Belize's most complete agricultural publication.

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Mail Sack

Mail Sack has 28 articles published.

To The Editor

in Issue 33 by

Dear Editor, Subject: Lack of thinking hinders ag development Agricultural development has a future. Scientists in Kenya at the International Centre of Inset Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) and Rothamsted Research, UK in collaboration with other partners developed a natural method for controlling the corn-borer moth. A ground-cover plant, silverleaf desmodium, dissolves moth eggs laid on it; planted in fields between rows of corn, desmodium gives off compounds that repel the stem borer moth. Its roots suppress weeds including striga, a serious parasitic weed of corn. Napier grass, planted at the edge of fields, attracts stem borers out of the field to lay their eggs on it instead of the corn. The sharp silica hairs and sticky exudates on the Napier…

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To the Editor

in Issue 32 by

Dear Editor, We felt to express our deep appreciation that Belize has not been accepting genetically modified (GMO) crops into the country. We understand that through modern biotechnology, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are being created that may use animal, virus, or bacteria genes to alter DNA or genetic material in vegetables and other things. These alterations are impossible to achieve from natural pollination or crop breeding, and must be produced in sophisticated genetic laboratories. The resulting “organisms” are then patentable property of the large corporations creating them. Someone has coined a thought provoking an alternative term for GMO: “God move over”. In other words, do humans consider themselves wiser than our all-wise omnipotent Creator? Are human beings better able and…

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To The Editor

in Issue 31 by

Dear Editor, My understanding of the recent evolution or revolution in agriculture in terms of crop selection and production methods is that since the beginning of the 20th century they have become almost entirely dependent on the use of non-sustainable methods and materials while nutritional quality has decreased. Generally, significant changes began occurring with the introduction of mechanized farm machinery and the wide spread use of synthetic fertilizers, especially nitrogen, during the first green revolution. The next readily recognizable phase included the introduction of a vast array of synthetic compounds designed to control animal, plant and microbial pests or conversely to alter the physiology of crops to suit marketing and consumer demands. Moving ahead to the present decade, the most…

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To The Editor

in Issue 30 by

Dear Editor, Did you know that minimum wage in Mexico is close to 1/3 of minimum wage in Belize? This fact is the key to understanding the challenges that farmers face in Belize. Imported produce grown more cheaply in countries with a lower minimum wage competes unfairly with produce grown locally. Farmers in Belize suffer the same consequence in competition with imports from Mexico. The great appeal of agro-chemical farming is largely due to the savings in labour. Farmers can simply spray rather than pay more workers to do the job by hand. In this way they can somewhat compete in both the world and local market by cutting the cost of production. This is where local organic farmers peel…

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To The Editor

in Issue 29 by

Dear Editor, Featured in the full page ad supporting the use of genetically modified organism (GMO) seed that appeared in the Belize Ag Report, issue 27, paid for by the Belize Grain Growers Association (BGGA) was a statement that GMO technology is used to produce animal feed. We must not forget that people eat the animals that ingest the seeds that have been injected with poison. In addition, there are increasing numbers of farmers reporting better animal health with non-GMO feed. Cattle deaths due to digestive problems or pneumonia have been cut in half for farmers who have switched back to non-GMO feed. State-of-the-art technology is already here to provide plentiful healthy and nourishing food and soil, safe renewable energy,…

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To The Editor

in Issue 28 by

Dear Editor, Is citrus a dying industry? As citrus production continues to fall in our country, 4 million boxes last year down from 7 million a few years ago, citrus growers need to ask themselves, “Why are we letting this happen?” We know the main reasons: low prices and Citrus Greening disease. Why are we doing nothing about it? Can we do anything about it, or are we doomed to lose our investments? Let’s look at the reasons and determine if the inevitable can be avoided. 1. Low prices – The citrus processor paid growers last year $10.50 per box of fruit. Florida growers received $27 per box for the same quality. Florida growers spent $4,000. per acre in an…

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To the Editor

in Issue 26 by

Dear editor, Just exactly what are we rounding up? What do Autism, Gastrointestinal diseases (inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhea, colitis, Crohn’s disease), Obesity, Allergies, Cardiovascular disease, Depression, Cancer, Infertility, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, and ALS have in common? Glyphosate – Roundup Glyphosate may be one of the most important factors in the development of chronic diseases because all these diseases begin in your gut. And it is the gut bacteria that glyphosate attacks. In 2009, a French court found Monsanto guilty of falsely advertising roundup herbicide as “biodegradable,” “environmentally friendly” and claiming it “left the soil clean.” Monsanto has continued to claim that Roundup is harmless to animals and humans because the mechanism of action it uses (which…

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To The Editor

in Issue 25 by

Dear Editor, ORGANIC….What does that really mean? 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 has established the definite link between illness and diet. The counter-culture of the ‘back to the land’ generation of the 1960s, turned into the organic agriculture industry of the 1970’s until our present day. But does eating only food grown without synthetic chemicals tell the whole story? Why does organic food cost more? Because it is more labor intensive.…

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To The Editor

in Issue 24 by

Response to Development of Corn, Issue 23 page 17 Dear Editor, In his article titled, “The Development of Corn”, Mr. O’Brien states, “In the field of agriculture, hybrid corn is one of the greatest marketing success stories of all time.” I agree with this statement and I think that if he were still alive, the late soil scientist, William Albrecht, Ph.D, would also agree with this statement. In studying Albrecht’s papers, however, the reader would find that Albrecht explained how simply measuring yield does not take into account the nutritional value of the crop. In Volume II of his papers, Chapter 4, “THE LOW QUALITY AS NUTRITION AND HIGH YIELD OF BULK DEMONSTRATE THEIR MATHEMATICALLY CLOSE RELATION”, Albrecht reports that…

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To The Editor

in Issue 23 by

Editor’s note: The Belize Ag Report acknowledges and respects the need for dialogue among the agricultural community. Publication of a letter or an article does not indicate endorsement by The Belize Ag Report of the views and content therein.   Dear Editor, Biologically Appropriate Technology or GMO Biologically appropriate technology is designed to do no harm to the environment – the air, water and soil. It is working with nature, not against it. It is learning from and respecting nature. Having been an environmental journalist turned anti-nuclear/pro-renewable energy activist, I am seeing similar patterns in the debate over GMO corn as existed in the nuclear debate. The parallels lie in how the public was sold on nuclear power back when…

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