Belize's most complete independent agricultural publication

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Issue 01

Featuring: Breeds Of Cattle; Sheep Farming & Alternative Energy.

Mechanized Farming Compared To Sustainable Agriculture

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Mechanized Farming compared to Sustainable Agriculture requires different inputs and training. Mechanized Farming – needs to include tractor type equipment and you must be able to dry, package, trans port via containers and semi-trucks. Sustainable Agriculture – Usually we think of mostly labour to prepare the ground, plant, fertilize, spray, harvest and delivery usually in bags. Production Principles and examples TO INCREASE SOMETHING YOU SUBSIDIZE IT. In agriculture, we need to occasionally have very reasonable profits to offset minimum or sometimes total losses due to hurricanes, too wet, too dry, worms, weeds, insects or a loss of market where prices are below production costs. (Locally produced vegetables are often in this category) This results in an incentive to plant next…

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From The Editor

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Greetings, allow us to introduce ourselves. We are The Belize Ag Report, a monthly newsletter, headquartered in the Cayo District, but covering the entire country of Belize. How did we come into existence? As a result of an exasperating conversation asking a friend,’ Where is the agriculture news?’, given that it is the largest sector of the Belizean economy. Simply put, it’s an astounding situation here! Even the agriculture sector itself, in a way, feel ‘unnewsworthy’. We do not claim to be the official voice of agriculture Please read our mission statement printed on front page. To the other members of the Belizean media, we say ‘Please listen to agriculture.’ What is more important than the food we eat? Isn’t…

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Organic Production – Visiting The Bank

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When farmers are presented the question of what crop they grow, the typical answer is “Corn, Beans, Rice, etc.” When an Organic Farmer is asked the same question, their answer is always “The Soil.” For the Organic Farmer, the soil is the primary product for their farm, it is their farm. The growing of the soil is really a simple process, and we want to explain the process with the comparison of a bank. Banks provide two types of savings yields, a short term return on money that is deposited and a long term return. The short term can be withdrawn at any time, which provides a lower return to the depositor. To obtain the higher rate, long term return,…

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Equine Grass Sickness

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While trying to diagnose what suddenly and eventually claimed the life of one of our best brood mares,( daughter of the well know ranch & race horse, Popcorn (Palomino). Our vet friend, Dr Amanda House, Gaines-ville, Fl. Sent us the following information on a newly recognized equine disease . The Belize AG Report enquires if any horse owners have seen any cases which resemble Equine Grass Sickness. Clinical signs Grass sickness is a polyneuropathy affecting the central, peripheral and enteric nervous systems. The majority of visible clinical signs are related to paralysis within the digestive tract although nerve damage occurs throughout the body. There are three forms of grass sickness: acute grass sickness (AGS) – horses display signs of colic…

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Hard Times For Citrus Growers… But There Is A Silver Lining!

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The world economic crisis is having a severe effect on citrus prices. World stocks of orange juice are at an all time high, and prices are unbelievably low. This year for example, Belizean citrus growers will receive $5.50 a box for oranges and $3.25 for grapefruit. It costs about $7 to grow and deliver a box of oranges and $5.50 for grapefruit. No one can predict the turnaround in the world markets and it could get even worse. After two profitable years, in 2006 and 2007, the Citrus Industry decided to invest in a “value added juice line”, in order to be able to produce and sell directly to the consumer, what the consumer wanted….a shelf stable citrus juice in…

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Introduction To History And Structure Of Spanish Lookout

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When we came to Belize, then British Honduras in 1958 we did not ask for land grants or tax exemptions but agreed to pay all duties and taxes. We asked for the freedom to educate our children in our own schools, exemption from military service and compulsory social programs. There is a big falsehood about tax payments. Many government officials and others believe or used to believe that Mennonites don’t pay taxes. This is not true. We have had no income tax exemption or any other exemptions except for immigration head tax as offered by the government. Primarily the elders of the church and community leaders started the community. Each church district has its own elders, which have general meetings…

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Ask Rubber Boots

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Hi there, Rubber Boots, Question: What kind of flour is best for bread? Why does bread sometimes come out with a “heavy” texture? Answer: High gluten flour is best for bread. High gluten flour, which is high in protein, at least 15% per cent, is milled from hard spring wheat. Robin Hood flour and Hi-Rise Whole Wheat flour are two brands that are high in protein. If flour is left too long in a humid climate, sometimes even in a sealed container, such as Tupperware, it absorbs moisture and makes bread come out with a “heavy” texture. Buy flour in smaller quantities or use it while it’s fresh (before it absorbs too much moisture) to ensure a light texture. Dear…

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Is Sheep Farming For You?

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In recent years the price of sheep has skyrocketed. Some farmers think this may be the answer to improved profits in farming. Many whom attempt raising sheep are disappointed in the results. Sheep farming requires much higher levels of management than does beef cattle. Those wishing to incorporate sheep into their operations need to carefully consider the pitfalls. This article will attempt to give brief, basic guidelines to those who may be considering raising sheep. Fencing and sheep security is critical. Regular cattle fencing will not be sufficient, unless you do not have a problem with the sheep moving where their will takes them. Sheep can squeeze through spaces in regular barbed wire fences where you might think it is…

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Review – Grow Native Belize

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Today’s gardener has a continually growing selection of ornamental plants available them in Belize. When choosing plants, we are drawn to them for their beauty – bright flowers, showy leaves, unusual characteristics. This guide prompts the gardener to look beyond the skin deep beauty of our landscape plants, and to reflect on other aspects and impacts of plant selections. The emphasis of this booklet is that native plants should be considered as a primary choice in gardens for a variety of reasons. The guide discusses the benefits of native plants, such as being well adapted to the growing conditions here in Belize. The local plants have evolved over thousands of years to be survivors in this specific climate meaning they…

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Now & Then – 1850 Ransomes Simms & Jefferies Steam Tractor

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The manufacturer of the tractor in this picture has been in dispute since it was rediscovered some years back. I contend that it was built by Ransomes, Simms & Jefferies and not Fowler as is the more common belief. Mick Bell has told Francis Woods, who is now in possession of the machine, that it is a Fowler. I certainly respect his well earned opinion. I remember around 1984 one of the men telling Barry Bowen and myself about two old tractors out in the bush. We decided to take a walk to see if we could find them. We did locate them but not even close to where the man had sent us! Seems as though we walked for…

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