Belize ag report


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Belize ag report
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Belize Ag Report, Beth Roberson
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San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize
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University of Florida
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NOV 2013 JAN 2014 1 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize The Belize Ag Report Belizes most complete independent agricultural publication MAY-JUNE 2014ISSUE 25 Fertilizer company coming to Belize. See page 7. Mountain Equestrian Trails Endangered Birds pg. 16 Tamarind pg. 10 Stubeef Jerky pg. 3 BEL-CAR Pg. 13 TR4 Panama Disease pg. 9 Asparagus pg. 8 Roots and Shoots pg. 5 Bees Transferring Honey pg. 22 Spanish Lookout Expo pg. 21 Anniversary Anniversary 5th 5th


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 2 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 3 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Stubeef Jerky Returns To the Delight of Former CustomersBy Roberson/FeuchtAlthough still a young man, Stuart Doley has been making jerky for decades. Growing up in Virginia (USA), he made venison jerky from deer that he techniques making jerky in a small dehydrator for himself and friends. It is not surprising that soon after his arrival in Belize in 2010 he was at it again, turning local grassfed beef into beef jerky. Using Running W meats he tested the local market under the trade name STUBEEF JERKY. Just as his market here was taking off, Stuart detoured to Barcelona, Spain for an MBA degree. He and his Belizean enabling production of up to 100 lbs. of jerky a week, opened for business. Meats destined for jerky must be lean; wild meats such as venison, known for its lack of marbling is ideal but is not his criteria. The steak is custom cut into pieces of 1/8th inch thickness across the grain and all excess fat is trimmed. Fats are not desirable in jerky, as they increase rancidity risk. Stuarts secret blend of spices and seasonings are mixed with soy sauce, sugar, salt and sodium and placed into a vacuum tumbler. Only natural preservatives are used. 40 lbs. of the meat pieces are added to the mixture already inside the cylindrical stainless steel container. The top is sealed shut, the vacuum tube is attached and in just a few minutes the vacuum pump sucks all of the air out of the cylinder. The sealed cylinder is placed horizontally onto rollers which rotate the container on top of into the meat. The next phase of the procedure is the trickiest drying. Stubeef utilizes American made electric dehydrators; each one holds 25 lbs. of meat. Good circulation and low heat (between 50 and 160 degrees F) are critical that our seasonal weather necessitates adjustments to his cooking times and temperatures. from 25 lbs. of fresh round steak is about 6 lbs. of jerky; so one of the 1 oz. packets is equal to lb. of beef steak and one 4 oz. package of jerky is equivalent in protein and nutrients to a pound of lean beef steak. for hiking and camping trips. As well as eating it straight, jerky is a tasty addition to rice, stew and even cut into bits on salads (similar to bacon bits). The extremely long shelf life, 6 to 8 months without refrigeration, even after opening, merit its inclusion with your hurricane and emergency supplies. (seasoned with black pepper grown at The Belize Spice Farm in Golden Stream, Toledo) and Spicy Habanero. These are sold in 1 oz. and 4 oz. vacuum-packaged re-sealable bags. Editors Note: Orders can be made directly from STUBEEF JERKY; a 5 lb. minimum applies for wholesale purchase. around the country. If you go to their headquarters in the facility. Available in select stores Custom orders accepted! Bulk and wholesale rates available We ship anywhere in Belize Product of BelizeCONTACT US AT: or 637-5545ALL NATURAL, LEAN BEEF SNACK


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 4 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize TO THE EDITORDear Editor, Having been involved in organic agriculture for many years, I believe that organic is more than just agriculture; it is a commitment to a lifestyle. Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food, quoting Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, known as the father of modern medicine. Decades of research The counter-culture of the back to the land generation of the 1960s, turned into the organic agriculture industry of the However, eating only organic food is not the entire answer to being healthful. We are subjected to chemical toxins in our bath soaps, toothpaste, shampoo, dishwashing liquids, laundry detergents, cleaning agents and cosmetics to name just a few. Organic, therefore is a lifestyle to be carried out in every who raise organic food by joyfully paying the extra price and learning how to produce more yourself which will pay you in consideration. Dr. Morris F. Keller, Director New Life Farm Ltd. To the Editor, Its time to run the citrus industry as a business. handle the shares on behalf of Belizean citrus growers. for various reasons. The rights or wrongs of these decisions can be argued from different points of view. The fact still It is time to remove totally these shares from the control of names based on production. This will remove the ability of citrus production has declined dramatically to the lowest ever recorded last year, and growers delivering fruit have declined has declined from over one million boxes to less than half a million. So clearly, the ownership of the processing has not receive less than half what USA growers receive, despite the fact that the processing factory invested four years ago in the equipment to produce consumer ready packs of fresh orange juice which sell for a much higher price and would have led to growers receiving almost double what the factory currently pays. up with some other scheme, or through mis-management leading to indebtedness, as currently, which will lead to a put an end to this. Let us run the processing as a business, with the Board of Directors elected by the shareholders and responsible to them. Frank Redmond NOTICE: Please feel free to share The Belize Ag Report by publishing the link to our website or sharing it with others. The Belize Ag Report welcomes petitions to reprint articles. However, please note that the PDF download and individual articles are copyright protected and permission MUST be granted by the Editor prior to reproduction. We also require that reprints indicate The Belize Ag Report as the source and that our website be referenced.The Belize Ag Report (please, no text, no voicemail) Submissions as follows: publication. 5 Issues per year Mission Statement:The Belize Ag Report is an independent bi-monthly agriculture newsletter. Our purpose is to collect, edit and disseminate information useful to the Belizean producer, large or small. We invite opinions on issues, which are not necessarily our own. Belize Ag neither solicits nor accepts political ads. Dont be nervousabout nding a printed copy of the next BELIZE AG REPORTSubscribe and relax. The Belize Ag Report, P.O. Box 150, San Ignacio, Cayo DistrictInternational rates upon request


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 5 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Roots and Shoots Mini Ag Fair in Consejo, CorozalA small local garden club called Roots and Shoots is a special shrubs and fruit trees, and some have small vegetable gardens, and a few have small farms. The club meets every second Monday to discuss various topics of gardening in the tropics, listen to an invited speaker or member of the club or nurseries and farms. Weve also attended The National Agriculture Fair in Belmopan and Sustainable Harvest st It was a great success -thanks to all the organizing and hard had a very large turnout of members and guests. We had a for potted plants, explaining that when we transport plants from different areas the plants are in shock and should not be planted until they become used to their new environment. Many of us are so excited when we get a new plant that we want to put it into the ground too quickly. The demonstrations were excellent, informative and most on a crouten plant. First, they removed the bark with a very it with soil and tying both ends with string. They explained that we should check for roots after about three weeks and at that stage we could cut the new plant, which would be the same age as the mother plant, ready for planting. John Masson then showed us to do the same more quickly with a small pliers to remove the bark; then using a piece of foil with soil, he twisted both ends. Seeing them build living pictures using miniature cactus plants had many people wanting to go home and make their own! farming; Yasmin Rameriz (SHI) explained all about the moringa plant which is sometimes called the miracle tree, every part of which can be used for medicinal purposes; Will Forbes and Foster Jones spoke about aquaculture, which can There were many different vendors including some of our clubs members, selling a variety of plants, herbs, orchids, pots, creams, soaps and various handicrafts, including handmade cards and clothes tie-dyed with home-grown indigo dyes. Booths and displays with items for sale included Belize Agro Enterprise Ltd (BAEL) selling their EM products; Triple from her Window Box Nursery with a large selection of plants, miniature gardens and living pictures and clay pots (from fertilizers, moringa teas, and demonstrating their solar dryer (for beans, or leaves); and the Belize Organic Alliance (BOA) who were anxious to explain their new organization here in Belize. After the event itself, visitors had the opportunity to visit products to fertilize and improve the soil. For those of you who missed this years fair, you will be everyone agreed that it was a lot of fun, and we should do it again next year.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 6 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Citrus Greening in BelizeBy Bill Lindoth acres of land devoted to citrus groves. Over the last couple of years, Huang Long Bin (HLB) yellow shoot disease or citrus greening has caused several thousand acres of groves to be abandoned and now less than 400 citrus farmers are active. This is down from a high of about 1,000 + farmers a few years ago. According to the schoolmen, the disease is caused by a bacterium that inhabits the phloem (energy conducting tissues) of the tree and so far has affected all citrus varieties. The bacterium is transmitted by an insect pest called the Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorinacitri. No data exists to show that the disease is transmitted by tools, wind, rain, or human interaction. According to the experts no cure exists for the HLB disease and only two burn everything, then plant new trees from greenhouses that were freed of the Asian citrus psyllid. It is very expensive at some that soon the results of genetic engineering of citrus trees will produce citrus trees that are resistant to the Asian citrus psyllid. insects in the groves to attack and destroy the Asian citrus psyllid. This new approach is to buy time so that in the next two-three years the growers can be able to import GMO citrus trees from Florida. The underlying idea or philosophy since the end of World War II, both in agriculture and medicine, is to a war on disease which we are losing and can never win. such as salt fertilizers, some very dangerous chemicals, and the more deadly, the better. And when these fail, we blame Nature and say engineered crops so we can spray on more and more chemicals. Have we not seen that this is an unnecessary war and one in which the only winner is the chemical/biotech company and their cronies including the politicians who In high school and college I formally studied was to look for underlying causes for problems in physics or chemistry. Later as I studied on my own, I also learned that biology works the same way; Nature is holistic, non-linear, non-entropic, dynamic, energetic. Nature is ordered, intelligent, and perfect. Nature is the example to follow; she possess all the answers. It follows that a war on Nature is not only foolish, but futile a waste of time. Insects, weeds and diseases are not normal and certainly not any evidence of the wrath of God on man. How can God who created man in His image wage a war on man by creating a Nature thats random, unintelligent, and With this kind of mind-set then citrus greening is natural because as long as the Diaphorinacitri is in the area of a citrus grove then all the trees in that grove will be infected liberibacterasiaticus bacteria and eventually they will all die. If one uses the of the chemical/biotech companies must be millions of years here on planet Earth. How can this be if insects, much better it is if one accepts the fact that insects and disease organisms are our quality control workers to maintain the toxic, prescription farm management. Insects and diseases keep away from healthy crops and trees. It is possible to grow crops and trees where the energy and nutrientdensity is so high that no insect nor disease pressure is on that crop or tree and to do this without pesticide or fungicides of any kind, synthetic or organic, being applied. The problem with this type of professional farming is that it causes little or no grants to perpetuate the training of more students to use more poisons. And worst, people who consume the nutrient-dense foods get fewer, if any, illnesses; so the drug companies sell fewer drugs, doctors perform fewer surgeries, medical machine manufactures sell less machines. In other words, sickness is Continued on page 23 A n Energetic Approach to A griculture We offer the following services and products: Soft Rock Phosphate The remarkable fertilizer for mineralization of soils, containing Phosphate, Calcium, Silicon, and over 60 trace minerals. Sulfate of Potash The only water soluble natural source of potassium and sulfates with under 2% chloride which will not kill your soils. Calcium Nitrate Calcium and nitrate nitrogen for super growth of plants, will not kill soils, and reduce nitrogen needs by 60%. Mono a mmonium Phosphate (MAP) A water soluble phosphate with ammonium nitrogen which will not kill soils. 134 Samuel Haynes St. Belize City Tel: +501 223 2526 mobile: 602 2993 Em ail: Based on the soil, tissue and energy results we offer advice on possible economic solutions


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 7 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize 2014 International Year of Family Farming Lots of Positive Change for the FutureBy Maruja VargasThe United Nations has designated 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming bringing attention to the importance of family farmers, including smallholder farmers, and their role in helping to nourish the world. The celebration is also aptly timed; it is reported that nearly 900 million people go to bed hungry every night and the global population is expected to reach more than nine billion people by the year 2050. The world will need to not only increase agricultural production, but environmentally sustainable. Smallholder farmers are in a unique position to contribute to the global food supply, but empowering smallholder and family farmers is a vital step toward improving nutrition, increasing incomes, protecting and enhancing biodiversity, enhancing soil quality, conserving water, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. Equally important as the goal of feeding the world is the necessity of growing more nutrient-dense crops. All farmers can have a direct impact on nutrition through the crops that they choose to grow and consume, as well as through postharvest and preparation methodologies they use. Integrated farming systems in which a micro farmer produces grains, fruits and vegetables, and animal products, can be between four and ten times more productive than large-scale, indigenous crops are typically more resilient to climate change in Nature in 2000 found that four different heterogeneous mixtures of rice seedlings yielded 89 percent more and suffered 44 percent less blast incidence than homogeneous plantings. Growing a diverse range of traditional crops assures the farmer of economic stability throughout the year rather than relying on one traditional harvest. Diverse and traditional crops also encourage community cohesion by interacting in regular market trade with each other. Another report suggests that if 10,000 small-and mediumsized farms converted to organic, sustainable production, the environmental effect in terms of carbon sequestration would be equivalent to removing over one million cars from the road. Local organic production mitigates many contributing factors to climate warming, such as elimination of the use of fuelheavy pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and travel miles moving commodities through distribution systems to the consumer. According to the International Fund for Agricultural agricultural holdings worldwide measure less than two hectares in size and are thus managed by smallholder farmers. The average size of all farms worldwide is less than 5 hectares. And average size holding being less than 25 hectares. Although Latin America is a region that holds great natural wealth, historically a large portion of its population lives in poverty. Bradford Burns, states underemployed, undereducated and underpaid. The history of by export agriculture, and vice versa. Many large commercial farmers produce for export, but not local consumption, partly that push exports over the local market contribute a sure means to earn hard currency needed to pay interest rates on ever increasing burdensome foreign debt, but deepen rural poverty. When subsistence agriculture dominates over export agriculture of singular crops the people have a more satisfactory quality of life. In 1988, eleven million small farmers in Latin agrarian exports. But if the economy declines or collapses as the emphasis of export over subsistence farming could result in widespread local hunger. by declining net energy, concerns about food security, adequate nutrition, community resilience, reliable income and global warming commonly arise. Micro farming quickly surfaces as a pursuit that could help to address all of these concerns. A recent news release featuring a fellow from Quebec demonstrates intensive micro farming while, at the same time, contributing to community food security and mitigation of global warming. Last year he grossed US$140,000 from one and half acres in was US$65,000. He employed 2 workers, his wife and himself. Biologically intensive organic farming is growing more than one cropping and poly-cropping, yielding more total food even if the yield of any given crop is lower. A fair number of agribusiness executives, agricultural and ecological scientists, and international agriculture experts believe that a major shift to organic farming would not only increase the worlds food supply, but might be the only way to eradicate hunger. To raise the index on micro farming, farmers need advice, instruction, seeds, equipment, and perhaps micro credit. Bio-intensive, micro-farming will lead the way to national sustainability, food security and higher quality of life for the populace in Latin America. Dear Belizean farmer, Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Alex Kaminsky I am VP of Sapphire Agriculture LLC based in the United States. The company I work for provides fertilizer to our markets in the Caribbean. We are entering the agriculture industry in Belize and would like to make our fertilizer products available to the farming community. We offer NPK fertilizer, liquid fertilizer and nutritionals, individual raw materials and certified organic fertilizer. We can blend any type of NPK fertilizer as per the needs of the farmer. Sapphire Agriculture LLC is currently seeking representatives. Please contact Jennifer Caceres via email:


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 8 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize BEYOND THE BACK YARDBy Jenny Wildman Oh I do like to be beside the seaside your favourite thing that Without hesitation I surprises them that it actually grows here in the tropics. I walk out most mornings and check the patch in hopes of a few delicate shoots to eat, raw and delicious. For me this is the best way and feels very healthy as it is rich in all kinds of nutritious and K, plus minerals and antioxidants. It is low in calories with no fat, no cholesterol, and no sodium. First off I always consider what it can do for ones health. It is a good contains glutathione known to break down carcinogens and on the body yet memorably some like Dr. Urbino in Marquez urine which he insisted on spraying on his beloved garden. I have only a small patch so really never get to cooking bunches from the garden. I grew this from a crown given to me from District. I probably broke all the planting rules but like me, the asparagus plant originates from a maritime location and loves sand, sea and salt -which could explain why the useless sandy nature of my land is blessed with my favourite vegetable. When my parents sold their house we children wrote on the the back door of the new home opened out into an enchanted overgrown garden, a scene from Sleeping Beauty. Dominating a common corruption of the name, much like my friends use of with asparagus. Here was the beginning of lasting love. My fathers business was in Evesham, Worcestershire which is the largest producer of asparagus in Northern Europe. Like other has an annual festival complete with an Asparagus Queen and folks dressed up as green headed spears. Fond memories lead to was successful with, alongside my rhubarb and stinging nettles. In Belize asparagus grows year round but my own attempts have been limited. It is part of the lily family and is a very good companion plant to tomatoes as they help each other to dispel harmful root nematodes and can itself be aided by marigolds, parsley, cilantro and basil. Adding compost and manure will help plants thrive but they establish before harvesting. It can bear for more than 15 years commercially and there are reports of old garden beds still bearing after 50 years. Once established it is rapid growing, just as most grasses, and achieves 6 inches in a day. Its behaviour energy to the crown and should not be pruned back. Being on sand dunes and beaches, will no doubt be comfortable with salinity. Asparagus is thought to have grown wild along the coast of the British Isles and the Mediterranean and has been cultivated all over the world for thousands of years. The name came from a Greek word meaning shoot and was believed to prevent bee stings and used as a pain killer for toothaches. The Romans developed techniques to cultivate asparagus which was previously harvested in the wild. It was grown for medicinal purposes, as an aphrodisiac and for use in many rituals. It was initially the vegetable of royals and did not come to general coveted vegetable and the white is the more common sort. This is not a variety but grown with the absence of light. The early European settlers brought plants to the Americas and began cultivation in New England. Its peak season is April to June quite inexpensive there even though production costs appear market is Mexico as the labour force and overhead costs are less. Whilst looking on the internet I found that two of our favourable for this crop here as they are growing papayas. It is imported and expensive. It does not taste anything like that fresh from my garden. There are several ways to cook asparagus and depending on whether using a dry or wet method the taste differs from meaty, your body will derive from a meal with asparagus. Find a way to grow a little patch. Your body will be as happy as a day at the seaside. If anyone is growing enough to sell, please let our readers know. As always please share your thoughts and experiences. Homestead in San Antonio 57 acres for grazing and planting well established fruit trees Cement Home with 2 full apartments, private patios & pool all seeking loving touch of a new owner US$249,000 call for appointment to view 501-668-0749 / 663-6777


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 9 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize rfrrrnt ttbr rt bntttt bbbbbtft ftt trfff ntrrfff bbf Bananas in Danger: TR4 Panama DiseaseBy Evin ZabanehThe next time you bite into a banana, take a moment to savor the delicious treat. With its sweet, consistent taste and creamy texture, it is no wonder that bananas are the worlds most popular fruit. What most do not realize as they are peeling away its golden skin to devour the scrumptious pulp is that bananas are in danger. A serious fungal disease threatens to devastate the world-wide Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. particularly Tropical Race 4. banana industry news and science, the fungus survives in the soil and the plant later dies. as it began taking a devastating toll on the Gros Michel banana, which was the common commercially-produced banana. By the spread, wiping out plantations. Fortunately, by the 1950s an alternate variety banana, the Michel. It was resistant to the lethal fungus and was an acceptable substitute for the banana market. Michel plants had when infected with Fusarium wilt. Since further investigation, which led to the discovery of a new strain of Fusarium oxysporum withstand. The earlier version of Fusarium oxysporum that impacted the Gros Michel banana is categorized as Race 1. The strain that banana industry is called Tropical Race 4, or TR4. quickly, wiping out thousands of acres of cultivated bananas. The fungus can be spread though several media. Run-off water can convey the spores to new locations. Soils will hold the fungus for years, long after banana plants are gone. Furthermore, animals, vehicles, footwear and equipment can transmit infected soil. appear healthy, but are infected. Many places could actually have the fungus present in their soils but not see any symptoms in their plants for two years. Once the fungus is present, there is no treatment. According to the World Although TR4 has not reached the Americas, its spread remains a possibility. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations recently advised countries to take action to stop the expansion of the disease. Recommendations by the FAO and World Banana Forum include raising awareness of the disease, implementing preventative measures and employing phytosanitary practices. The BGA is urging the Belize Agricultural procedures are not put in place, TR4 could reach Belize and present BAHA said the organization has requested a risk analysis about the disease and plans to work with the BGA to raise awareness Although the outlook for the banana industry seems grim, researchers are studying resistant plants and experimenting with alternate varieties to explore all possible options. The battle against Fusarium wilt will likely be long and hard fought, but stakeholders in the banana industry will make every effort to ensure consumers will continue to enjoy their favorite fruit into the future. Editors Note: Evin Zabaneh is the operator of Bunches of Fun Banana Farm Tours near Placencia. She has a Master of International Agriculture Degree from Oklahoma State University.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 10 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize TAMARIND By Mary Susan LoanThe tamarind tree is a leguminous tree (a tree which bears pods). Tamarind fruit in pods, or hulled is available in farmers markets around Belize from January April. The tamarind tree a member of the Fabaceae family, is an evergreen (tamar-hindi), or tamarindo. The origin of this leguminous tree is in East Africa, particularly in the Sudan where the tree grows wild. The fruit was well-known to the ancient Egyptians, and also tamarinds to Europe in 1298. Tamarind trees were introduced in Mexico in the sixteenth century. Mexico presently cultivates over 10,000 acres of tamarinds. If you enjoy Worcestershire sauce or Marie Sharps Special Sauce, you may be surprised to know one of the main ingredients is tangy, sweet and sour tamarind syrup. carpentry, as a metal polish, as an ornamental shade tree, animal fodder, and as mulch. Tamarind trees are showy and elegant; they produce a one hundred feet tall with graceful branches spreading over forty feet across. Some trees are known to survive and produce fruit for two hundred years! Elegant pinnate soft green leaves cover the long which close at sunset or during cool and inclement weather. veined with red and purple. There are three major varieties of tamarind trees; Asian or East Indian, whose pods contain six or West Indian tamarinds contain one to four seeds per pod. A third variety is rare; its pods contain a sweet rose-colored syrup. pounds is more typical. Most of the tamarinds grown in Belize varieties produce a great profusion of pods. The fruit of the tamarind is an indehiscent legume or pod which grows to be approximately three to six inches in length. Immature pods are not easily cracked open. They contain roasted in the shell on coals, then dipped in wood ashes and eaten. The shell is cinnamon colored and brittle when the fruit is ripe. Each pod contains one to twelve seeds which are covered by a thin parchment membrane. The seeds are from 1/8 inch to inch in diameter and are shiny, dark-brown and squarish in creating live jewelry or sprouting bean bags. They are viable for described as tart, tangy, sharp, sweet and sour like a fruity cross between apricot, date, pineapple and lemon. Tamarinds may be eaten out of hand as follows, break open the shell and pull out to eating a cherry, then spit them out. Tamarind fruit is also easy to make as a delicious beverage. Hull approximately ripe one quart of room temperature water and let sit for a few hours or overnight, then wash your hands and massage the seeds to remove pulp, strain and add about one-half cup sugar or honey, stir, add ice, mint or ginger and enjoy a delicious, healthful beverage. Tamarind fruit is also typically made into candy, jams, chutneys, marinades, sorbets and sauces. The taste adds acidity grilled or baked then topped with a combination of ginger, soy sauce, garlic and tamarind sauce. Tamarind fruit is a supportive ingredient in many cultures and is especially dominant in Indian cuisine. In addition to being versatile and tasty, tamarind fruit is also thiamine, magnesium, phosphorous, tartaric acid, pectin and antioxidants. The fruit has mild laxative properties and helps ease stomach and liver discomfort. Tamarinds are also used to treat diabetes and obesity, for wound healing due to their antimicrobial and antiviral compounds. They are also used in beverages from reduce fevers and dispel worms. The wood of the tamarind tree is yellow and red and is strong, dense, durable as well as wooden tools. The roots and branches make attractive walking sticks. Tamarind leaves are used as a textile and goat skin dye. A paste of tamarind fruit is used to clean and polish brass. Leaves are used as fodder for animals and as garden The tamarind tree is easily cultivated and adapts easily to a wide variety of soils in diverse tropical climates and soils and is tolerant to salt spray. It is one of the least demanding trees to grow and can withstand hurricane force winds. Tamarinds propagated from their seeds generally germinate within a week. They should be planted one-half inch deep in potting soil and transplant when trees are at least two feet tall allowing at least thirty feet spacing between trees. Trees planted from seed may be expected to bear fruit in about six to eight years. Trees may also be easily grown from cuttings, shield budding, side veneer grafting or air layering and will produce fruit in approximately three to four years. Tamarind trees are very hardy and resistant to most tree pests. The trees may be bothered by ants. A spray of citrus oil around the base of the trunk of the trees once or twice a season helps to divert ants from crawling on the tree. Ants do not bother the tamarind pods or fruit. Locals advise to pick the tamarinds once they drop to the ground during early season as tamarinds on the tree will not be ripe. During the late season the branches are shaken to allow the ripe pods to fall to the ground. Tamarinds may remain viable on the tree for up to six month, but will present as dehydrated and the fruit may mold. Fruit pulp is best when it is thick and sticky. Due to their enormous size and capacity to drop thousands of sticky pods around the tree, tamarinds are not considered a back door tree. If room allows, a tamarind tree or two will tamarind trees can help alleviate world hunger by augmenting nutrition, enhancing food security, promote rural development and improve sustainable land care. Belize is a country that may tamarind trees. New cultivars are being developed that produce sweeter fruit pods.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 11 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize World Market Prices for Citrus GrowersBy Frank Redmond facility. Orange production was 4 M cxs from a claimed has never achieved an average of 400 cxs per acre. When we prices prevented growers from affording the necessary inputs. different depending on rootstock. Our 18 year old Valencia are be dead in 5 years and that we should use Swingle rootstock instead. But our 15 year old Valencia on Swingle rootstock There is never one simple cause to the problems in agriculture. The decline in citrus production over the past 5 years is a combination of the greening disease, faulty rootstocks and, particularly, low prices to growers. For years, Belizean citrus growers have been paid prices which are much lower than world market prices for citrus juices. The citrus processors in Belize have traditionally produced citrus concentrates, which sell for much lower prices on the world market than the ready-to-drink distributed and stored without the need for refrigeration. strength juices and not in concentrated form. Yet, we in Belize continue to produce concentrated juices. The citrus processing the packaging machines and extra storage capacity to produce single strength orange juice; but the equipment is not being used. We have a juice that is world renowned for its color and American market is wide open to our juices, particularly Guatemala, where we can export duty free. Florida citrus growers are receiving per box for oranges this year, whilst we expect to be paid $10 for the same quality fruit. This is totally unacceptable. Banana growers, sugar farmers, farmers, bean exporters, and other agricultural exporters all receive world market prices for their product. Why shouldnt If we are to save our industry from citrus greening we have to provide many more inputs, effective and appropriate fertilizers and insecticides, for our groves. If we do this, we can keep production up on our existing groves whilst a solution is found for citrus greening. Researchers in Florida are having success with GMO trees which after 5 years are showing total resistance to greening. Another 5 years of research is needed to prove the concept. It is the only hope on the horizon so far. However, in the meantime, growers need much higher prices to compensate for the extra inputs. It is time that growers demand that their with the processor to provide higher prices.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 12 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Soil ConditionersBy Harold Vernon need for soil amendments which are those things added soils. They include a wide range of organic and non-organic materials with different effects. This article deals with soil A soil conditioner is a type of amendment that is added mostly to improve the soils physical qualities and thereby enhance the chemical properties, especially the ability to retain moisture and provide food for plants. Soil conditioners improve poor soils, rebuild damaged soils, and can be used to maintain soils in peak condition. Organic soil conditioners include plant and animal wastes compost, biochar, bone, vermiculite, sulfur, lime, blood meal, compost tea, hydroabsorbent polymers and sphagnum moss and even some mineral fertilizers, such as ammonium sulphate, that leave acidic residues, or calcitic and magnesic fertilizers that leave basic residues. The possibility of using other materials to assume the role of composts and clays in improving the soil gave rise to the term, soil conditioning. Soil Structure. The most common use of soil conditioners is to improve looseness while having good soil structure. Depending on compaction, soils impede root growth and decrease the ability of plants to take up nutrients and water. Soil conditioners can add more airiness and improve texture ratios to keep the soil loose as well as reduce harmful chemical effects such as too high or too low pH. Soil Nutrients. For centuries man has been adding amendments to improve the soils ability to support healthy plant growth. Organic amendments add nutrients such as carbon and nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and amendments enrich the soil and allow plants to grow bigger and stronger. Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). Soils act as the storehouses of plant nutrients. Soils need to have a maximum of negative charges, or cation exchange capacity and thus a capacity to store one particular group of positive nutrients, calcium, magnesium, potassium, ammonium, hydrogen, and sodium. These cations are exchanged through plant roots, providing plants with the nutrition they require.The when one type of base, such as carbonate in limestone soils, predominates and blocks or reduces the availability of others. There are weak bases and strong bases. Each type affects the rate of exchange of the cations. Water Retention. Soil conditioners may be used to improve water retention in dry, coarse soils which do not hold water well. The addition of organic material for instance can greatly improve the water retention abilities of sandy soils and they can be added to adjust the pH of the soil to allow nutrient make highly acidic or alkaline soils more usable. Synthetic conditioners are also available such as shows few successes in utilizing these polymers for increasing plant quality or survival. The other potentially effective tools including hydro-absorbent polymers and copolymers still have to be measured against available biomass and biomass wastes. Filter press muds from sugar cane processing has been used in Belize. Finally, the larger scale conversion of other processing wastes composting citrus peels, grass cuttings, restaurant and household wastes under the new regime for collecting wastes and disposal as land farming, opens the opportunity for producing commercial soil conditioners. Application. Soil conditioners may be applied in a number of ways. Some are worked into the soil with a tiller before planting. Others are applied after planting, or periodically during the growing season. It is always important to know the composition and contributions of amendments. Soil conditioner can seem like a great way to get healthier plants but over-application of some amendments can cause ecological problems. For example, soil amendments are not productive when added in excess; they can actually be detrimental to plant health by creating imbalances (e.g., too much is applied at the wrong time. Ecological harm can be Finally, an organic material such as crop residue may increase the incidence of insects, fungus and disease, particularly if mulching and facilitation of destructive agents. The criteria by which such materials are judged most often remain cost, ability to increase soil moisture for longer periods, stimulation of microbiological activity, the ability to increase nutrient levels and improve plant survival rates.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 13 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize PLANT LOCATION: Route 20 East Spanish Lookout, Cayo District, Belize Currently Bel-Cars main exporting products are corn meal, corn grits, and dry edible beans. It has Black Eye Beans, Light Red Kidney Beans, Black Beans, and Small Red Beans available at most times. MAILING ADDRESS: BEL-CAR EXPORT & IMPORT COMPANY LTD. Box 578, Spanish Lookout, Belize, Central America CONTACTS: Tel:501-823-0318 / 501-823-0271 Fax:501-823-0136 BEL-CAR UpdatesA good market for beans should continue in 2014. Beans were weeks later than normal due to the excessive rains which delayed planting time. The later beans, black eyes and RKs, have slightly better yields than the earlier beans. This yield variation may be due to the dryness at the critical podding time for the earlier beans, rather than rains. Sales this season for beans appear bright, as there is a world is that the US is projected to be planting less due to a seed shortage. There have even been inquiries from the US to Belize seeking to purchase RK seeds here. Similar seed Here, generally farmers save their own RKs for planting the following season; however they are encouraged to purchase Due to the lateness of this years crop, Belize was forced to import one container (50,000 lbs.) of RKs in December. Jamaica was also totally out of RKs to start the new year, due to shipping problems. Beans were ready but ships were too full to take our beans there. After this was remedied, the pendulum swung to create a glut of beans in Jamaica. There is a chance to over-export beans this year with the world shortage. is still increasing her pork production, which requires enormous imports of corn. The uncertainty of political events in Ukraine also complicate the corn market. Although Ukraines main crop is wheat, a shortage of wheat would turn the market for wheat feeds to rely more on corn. In the regular swings between soy and corn, the US is expected this in feeds), the excess is still projected to be exported mainly to strong buyers for our corn. acreage being cleared during this dry season and increased Friesen and reported by Roberson/Feucht. HYBRID RICE SEEDAvailable from Grain LineBox 101 Rt. 40E Spanish Lookout, Belize675-1185 ~


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 14 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize from all issues to date, starting with issue #1 April 2009 and including prices from Feeders/US Steers which is in US $. The dual lines of Belize cattle charts and on the sheep charts indicate the highest price for the best quality and the lowest price for the lesser quality actual prices were all prices between these pairs of lines. Belize steer price and lower feeder heifer price. Overall the charts indicate that it may be a fortuitous time to invest in cattle, while the stagnant trend of sheep prices present a limiting factor for investment in sheep.5 Year Livestock Prices Chart, April 2009 May 2014 By Dottie Feucht


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 15 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Agriculture Prices at a Glance$$$$$ A-B denotes the difference between 1st preference & 2nd preference and sometimes between wholesale & retail and bulk or small amounts Trend (H) means Higher over last 30 to 60 days (L) Lower (S) Steady. Prices intend on being farm gate in Belize dollars usually price per lb MAY 2014 T A BTA B BELIZE CATTLE GRAINS, BEANS & RICEYoung strs. & bulls 750-1100 lbsH1.85 1.60 1.70 Belize yellow cornS.225 .25 .215 .22 Cows & heifers for butchersL1.40 (thin) 1.30 White cornS.32 Heifers for breeding 500-800 lbsH1.60 1.35 1.45 Corn/local retail (low volume)S.29 Young grass cattle 350-650 lbsSsteers 1.80 heifers 1.45 US corn @ US$ 5.61per 56 lb buH$ BZ 20.04/cwt + 8 frt. to BZU.S. CATTLEUS non-GMO yellow corn US$ 5.82 5.32/buH$ BZ 21.82/cwt U.S. price corn fed 1000-1200 lbsHUS$ 1.46 Guatemala corn price/PetenH.23 .24 .22 .23 U.S. price feeders 600-800 lbsHUS$ 1.7857 Belize soy beansS.59 .57 U.S. price aged butcher cowsHUS$ 0.90 0.97US soy beans @ US$ 15.46 per 60 lb bshlH$ BZ 51.53/cwt + 8 frt. to BZ Belize milo (none available)BELIZE HOGSRed kidney beans 1.75 farm price Weaner pigs 25-30 lbs by the headS$90.00 $100.00 Little reds & black beansL1.25 1.30 farm price Butcher pigs 160 230 lbsH1.85 2.00 1.75 1.85 Black eyed peasS.60 .65 farm priceBELIZE SHEEPPaddy rice per poundS.40 .53 farm price, dried Butcher LambsS2.00 2.25 1.50 1.75SUGAR/HONEYMature EwesS1.75 1.50 Sugar cane, tonHBELIZE CHICKENBagasse pending agreement Whole sale dressedL2.41 Honey per lb (Cayo)S2.50 (approximately 12 lbs/gal) Broilers live per lbL1.23SPECIAL FARM ITEMSSpent hensL.50 Eggs tray of 30 5.25 farm price; retail .30 .33 per eggCITRUSWD milk per lb to farmerHcontract .53; non contract .53 Oranges per 90 lb box-lb. solid basisL9.0118 (1.5274 Pps) 1st Est. 2014 price Raw milk (farmer direct sales)S8.50 gal (5 gal + 8.00 gal) Grapefruit per 90 lb box Price PendingCACAOCacao beans (TCGA) /lbH2.75 dried fermentedCacao beans (TCGA) /lbH1.10 wet beansUS Cacao beans, New York, metric tonHUS$ 2,912.00 prices should remain strong as there is a world shortage expected to continue through the year. Lime prices soared in Belize, Mexico and the US recently; other Belizean citrus prices ***These prices are the best estimates only from our best sources and simply provide a range to assist buyers and sellers in negotiations.***


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 16 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Bird Watch From My PerchBy Marguerite Fly BevisEndangered SpeciesAlthough Belize boasts at least 444 species of birds, the Scarlet Macaw ( is one of the most beautiful and one of the most threatened birds in the jewel. Scarlet Macaws have survived the by dams built in the mid 2000s. In 1989 there were about 200 known Scarlet Macaws in the country. Today, there may be 200 to 250 birds. They remain at threat due to the incursion of poachers who steal chicks and cut down nesting trees. Scarlet Funding is needed for patrolling, fuel, supplies for the conservation teams working in very remote locations within the and individuals, Sharon Matola of the Belize Zoo, Dr Isabelle Britt, Kristi Drexler, Roni Martinez and many others, poaching donations to the Rainforest Rescue Foundation, specifying the funds to be allocated to the Belize Scarlet Macaw project. Another way to help is to volunteer time to camp near the nesting sites to observe and monitor Scarlet Macaws. The presence of to really get away from it all. You would be responsible for your on this experience in a future issue of the Belize Ag Report. Another exciting conservation project is raptor research which is ongoing in Belize, with scientists studying Solitary and Harpy Eagles, among other raptors, such as the Hook-billed Kite, Orange-breasted Falcon, and many others. The 4th Annual Bird-a-Thon was held in March 2014 for a week in order to help raise funds for ongoing raptor research in Belize. This is the fundraising highlight for the Belize Raptor Research Institute and lodge teams participated by counting bird species during compete for prizes and the BRRI trophy for the most species at Educational materials including posters, information pamphlets and guides Supporting internships Research on the enigmatic Hook-billed Kite Results Of The 2014 Fourth Annual Bird-A-Thon Lodge-A-Thon 1 Lamanai Outpost Lodge 205 5 Mariposa Lodge 129 6 Mama Noots Eco-resort 122 8 Hamanasi Resort 106 8 Bird s Eye View Lodge 106 s Hill Lodge 95 Bird-A-Thon 2 BRRI Bird-a-holics 188 The Bird-a-Thon is held annually with the goal of raising $15,000. Expect to see many more lodges and individual teams participating next year in March. You can help by sponsoring one of the teams or lodges, donating per species or per eagle, or just give anything you wish. conservation efforts. Happy Birding! Scarlet Macaw photo by Roni Martinez Mountain Equestrian TrailsCayo, Belize


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 17 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize BLPA Works to Address Membership Needs By Beth RobersonFollowing a successful AGM the end of February, ongoing projects and expanding into new areas. At the AGM, one new director was added, Mr. Albert heifers continue their upward climb. (See pg. 14 for charts showing Belize cattle prices over the past 5 yrs.) The market outlook for cattle production in Belize continues to look very bright. The Cattle Sweep th. Restructuring revise itself to better serve members. Inter-American Institute for met with Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) MNRA and Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA). Ranchers, meat processors, dairy farmers and processors; all were included in the dialogue. The preliminary report has already Financing Opportunities made a presentation sharing information regarding opportunity input, are keen to understand and meet the credit needs for cattle projects. One notable difference in the cattlemans needs and those of other clients, is that the ranchers investment timeframe is longer than normal; the time between initial investment and point beginning right at the loan start are unsuitable for this industry. with services of farm plan evaluation and monitoring. Miss Miscovits, an Argentinian consultant to the International rd to discuss Marketing on March 19th. to purchase of Belizean beef and cattle for slaughter. Mexican Embassy to discuss, amongst other issues, the current for legal export to Mexico. Until the cattle sweep enabled legal export, the longstanding punitive tax was a moot point. However after Mexicos great assistance to Belize, and Belizes compliance, it is disappointing to see this obstacle to cattle sales remaining. Bats: for help from ranchers countrywide, asking for assistance in trapping the vampire bats that molest their stock. Although they can carry rabies, there has been no increase in rabies occurrence noted. MNRA has just received 24 new sets of bat traps, so contact Jaguars: At the AGM, ranchers from Sarteneja to the deep South reported an increase of jaguar problems with their livestock. between farmers and jaguars. Ranchers can contact Mr. Edgar or telephone him at 664-4550. As he spends much time in the bush, dont be discouraged if you cannot reach him right away on the phone. Punta Gorda Rancher Meetingth in Toledo District. The hottest topic affecting ranchers in this area is land tenure. Land rights litigation and ongoing confusion for cattle ranchers to obtain titles to land. Cattle-One of the oldest Industries in Belize Now one of the Agriculture Industries with a very exciting future Local and Export Oriented Phone: 501 822-3883 BELIZE LIVESTOCKPRODUCERS ASSOCIATION BELIZE LIVESTOCKPRODUCERS ASSOCIATION


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 18 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Pesticides Control Board Pesticide Imports Statistics April 2014 the past years has been gathering data on the importation of pesticides in Belize. Since 2006, the focus has been on having the imported expressed in kilograms of Active Ingredient (kg of A.I.). The following is a report on the Figure 1 shows the total amount of pesticide imported and public health use. There was a slight increase between to one thousand and ninety three metric tons of Active Ingredients. For that same period, we have been seeing an increase in herbicide importations since 2010 from two hundred and In 2010, fungicide imports amounted to one hundred ninety eight metric tons. However, there has been a slight decrease between 2011, 2012 and the trend is picking up There was a increase in the importation of insecticides in Continued on page 25


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 19 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Pesticides Statistics...Continued from page 25 Editors Notes: Graph #3 Fungicides: Fungicides entering Belize as seed treatments already on the Top Ten Pesticides: The top import, Glyphosate, is the active ingredient in Round Up. Glyphosate is banned already in El Salvador and Sri Lanka; Brazils Federal Prosecutor demands a ban and a formal re-evaluation of its toxicity to humans and the environment. See Ag Briefs pgs. 25 & 26 for more information on Glyphosate in the news. SAN IGNACIO 13 Savannah Street Tel: 824-0105 BELMOPAN 1903 Constitution Dr. Tel: 822-2088 ORANGE WALK 42 Lovers Lane Tel: 322-1170 BELIZE CITY 1615 Moho Bay 3 Mls. Philip Goldson Hwy. TEL: 223-0606 REIMER FEEDS REIMER FEED MILL ...were growing BelizeCOMPLETE POULTRY, LIVESTOCK & PET FEEDS + SUPPLIES EQUIPMENT AND HEALTH PRODUCTS Errata: PCB article, issue 24 pg 9 citrus exports due to the detection of pesticide residues that Act in the National Assembly in 1985. The ensuing order for of pesticide regulation in Belize, the milestone celebration of of agricultural production has been almost synonymous with an increase in the use of pesticides among other inputs. In remarks made by Mr. Jose Graziano de Silva, Director Geneva, Switzerland), it was noted that the global pesticide market now stands at 50 billion dollars. He also made mention that there are currently million tons of obsolete pesticides estimated in the world. His remarks concluded that excess pesticides will always end up as waste be it in soil, water or food stressing on the importance of the targeted application of pesticides as is being promoted in the Save and Grow


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 20 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Recipes Sauerkraut: 5 pounds cabbage. For every 5 pounds of cabbage, you need iodized salt. and slice into very thin slices. In a large mixing bowl or large crock, mix the cabbage and salt well, bruising the cabbage by kneading it and plan to use, using your hands or a potato masher to pack it very tightly. When all the cabbage is packed into the vessel and there are no visible bubbles, protect it from air with a plate or brineor cheese cloth between the plate and the cabbage mixture. Leave overnight. If there is not enough brine to immerse the cabbage thoroughly, add more brine (1.5 tablespoon to 1 quart water) degrees F and no less than 60 degrees minimum. brine, remove it with a spoon. When the bubbling ceases, and the cabbage has turned golden, the sauerkraut is ready. At this point, place the kraut in the refrigerator for storage. Other ingredients can be added according to task, such as caraway or dill seeds. Russian methods add grated carrot, thinly sliced apples and/ or whole cranberries or raisins along with caraway seeds. You can experiment with tropical ingredients such as shredded green mango, fresh pineapple or green papaya. Pickled Cucumbers: You can use a 5 gallon bucket or large jar for making Jewish Delistyle pickles. The key is to use the freshest cucumbers possible. Make sure they are washed well, dried, and kept cold until use. Half sour pickles are very crisp and halfway between a fresh cucumbers (2 tablespoons to 1 liter water). Ferment for one the fermentation is complete, place the cucumbers and brine in jars and refrigerate. They will last weeks or even months if refrigerated. Full sour pickles still have a crisp texture but are quite sour tablespoons to 1 liter water) and ferment from two to four weeks they have fermented to your taste; then place pickles and brine in jars in the refrigerator. Once refrigerated fermentation stops. Other ingredients which can be added according to taste are garlic, coriander seed, mustard seed, hot chiles (sparingly), bay leaf or even an allspice leaf; whole peppercorns and dill are favorites. Dill and chile amounts should be kept small. There are many other recipes for fermented food, Kimchee, pickled lemons, and jalapenos. A simple search on the Internet will yield a great deal of information. If you decide to give it a try, let me know how it works out. Email are ill. HOMEMADE HEALTH FERMENTED FOODMARGUERITE FLY BEVIS, RN, BSNThe frequent use of antibiotics and antibacterial soaps results in effectively get nutrients from our food. We hear about probiotics and buy expensive tablets to counteract the effects of taking antibiotics. A healthier approach is fermented food; it helps to restore the proper balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal system while being tasty and interesting and full of nutrition. Fermentation helps pre-digest food before we consume it. Foods fermentation. In some cases micro-nutrients are synthesized during the fermentation process. For example, cabbage that has foods are rich in enzymes which are needed to digest, absorb, and utilize the nutrients in our food. They help us to absorb the nutrients were consuming. Lacto-fermented food is easy and inexpensive to prepare; foods like sauerkraut and pickled Fermentation is a good way to preserve foods, increase nutritional value and improve taste without spending a lot of money. There Jungle Lodge in January 2014. Instructors were expert artisan cheese makers from Vermont, Larry & Linda Faillace, who also Jungle Lodge. They taught that fermentation is as simple as storing food in an acid, controlled environment for prolonged periods of time until the food is ready for consumption. Fermenting food is a safe way to preserve food. Lactic acid inhibits the growth of vegetables are inherently safe. One of the most feared pathogens virtually unheard of in vegetable and fruit ferments. Humans have been fermenting food for thousands of years as evidenced by seven-thousand-year-old jars containing wine gradually replaced by canning pickles in vinegar. Vinegar pickles be made at home for only a few dollars. In addition to sauerkraut and lacto-fermented pickles made of cucumbers or other vegetables, other fermented foods are cheese, yoghurt, and Kimchee, a favorite Korean recipe which is a spicier version of sauerkraut. You can try using the brine to preserve lemons and oranges, green mangos or papayas. Sharp knives or a mandolin or food processor and good quality crocks or glass jars which are meticulously clean and free of cracks or blemishes. During the fermentation process, on top of the vegetable solution to keep the vegetable submerged in the brine, keeping oxygen out. Vegetables need to be as fresh as to preserving for the best results. The fresh produce needs to be rinsed thoroughly to remove contamination by pesticides if they are not organically grown. How to 1.5 tablespoons non-iodized salt to one quart of cause cloudiness.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 21 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Spanish Lookout Commercial /Industrial Expo 2014 Lookout on February 28 and March 1 must have been going to the Expo held there. The park and huge covered pavilion were teeming with people. Fridays crowd numbered 4,000, many of which were students; Saturdays crowd was 11,000, from all over the country to view the displays and products of the 100 exhibitors, enjoy the wonderful food and fun on buggy rides, boat rides, tractor rides, ATV rides, trampolines and in the bounce house. The agricultural and commercial exhibitors were from all over the country. A big livestock exhibition was planned but ended up very limited because the dates of the disease. If you havent attended Expo before, look forward to attending the next one in 2016.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 22 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Honey: Nutritional Facts and Medical UsesBy Gary TullochHoney has been consumed by humans for over 10,000 years. It is the only food from insects that we eat. Honey is derived worker bee and stored in her honey sac for transportation to is gathered on the two hind legs of the bee. During the course of the day, a bee may make as many as 25 trips gathering not confusing the pollination issue. Upon her returns to the hive, she is greeted by guards who identify her as a member of the colony and allow her entrance. She then passes her partially digested nectar to another worker or deposits the nectar in an empty cell in the wax foundation. The pollen is deposited in a cell and softened with water to a paste. This pollen paste, a source of protein, is used for rearing the brood. The complex sugar (sucrose) is converted to simpler sugars (glucose and fructose) to which are added enzymes. Water, which in the beginning stage of honey is the dominate component, is evaporated by the bees fanning the honey with their wings. Less water content allows the product to better less. protein. One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories. Honey has a healthy glycemic index, which means its sugars can be more gradually absorbed into the system resulting in better digestion. pantothenic acid and certain amino acids. The minerals include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. Honey also contains antioxidants and is free of fat and cholesterol. Furthermore, the vitamins and minerals in honey help to metabolize undesirable cholesterol and fatty acids on the organs and tissues, thus helping to prevent obesity. Honey also improves the immune system. It also provides relief from coughs by soothing the throat. Mixed with milk and taken before bedtime it helps the sleep process. Through the ages honey has been used to help the healing of wounds. Bacteria do not live in honey and its application to wounds tends to dry out bacteria which may be present in the wound site. Some studies actually show that honey can kill bacteria by virtue of a protein known as defensis-1. Additionally, the dressings for the wound do not stick to the affected areas when honey is applied, resulting in pain free changing of the dressings and less interference with newly forming tissue over the wound area. ulcers by applying honey to the affected area. One case example described a patient with diabetic ulcers on his feet, surgery over two years, had lost two toes and experienced no healing of the ulcerated areas. Within weeks of treating the areas with honey, the sores were cured and the patient was ambulatory. In addition to wounds and infected areas, honey is also good for treating burns and as a skin cream. Local honey also helps to minimize the effects of seasonal allergies. This appears to be the result of local pollens being introduced into the system by ingesting honey, thus helping to immunize the individual from the effects of the airborne pollens. Studies in shortening the duration of bacterial diarrhea in infants and young children. The wonderful thing about honey is that when consumed as raw honey (not heated over 116 degrees) it is an entirely pure and natural sweetener with no adverse effects and instead, abundant healthful properties. Hill Bank Farms @ mile 4.2 Cristo Rey / San Antonio Rd, Cayo Trees for Sale Contact Gary E. Tulloch 667-4001 e-mail:


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 23 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Citrus Greening...Continued from page 6 months. No poisons of any kind were used to grow our vegetables, which are not only healthy, but very nutrient-dense. I have also grown rice and corn on small plots without insects, weeds nor disease pressure. I have applied a proprietary foliar spray that builds the immune and electrical system of the corn plant to such a degree that the corn worms and insects disappear. Later this wet season, I hope to grow large commercial row crops without poisons of any kind and to create high nutrient-dense grains, completely GMO and poison-free. I also have a couple of citrus trees that had showed the typical greening symptom blotchy mottling of the leaves and yellowing of leaf veins and shoots. After several weeks of nutrient balance, the blotchy mottling has disappeared and new very green leaves have appeared. a. Insects and disease organisms are a result of poor farm management, especially the use of high salt fertilizers and the wrong types the chemistry is mis-matched. b. The use of pesticides and herbicides make the bad-fertilizer choice worse. All herbicides affect root growth of all plants, causes the up-take of nutrients to be negative, and destroys microbial life in the soils. c. The use of GMO only makes the situation worse because we seem to forget that the purpose of growing crops, vegetables, nuts, and fruits is for human consumption to create energy for our living. d. The very process of GMO is a human health nightmare the insertion of a foreign gene in any human food will always be rejected by the human body. It will always cause an response. e. health problems cancer, diabetes, heart, auto-immune, etc.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 24 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Local and Regional Fuel Prices Cayo, Belize Quintana Roo, Mexico Peten, Guatemala REGULAR $11.76 Bz/Gal $7.89 Bz/Gal $10.57 Bz/Gal PREMIUM $11.94 Bz/Gal $8.28 Bz/Gal $10.86 Bz/Gal DIESEL $10.55 Bz/Gal $8.17 Bz/Gal $10.00 Bz/Gal Find all the Belize news sites linked from one site, including the Belize Ag Report. AG BRIEFSNew Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, (IICA) Country Representative to Belize: Ms. Jean Lowry a M.Sc. in Resources and Environment from the University of Net US farm income is predicted Research Institute). Although cash expenses are projected to fall, the decline gross income program has many nervous, as does the volatile situation in the Ukraine, known as the bread basket of the former USSR. US corn According to University of Inventory Summary, released in February of this cattle and calves in the U.S. on January 1, 2014, was This is the lowest January cattle inventory since 1951. lowered, due to the shortage. The Chocolate Festival of Belize rd to May 24th District. For more information go to of US based banana global market share, and Ireland based created the worlds largest banana corporation. expected that Belizes bananas, exported via Fyffes, will still serve Russia already has GMO labeling required for all GMO, and in April of 2014 Medvedev told congress that Russia will no longer import GMO products. According to the Russian news site,, Prime Minister Medvedev said, If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then; we dont need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to Russias Ministry of Agriculture, declared to the All-Russian introducing harsher punishment for illegally growing and using Continued on page 25 For Information on the status of the Iguana Creek Bridge; waters rising or falling, out of water, under water, go to Peter and Tina Friesen of the Spanish Lookout community are responsible for this much appreciated service. The Iguana Creek Bridge crosses the Belize River near Black Man Eddy Village, off the George Price (Western) Highway.


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 25 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Ag Briefs.. Continued from page 24 Fresh, dehydrated and frozen fruit exports rose in Guatemala to become the rd largest export category. Bank of Guatemala (Banguat) indicated that these fruit sales grossed Guatemalas main buyers are the US and Europe. joins 8 other European Union countries banning Monsantos GMO corn. In addition to the Ministry of Agriculture supporting this ban, declaring GMOs Ministries of Health and Environment also agreed and signed off on the ban. Although GMO cultivation is approved jointly at the EU level, individual governments can introduce safeguards if they believe that cultivation could present a health or environmental risk. Those EU countries with bans in place now are: ITALY, POLAND, AUSTRIA, FRANCE, GERMANY, HUNGARY, LUXEMBOURG, GREECE and BULGARIA. These countries are worried not only about cross-pollination with non-GMO crops, but also that pollen from Monsantos MON810 maize could Some European countries already have established GMO-free regions, including France, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary, Bosnia, Serbia, Latvia and Albania. Britain has trials of GMO potatoes planted. Five EU member states who grew MON810 Maize in 2012 were Spain (top A new study in Bulletin adds glyphosate, which is one of, if not the most widely applied herbicide globally (active ingredient of Round Up), to the list of other causes for degradation of the Great Barrier Reef off Australia. Since 1985, it has lost more than half of its coral cover. The new study looked at the rate at the half-life of glyphosate, the rate at which it breaks down in seawater. It has found glyphosate to be particularly persistent and dangerous life may be as quick as 5 days, and in fresh water 49 days. As coral reefs are largely plant life and glyphosate is a plant-killer, the potential for reef damage is enormous. In Australias wet season the plumes from run-offs, including pesticides are noted to reach as far as 50km offshore. See charts on Belize pesticide use on pgs. 18 & 19. of the progressive US state, Vermont, signed into effect H.112, (passing the Vt. Senates bill by a whopping 114 requires labeling GMOs in Vermont by 2016. Unlike 2 other New England who also passed GMO labeling regulations, Vermonts does not require any neighboring states to pass similar bills before implementation. The law does not apply to labels for milk, eggs, and meat from animals fed GMOs. The law said aside for implementation and to meet the costs of challenges to the law expected from food and biotech industries. A viral disease in pigs known as Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) pigs. The disease, which thrives in cold weather, does not spread to humans, and is not a food have been repeated outbreaks since the 1980s. There is currently mortality rate is highest with the youngest suckling piglets; when it and many farmers reluctantly euthanize. Older animals with a more developed immune system can better resist dehydration. Although the disease is not rated as an international reportable disease, the that one thimbleful of infected feces could contain enough virus to prices, which are expected to last through the summer. The USDA Continued on page 26


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 26 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize Ag Briefs....Continued from page 26Following release of a study in The International Journal of Health which found that glyphosate is directly linked to chronic kidney disease (CKD), which includes total kidney failure, Sri Lanka banned all glyphosate sales in and in farming communities. This follows a similar ban in El A new use has been developed for a former waste product Utilizing this new concept, they are dried, roasted and ground to produce recipes. When cooking with it one should add more liquid, to underway in Hawaii, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico and Vietnam. consume more processed food (ready-made meals, cookies, population. If current trends tons, which would beat the US 2015 projection of 102M tons expanding epidemically. In March of 2014 Brazils Federal international precedence by annulling the decision of the allowed Bayers LibertyLink corn into Brazil. Now LibertyLink GMO corn, is not allowed to be grown in Brazil. LibertyLink contains a gene from Streptomyces bacteria which makes it resistant to glufosinate (Ignite, Liberty & Basta herbicides). Glufosinate was included in a biocide ban proposed by the share studies and allow numerous experts to participate in the decisions on trade, especially those concerning GMOs. GMO corn, another blow was stuck with a demand by the Federal Prosecutor to ban all glyphosate (Round Up) herbicides. The action requests that all sales are banned re-evaluates the toxicity of 8 active ingredients suspected of


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 27 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize


NOV 2013 JAN 2014 28 Harvesting Ag News from All of Belize