Belize's most complete independent agricultural publication

Category archive

Issue 13

Featuring: Leaf Cutter Ants; The Effect Of The Moon; Beekeeping In The Vaca Forest & Tindora.

Leaf Cutter Ants – Largest Farming Population Of Belize

in Issue 13 by

When we think of the scale of farming in Belize, we think of large citrus, sugar cane and corn fields, stretching for miles. We can visually see the organization, scale and precision of the planning, production and harvest. All of these efforts are carried out through the thousands of farmers in Belize working directly and indirectly with each other. The farmers’ interaction with each other creates the agriculture industry that we currently have. This is actually minute to the largest scale farming community in Belize. The community that I am referencing is the colonies of the leaf cutter ant that farm much more land in Belize than any other farming operation. Leaf cutter ants are farmers due to collecting leaves…

Keep Reading

Belize Forest Fires 2011

in Issue 13 by

Overview: This year Belize was affected by the worst forest fires the country has ever seen. The targeted areas were the grasslands and pine forests countrywide. Additionally, due to Hurricane Richard, a large portion of broadleaf forests in the central area of Belize was also affected. Most of the fires were caused by people starting small intentional fires, such as for a slash-and-burn milpa, hunters, and in rare cases lightning also contributed. This year’s dry season was also said to be much drier than usual, adding to the intensity of the fires. Before the fires: Hurricane Richard To quote Jan Meerman in the June 7 th , 2011 Provisional Report on the Belize 2011 Wildfires , “Although [hurricane] Richard was…

Keep Reading

To The Editor

in Issue 13 by

RE: “Grid-tied Solar Power, A Winning Idea for Belize” by Mark Miller, Belize Ag Report June-July 2011, issue 12 Dear Editor, Within the framework of supplying energy by using solar energy, I have no quibbles at all with Mark. On the contrary, it all makes very good sense! Taken in a wider context, I’d like to add a few points worth consideration. ALL energy produced anywhere in the world is used and ultimately turns into heat at locations often quite distant from its generation point. We the consumers (meaning ALL the people in this world) want to use more devices of whatever type for whatever purpose, so we want to use more power. We the producers (meaning everyone involved in…

Keep Reading

MADE IN U.S.A. EXHIBIT – Agricultural Presentation By John Carr – August 19th 2011

in Issue 13 by

August 19 th ,2011 United States Ambassador – Honorable Vinai Thummalapally, It is my great privilege and pleasure to speak to this gathering this morning on behalf of myself and Beth Roberson representing the Belize Ag Report. I have spent my entire life around livestock and farming. My cowboy hat has been part of my attire since I was 4 years old. I moved to Belize full time in 1977 which is more or less 35 years ago. I have spent ½ my life in beautiful Belize and ½ in the great United States. “What a deal” AGRICULTURE IMPORTS FROM THE U.S. In agriculture, I would venture a guess that more than 90% of all farm tractors, trucks, plows, combines,…

Keep Reading

Beyond The Backyard – Little Pickle

in Issue 13 by

It is joyous when a plant not only grows but grows faster than Jack’s beans and bears edible fruits in astoundingly record time. Success! After eating this vegetable but once, lightly fried and accompanying a chicken masala curry, not even knowing its name, I launched into growing this vine. It grows tiny gherkin-like cucumbers, best eaten when young, brilliant green and crispy. Either raw or cooked it is somewhat bland and improves with a bit of spicy attention. Cumin, yellow ginger, fenugreek, hing, tulasi, onions and garlic are formidable partners. A perennial herbaceous vine of the pumpkin family which prefers a sunny location and sandy soil, it can be started from cuttings or seed and is readily spread by birds…

Keep Reading

Beekeeping And Integrated Farming Systems In The Vaca Forest Reserve

in Issue 13 by

A forest reserve is a protected area that provides for multiple use practices. These practices are primarily extractive in nature such as logging, non-timber forest harvest including xate, bayleaf and orchids. Given the increase in human population pressures upon the resources on these protected areas, there is a need for identifying means to sustain the ecological processes yet provide for human utilization and management. This is true for the Vaca Forest Reserve and other multiple use reserves across the Chiquibul-Maya Mountain Massif. The Vaca Forest Reserve has been described as the most threatened protected area due to multiple interests in the area ranging from logging and farming to tourism and hydroelectric schemes. The problem is further aggravated by logging concessions…

Keep Reading

Banana Bank Corn Loss from Tropical Storm Harvey August 20th, 2011

in Issue 13 by

General Statistics 1125 Acres in farm calculation 528 Acres suffered various percent of storm damage 29,587 100 # bags destroyed (at 30.21 per bag) 893,925 calculated loss Comments: The corn that suffered the worst was the older 65 to 85 day corn- green eating stage. The weight at the top with the wind forced the stalks flat. They went down like dominos. Younger corn 5 feet and less suffered less and will have some recovery. Sometimes the damage was minimal or none- ½ to 1 mile away- in other words-Harvey’s path was very defined. The rain made the root/soil connection very loose and the stalks went over easy- they seldom broke- we have some,but very little hope that older horizontal…

Keep Reading

Strengthening the Belize Citrus Nursery Industry Citrus Growers Association (CGA) Citrus Research and Education Institute (CREI)

in Issue 13 by

Presently agricultural industries face many challenges, from fluctuating world prices, high cost of production, low productivity and to cap it off, diseases. The Belize citrus industry is no exception and quite recently in 2009 the very devastating citrus disease HLB or citrus greening was found in Belize. HLB is associated with the bacteria, Candidatus Liberibacter spp. And is spread by a Psyllid vector, Diaphorina citri. In citrus, most scientists and growers worldwide agree that one major indispensable management strategy to combat and manage many of the most devastating diseases is the use of clean, disease-free citrus plants grown under screen and passed through the process of a sound citrus certification program. In 1995 the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) through its…

Keep Reading

Regional Pink Hibiscus Mealybug Project (PHMB)

in Issue 13 by

The Regional Pink Hibiscus Mealybug Project operates in collaboration with the Organismo Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria (OIRSA), Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, for the control of the Pink Hibiscus Mealybug, Maconellicoccus hirsutus (Green), which is an alarming economic threat for the agriculture, forestry and tourism industry. The PHMB is known to be an important pest due to its wide range of host plants and its severity in damage to more than 200 genera plants in more than 70 different families. After its first detection in 1999 in the Belama Fase 1, Belize district, the dissemination of the pest has been hastily attacking plants of the Malvacea family (hibiscus) causing severe deformation, hence destroying its…

Keep Reading

Grow Your Own Heirloom Seeds

in Issue 13 by

When we first arrived in Belize, one of the first crops we wanted to plant was corn and we found that we had two choices for seed. The first was the kernels purchased from the Mayans from their milpa plantations; the quality of the seeds was quite inconsistent, ranging from small to medium size with a high number of misshapen or shrivelled up kernels. The second choice was the hybrid seeds available from the Mennonite store which, in comparison to the Mayan corn, when examined, were large, well-formed and pleasing to the eye. Now, one of the main reasons we took up farming was to live our philosophy: we want to eat good wholesome food without dependence upon an outside…

Keep Reading

Go to Top