Those who study the Ag Prices at a Glance page in the Belize Ag Report’s centerfold, will have noted that it has been a good while since Class A corn has been even priced. (It has been marked N/A for not available). Bel-Car refers to Class A corn as dark yellow high quality type which is most desirable for their corn meal, rather than strictly feed corn. Class A has more endosperm and less germ and has high vitreousness. High endosperm kernels are usually brighter orange color, rather then yellow. Hard vitreous kernels have better nutritional, dry milling, breakage resistance and pathogen resistance qualities than soft opaque kernels. After Spanish Lookout’s trials of a new hybrid variety of a Class A corn from Advanta were challenged by un-cooperative weather, Bel-Car took the plunge and ordered a half container (approx. 20,000 lbs) of hybrid seed from Advanta of Thailand. This should cover approximately 1500 acres.
When the corn is processed into corn meal at Bel-Car, the hull and germ are separated and dried. Locally this byproduct is known as gluten, and it has about a 6-8 week shelf life. Most is used locally as pig feed, with some export to Guatemala and Jamaica.
At this time, there remains a low but sufficient corn inventory at Bel-Car to last domestic needs until the new harvest, but their regular posted price has been removed from the front office, reflecting low motivation to sell at the current low prices.
Winter black eye peas yielded large quantities but at suboptimum quality due to the rains at harvest time. Red kidneys were not as bountiful, but Belize is still exporting to both the Caribbean and to the Middle East. Belize remains the 4th largest exporter of black eyes in the world. For 2015, the International Food Trader indicates that Myanmar is the largest exporter, having exported 30,600 MT, mainly to India and Pakistan; 2nd place Madagascar shipped out 19,000 MT; Peru holds 3rd place with export of 5,000 MT and Belize in firm 4th at 2,685 MT export total.
Normal storage losses for crops are about 1.5 -2% per year. To mitigate this, Bel-Car is making improvements in their storage silos; for example, lowering the elevator unloading positions will reduce breakage cracks because of the shortened fall distance.
Bel-Car has recently received their Pesticides Control Board (PCB) registration as agents to sell QuikPhos, also known as phostoxin. This is traditionally used for small and bulk storage of corn, beans and rice. This high quality aluminum phosphide, imported from India, is available in any quantity from Bel-Car’s Spanish Lookout office.