Belize's most complete agricultural publication.

Issue 33

BEL-CAR Updates

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… Keep Reading

Issue 33

21 st Meeting of the Coordinating Group of Pesticides Control Boards of the Caribbean 6 – 10 June 2016

The Pesticides Control Board of Belize is pleased to report that the hosting of the 21st Meeting of the Coordinating Group of Pesticides Control Boards of the Caribbean (CGPC) held in Belize from 6 – 10 June 2016, was a resounding success. The meeting was held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in San Ignacio, Cayo under the theme: “A changing climate! A changing world! Responsible pest and pesticide management – our responsibility.” Mr. Carlos Fuller of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre based in Belize was the keynote speaker during the meeting’s first technical session. The CGPC is comprised of representatives from the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Boards or Authorities of the countries of the Caribbean, and associate members… Keep Reading

Issue 33

Building Life In The Soil

“How can I improve soil biology or encourage soil life on my land?”  From organic to no-till farms, this is one of the most asked questions in agriculture today.  Before that question can be answered there are other questions that need to be answered.  Will the benefits from following a proposal to build life in the soil be profitable enough to be economically feasible?  Will such a program justify the time and effort required?  What type of changes may be needed to achieve the goal in a proper manner?  The answers to these questions will help determine what may or may not be possible under varying sets of circumstances. There are no simple one-step plans that will apply to every… Keep Reading

Issue 33

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) And Green Cane Harvesting

In 2015 the Department of the Environment (DOE) started a national project entitled “Belize Chemicals and Waste Management Project”, which aims to manage and dispose of all existing stockpiles of POPs, as well as reducing the release of unintentional POPs (UPOPs) into Belize’s environment. In the past DDT was used extensively to control mosquitoes that carry malaria and dengue. Other chemicals continue to be used in agriculture. Now it is being recognized that these chemicals have unforeseen negative effects on human health and the environment. POPs can be transported by wind and water, and affect people and wildlife far from where they are used. They exist for very long periods of time in the environment and can accumulate and pass… Keep Reading

Issue 33

Belize Livestock Producers Association News

Belize is now proceeding with cattle sweep 4. Based on our good results indicating a healthy livestock population, and proposals at the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) we may qualify for some testing reductions. The OIE has drafted changes for the entire world, that, if accepted, would only require 3 tests for brucellosis under some conditions, rather than the currently required 5. Currently we must test 99.9% of our livestock, but we have applied to test only a representative percent of 22.7% of livestock for the fourth sweep. If those results are clean, they could be accepted and used to declare our official status. Throughout the country, it would then involve selected herds, identified into 6 risk areas: breeding… Keep Reading

Issue 33

Working Together To Reduce Predator Attacks On Livestock

Livestock production in Belize is common and increasing. Many farms and villages lie in close proximity to the forest, potentially putting their animals at risk of predator attack. Livestock predation is frustrating and economically damaging, particularly for small-scale farmers who may lose a substantial proportion of their herd if they suffer repeated attacks. Understanding how predators, such as jaguars, pumas and coyotes, use the forest and agricultural lands, and how livestock are managed within the landscape, is helping us to identify practical, cost-effective non-lethal methods to deter predators from attacking livestock. Panthera works in partnership with the Forest Department’s Wildlife Program and theUniversity of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute (UB-ERI). Our applied research combines ecological and social science to understand the… Keep Reading

Issue 33

Sustainable Harvest International (SHI)

SHI-Belize began its work teaching farmers in Toledo about organic gardening and agroforestry in March 1999 with only 3 staff members who were Agroforestry extensionists with agricultural backgrounds. The project included 40 – 45 families. Since 2005, when Nana Mensah became SHI-Belize Country Director, the organization greatly expanded in staff from 3 to 9, geographic scope to include Stann Creek and Cayo, number of farmers from 45 to 115, and project scope to include small animal husbandry and micro-business development. At the moment we are in the final stage of completing a project with 21 families in the village of Otoxha; the project was funded as a grant from the Australian government. Under this project we issued 21 sets of… Keep Reading

Issue 33

Sheep Projects In Belize

The Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) in Belize, funded by International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), signed an agreement with the Belize government in December 2015 to assist with a 3 year small ruminant project which will run until December 2018. The project is a joint project between Belize and TTM, whereby funds are granted to the host country. TTM will assist with management and Mr. Pin-Nan Lee, a small ruminant specialist is assigned to oversee the new Central Farm sheep breeding facility. The budget of the project is US$1.274M over 3 years, with US$350K provided by the Government of Belize. While the project was initially planned to include both sheep and goats, a decision was made to focus solely on… Keep Reading

Issue 33

Forest Fires – All Is Not Well In Belize

The rainy season has started; no longer the gloomy grey dome of smoke choking us and distressing tourists because the rains have cleared the air from the fires of the dry season. Incredibly extensive and costly fires have persistently been devastating the countryside and biodiversity year after year. Before Belize gained its independence fires were considered a very serious business. Extension officers of colonial Belize worked with farmers in the fields every day of the week and issued official fire-permits to farmers to burn their milpa clearings. It was mandatory that all cleared land have a 6-foot wide fire-pass around the entire perimeter. The extension officer of the area would ensure that the fire-pass was well done and up-to-date for… Keep Reading

Featured/Issue 33

Surinam Cherry

Surinam cherry bushes grow all over Belize; they have pumpkin-shaped fruits that are botanically berries, but resemble cherries. If you are not familiar with Surinam cherries, imagine classic bing cherries with eight ribs growing on beautiful glossy evergreen leaved bushes. The cherries/berries look like cherries, but do not taste like cherries. The taste of the Surinam cherry fruit when ripe is said to resemble fig, mango, green pepper, with undertones of balsam and apricot, and even a touch of pine-like resin and tobacco aftertaste. Before the fruits are ripe they are tart, acidic and bitter tasting. It is best to pick only the fruits which are dark red and readily fall into your hand. There is a rare variety of… Keep Reading

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