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Issue 16

Featuring: All About The Weather; Litchis; Seagrapes & Health Promoting Sorrel.

A New Look for Country Food’s Eggs

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The egg co-op in Spanish Lookout used to be part of Farmers Trading Center but in 1997 it split off and became known as Country Foods, which now produces over 50% of Belize’s eggs and delivers them in cases all over the country. Approximately 78,000 cases per year (360 eggs per case) are handled at their Spanish Lookout facility which includes 75% of the eggs produced in Spanish Lookout. The 85 farmers who produce the eggs for CF used to candle (make sure the egg is good) and grade (small, medium, and regular) their eggs before delivering them to CF but that is about to change. CF purchased equipment from Yamasa, a company in Brazil, that can expose cracks, candle,…

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Litchi Fruit

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Brief History Litchi (known by many today as lychee) trees are indigenous to southern China, Malaysia and northern Vietnam. Records in China record the cultivation of litchi as early as 2000 B C. The earliest known book on horticultural deals with thecultivation of litchi, whose scientific name is Litchi Chinensis Sonn. The litchi fruit was highly prized by the Chinese Imperial Court. During the first century, fresh litchi fruit was delivered to the capitol by special couriers riding fast horses from Guangdong province in the south of China. The author, Ta’ai Hsiang, in his treatise on litchi reported litchi was in great demand during the Song Dynasty (960- 1279). The western world was introduced to litchi in 1585 by the…

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To The Editor

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Dear Editor Below is a link to an article that I believe your readers will find noteworthy. This is a worldwide issue of great importance and one I believe everyone involved in agriculture should be concerned about. I understand that three common neonicotinoids (including imadacloprid) are licensed and (widely) used here for seed treatments. I checked with ourPCB (pesticides control board), this is indeed alarming. There must be a better way of protecting seeds than using such harmful insecticides. Rodale – Sugar Addiction Killing Bees Best regards, A. E. “Eddie” Bouloy Jr. Managing Director Bravo Investments Ltd 4 ½ Miles Western Highway Note from the editor : for a direct link to the Harvard University study on honey bees and…

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Belize Citrus Growers Association Citrus Research & Education Institute

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The fight against citrus leprosis Citrus leprosis is one of the many diseases that are affecting the Belize citrus industry. It was first detected in Belize in August 2011. It is a viral disease that produces symptoms on leaves, twigs, and fruits. When the disease is severe, extensive crop loss and tree weakening occurs. Citrus leprosis is spread by mites (Brevipalpus phoenicis). It feeds on the infected trees and transfers the virus to the uninfected tree during feeding. Leprosis has been known to cause severe economic loss due to fruit drop and twig dieback caused by the disease. Symptoms and host range Leprosis affects twigs, leaves and fruits. Leaf symptoms are usually roundish with a dark-brown central spot about 2-3…

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The Hot and Cold of It A Look at Belize’s Temperatures

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If you want to escape the heat in Belize in April there aren’t very many places to go to, especially not Orange Walk (OW), with the highest monthly temperature in the past 12 years, 105.98 F°, recorded in April 2005. Although April’s temperature there exceeded 95 F° 8 times over the 12 year period 2000 -2011, May’s and September’s temperatures exceeded 95 F°every year. Don’t go to Belmopan either; the highest monthly temperature there was105.3 F° in April 2005. As a matter of fact, the highest monthly temperature there exceeded 100 F° 4 months in a row in 2005: March through June. The highest monthly temperature at Central Farm, 104.9 F°, was recorded in April 2003. May is hotter than…

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Beyond The Backyard – The Miracle Tree

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My introduction to the seagrape was back in the heyday of the famous Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach. I was impressed by the pink marble bathroom with gold taps but the highlight of that day was the poolside lunch. A Cobb salad deliciously presented and adorned with a strand of amethyst berries. I remember thinking how wonderful it would be to do the same here in Belize. The problem is that some of our best fruit and vegetables flourish in the off season when few tourists grace our shores. The Coccoloba tree was named for its red leaves and the inclusion of Uvifera for its resemblance to European grapes but it is actually part of the buckwheat family! (polygonaceae not the…

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Sorrel, a Delicious Health-Promoting Beverage, Food, Herbal Remedy, Safe Food Coloring and Fiber-Producing Plant

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Imagine a plant that is colorful, beautiful, easy to grow, flavorful, rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants in its leaves, sepals and seeds, with many healing properties and a diet aide. Sorrel, also known as roselle, Jamaican sorrel, sour-sour, rosebud, jelly okra, lemon bush, African mallow, Florida cranberry and many other names, is that plant. Sorrel, classified as hibiscus sabdariffa, is a member of the Malvaceae family and not to be confused with another plant, the green leafy herb sorrel, a member of the buckwheat family. There are two primary varieties of the hibiscus sorrel plant. One variety, altissimagrows to be sixteen feet high and is spindly and cultivated for use as a jute-like bast fiber and not edible. Hibiscus sabdariffa…

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The Pesticide Registration Process in Belize

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The formal scheme for the registration of pesticides by trade name, concentration of active ingredient and formulation commenced in Belize in 1995 with the implementation and enforcement of Statutory Instrument # 77 of 1995 Registered and Restricted Pesticides (Registration) Regulations, which was signed into law by the Hon. Minister of Agriculture Russell Garcia. This step was one which had been recognized as a necessary step at the FAO Round Table on the Regulation of Pesticides held in Belize in 1989 for the further development of Belize’s pesticides regulatory framework. Prior to this development, and with the establishment of the Pesticides Control Board (PCB) on 31 December 1988, there existed an informal scheme for the approval of pesticide active ingredients. Pesticide…

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News from Thiessen Liquid Fertilizer

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Thiessen Liquid Fertilizer in Spanish Lookout continues to do research trials with their Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer (ACLF) products on their 165 acre research farm at Mount Pleasant, just east of Belmopan. In extensive corn trials using Pioneer 30F80 seeds at different densities (27,050 to 30,850 seeds/acre) they probed variables such as different levels of nitrogen with UAN (solution of ammonium and nitrate in water) application at planting and UAN at planting with different levels of urea at 26 days. Corn seed population (seeds/acre) was also tested within various trials. Results from the trials to identify gains from Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizer potassium product, Sure-K , were among the most striking to owner Mr. David Thiessen. Data showed that with Sure-K application…

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BEL-CAR Updates

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BEL-CAR’s years run from Feb 1st to Jan 31st , and in their 2011 year showed an increase in corn products over 2010. In 2011, BEL-CAR processed 8.6 M lbs of corn into 6M lbs of cornmeal. Sales to Guatemala were down, due to better harvests in Guatemala, as local supplies there lasted longer. Regardless of diminished Guatemalan sales, last year BEL-CAR’s inventory almost ran out, as demand for BEL-CAR’s corn meal continued to grow in both established and new markets. Jamaica continues to be the largest single market, with steady waves of sales approaching 80% of all BEL-CAR’s cornmeal. Three large, used storage bins, with capacities between 6.5 to 6.8 M lbs each, were purchased from GOB. These had…

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