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Optimizing Corn Yield With Nitro Xtend+S

in Issue 33 by

By Edwin Gomez, Axel Hidalgo, Wilbert Ramclam, Eddie Friessen and Albert Reimer The increase in productivity corresponds to the increase of total dry matter as a result of nutrients absorption (Karlen et al, 1987). Furthermore, the adoption of best management practices for the use of fertilizers is necessary to increase and stabilize yields and promote agricultural sustainability (Ciampitti et al, 2007). With these important factors in mind we conducted trials to evaluate the effect of a new product called NITRO XTEND that inhibits the enzyme urease which is responsible for breaking down nitrogen into ammonium. A crop of corn yielding 10,688 pound per acre would need to absorb approximately 219, 42, and 42 pounds per acre of nitrogen (N), phosphorus…

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Corn That Says “No” To GMO

in Issue 30 by

In the modern world where large agriculture companies are gaining ground with GM (genetically modified) corn seeds, non-GM growers have been in an increasingly difficult situation from GM pollen drift. This pollen can drift over four miles in the wind and once it lands in a non-GM field, that corn becomes tainted with the GM variety. Once contaminated, the farmer typically gets a lower price, and for specialty food grade and organic corn the price can be as little as half what it would have been. However, one bright spot is that a few plant breeders have found a way to develop non-GM corn varieties that “say no” to the GM pollen when it comes blowing its way. Blue River…

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Corn Growth Stages

in Issue 29 by

This identification system divides plant development into vegetative (V) and reproductive (R) stages. The (V) stages are designated numerically as V1, V2, V3, etc. through V(n)where (n) represents the number of leaves with visible collars. The first and last (V) stages are designated as VE (emergence)and VT (tasseling). The six reproductive stages are simply designated numerically. Vegetative and Reproductive Stages Each leaf stage is defined according to the uppermost leaf whose leaf collar is visible. Loss of the lower leaves will begin about V6 due to increased stalk size and nodal root growth. To determine the proper leaf stage after lower leaf loss, split the stalk lengthwise and inspect for inter node elongation. The first node above the first elongated…

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Purple Corn – Possibilities for More Than Ixpaxa and Tortillas

in Issue 28 by

In August of 2014 the Belize Ag Report started a folder on purple corn, after noting the price for one pound on – a stunning US$8.95. Eight months later, April 2015, the price from the same brand ( on amazon has crept up to US$10.95/lb. The bulk (discounted) price on amazon from another supplier (Angelina’s Gourmet Purple Corn): US$55.40/25 lbs, and hold onto your hat, Natural Traditions Corn Powder, Purple, retails on amazon for US$18.42/3.5 ounces. What is so special about this corn to merit these astounding prices? Is the purple corn of Belize equally special, with export potential? Many countries around the world – USA, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, China, South Korea, Japan and Thailand are becoming interested in…

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Drought Relief for Corn and Forages – Is Zinc the Answer?

in Featured/Issue 27 by

Corn growers are aware perhaps more than most crop farmers about the value of supplying adequate zinc for the crop. Among other uses, zinc is known to be needed for moisture absorption in growing plants. That is, when you don’t have enough zinc, it requires more water to grow the same amount of yield because water is lost due to the inability of the plants to take it up in time. One of the farmers attending our introductory workshop on soil fertility admitted he never had much faith in soil testing to help determine his fertilizer program. But he and all his neighbors had a persistent problem. They all had cows, and every summer during July and August the grass…

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BEL-CAR Makes Belize’s 1st Bulk Corn Export

in Issue 27 by

Belize’s first bulk export of corn was made late in October of 2014, after Bel-Car signed a contract with a Trinidadian company for 2,800 Metric tons of corn. The cost of producing corn in Belize exceeds the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) prices. However, the Trinidadian buyer who purchased this corn paid more than the CBOT price as they realize that Belize’s corn is of higher quality, which will more than compensate for the higher cost. The 2800 M T (equivalent to 124 of 50,000 lb container loads) shipped from the port of Big Creek in Southern Belize. Bel-Car brought their own portable augers for loading, and had 30 Spanish Lookout trucks delivering the corn from Spanish Lookout to the…

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FAO ‘Seed for Development’ Project – A Bright Future for Open-Pollinated Corn

in Issue 26 by

The experimental seed development project sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and carried out by Cayo farmers under the direction of Lead Extension Officer, William Can, of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA), is a resounding success! The project objective was to evaluate and multiply seeds of three improved corn varieties, two of which were white corn and one yellow, that adapted to weather and soil conditions of the Cayo District from the previous year’s experiment. The slogan that evolved is Good seed = Good yield.   The table below gives details of the demo plots that were established. The participating farmers painstakingly monitored the plants’ growth and development as they adhered to the rigid procedures…

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Beyond The Backyard – A Grain of Truth

in Issue 23 by

We have become used to the labels fat free, sodium free, cholesterol free, nut free; now gluten freeseems to be the latest trend. On the one hand we realize that the food industry is a business; so selling the idea that you need or suffer from something is inevitable. On the other hand we must consider the fact that incorrect labeling or secret ingredients for some people can become a matter of life and death. At a recent cocktail party two people said they were allergic to shrimp, one to oysters, two to nuts, one is lactose intolerant, one to the polymers of surgical gloves and four out of the ten were on gluten free diets. One may have celiac…

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The Development of Corn

in Issue 23 by

Scientists have been tinkering with the DNA of plants since the dawn of agriculture. The wild ancestor of corn for example is a grass called teosinte. Teosinte doesn’t look much like corn, especially when you compare its kernels to those of corn, but at the genetic or DNA level, the two are surprisingly alike. They have the same number of chromosomes and a remarkably similar arrangement of genes. In fact, teosinte can cross-breed with modern corn varieties to form corn-teosinte hybrids that can go on to reproduce naturally. At the dawn of agriculture some 10,000 years ago, ancient farmers in what is now Mexico took the first steps in domesticating corn when they simply chose which kernels (seeds) to plant.…

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