Belize's most complete independent agricultural publication

Issue 37

Cannabis Hemp Building Materials

By Karin Westdyk James Savage, a New York business analyst, was greatly disturbed after learning about mold problems making thousands of New Orleans homes uninhabitable after hurricane Katrina, and of the thousands killed in Haiti, crushed by their own homes during an earthquake. He searched for solutions and came up with a material that has been around for thousands of years and started a company to create building materials made from mold resistant, stronger-than-steel cannabis hemp. Hempcrete The outer portion of the hemp stalk has a long history of use for producing paper, fabric, rope and sails (the word canvas comes from the word cannabis), but Savage discovered that hemp chips made from the woody interior of the cannabis plant… Keep Reading

Issue 37

Nematodes – Friend and Foe

by Mary Loan Nematodes are non-segmented worms that live everywhere on the planet, including in ice and snow to the depths of the ocean and even in arid deserts. They are most abundant in tropical regions of the world, like Belize. Other names they are known as include: eel worms, thread worms, root knot worms. There are thousands of identified species of nematodes with estimates of about one-half million varieties to be ‘discovered’, studied and named. Most nematodes are almost invisible to the human eye and are less than 1 mm, or 1/125 of an inch in length. There are generally thousands of nematodes in a handful of soil, over one million in a spadeful, and as many as three… Keep Reading

Issue 37

The Humanure Handbook — A Review by Chris Harris

This is the book no one would publish. Why? Because it deals in some detail with a subject distasteful to some, uncomfortable to others and “something we just don’t talk about “ to yet more. So the author, Joseph Jenkins, published it himself. And in the process he did us all a big favour. OK, so what is this “taboo subject”? Well it deals with the subject of the ecological disposal of human waste. At first glance the author’s ideas amount to little more than an advanced view of the “bucket and chuck it” approach used in many rural areas of the world already. But here comes the rub. Jenkins applauds the “bucket” idea, but strongly challenges the “chuck it”… Keep Reading

Issue 37

Dear Veggie Detective

Dear Veggie Detective, Would you please investigate the mystery of the white-centered tomato? Why do some tomatoes have white centers and others are all red and tasty? Signed, Tomato Lover         Dear Tomato Lover, Your mystery is solved! Tomatoes with white centers have a deficiency in potassium, an element abbreviated as K because phosphorus was assigned the letter P. Basic fertilizers that you buy have three main elements: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and are designated in 3 numbers which corresponds to these three elements. If your soil doesn’t need N or P you can buy elemental potassium fertilizer. Potassium will give you not only the nice red color on your tomatoes but bigger fruit… Keep Reading

Issue 37

Ag Briefs

  UB CF announces that the next Neal Kinsey Soil Fertility 3 day course will be held the week of August 27th (note this has been changed from the dates in the previous Ag Report). This will be a repeat of the very well-received Intro 2 Course given in February. To register, contact David Thiessen at 670-4817 or thiessenliquid@gmail.com. Limited registration.   Avocados reached the highest prices in the US over 19 years early this summer, at $28 USD/10 kilos, due to lowered yields caused by bad weather and other problems in the main producing countries of Mexico (strikes), Peru (floods), Chile (droughts) and the US (California droughts). Avocado as colorant: Researchers at Penn State, USA, inadvertently discovered that avocado… Keep Reading

Memorandum of Understanding: BAHA & SIRDI

Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) Mile 66-1/2 Phillip Goldson Highway Buena Vista Village, Corozal District, Belize C.A. Info.belize@sirdi.bz MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING (MOU),SIGNED BY THE BELIZE AGRICULTURE HEALTH AUTHORITY (BAHA) AND THE SUGAR INDUSTRY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (SIRDI). A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been established on the 4Thday of September 2017, between Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI). View Press Release PDF » The major objectives are: 1.1. To contribute to the sustainability, development and economic viability of the agricultural sector in Belize. 1.2. To engage in technical exchanges and capacity building between both parties for the purpose of reciprocal transfer of technology, training in agriculture and other related… Keep Reading

CARDI and the University of Belize to Collaborate

CARDI AND THE UNIVERSITY OF BELIZE TO COLLABORATE ON KNOWLEDGE SHARING, TRAINING AND RESEARCH ACTIVITIES IN THE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR The Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) and the University of Belize (UoB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in the areas of knowledge sharing, training and capacity building, resource mobilization and research activities geared towards the development Belize’s agricultural sector. The MoU was signed by CARDI’s Executive Director, Barton Clarke and the President of the University of Belize, Professor Clement Sankat at the University of Belize, Main Campus in Belmopan. Present at the signing were CARDI Representative, Omaira Avila Rostant and UoB, Central Farm Campus Administrator, Gordon Holder. CARDI and the University of Belize to collaborate… Keep Reading

BAHA Animal Health Dept. – Rabies Advisory

Belize Agricultural Health Authority Animal Health Department Central Farm, Cayo District, Belize, Central America Tel: (501)-824-4899/72/73 Fax: (501)-824-4889/3773 E-mail: animalhealth@baha.org.bz PRESS RELEASE: RABIES ADVISORY BAHA informs the general public, but especially cattle producers, that paralytic rabies continues to affect cattle in the Cayo, Corozal and Toledo Districts. The Authority’s surveillance programme has resulted in detections of rabies in sheep and also in a vampire bat, in addition to the high number of detections in cattle. The disease is known to be transmitted by the vampire bat. Therefore, humans, domestic animals and wildlife are susceptible and at risk, especially in the known outbreak areas. Prevention and control measures are being implemented throughout the affected districts, in close collaboration with the Ministry… Keep Reading

Issue 35

“FOLKS THIS AIN’T NORMAL” by Joel Salatin Book review by Chris Harris

If you ride around on a huge combine harvester, keep thousands of chickens in a mass feeding coop or spray chemicals all over big fields, this book shows alternative methods of farming for you. After all it is written by a man who describes himself as a Christian libertarian environmentalist capitalist lunatic. Joel Salatin is one of the foremost advocates of ethical and responsible farming. He has traveled widely around the world, lecturing at universities and talking to farming groups. The book uses the American mass farming model to show the failings of corporate farming and food production. Salatin uses a lifetime of experience on his own farm in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia USA to point out and explain… Keep Reading

Issue 35

IICA Supports the Institutional Strengthening of the Pesticide Control Board

The Pesticide Control Board (PCB) is the main statutory body responsible for regulating the use and management of pesticides in Belize. There are currently 565 pesticide formulations registered for use in Belize and listed in the official register of pesticides, containing some 193+ active ingredients. Registration, surveillance, monitoring and enforcement of the responsible use and management of so many pesticides is no small task for the staff at PCB. Its importance is underscored considering that agriculture plays an important role in Belize’s economy, contributing almost 13% to GDP, and employing about 10% of the population at the end of 2015. Belize has increased its use of pesticides and other agro-chemicals over the years due to more intensification and commercial development… Keep Reading

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