university will
continue to play an integral role in the continued success of the Fair.

The Agriculture and Food Fair is an excellent vehicle that aids the university to bring
to the community the latest research in the field of food and natural resources. Currently,
at the UVI Research and Extension Center, scientists are developing and using genetic
engineering to improve tropical plant production in the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean.
Research also involves inserting a dwarfing gene into hibiscus and bougainvillea to
control plant size and improve water use efficiency and drought tolerance. These research
projects emphasize my goal of making the university a center for technology transfer and

I wish to commend the UVI Land-Grant staff and the Agriculture and Food Fair Board
who contributed so much time and effort toward making the Fair a tremendous success
and for their dedication and commitment in organizing this community event for all
Virgin Islands residents. The Fair has become an important tradition in our community
and I urge Virgin Islanders to visit all of the exhibits, but, in particular, our UVI Land-
Grant booths which demonstrate our goals and efforts.
Enjoy the Fair!!!

Orville Kean, Ph.D.



Message from Dr. Arthur C. Petersen, Jr.
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture

Welcome to the 25th Anniversary celebration of the
Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands jointly
sponsored by the newly created Department of Agriculture
and the University of the Virgin Islands. We are proud to
continue to take part in this time-proven tradition.

Indeed, the Annual Agriculture and Food Fair of the
Virgin Islands does represent twenty-five years of
challenges and opportunities and so have fairs since they first began. Fairs have their
beginnings in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia and are noted among some earliest civilizations.
Fairs offered amusement and contact with neighbors at a time when entertainment and
opportunities for interaction were limited. Today, fairs give people the opportunity to review
the products and accomplishments of the people, including the talents and abilities of creative
young people. Our annual fair is about our people coming together with a sense of pride, and
in recognition of the accomplishments of our agricultural and food producers. The annual
agriculture and Food Fair highlights our vital agricultural industry. It brings together people
who play an integral role producing our food, those who cook it, and those who consume it. It
is also an educational event and, equally important, it is fun.

As president of the 1995 Annual Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands, I am
also very proud of the opportunities the fair provides for our youth. Visits to the schools'
exhibits clearly show that they participate and compete. Their exhibits highlight a variety of
agricultural production and processing opportunities. It shows that the youth can help
communities bridge the gap of understanding among all aspects of our society.

The Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands is also a showcase of the many
qualities that make the U.S. Virgin Islands an ideal location for families. The annual fair is
a place where families come to enjoy themselves in the atmosphere of an event that has now
become a part of our rich cultural heritage.

I would like to congratulate all the members of the Board of Directors for their continued
dedication and commitment to the planning and organizing of another successful fair and
for the special celebration activities marking the 25th anniversary.On behalf of our illustrious
Governor Roy L. Schneider and Lieutenant Governor Kenneth E. Mapp, and the Board of
Directors of the Agriculture and Food Fair of the U.S. Virgin Islands, again, welcome everyone
to the 25th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair. Let the challenges and opportunities continue!

Arthur C. Petersen, Jr., Ph.D.

Agriculture And Food Fair-A Success
Story In Partnership
Dr. Darshan S. Padda
Vice President
University of the Virgin Islands

I am inspired by the importance of
changes that the University of the Virgin
Islands (UVI) outreach programs have made
in the lives of people across the territory and
the wider Caribbean, and I am challenged by
the possibilities for the future.
With the Land-Grant status granted in
1972, the Virgin Islands' only institution of
higher education embraced the idea that the
knowledge within the institution should be
made available to those not attending the
institution and should continue to be
available throughout one's life. Thus, one of
the most successful vehicles for taking the
University to the people has been the Virgin
Islands Agriculture and Food Fair.
Personally, the annual Agriculture and Food
Fairs have served as a milestone in my
journey as a Virgin Islands resident. Having
arrived on St. Croix on January 14, 1972, I
immediately got involved in the activities of
the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture
(VIDA) which was then the sole sponsor of
the Agriculture and Food Fair. As an employee
of VIDA, I was asked to participate in the
department's fruit and vegetable exhibit and,
thus, had the opportunity to explain to the
then Governor Melvin Evans, the various food
production and marketing programs that
VIDA and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture(USDA) were jointly conducting.
Every year since 1972, I have anxiously
awaited and vigorously participated in the
activities surrounding the fairs. I take great
pride in having played a vital role in the
development of the Fair as a partnership
between VIDA and the University of the
Virgin Islands. When I moved to UVI in July
1974, I continued my active participation

in the Fair first as the Editor of the Fair
books, which took the shape of a professional
journal, and later as an Executive Vice
As my journey as a professional
agriculturist comes to an end in 1996,1 look
back with fond memories to my relationships
with the various Commissioners of
Agriculture, namely Rudolph Shulterbrandt,
Oscar E. Henry and Patrick Williams,
Department of Economic Development and
Agriculture Commissioner Eric E. Dawson
and Assistant Commissioner Larry Bough. I
must admit that I was extremely lucky to
maintain a fruitful working relationship with
each of them.
I am very proud of the Fair and have
constantly promoted it as a community event
to be enjoyed by all Virgin Islanders.
However, I am most proud of two things: my
role in the development of the Fair as a joint
venture between the V.I. Department of
Agriculture and the University of the Virgin
Islands. The major step in this direction was
taken under the governorship of the late Cyril
King, who called Commissioner Henry and
CVI President Dr. Lawrence C. Wanlass
together and gave them the charge of
developing a close collaboration between
these two entities and promoting agricultural
programs in the territory. This started the
partnership for the sponsorship of the annual
Agriculture and Food Fairs, which we all
witness today. The University chief executive
officers since Dr. Wanlass, UVI President
Emeritus Arthur A. Richards and President
Orville Kean, have continued to strongly
support the University's participation in this
community activity.

The Land-Grant Programs are showcased
annually at the Agriculture and Food Fairs.
As the principal agency responsible for
carrying out the outreach mission of the
University, the Cooperative Extension Service
has extensive exhibits and demonstrations in
beef dairy and small livestock production, soil
and water conservation, integrated farm and
pest management, urban gardening,
environmental education, home economics,
foods and nutrition education and 4-H and
youth development. The research mission of
the university are carried out by the
Agricultural Experiment Station where basic
and applied research are conducted on the
development of food and feed production and
the preservation of natural resources in the
Virgin Islands. The results of ongoing
research projects in aquaculture, horticulture,
animal science and agronomy are highlighted
annually at the Agriculture and Food Fair,
as well.

The second achievement I am equally proud
of is my role in the development of the
agriculture leadership in the territory. The
current three administrators in the VI
Department of Agriculture- Commissioner
Arthur C. Pteren,Jr.,Assistant Com miner
Louis Petersen, and Deputy Commissioner
Lawrence Lewis have worked with me and I
consider them like my graduate students. The
Virgin Islands are very fortunate to have this
great team of young professionals under the
able leadership of Dr. A. Petersen to develop
the food and agriculture industry in these
critical times. Equally competent and
committed are the professionals, who all
were recruited and trained during my
tenure as head of the Land-Grant Programs
of UVI. Between VIDA and UVI, we have a
team that is second to none in the world. I
am very proud to have played a major role
in developing this team and eagerly look
forward to seeing their achievements.x

Dr Darshan Padda and Doug Burns with the first issue of the 1980 Fair book.

The Need For Trees
Rudy G. O'Reilly, Jr.
Extension Agent
UVI Cooperative Extension Service

Most of us realize that trees are
important in one way or another. Why
else would there be so many of them? Fruits

slowly becoming recognized as an ornamental.
According to Julia Morton in her book 'Wid
Plants for Survival in South Florida? the

and shade are perhaps the most obvious
benefits that trees provide. Some of the trees
that grow wild in our forests are not known
for their edible fruits. One such tree is the
Iron wood (Krugiodendron ferreum), a tree

fruits have a juicy, sweet flesh. A tree like
this could serve as both a fruit and an
ornamental tree.
By using such trees as part of the landscape
we not only protect the genetic stock of native

plants, but also provide additional habitat for
some animals that depend on them. In most
cases, native plants also require less attention
than exotic ornamentals, since they are best
suited to our climate and soils.
Trees are more intimately connected to
their environment than are animals. They can
not move to more favorable areas when
conditions become less than tolerable.
Instead, they must remain and adapt, ever
so slowly through natural selection, to an
environment that is constantly changing from
both natural and man-made influences.
Under normal conditions, the trunks and
roots of well-established mangrove forests
help filter sediment and other debris from
fresh water before it enters the ocean. The
roots of the red mangrove also serve as
nurseries for oysters and young fish. The
nutrient-rich waters around mangroves
support various smaller organisms that fry
can feed on within the protection of the
mangrove roots. Without mangroves fish
populations would decline and offshore reefs
would become threatened by excess silt.
The roots of trees and other plants help
prevent erosion by holding soil in place as
water runs by. Leaves high up in the canopy
also help reduce erosion by breaking the force
of rain as it falls. A single rain drop can splash
soil particles seven to fifteen feet from the
point of impact. Leaves within additional
canopy layers in a mature forest ensure very


little disturbance to the soil, even in heavy
rain. Unprotected or poorly protected soil
erodes much faster, not only from the impact
of the rain, but also from the resulting run
ofE As more trees and underlying plants are
removed, tons of top soil is being lost. This
top soil ends up in the guts and eventually
into the ocean, since the few mangroves at
the ends of the guts can not handle the excess
sediment. In well-planted areas rain has a
chance to percolate into the soil and the water
table, instead of simply running off.
Some members of the older generation
remember the days when they learned to
swim, or caught fresh water shrimps (cribishi)
and mullets in our guts. Even I remember,
just about 25 years ago, seeing those fish
under the bridge at the annual Agriculture
and Food Fair. But no longer do our guts run
with water as before or do our ponds overflow
at the peak of the rainy season. Yet, rainfall
data from 1852 to the present indicate no
decline in the average yearly rainfall. Where
has the water gone? We are more dependent
on trees and other plants than we think or
would care to admit. The very essence of our
existence, of our evolution, is dependent on
trees. The air we breathe, the food we eat,
the clothes we wear, the medicines we take,
and of course the lumber for our homes are
all derived either directly or indirectly from
plants. They certainly do not need us for their
survival, but we do need them for ours. x

Fresh water shrimps and
mullets were frequently seen
-" in many guts and streams
throughout St. CroW


Meeting The Challenges With Drip-Irrigation
Stafford M.A Crossman
Research Specialist
UVI Agricultural Experiment Station

Water is a critical resource for both
human survival and agricultural
production. Competition for its use is
increasing due to rapid population growth
and economic development.As this competition
for limited water resources increases, it is
obvious that technologies like drip-irrigation
must become a feature of crop production in
the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The concept of drip-irrigation, while
seemingly new, has been around for over 100
years. Drip-irrigation is an important method
of applying water to crops in many areas of
the world, particularly in areas where a high
level of competition exists for available water
resources. The very precise application rates
associated with drip-irrigation systems
results in a dramatic reduction in water usage
(of up to 80 %) compared to other irrigation
methods. This benefit is extremely important
for vegetable producers trying to grow their
crops in urban areas, and areas where water
for agriculture is expensive or available in
inadequate supplies.
This form of irrigation technology conserves
water and improves crop growth. Drip-
irrigation offers the potential for increasing
yields, while reducing water costs/use. Water is
precisely delivered at controlled application
rates through small plastic tubes with small
orifices or drip-type emitters that are placed
near rows of plants. The water is applied at a
low, flow-rate in small, frequent amounts as
required for optimum plant growth.
Major components ofa drip-irrigation system
are the main-lines, sub-mains, laterals and
emission devices. These components are
comprised of combinations of PVC pipes,
poly-hose, and drip tape each with their
variety of fittings.

In the Virgin Islands, the choices of water
sources for crop irrigation are municipal
water, cisterns, wells or surface water from
dams or ponds. Water source and quality
determine the magnitude of filter
requirements. The filter is the heart of the
drip irrigation system. Clogged emitters will
not irrigate properly. If well water is used,
the filtration job can often be done with screen
filters. Good filtration is essential to eliminate
clogging of the drip tape. The sensitivity of
an emitter to clogging depends to a large
extent on the dimensions of the flow passages.
Generally, large flow passages result in less
clogging. High-flow drip tape is roughly
defined as having a tape discharge rate of 0.4
gallons per minute per 100 feet or greater. A
low-flow tape is defined as having a discharge
rate of about 0.2 0.3 gallons per minute per
100 feet for the same emitter spacing. An
advantage of high-flow tape is that the large
flow passages of the emitter can reduce
clogging problems.
Screen filters should be checked periodically
for screen integrity and replaced if they
appear weak or torn. Periodically, follow along
the irrigation laterals while the system is
operating, checking for cuts and other damage
from implements and animals. Also, check for
leaks from lateral ends or if emitters are
functioning properly. Immediately repair any
problems found.
Lines should be flushed periodically. The
time between flushes will vary depending
primarily on the water source and filter
maintenance. The system must be capable of
sustaining pressure while being flushed in
order for the flush to be most effective. Open
a few laterals furthest from the source and
catch the water in a large (1/2 to 1 gallon) jar.

If the water appears cloudy, or if particles
settle at the bottom, then systematical open
a few laterals at a time and flush the entire
system. Flush each line until the water runs
clear. Periodic flushing of laterals is required
to remove any deposited materials and greatly
reduce emitter clogging from insoluble
particulate matter and/or accumulated
bacterial activity.
The small orifices of low flow emitters can
readily be clogged by poor water qualityif the
drip-irrigation system is not properly
designed and managed. Clogged or partially
clogged emitters will reduce the uniformity
of water application thus reducing the
uniformity of plant growth and reducing
Water used for drip systems should be
filtered to remove sand and organic
impurities. The tiny emitters and orifices -
as small as 0.02 inches can become clogged
by unfiltered water. Therefore, filters are
essential to the operation of a drip system and
may be viewed as the most important
component. Screen filters can be used for
wells and municipal water. If not specified
by the tape manufacturer, the screen filter
should be able to remove particles 1/10 the
size of the orifice opening.
The more recent drip tubing products have
turbulent flow emitters incorporated in their
design. They are extremely uniform and much
more resistant to clogging than the older
laminar flow type products.
A key component of most drip-irrigation
systems is the drip tape, which conveys and
emits the irrigation water along the length
of the rows. Drip irrigation tubing discharges
water from small emission points or orifices.
Proper selection of drip tape is vital to the
uniform distribution of irrigation water and
adequate application rates. Tapes are usually
available in wall thicknesses ranging between
4 and 25 mils. The thin-walled material is
commonly used by growers in the U.S., who
discard the tape after each crop. Many
growers use 8 to 10 mil tape, but 15 mil tape
is also very popular. Experience with the 15

mil tape has demonstrated that it is suitable
for use in the Virgin Islands. This tape can
be used over a number of growing seasons, if
care is taken to avoid mechanical damage or
clogging of the emitter orifices.
The tape flow rates depend on the emitter
discharge characteristics and the emitter
spacing. The tape flow rates are expressed
in gallons per hour per individual emitter, or
gallons per minute per 100 feet of tape length.
Tubing discharge per emitter can be
converted to tubing discharge per unit length
or per unit area. Tape flow rates are related
to a certain operating pressure. The larger
the emitter spacing, the smaller the tape
discharge rate for a given emitter
characteristic. A wide range of emitter
spacings are available in drip tape usually
up to 24 inches, although larger spacings are
available. Spacings commonly used for
vegetable crops are between 8 and 18 inches.
Choice of emitter spacing should be based on
plant spacing and expected root distribution.
Recommended operating pressures depend
on the wall thickness of the drip tape. Several
manufacturers recommend a maximum
continuous pressure of about 15 psi for 15-
mil tape, and 8 to 12 psi for lesser thicknesses.
If the recommended maximum continuous
pressure is exceeded the drip tape will
rupture. In order to prevent this, pressure
regulating devices are included in the system
design. These devices are available at preset
pressures or variable to be adjusted by the
The emitter discharge rate depends upon
the pressure. Thus, changes in pressure
throughout the irrigation system will vary the
discharge rates throughout the field, except
in the case of pressure-compensating
emitters. Pressure changes can be caused by
elevation difference or friction losses in
pipelines. Some types of emitters are more
sensitive to pressure changes than others. The
sensitivity of an emitter discharge rate to
pressure changes is described by the emitter
discharge exponent. This exponent is
calculated from emitter discharge rates


measured at several pressures. The exponent
ranges in value between zero and one. The
higher the exponent, the more sensitive the
discharge rate is to pressure change. An
exponent equal to 'one' means that the emitter
is completely sensitive to pressure changes.
An exponent equal to 'zero' means that the
emitter is pressure compensating or that the
discharge rate is not affected by pressure
changes. The emitter discharge exponent is a
very important factor to consider when
irrigating steep and/or undulating slopes and
uphill slopes. Pressure changes can be
substantial under these circumstances.
Discharge rates of pressure-compensated
emitters are unaffected by pressure changes.
However, a minimum pressure must be
maintained for the pressure-compensating
features to work. Some tapes require a
minimum pressure of about 4-5 psi for the
pressure-compensating feature to operate
The technology involved in the installation
and maintenance of a drip irrigation system
is now very simple and user friendly. The
initial cost of a drip irrigation system is now
much cheaper than it was just a few years
ago. Interchangeable components are easily
available to fit the specific requirements of
growers, whether they are backyard
gardeners or large scale producers. x


Daudet, G. 1993. Low-flow irrigation: System
maintenance from the inside out. Irrigation
Journal 43(7): 18:22.

Hanson, B.R. 1994. Adhering to the rules of
drip tape selection. Irrigation Journal

Hanson, B., Fulton, A., Munk, D., Bendixen,
W. and D. May. 1995. Drip irrigation of row
crops: An overview. Irrigation Journal

Roberts Irrigation Products. 1992. Drip
irrigation: A measured approach to
farming. Irrigation Journal 42(2):8-10.

Sanders, D.C. 1992. Drip irrigation system
component and design considerations for
vegetable crops. HortTechnology 2(1):25-

Smajstrla, A. 1995. Causes and prevention
of emmiter clogging in microirrigation
systems. Irrigation Journal 45(3): 14-17.

Technologies like drip irrigation must become a feature of crop
production in the irgin Islands.

MORINGA: A Multipurpose Tree with Diverse Opportunities
for the Virgin Islands
Manuel C. Palada, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
UVI Agricultural Experiment Station

Moringa (Moringa oleifera Lam.) is one
of the amazing trees God has created
because of its multiple uses and benefits. It
is a perennial softwood tree native to India
and known by several names around the
world. In India, it is popularly called
horseradish tree, ben oil tree, drumstick and
sohpja. It is known as benzolive, ben oleifere,
and graines benne in Haiti; reseda, ben and
jazmin frances in Puerto Rico; palo de aceite
in Dominican Republic; marango in Costa
Rica; maranga calalu in Honduras; moloko
and ben-aile in Guadeloupe; saijhan in
Guyana; angela in Colombia; shagarat al
rauwag in Sudan; and balunggay or
malunggay in the Philippines.
The multiple uses and potentials ofmoringa
have attracted the attention of scientists,
development workers and farmers in the
major regions of the world. The moringa tree
is an important crop in India, Ethiopia,
Sudan and rdany countries in Asia and
Central America, where its parts, from roots
to seeds, are used for industrial, food and
medicinal purposes. In the Virgin Islands, the
potential use of moringa as a windbreak and
in agroforestry systems is being studied at
the Agricultural Experiment Station.
Moringa grows in climates ranging from
subtropical dry to moist through tropical very
dry to moist forest zones. It tolerates annual
rainfall of 5 to 40 cm, annual temperature of
19to29C andsoilpH of4.5 to 8. Itis drought
tolerant and survives in subtropical climates,
flowering and fruiting freely and continuously.
Although moringa originated in India, it is
widely cultivated or naturalized in several
countries in the tropics including the Virgin
Islands and the rest of the Caribbean. The

tree is characterized by its drooping leaves,
brittle stems and branches with corky bark
(Fig. 1). The leaves are compound, tripinnate
with 3 to 9 leaflets. The flowers are fragrant,
white or creamy white with yellow stamens.
The tree produces pods which are pendulous,
triangular and tapering at both ends. The pod
contains about 20 seeds embedded in the pith.
Seeds are dark brown with 3 papery wings.
The tree flowers all year round and produces
pods and seeds throughout the year
regardless of the amount of rainfall received.


Moringa can be propagated by planting
stem cuttings or by seed. Cuttings of 1 to 2
meters root very easily and are usually
preferred. Furthermore, cuttings of fairly
large size, planted in moist soil, root readily
and grow to sizeable trees within a few
months. At the experiment station, trees are
raised from seeds and, once established, grow
rapidly. For good establishment, cuttings
and seedlings should be planted during the
rainy season when the soil is moist. If this
is not possible, plants should be irrigated
or watered for several weeks after planting.
Depending on the purpose for which it is
grown, moringa can be planted at various
spacings. A solid stand of moringa can be
planted at a spacing of 3 to 5 m both
between and within rows, and watered until
the plants are well established. If moringa
is grown in hedgerows for windbreak,
spacing between plants within rows may
vary from 1 to 5 m. Regular irrigation and
manuring is seldom practiced; but it is

advisable to apply manure or compost in
trenches dug about 10 to 20 cm away from
trees during the rainy season. This practice
is said to promote high yields of leaves and
pods. Regardless of the planting material
used, trees bear pods in 6 to 8 months after
planting. The yield is generally low in the
first 2 years, but from the third year
onwards a single tree yields 600 or more
fruits per year.


Moringa has numerous uses including
culinary(food), agronomic or horticultural,
medicinal and industrial. Some examples
of how moringa is used are as follows:

1. Culinary Uses Almost every part of
moringa is said to be of value for food. In
the Philippines, recipe pamphlets have been
published on how to cook moringa (see
sample recipes in Appendix B). The leaves
of moringa are high in vitamins A and C,
and a cupful of leaves provides more than
the recommended daily allowance (Table 1).
They have the general characteristics of a
leafy vegetable rich in calcium and iron and
a very good source of phosphorus. The leaves
are eaten as greens, in salads, in vegetable
curries, as pickles and for seasoning. The
leaves are a good substitute for leaf spinach
or cocoyam leaves as ingredients in the local
dish of "kalalloo." The young pods have the
general characteristics of a succulent
vegetable but are rather high in protein. In
Southeast Asia, the young pods are cooked
as a vegetable. The seed is said to be eaten
like a peanut in Malaysia. The thickened roots
are used as substitute for horseradish, a
popular spice in Asia and Africa. The flowers
are said to make a satisfactory vegetable
which is interesting particularly in
subtropical places like Florida, where it is
said to be the only tree species that flowers
every day of the year. The tree is also good
for honey production since bees are very

attracted to its flowers.
2. Agronomic and Horticultural Uses -
Moringa has several agronomic and
horticultural uses. Perhaps the most common
use is when itis planted in hedgerows or field
borders serving as a living fence or providing
windbreak. In some parts of Southeast Asia,
the tree is used to support cultivation of
climbing crops such as yams, pole beans and
black pepper. In India and Indonesia, moringa
leaves are used as animal fodder. In certain
parts of Ethiopia, leaves and young branches
are browsed and relished by livestock.
Moringa leaves in combination with leucaena
are excellent feeds for swine in Haiti. In the
Philippines, the roots are used as nematicide
and leaves are known to prevent damping-off
disease of seedlings. In Latin America, the
USA and Africa, moringa is grown as an
ornamental tree adding aesthetic value to the
landscape. The potential of moringa in
agroforestry and sustainable agriculture is
being investigated at the UVI agricultural
experiment station. Moringa is grown in
hedgerows along with other species such as
leucaena (tan-tan), gliricidia and pigeonpea
for comparison. Moringa is second to leucaena
in total dry matter production and higher
than gliricidia after 2 years of growth.
Moringa also exhibits the fastest regrowth
(comparable to leucaena) after pruning.
However, it is highly competitive to vegetables
like eggplant and sweet corn when these crops
are planted in alleys between moringa
hedgerows, reducing yields by more 50
percent. Application of moringa prunings
adds organic matter and improves soil

3. Medicinal Uses Moringa is reported to
have many medicinal properties including:
abortifacient, antidote (centipede, scorpion,
spider poison), bactericide, diuretic, ecbolic,
estrogenic, expectorant, purgative, rubefacient,
stimulant, tonic, vermifuge and vesicant.
Most of the plant parts have medicinal
values. The flowers, leaves and roots are
used in folk remedies for tumors, and the


seed for abdominal tumors. Two alkaloids,
moringine and moringinine, are present,
the latter being responsible for many of the
medicinal uses of the plant. In Nicaragua,
the root decoction is used for dropsy. Root
juice is applied externally as rubefacient or
counter-irritant. The leaves are applied as
poultice to sores, rubbed on the temples for
headaches, and said to have purgative
properties. The bark, leaves and roots are
acrid and pungent, and are taken to
promote digestion. Oil from moringa seed
is somewhat toxic if taken internally, but is
applied externally for skin diseases. For
example, in Guatemala aqueous extract of
moringa seed is effective against skin
infecting bacteria Stphylococcus aureus and
Pseudomownas aeruginosa.The bark is regarded as
antiscorbic and exudes a reddish gum with
properties of tragacanth, sometimes used for
diarrhea. The root bark has aphrodisiac
qualities. It is used against intestinal worms
and to reduce all sorts of aches. It causes a
burning sensation,biliousness and improves
appetite.It is also given to prevent enlargement
of the spleen, tuberculous glands in the neck,
to destroy tumors, ulcers, ear aches and
shuttering of ear. The stem bark is known to
remove all kinds of pain. It is said to be a
fattening agent, useful in curing eye diseases,
an aphrodisiac and anthelmentic.

4. Industrial Uses Moringa seeds yield 38
to 40 percent non-drying oil known as Ben
oil. Ben oil is used in arts and for lubricating
watches and other delicate machinery. The
oil is also used in the manufacture of
perfumes and hair dressings. The wood yields
a blue dye. The bark can serve for tanning
and yields a coarse fiber. Trees are being
studied as pulpwood sources in India.
Analysis indicates that the tree is a suitable
raw material for producing high alpha-
cellulose pulps for use in cellophanes and
textiles. In rural Sudan and Malawi,
powdered moringa seeds are used to purify
drinking water by coagulation. The powder
is toxic to guppies, protozoa and bacteria. The

toxic effects to bacteria, guppies and protozoa
are believed to be due to a glycosidic mustard
oil. The toxin seemed not to be a danger to
the health of man in the concentration
present during the use of the seeds for
nutrition, medicine, or water purification.


As a multipurpose tree crop, moringa has
commercial potential for the Virgin Islands.
It is highly adapted to the climate and
growing conditions of the Virgin Islands. The
tree is drought tolerant and survives the long
dry season and semi-arid climate of the
islands. It is not bothered by insect pests or
diseases. Because of its year round production
of leaves, pods, flowers and seeds, there is a
continuous supply of raw materials for its
many uses. Among the many uses of moringa,
perhaps the important ones are its medicinal
and industrial uses. As an exotic specialty
vegetable crop, moringa has a potential
market for the growing ethnic population in
the major cities of the USA and can be a major
source of income for farmers in the Virgin
Islands. As a fast growing tree crop, it can be
planted for windbreak protecting vegetable
and orchard farms as well as other farm
structures and properties.x

Note: Seeds of moringa can be obtained
free from UVI Agricultural Experiment
Station. Contact Dr. lMC. Palada at 692.


Aykroyd, W.R. 1966. The nutritive value U -.
of Indian foods and the planning of
satistifactory diets. Indian Council of
Medical Research. New Delhi, India. 4
pp. 55, 61, 91, 97.

Benge, M.D. 1987. Moringa: A Multi-
purpose Vegetable and Tree that Purifies
Water. Science and Technology/
Forestry, Environment, and Natural -
Resources Technical Series #27. USAID,
Washington, D.C. 234 p.

Brown, W.H. 1950. Useful Plants of the
Philippines. Vol. 2. Technical Bulletin
10. Bureau of Science. Manila, Philippines.

44 Xaulanda Simmond4 Miss St. Croix, presenting Governor
Schneider with a beautiful fruit basket.

Ffg I. A w -year oldMoea fe atMary's Fancy on St.Croi Fairgoers enjoyed the performances by lUng Derby and his
Jr Calypsoians


Table 1. Composition of leaves and pods of Moringa oleifera per 100 g
of edible portion.

Component Leaves Pods
Edible portion (%) 75 83
Moisture (%) 75 87
Protein (g) 6.7 2.5
Fat (g) 1.7 0.1
Carbohydrate (g) 13 3.7
Minerals (g) 2.3 2.0
Fiber (g) 0.9 4.8
Calories 92 26
Calcium (mg) 440 30
Magnesium (mg) 24 24
Oxalic acid (mg) 101 101
Phosphorus (mg) 70 110
Potassium (mg) 259 259
Copper (mg/g) 1.1 3.1
Iron (mg) 7 5.3
Sulphur (mg) 137 137
Vitamin A (LU.) 11,300 184
Choline (mg) 423 423
Thiamine (mg) 0.06 0.05
Riboflavin (mg) 0.05 0.07
Nicotinic acid (mg) 0.8 0.2
Vitamin C (mg) 220 120

APPENDIX B. Recipes with Moringa Leaves and Pods

The following are some ways to cook moringa leaves and pods. These recipes have been
tested at the Recipe and Menu Testing Laboratory and chemically analyzed in the Food
Research Division of the Food and Nutrition Research Center, National Science Development
Board, Manila, Philippines:

Picadillo with Moringa Cover and cook 5 minutes over low heat. Add rice
washing and bring to a boil. Season with salt and
2 tbsp.cooking oil pepper. Add moringa leaves. Cook 5 minutes longer.
1 tsp.minced garlic Six servings.
2 tbsp.sliced onion
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
4 cups rice washings
2 tsp.salt
dash of pepper
3 cups moringa leaves, washed
and sorted
Saute garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Add ground beef

Moringa Leaves Gulay

1 cup coconut milk diluted with 1 cup
1 cup dried banak (fish) boiled, flaked and
fried in 1 tbsp. cooking oil
2 segments garlic, minced
I medium onion, sliced, 1/8 tsp. salt
6 cups moringa leaves, washed and sorted
4 pieces hot pepper, crushed

Boil coconut milk, dried fish, garlic and onion for
10 minutes. Season with salt stirring the mixture
continuously. add moringa leaves and crushed hot
peppers. Cook 5 minutes longer. Serve hot. Six

Sauted Moringa Pods

2 cups young moringa pods (10)
2 tbsp.cooking oil
I tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. sliced onion
1/2 cup sliced tomatoes
I cup boiled pork, diced
1/2 cup shrimp, shelled and sliced
2 1/2 cups shrimp juice and pounded
heads of shrimps
2 tbsp. shrimp paste
1 tsp. salt
1 cup fresh lima beans
1 cup green beans, cut into 1 1/2 inch

Cut moringa pods lengthwise into 4 pieces. Slice
white pulp including tender seeds. Discard outer
covering. Cut pulp into 1 1/2 inch lengths. Saute
garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Add pork and shrimp.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Six servings.

Mungbean Guisado With Moringa

4 tbsp. cooking oil
I tsp.minced garlic
2 tbsp. sliced onion
1/2 cup sliced tomatoes
1/2 cup sliced boiled pork
1/2 sliced shrimp
1/2 cup mungbeans, boiled
1/2 cup shrimp juice
1/2 cup pork broth
3 cups water
4 1/4 tsp. salt
dash of pepper
3 cups moringa leaves

Saute garlic, onion and tomatoes. Add pork and
shrimp. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add
mungbeans, shrimp juice, pork broth and water.
Cover and bring to aboil. Season with salt and pepper
Add moringa leaves and cook for 5 minutes longer.
Six servings.

MU MiAceirs iais cassava rots ww pris winners in 1985.

Agriculture--Its Economic Impact On The Virgin Islands
Olasee Davis
Extension Specialist
UVI Cooperative Extension Service

Historically, the agriculture fairs were
held during the 1930's and 1940's at
the former Agriculture Experiment Station
at Estate Anna's Hope. In those days, an
agriculture fair was called an Agricultural
Field Day which attracted thousands of
At that time, there was a large number of
small farm operators. Roughly speaking, over
four hundred family farms operated and
produced all kinds of native fruits, vegetables,
and ground provisions. In addition, there
were large producers who raised large and
small livestock such as goats, sheep, cattle,
swine, and poultry.
The farmers looked forward to these "Field
Days" because they were, as today's fair,
highlights of the year and occasions when
residents could get first-hand exposure to
what the farmers produced.
Somehow, the agriculture fairs were
discontinued until 1971 when they were re-
established at the Estate Lower Love
Agriculture Station. The year the Agriculture
and Food Fair started again, former Governor
Melvin H. Evans made this statement:
'Although the passing years have dimmed
the importance of farming here, and the fields
of cultivated sugarcane have vanished from
the scene, the soil of our native land is still a
precious possession. The farmers who have
remained close to the earth must be admired
for their appreciation and understanding of
the more basic values of life. Their yields are
not only a material reward of such endeavors,
but also the spiritual and aesthetic benefits.'
Mr. Rudolph Shulterbrandt, one of the
founding members of the Agriculture and
Food Fair and former Commissioner of
Agriculture, also stated in 1971,'We who love

the field of agriculture, are also challenged
to keep our fields of livelihood alive on our
islands. We have many problems, but these
are not too different from the problems of our
neighbors near and far."
He further stated, "our neighbors too are
challenged by adverse weather: too cold, too
hot, too wet, too dry. They are also challenged
by adverse conditions of soils: too acid, too
alkaline, too little drainage, too much
drainage, soil borne diseases, nematodes."
Since 1971, the agriculture industry on St.
Croix has grown mainly in the area of
livestock production. The Senepol cattle
industry has expanded to the point where
these special breed of animals are exported
all over the world. The dairy industry on St.
Croix has increased also. Today, we have five
dairy farms with Windsor Dairy Farm having
400 milking cows. Island Dairies today is one
of the most modern, advanced dairy plants
in the world, and the only diary in the Virgin
Islands that processes natural milk fresh
from local farms.
In the mid 1970's, the College of the Virgin
Islands, now the University of the Virgin
Islands, received land-grant status. This
system has three components: the Agricultural
Experiment Station, the Cooperative
Extension Service, and the Agricultural
Teaching Program which leads to an associate
of arts degree in agriculture.
The Cooperative Extension Service includes
the home economics program, the 4-H Youth
Program, and the Agriculture and Natural
Resources. These programs have reached
thousands of residents throughout the Virgin
Islands by publications, workshops, seminars,
and on-farm demonstration projects. At the
Agricultural Experiment Station, research in

aquaculture, horticulture, animal science,
biotechnology and forages has been at the
frontline of scientific research on the
development of agriculture in the Virgin
Both the extension and research station
technology and information have reached
beyond the shores of the Virgin Islands. In the
pursuit of agriculture development in these
islands, there have been many challenges., from
budget cuts in agriculture development to the
destruction of two hurricanes within the past
six years.
In spite of all these challenges, the
opportunities for agriculture in the Virgin
Islands are promising because we are forced
now to diversify our economy. In this
diversification, the agriculture industry has the
opportunity to become one of the leading
industries in the development of the Virgin
Islands economy. In addition, the annual
Agriculture and Food Fair is an example of how
agriculture can play a major part in economic
development. x

Caledonia Springs, Inc.
#2F La Reine

....... ......

The Champagne
of Bottled Water
'Turn on to the taste of the island."

P.O. Box 1997
Kingshill, St. Croix 00851-1997
Tel: (809) 778-1281, Fax: (809) 778-1710

Rupert Barnes with his pepper sauce at the Fair


----- 0

_ 4111__




One of the many pleasures that youngsters enjoy at the fair is
the opportunity to feed the calve.

The Dzabanryfamily displaying their plants aofthu 1986 Ag~air~


"GF2=7 *1



1981 Farm Family of the Year award winners, Jose Torres and his wife, with
the late senate president Ruby A. Rouss and Dr Darshan S. Padda.

Liz Wilson contributed to the success of the Agfair
as the editor of die Bulletin in thel980s. Ms. Wilson
received an award from Governor Alexander Farelly
for her efforts.

Mr and Mrs. Ickford Benjamin received the 1993 Farm Family of the Year
award. Presenting the award to Mr Benjamin were Lieutenant Governor Derek
M. Hodge and Dr Darshan S. Padda (left).

Mr. David Schuster (right) receiving the 1994
Agricultural Business Award from former Senator
Bingley Richardson.


1986 Farmer of the Year AlbertEdwards receiving a mahogany clockfromformer
Delegate to Conpgys Ron De Lugo and Dr Darshan Padda, UVl Vice President

Angel Luis Gonzales received the 1992 Farmer of
the Year Award front former Lieutenant Governor
Derek Hodge.

,%F&MA -

- a ~ -



I e U W Ii " WM
Rev Eddie Williams(center) accepting the 1992 Recognition Award on behalf of the VI. Future Farmers ofAmerica from
former Senator Bent Lawaetz (right) and Joseph Fulgence, former director of youth activities (left).

The Frame Up

Daniel N. Holm, CPF

RD2, Village Mall 16
Barrenspot, St. Croix U.S.V.I. 00850
(809) 778-3995

Member of:
Professional Picture Framers

(The Meat Market)

Fresh Beef
(Local and U.S. Choice)

Pork a Chicken n Fish a Vegetables
Quality at low prices

Mr Damien Rodriquez (left) receiving the 1995 Fanner
of the Year Award from Governor Roy L. Schneider

Estate Upper Love RT#72
Monday Friday 8:00 -5:30, Saturday 8:00-12:30
TEL. 778-2229

#r -

'Fe A

Former Fair Superintendent Eric "Larry" Bough was the recipient of the 1985
Valued Employee Award.

Mr Henry Nelthropp Sr. (right) receiving the 1994
Distinguished Farm Family of the Year Award from former
Governor Alexander A. Farrelly (center).

Mr. Robert Moorehead (left). former Director of the
Bureau of Correction, accepting the 1992 Special
Recognition Award on behalf of the Anna's Hope
Corrections farm.

ii"', i

Commissioner Dr. Arthur C. Petersen Jr. (right) presents former EDA
Commisioner Eric Dawson with the 1995 Recognition Award for his con-
tribution to the Agriculture and Food Fair of the Vfrgin Islands

Olasee Davis receiving the 1993 Environmental Award from
former Senator Bingley Richardson.

The 1995 Limstock Swerpstake Award was won by Mrs, Colleen Francis-Centeno.

Mr James Simmonds poses proudly with his trophies that he won for Best Ornamental Exhibits in the 1995 Fair

For the second year, the Seventh Day Adventist School won first
place in the youth garden competition.

Eulalie Rivera Elementary School was awarded a certificate of
participation in the 1995 youth garden competition.



ions for 25 years offarming, food and fun! (809) 778-0404

the tool box
S Hardware Store

The Island's Best Selection

Screws and Tools

[ I

Nuts, Bolts,

1981 Winning Recipe
Sweet Potato Pudding
by Gwendolyne Fludd
lb. sweet potato (grated)
lb. pumpkin (grated
lb. tannia (grated)
coconut (grated)
lb. sugar- brown or white
cup Crisco or shortening
tbsp. cinnamon
tbsp. mace
tbsp. nutmeg
tbsp. black pepper

Start by pealing potatoes, pumpkin, and
tannia. Wash and grate. After these ingredients
are grated, add your spice and mix well, then
pour in melted shortening. Place in a greased
baking pan and bake at 300, F. for about 1 1/2
hours. You could also add a piece of fat pork.
Cooking is done very slowly. Test to see if done
by inserting a knife. If knife comes out clean
then pudding is done.

Charles Anthony, President


PHONE: (809) 778-7073 FAX (809) 773-0991
P.O. BOX 7725
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS 00823-7725


^^^^^^^^^-D /'/


ium'Gmlera Buld ng etll'
NulnhlL(- Flovia

't *^ K ^^^Bt
lt"*' "l ^BF '" ^fi~ ^^ L
^< .;'^ ^lt- ^ 1
V a- 4,^
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- I'

A bountiful display of produce from the Cent

A wonderful display of Carib crafts

ral Marketing Corporation of St Kitts

from Dominica at dre 1995 Fair




Jaw Bone Candies
by Fedelia Harrigan (1981)

1 tbsp. peppermint oil
5 Ibs. sugar
6 pt. water

Bring sugar, peppermint and water to boil. Boil until
it reaches 2500F. Then take boiled mix, pour it on a
marble stone and roll for about 15 minutes. Nail a 6"
nail into a piece of lumber about your height. Take
rolled mix from marble stone and hang it on the nail.
Pull mix on nail causing it to go around into a circle
for about 15 minutes or until mix becomes very
smooth. Remove from nail and return to marble stone
where it is cut into pieces. Makes 1 1/2 dozen.





Sharing a special moment at the 1985 Fair is Rowan Henry and his
young Holstein bull.

Melbourne Petersen and Henry Schuster gave fairgoes a special
bvat by cooking roast pork in the traditional stone oven.

ED&A's 1995 Horicultural Nursery display of citrus grown in caliche soils

Locally grown arnamentalsfrom J & S Gardens.

Vienmna Cake brnhy.t tayv at pIeseftiweetn nat\astt
Vie na Cake and sprinkle lightly with liquor. Ice cake.
by Louise Samuel(1981)

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 to 6 eggs
4 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
11/2 cup milk -
1 tsp.vanilla essence 1
I tsp.almond essence
4or5 preserves
including chopped guavaberry and lime

Cream butter, add sugar gradually still creaming Lf W
about 15 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time until
light. Sift flour and baking powder and add little
at a time with milk and essence while folding.
Grease three layer cake pans and bake in oven
350F. approximately 20-25 minutes. Let cool.
Preferable to bake a day before. Slice each layer
into two using 4 or 5 flavors of preserve, prefer-
ably local green lime, guavaberry, guava jelly or jam,
pineapple preserve. Mix each preserve with rum or


John C Turnbull Faners
j 4 & sm^^^ flflfl^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

In 1984 the Farmers' Market was named in honor of the lae John C, Twmbull


Ask for Cooper!

Withi Our

Tires Batteries Shocks
Brake Repairs Oil & Lube
* Wheel Alignment CV Joints
Rt.70 in Sion Farm
778-5962 J


Chronology Of Major Developments In Forage-Livestock
Feeding Systems In The Virgin Islands
Martin B. Adjei
Research Assistant Professor Agronomy
UVI Agricultural Experiment Station

Following the demise of the Virgin
Islands' sugar industry in 1966, dairying
and livestock (cattle, sheep and goats)
production assumed growing dominance
within the Agricultural sector of the VI's
economy. In addition to dairy cattle,
approximately 5,000 beef cattle were
maintained on about 3,000 hectares and
raised to slaughter weight on grass by 1973.
However, it soon became evident that the
semi-arid climate induced acute periodic
shortages of feed on limited land holdings.
Approximately 95 percent of the Virgin
Islands' livestock feed grain was imported
prior to 1973, and local leadership had a
strong desire to supplant feed imports with
local production.

Sorghum Silage

Under the collaborative joint leadership of
Mr. Oscar E. Henry, former Commissioner of
Agriculture and Dr. Darshan S. Padda, former
director of the University of the Virgin
Islands Agricultural Experiment Station
(AES), the sorghum program was initiated
in 1976 about the same time that the Senepol
beef cattle was also developed. The years 1976
to 1985 saw considerable thrust on UVI-AES
grain and forage sorghum research for silage
production as a remedy for dry season feed
deficit. Suitable sorghum cultivars adapted
to the Virgin Islands conditions were
identified from replicated field trials and
released. These included the Taylor-Evans
Silomaker and Yieldmaker, both intermediate
varieties, which were capable of producing
10-15 tons of dry forage per acre, yearly,
under intensive crop management.

Research results made available to local
farmers in the form of AES publications
included information on land and seed bed
preparation; planting date and row spacing;
fertilization rates; weed, insect and disease
control; and harvesting and storage
methods. There was a reciprocal increased
response in sorghum crop production for
silage by local farmers and an upsurge in
beef and dairy output for the Virgin Islands'
market. By 1982, the livestock industry on
St. Croix consisted of 5,000 cattle (beef and
dairy) and 5,000 sheep and goats on 6,000
hectares of farmland.
Despite the earlier successes with sorghum
silage conservation, native pastures,
dominated by guineagrass and tan tan or
leucaena, continued to provide the basic
feed resources for the livestock industry of
the Virgin Islands. Additionally, the expense
to farmers of annual sorghum cultivation,
imported fertilizer and pesticide inputs
eventually became prohibitive within the
context of a growing tourist economy that
competed for land and labor in the territory.
Therefore, the focus again shifted towards
finding ways to improve and manage native
grasslands. Guineagrass hay production
eventually replaced silage as the forage
conservation method in the territory.

Grass Evaluation

The soil-plant-animal system is so complex
that it is very difficult to study all its
underlying mechanisms simultaneously.
Problems faced in forage evaluation are
threefold: (1) those largely independent of the
effects of animals such as environmental


adaptation and fertilizer trials; (2) those in
which the investigator needs to determine the
influence of the animal on the sward but does
not necessarily need to determine the effect
of the award on the animal, such as
measuring the grazing tolerance of several
species; and (3) those which can be solved only
by evaluation with the animal. Generally, the
first two types of problems are studied in
relatively small plots, whereas the third
problem requires large pastures and numbers
of animals.
Notwithstanding the enormity of the task,
some progress has been made in pasture and
forage research over the past 30 years in the
Virgin Islands. In a 5-year experiment
beginning in 1966, the effects of nitrogen (N)
fertilization (0 vs. 300 pounds N per acre) and
harvest frequency (2-, 3-, 4- and 6-month
intervals) on yield and chemical composition
of guineagrass forage was studied on St.
Croix. It was concluded that a 4-monthly
harvest interval provided a reasonable
compromise between high yield and ease of
management on one hand, and high quality
of forage on the other hand. The yearly
average production obtained with the 4-
monthly harvest interval was 8.6 tons per
acre of dry forage with a crude protein content
of 4.6 percent.
Several attempts have been made since
1969 to identify more drought tolerant and
persistent alternative forage grasses to
guineagrass. The evaluation criteria included
an assessment of mode of propagation, ease
of establishment, reproductive capacity,
rapidity of ground coverage and of recovery after
defoliation, ratooning ability, competitiveness,
maintenance of stand, yield and tolerance of
drought and plant pests. Based on the results,
major forage grass alternatives to guineagrass
for silage or green chop in the Virgin Islands
were listed as elephantgrass, sugar cane and
sudan sorghum. Major sod-forming grasses
recommended for pasture included buffel
grass, rhodes grass and pangolagrass in
addition to guineagrass.
In 1971, selected clones of digitgrasses

(Digitaria species) were evaluated specifically
for drought tolerance.The clones were
established by vegetative propagation during
the wet season. Observations on survival and
growth were made at intervals throughout
the next 25-month duration of the trial.
Significant differences in survival among
species were found during the period of
drought. Superior performance of clones
within species were also demonstrated by two
accessions i.e. USDA Plant Introduction (PI)
#111110 (Digitaria decumbens) and USDA PI
#2999795 (Digitaria setivalva).
Subsequently, the productive capacity of
eight tropical grasses was assessed in large
scale grazing trials on different soils and in
different rainfall belts in 1973. Productive
capacity was measured in livestock carrying
capacity, animal daily gains and beef
production.The overall performance of
pangolagrass (the selected USDA PI #111110)
was superior to those of Barbados sourgmras,
buffelgrass, rhodes grass, coastal bermudagras
and guineagrass. Pangolagrass and elephantgrass,
species of diverse growth habit, produced
similar liveweight gains in these trials. In
descending order of forage productive
capacity, the soils were ranked as Granard
clay loam, San Anton clay loam, Fredensborg
clay and Cornhill day loam.
These earlier concerted efforts at grass
species selection, pioneered by Dr. OJ. Oakes
and his able assistant Mr. Oliver Skov,
yielded one lasting dividend for the livestock
industry on St. Croix.The selected pangolagrass
(USDA PI 111110) was established on large
portions of twolocal sites (Mr Oscar Henry
and Annaly farms) in the 1100+ mm rainfall
belt of St Croix and has persisted under
rotational grazing management for more than
25 years. Incidentally, these two farms
usually encounter the least dry season feed
shortage problems in the Virgin Islands. No
such successful grass candidate has yet been
found for the dry (less than 900 mm rainfall)
eastern half of the island.

Grass-Legume Mixtures


Renewed public emphasis on low-input,
sustainable agriculture that is environmental
friendly, has caused a corresponding shift
within the Agronomy program since 1986.
Inter-cropping grasses with legumes which
fix nitrogen is a promising means for
providing N to the companion grass,
improving the protein content of available
forage and reducing non-point source of N
pollution. Also, development of management
systems that promote dry matter production,
improve forage quality and maintain integrity
of native pastures, by curtailing the ingress
of malevolent plant species such as hurricane
grass and casha into the native range, are
crucial to sustainability.
Dr. Oakes selected leucaena in 1962 from
among five woody legumes tested as a possible
source of protein feed for the Virgin Islands.
Although leucaena forage is high in crude
protein (20 percent) and is still commonly cut
from the road side and carried to livestock in
the dry season, there is a strongly negative
public outlook on that plant as a nuisance
weed. Recently, alternative, less aggressive
legumes to leucaena have been developed
including selections of Desmanthus, Glycine
and Teramnus. The effects of deferment date
and clipping management on dry-season
forage yield and quality of mixtures of these
legumes and recently selected grasses were
studied over 3 years. It was concluded that a
late January deferment date for dwarf
elephantgrass/glycine mixture has the
greatest potential for forage bank on St.
Croix. Mixtures of these selected legumes and
grasses have been established across the
rainfall gradients on the island and are being
evaluated for their grazing tolerance.
Meanwhile, the carrying capacity of a native
guineagrass pasture under rotational grazing
around the Kingshill area has been accurately
determined from another 3-year Herbage
Allowance study. Grazing rotationally with
535 pounds liveweight per acre of sheep
(equivalent of 7 adult sheep or 1/2 cattle unit
per acre) resulted in no deterioration to the
guineagrass pasture and a yearly liveweight

gain of 600 pounds per acre. From on-going
trials, carrying capacity is expected to be
much lower for continuous grazing system.


Continued expansion of the tourist industry
and urban development in the Virgin Islands
will translate into diminishing and more
expensive land availability for livestock
grazing. Cost effective methods of pasture
improvement, in addition to sustainable forage
and grazing management strategies, are
essential for the survival of dairy, beeft sheep
and goat production in the Virgin Islands into
the 21st century Our experiences within the
past 25 years clearly demonstrate that the
UVI-AES forage research team will strive to
develop appropriate technology towards that
survival. x

Dr Martin Adjfi examines a grass/legume (elephantgrass/
glycine) forage bank reserved for dry season feed supple-

m Iq

Central High School ROTC performed for fairgoers at Agrifest 1995.

The Buffalo Soldiers entertained fairgoers at the 1990 *Agriculture Day.


Nutty Sorrel Bread

cup chopped sorrel
1/4 cups enriched flour
cup whole rye flour
cup sugar
pkg. yeast
tbsp. grated orange rind
egg, slightly beaten
cup warm milk
cup warm water
tbsp. margarine
tbsp. shortening
tsp. salt


tablespoons honey
cup chopped walnuts
cup currants
cup chopped sorrel

MisstV 'S
1. r a.S ViRBv :,ANMOS

Cook chopped sorrel in 1/2 cup water until
tender about 3 minutes. Combine enriched
flour and rye flour on waxed paper. Place 2
cups of flour in mixing bowl; add yeast, salt,
sugar, 2 tablespoons margarine, 2 tablespoons
shortening, add warm water and milk. Beat
for 3 minutes; cover; set aside to rise.
Add sorrel, grated orange rind and egg.
Gradually add remaining flour to form a soft
dough. Knead until smooth; cover and set
aside to rise. Punch down 2 times; after third
rising divide into two parts. Roll each portion
out to a 6 x 7 rectangle. Fill with mixture
made by cooking chopped sorrel with 1/2 cup
water until water evaporates. Combine with
chopped nuts, currants and honey.
To fill Divide nut-currant sorrel mixture
into 2 parts. Spread in center of triangle; roll
ends of dough towards center to cover nut
mixture. Pinch together; place in greased loaf
pan with pinched side down. Bake in medium
oven until done. Cool and brush top with
mixture of 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon
Reprinted from UVI-CBS cookbook enticd BREADS


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Red Grout(Guava)

Extractjuice from guavas. This
may be done by:

1. Peeling skin from guavas
and removing seeds. Use shells
for preserves. Cover skins and
seeds with water and boil.
Drain liquid from cooked skin
and seeds.


2. Dice guavas. Cover with
water and boil. Drain.

Mix 1/4 cup tapioca, 2 1/2
cups guava juice, dash of salt
and 1/3 cup sugar (or sugar to
taste). Bring to a boil over me-
dium heat, stirring constantly
until tapioca looks clear. Add
a few drops of red food color-
ing to desired redness. Pour
into serving dishes. Cool. Serve
with topping of soft custard or
ice cream.

Reprinted from UVI-CES
Holiday Cooking.

PROONR (P) 778-M e
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Over the years, Mrs Margaret Carter has been serving fairgoers a
variety of local beverages


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I N[ I 1 1) IN110PPIN(" IT UA I

Fish Pudding

3 pounds fish (blue fish preferred)
I medium onion
1 sweet pepper
1 stalk celery
1/4 pound butter or margarine
1 small can tomato sauce
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
12 saltines or salted crackers
seasonings: crushed garlic, ground mace,
ground clove, dash salt and pepper to taste

Bone and grind or chop the fish. Season with salt,
pepper, garlic, mace and clove. Chop onion, sweet
.pepper and celery. Saut6 in a pan with butter until
tender but not brown.
Add tomato sauce. Remove from stove and add
fish, crushed saltines or crackers, milk and beaten
eggs. (The beauty of the pudding is in the stirring; it
should be as light as possible). The pudding can be
either baked or boiled.
To bake: Pour pudding into greased casserole dish.
Sprinkle the top with cracker crumbs. Cover securely.
Set in a pan half full of water and cook over a low
flame for about I hour or until firm.
To boil: Pour pudding into a greased casserole dish,
pudding or cake pan. Sprinkle the top with cracker
crumbs. Cover securely. Set in a pan half full of water
and cook over a low flame for about 1 hour or until
firm. Makes 10 servings, 6 ounces each.

Reprintedfrom UVI-CES Native Recipea

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Members of the St. Croix Heritage Dancers performing at
the Fair

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1980 Fair winners.



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Saltiuh Gundy

4 (3-inch) strips Maubi bark
5 quarts water
1 ounce sweet marjoramrn
1 ounce anise
1 ounce rosemary
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
I (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon fresh orange peel, grated
3 pounds sugar
2 pinches granular yeast

To make "bitters," boil bark and herbs in one quart
of water for 5 to 10 minutes. Cool. Fill another
container with 4 quarts of water and sweeten with
sugar. Add the bitters, then toss mixture with ladle.
When it begins to foam add yeast. Strain through a
clean cloth and bottle. Set aside overnight to age and
ferment. Save some as a "starter" for the next making.
If pineapple is available, you can add the rind of the
pineapple when preparing bitters to get a pine maubi.

Pound salted codfish fillet
teaspoon capers
medium onion
cup salad oil
teaspoons vinegar
hard boiled eggs

Soak fish long enough to remove excess salt. Wash.
Mix salad oil with vinegar and set aside. Put saltfish,
onion, and capers through meat grinder. Combine
well with salad oil mixture. Garnish with slices of
hard boiled eggs.
For an interesting texture, flake saltfish into very
small pieces instead of grinding, then reduce salad
oil to 1/4 cup. Makes 10 servings, 2 ounces each.

Reported frmS UVI-CES Natve Recipes.

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