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Armyworm threatens food security

VOL. 27 NO. 3 JUNE 2017 FREE COPY WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM

A
by Patrick Maitland South Africa, Zambia and Zim-
Editor-The Agriculturalist babwe and are causing consider-
lready causing damages in the able crop damage in some
millions of dollars to crops in countries.
the Americas and Africa, the vora- The beet armyworm or small
cious Fall Armyworm are now mottled willow moth (Spodoptera
causing significant losses to farm- exigua) is one of the best-known
ers and threatening food security. agricultural pest insects. It is also
A member of the said family known as the asparagus fern cater-
Beet Armyworm has resurfaced pillar. It is native to Asia, but has
and cutting down acres of scallion been introduced worldwide and is
and onion. Farmers in St. Elizabeth now found almost anywhere its
and Manchester are among the many host crops are grown.
worst affected with some 297 farm- Minister without Portfolio in the
ers among those scallion and onion Minister of Industry, Commerce,
producers who completely lost Agriculture and Fisheries,
their crop and are forced to replant (MICAF) William J.C. Hutchinson
during the harvest season. (l) examines pheromone trap
The Rural Agricultural Develop-
used for capturing of beet
ment Authority (RADA) has re-
armyworm at the New

ported the significant increase in


Forest/Duff House Agro-Park in
Manchester on May 1. Farmer
the population of the beet army- Stephenson and Chief Techni-
worm. Findings indicate that within cal Director, MICAF Dermon
1-3 days there will be a massive Spence look on. Hutchinson,
hatching of young worms in the says $17.7 million has been allo-
fields. cated to assist farmers who
Farmers are therefore advised to were impacted by the beet army
act now by applying a number worm, especially in sections of
control strategies including intensi-
Manchester and St. Elizabeth.
fying the monitoring of escallion,
oped strategies, in- 73 percent de-
onion, and other crops at least
cluding budgetary pending on exist-
twice per week or every three days
support, to deal with ing conditions and is
for the early detection of the egg
the outbreak as an immedi- difficult to control
sacs mostly seen at the tip of
ate response. She said plants with a single type
leaves.
that have been affected and are of pesticide, espe-
Principal Director, Training Di-
also likely to transport the army- cially when it has
vision, RADA, Marina Young, said
worm are onion, tomato, cucum- reached an ad-
it is imperative that farmers under-
ber, watermelon, callaloo, vanced larval de-
stand, in the event of any outbreak,
and beetroot. velopment stage.
what the trigger factors are that will
The outbreak is evident According to the
cause spreading. Based on the
in Spring Ground, Duff Food and Agriculture
analysis of the situation, we identi-
House, New Forest in Manchester; The voracious (FAO) Subre-
fied factors that are related to the
and Comma Pen and Bull Savan- larvae are the gional Coordina-
climatic conditions, which are be-
nah in St. Elizabeth. main culprits. tor for Southern
yond our control, she said.
The armyworm has been en- Africa, David Phiri, the situation of
She said while farmers are try-
demic in the Americas and was first the armyworm was constantly
ing to capitalize on the demand and
reported in the African continent in evolving. "The situation remains
supply opportunities, they must ex-
Sao Tome and Principe around Jan- fluid. Preliminary reports indicate
ercise wisdom in their approach
uary 2016. The parasite is known to the possible presence (of the pest)
when expanding crop production.
cause extensive crop losses of up to in Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,
Young said RADA had devel-
2 THE AGRICULTURALIST JUNE 2017 WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM
EDITORIAL
Sustainable partnership needed
WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM JUNE 2017 THE AGRICULTURALIST 3

to fight the armyworms


R ecent reports of a beet armyworm in-
vasion of several hundred acres of
farmlands in St. Elizabeth and Manchester
The island open-trade policy with
many countries across the globe in-
cluding several hundred tons of
alization, trade and climate change,
as well as reduced resilience in
production systems due to
It takes vast resources both capital and
human to successfully operate any investi-
gation and development programme to
and the devastation caused by these imported food valued at an av- decades of agricultural in- control pests and diseases in any country.
dreaded insects is a wakeup call to the au- erage annual US$910 million tensification, have all With the support of the FAO, the Agri-
thority that all is not well with Jamaica's exposed us to other pests and played a part. culture Ministry and RADA should forge a
management of pest and disease. diseases. The armyworm is now sustainable partnership with the private
The armyworm has been in Jamaica The Jamaicas phytosanitary getting the publicity. sector and other non-government institu-
for a very long time, however, in recent measures are of international However, fruit flies, rhi- tions.
years farmers and extension officers no- standard. However, the stamping zomes rot in ginger, banana Everybody is more concerns about
ticed an increasing population and dam- out of all illegal entries or contraband diseases, coconut diseases, cit- protecting their little mediocre and poorly
ages to their crops. is almost impossible. rus greening, frosty cocoa pod, funded research turf, " and at the end of
Already the pests are eating away the Therefore ongoing research yam and other root crops diseases the day, the Jamaican food supply is af-
livelihood of almost 200 farmers and the and development strategies to are among the most destructive fected.
devastation is expected to continue for a safeguard against new pest and the plant pests and diseases affecting Plant pests and diseases will continue
while as the control measures being em- spread of existing ones must be Jamaican agriculture. to spread, but with good management, it
ployed by the Agriculture Ministry, and the the top propriety of the Agriculture In most cases, we cannot elimi- should not seriously affect food production
Rural Agricultural Development Authority Ministry, farmers and other stake- nate these pests or destroy the output.
(RADA) will need time to take full effect. holders. pathogens that cause the diseases. Patrick Maitland
As a tropical island and transnational The Food and Agriculture Organ- However, they can be managed with Publisher - The Agriculturalist
destination with people from all over the isation (FAO) has reported that the constant research and development as patrick@theagriculturalist.com
world, Jamaica is always exposed to new spread of plant pests and diseases has in- well as the application of appropriate tech-
pest and diseases from other countries. creased dramatically in recent years. Glob- nologies.

The opinions expressed in this newspaper, except for the above, do not necessarily reflect the views of The Agriculturalist and its publishers. Please send your com-
ments or suggestions to editor@theagriculturalist.com. Responses should be no longer than 400 words. Not all articles will be published.

Tribute to V. Oliver Nembhard, JP


I t is with deep regret that the Board, Management, and
Staff of the National Irrigation Commission Limited
(NIC) announce the passing of our Acting Chief Execu-
tive Officer, Mr. V. Oliver Nembhard, JP, on Friday, May
26, 2017.
Mr. Nembhard, a prominent St. Elizabeth businessman,
was appointed Chairman of the NIC in May of 2008 to
March 31, 2012. He was again appointed to the Board on
April 25, 2016, and as Acting Chief Executive Officer on
August 22 of the same year.
He is remembered as a hard worker, people person, mo-
tivator and someone who gets the job done. He had a thor-
ough understanding of farming and as a rural person could
equally understand and relate to the various plights of
farmers. This made him a great asset to the NIC.
He was a stickler for observing the policies that
guide the organization, thus making certain programmes The late Oliver Nembhard CUSTOMER APPRECIATION LUNCHEON:
were planned and executed in accordance with those poli- Former Acting CEO, NIC J.C. Hutchinson ( r), Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Industry, Com-
cies. He was able to flawlessly transfer the nuances of merce, Agriculture and Fisheries, converses with Lloyd Distant, CEO and Olive
stated policies into operational outputs while making it easily understood at all levels of the Downer Walsh, deputy CEO, both of Hardware & Lumber Ltd, at the H&L Agro
organisation.
Customer Appreciation Luncheon and Awards Ceremony held at Golf View Hotel
During his tenure as Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Nembhard spearheaded the ac-
in Mandeville on June 7.

Book your
complishment of a number of critical projects to include rehabilitation of canal networks in
St. Catherine and Clarendon to improve irrigation supply to farmers and the cleaning of
rivers and drains in St. Elizabeth for flood mitigation measures. He was very instrumental

advert in our
in ensuring the construction of the Project Office for the proposed Essex Valley Project in
record time and a cost-effective manner.

Denbigh 2017
He saw to the completion and commissioning into the operation of the Duff House Publisher & Editor:
Pumping Station in Manchester, a system that is providing irrigation service to over 400 Patrick Maitland
farmers.

feature
Consulting Editors:
Mr. Nembhard will also be remembered for being a fair-minded person and someone
Vincent Wright, Jairzenho Bailey
with whom all levels of staff could relate. Many will remember him as someone who acutely
aligned the operations of NIC with those of the nation to achieve its agricultural goals. He Produced & Published by:
was a gentleman in the real sense of the word, warm and engaging with staff members but
Agri Life Foundation Ltd

The Agriculturalist
never one for the spotlight.
The Board, Management, and Staff extend its sincere condolences to the family and AMC Complex,

Call 923-7471
friends of Mr. V. Oliver Nembhard. 188 Spanish Town Road,
May his soul rest in peace. Sadly missed by the family. Kingston 11, Jamaica, W.I.
Tel: (876) 923-7471 923-7428
agriculturalist@gmail.com
agriculturalist@gmail.com editor@theagriculturalist.com
www.theagriculturalist.com
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Govt leases land to Red


Stripe for Cassava cultivation:
(l-r seated) Managing Director of Red Stripe,
Ricardo Nuncio; Minister of Industry, Com-
merce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Karl
Samuda; and Chairman of the Board of Di-
rectors of SCJ Holdings Limited (SCJH),
Wentworth Charles display signed copies of
contract for the lease of 247 hectares of
lands in St. Catherine to Red Stripe for the
production of cassava to be used in the com-
panys beverages. The signing took place Fri-
day (May 5) at the Ministrys New Kingston
offices. Also in photo (l-r standing) Project
Manager for Local Raw Material Business De-
velopment, Red Stripe, Cavell Francis-Rhiney;
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Donovan
Stanberry; Chief Executive Officer of SCJH,
John Gayle; Legal Officer, SCJH, Debbie-Ann
Scott and Chief Executive Officer, Rural Agri-
cultural Development Authority, Peter Thomp-
son. Samuda, said the initiative is in keeping
with the Ministrys Import Substitution Pro-
gramme, which seeks to reduce the countrys

Commodity Boards
food import bill by attaining self-sufficiency in
the production of crops.

to be Dissolved
T he state-controlled commodity boards which regu-
late coffee, cocoa, coconut and the spices- ginger,
pimento, etc., are being dissolved to fall under the ambit
of the recently enacted Jamaica Agricultural Com-
modities Regulatory Authority (JACRA).
Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries
Minister, Karl Samuda who was addressing the Coconut
Growers Annual General Meeting at the Jamaica Con-
ference Centre, on Saturday, May 6 said the new regu-
latory body that will span the Coconut Industry, the
Coffee Industry, the Cocoa Industry and the Spices In-
dustry, will be inaugurated no later than July 01, 2017.
Minister Samuda said that the primary objective of
the legislation is not to punish commodity boards, it is
not to impose restrictions on commodity boards, and it
is not out of suspicions of the activities of commodity
boards.
It is in keeping with international standards and
trends to put into the hands of key stakeholders their own
destiny. As we are today, we must find a mechanism
that is equitable, fair, and transparent and offers protec-
tion for you the actual growers of coconut, that is the ob-
jective and that has to be. So what was controlled by a
board no longer exist, the Minister explained.
He further explained that where the Boards con-
trolled everything that happens in the industry, JACRA
is only there to protect the quality and expansion of the
industries. The quality of everything that is exported,
manufactured out of coconut must be of the highest stan-
dard, so that when the name, comes from Jamaica and
bears our brand it is world class, the Minister said.
So, that is why you have to get registered under JACRA
so that the inspection and monitoring process for those
who are going to be manufacturing and shipping the
name Jamaica abroad, comply with what are the required
practices. It is not there to determine who you sell to,
when you sell, how much you sell, nothing of the kind
that has to be determined by you, he pointed out.
The Minister also assured the growers that legisla-
tions that have been put in place for the industry will not
be changed willy nilly, and that the interest of the
growers must be protected at all cost.
He added that the local coconut industry remains a
potentially lucrative one, capable of generating signifi-
cant export earnings and employment. This he said is
despite of the challenges the sector has encountered.
6 THE AGRICULTURALIST JUNE 2017 WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM
INTERNATIONAL
WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM JUNE 2017 THE AGRICULTURALIST 7

Armyworms ravage crops in 20 African countries


A
By John Aglionby in Nairobi Unless the insects advance is contained first detected on the continent in west Africa Newly-hatched larvae often tunnel di-
n invasion of fall armyworms from the there is a risk of further spread into Europe in January 2016. A year later, it was in south- rectly into maize before crawling to the
Americas has ravaged crops across via the Mediterranean basin and Asia through ern Africa and it has since swept north, with ground to pupate.
more than 20 African countries, putting hun- the Middle East is almost certain, the UNs some moths flying up to 100km a day. It has Michael Otiwi, a researcher at Ugandas
dreds of millions of people at risk of hunger. Food and Agriculture Organisation warned recently been reported as far north as National Agricultural Research Organisation,
Experts warned this week that the con- in a report. Ethiopia. said African farmers are becoming increas-
tinent would struggle to contain the threat The most likely scenario is that its Unless sprayed with effective insecti- ingly desperate as the insect proves resistant
posed by the 3.4cm caterpillars that have no going to spread both geographically and in cides quickly after initial detection, the fall to most chemicals.
known effective predator. intensity, said Lewis Hove, a crop resilience armyworm becomes extremely hard to con- Recommended doses of insecticides
This is science fiction turned fact, said expert at the FAO. The infestation rate [in tain. are not sufficient so farmers are using dou-
Boddupalli Prasanna, a director at the Inter- crops] is usually around 80 per cent but in Each adult moth lays up to 2,000 eggs ble or even triple, he said. But these dont
national Maize and Wheat Improvement some areas it is 100 per cent. during its two-week life, usually in batches work usually and pose serious issues for the
Center. The fall armyworm is much more Scientists believe the fall armyworm ar- of 100-200 on immature maize plants. safety of the users and the environment.
evil than other [pests] because I dont think it rived in Africa in a shipment of maize. It was
can be eliminated. Meanwhile, the range of
options available to tackle it are limited and
the cost of these options is expensive.
The fall armyworm is native to the
Americas and survives in temperatures above
10 degrees Celsius. It is named after the time
of year it does most damage autumn
and its feeding habits; after devouring a crop
the whole army advances.
It feeds on 80 different plant species but
the most prevalent strain eats maize, which
is the staple of 200m people in sub-Saharan
Africa. About 300,000 hectares across the re-
gion have already been ravaged.
Roger Day, at the Centre for Agriculture
and Biosciences International, estimated the
fall armyworm would cause damage worth
about $3bn to Africas maize crop over the
next 12 months.

Organic conditions
boost flavonoids
and antioxidant
activity in onions
F ive years ago, a highly publicized
meta-analysis of more than 200 studies
concluded that organic food was no more
nutritious than conventionally grown food.
Since then, however, additional work has
suggested the organic foods contain more
health-benefiting phytochemicals. Now, re-
searchers have found that flavonoid levels
and antioxidant activity in organic onions
are higher than in conventional onions.
Their investigation is the longest-running
study to address the issue.

ORDER YOUR
COPY OF
TROPICAL
FARMERS
ALMANAC
2017
923-7471
editor@theagriculturalist.com
8 THE AGRICULTURALIST JUNE 2017 JUNE 2017 THE AGRICULTURALIST 9

Jamaica Dairy
Development B oard
J
amaica Dairy
Development B oard

Salute
to Dairy Sector
Stakeholders on
World Milk Day
T
he Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. The success of the Dairy Industry is being facilitated by the consistent
Karl Samuda, CD, MP, and the Chairman of the Jamaica Dairy efforts of these our vital partners, who continue to work for the
Development Board (JDDB), Mr. Donald Elvey, on behalf of the Board sustainable development of the Jamaican Dairy Industry, the agricul
of Directors of the JDDB, take this opportunity to salute all stakeholders tural sector and the economy of Jamaica as a whole.
of the Dairy Sector as we observe World Milk Day, Thursday
June 1, 2017. In observing World Milk Day 2017, the focus will be on improving the
nutritional levels of our Jamaican children. With this in mind, several
Our Dairy Sector stakeholders continue to perform a critical role in the of our partners will today embark on activities to promote milk among
revitalisation of the Jamaican Dairy Industry as we pursue the mission to children in primary schools across the country.
achieve the goal of increasing local milk production to 20 million litres by
the year 2020. Among these important sector stakeholders are: This initiative builds on the foundations laid by the previous activities
r %BJSZ'BSNFST undertaken by the Dairy Board arising from World Milk Day last
r %BJSZ'BSNFST0SHBOJTBUJPOT year to make milk available to hundreds of women at Antenatal
r .JML1SPDFTTPST Clinics and Health Centres in all parishes of Jamaica.
r 1BSUOFSTPGUIFi%SJOL3FBM.JML$BNQBJHOum$#(SPVQ 4FQSPE
Hon. Karl Samuda, CD, MP (SPVQ /FXQPSU'FSTBOBOE+%%# 8FTBMVUFPVSQBSUOFSTBOE%BJSZ4FDUPSTUBLFIPMEFSTBOEFYUFOE
Minister of Industry, Commerce, r 'BSN4UPSFT our best wishes to all on World Milk Day 2017.
Agriculture and Fisheries r 4VQQMJFSTPG"HSJDVMUVSBM*OQVUT
r "OJNBM'FFE.BOVGBDUVSFST%JTUSJCVUPST HON. KARL SAMUDA, CD, MP
r .BOVGBDUVSFSTPG%BJSZ1SPEVDUT Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries
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PGUIF6OJUFE/BUJPOT
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 MR. DONALD ELVEY
r "HSJDVMUVSBM&EVDBUJPO*OTUJUVUJPOT Chairman, Jamaica Dairy Development Board
r 5IF+BNBJDB$BUUMF#SFFEFST4PDJFUZ
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r +BNBJDB)m$MVCT
r 5IF3FTFBSDIBOE%FWFMPQNFOU%JWJTJPOPGUIF.JOJTUSZPG*OEVTUSZ 
Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries
r 7FUFSJOBSZ4FSWJDFT%JWJTJPO
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staff of the JDDB
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10 THE AGRICULTURALIST JUNE 2017 WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM
WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM JUNE 2017 THE AGRICULTURALIST 11

Precise Nutrition
precisely!

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KNOWLEDGE
West Indian Red Peppers the hot pick!
WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM JUNE 2017 THE AGRICULTURALIST 13

G race Agro Processors Division (GAP)


has an aggressive programme to en-
gage farmers across Jamaica to cultivate hot
How to Grow a Crop Successfully
Utilize viable disease free seeds
Employ adequate land preparation
peppers. This project which started in 2012 Prepare and plan proper adequate irriga-
has grown with the increasing demand for tion source for the crop
its Grace branded sauces and seasonings Have a soil and water analysis done for the
and more recently its pepper mash. area being planted
Fresh pepper supply in Jamaica is in- Plan proper planting schedules - this can
consistent as a result of harsh climatic con- be influenced by weather conditions and
ditions and the seasonality of the crop. As past weather trends
a result, historically, substantial volumes Employ a proper pest management pro-
have had to be imported from Costa Rica gram from seed to harvest
and other countries in times of scarcity. Design a nutrient management program
That is no longer the case. using water and soil analysis
GAP, through its contract and farmers Monitor nutrient management program
assistance programmes, has substantially in- through the use of tissue sample monitor
creased production over the years and min- for deficiencies For further information on growing peppers: For further information on
imized the necessity for imports while Maintain proper field sanitation during Newport-Fersan (Jamaica) Limited becoming a contract pepper farmer:
providing income and employment in the harvesting 2A/2BWherry Wharf Complex GK Foods & Services Ltd - Grace Agro
field of agriculture. GAP is now exporting Left over harvested materials compost Newport East Processors Division
substantial volumes of pepper mash and to be reincorporated in the field as organic Tel: (876)967-5815 / Fax: (876) 948-9078 Hounslow, St Elizabeth
seeks industrious farmers to assist with sup- matter salesandtech@newportfersan.com Tel: (876) 932 3245
plying its growing raw material require- Maintain detailed field records info@newportfersan.com junior.ebanks@gkco.com
ments.

HI-PRO shares best practices


The value of Organic Matter
PLANT NUTRITION AND PRODUCTION:

with pineapple growers


T he Hi-Pro Division of the Jamaica Broil-
ers Group continued its education pro-
such insects as the pineapple fruit fly, ants,
scale and thrips. The Zampro and Odeon fungi-
I n crop production systems, traditional out-
door or controlled environments, the phys-
ical and chemical condition of the growing
What Happens When Compost is Used
Organic Matter when present in the soil above
a critical level (3%) enhances soil fertility in
gramme with farmers in St. Elizabeth by cides, as well as Break-Thru were introduced media greatly influence the ultimate yield per- many different ways:
hosting a recent farmers seminar for pineap- to the farmers. Break-Thru, they were told, is formance. Reduced fertilizer loss: reduce leaching,
ple growers in Ginger Hill. an adjuvant which works in a similar manner to Condition is the nutrient status of the evaporation and nutrient tie-up/nutrient insol-
Nearly 200 farmers gathered at the resi- surfactants, reducing the run-off of chemicals growing environment and in traditional agri- ubility
dence of a farmer in Ginger Hill where they from the plant. cultural systems is referenced as soil fertility. Increased soil microbiology, which in turn:
were presented with ways to achieve maxi- The chemical mixture is spread rapidly o Helps crop roots extract nutrients from the
mum yields, while lowering production costs over the surface of the leaves in all directions Soil Fertility soil, making fertilizer usage more efficient
through the proper use of Hi-Pros high quality and penetrates the plant tissues, taking the Soil fertility is the ability of soil to supply o Activate nutrient recycling by converting
insecticides, foliar fertilizers, fungicides, her- chemical to the inside of the plant for better ef- essential nutrients and soil water in adequate crop residues into nutrients, reducing fertilizer
bicides and Diamond R granular fertilizers. ficacy, while reducing chemical usage and im- requirements.
amounts and proportion for plant
One farmer, Lance Arnold, said the ses- proving rain steadfastness. Increases the soils ability to man-
growth and production, provide
sion was an eye-opener. Also making presentations to the pineap- age water:
plant habitat in the absence of
He said he has already seen ple farmers was Eddy Arias, over- o Humus, a component organic
toxic substances that may inhibit
good results from the use of the Hi- seas representative for Round Up
plant growth and result in sus- matter, holds four times its weight
Pro products and is looking forward herbicide. He explained that the
tained and consistent yield of high in water and thus helps to fight dry
to a high yield at the next crop to- product is used for land preparation
quality. conditions
wards the end of the year. by burning grass and broad leaf
The five main components of o By increasing soil porosity, ex-
I set my one-acre pineapple farm weeds. He said Round Up contains
a surfactant which spreads rapidly fertile soils are: material particles cess rain water is allowed to pass
for two crops a year and the second crop
over the surface of the leaf of the grass derived from rocks by weathering; through the soil
coming up should be one of my best.
and weed, thereby showing signs of organic material; soil water; soil Humus holds soil in place reduc-
The plants have started to look
burning in a very quick time. Accord- air; and living organisms. ing wind and water erosion.
healthy. I think the Hi-Pro technical
sales representatives should come to ing to Arias, once the solution touches The chemical relationships
influencing soil fertility are com- By Dr. Hansel Beckford Fertilizer and Compost
this the soil it breaks down and becomes inactive.
plex and are affected by parent Crop Physiologist In soils with low organic
area at least twice a year. We should now do Marlon Gordon, Technical Sales Repre-
material, type of clay, amount of organic mat- matter content some fertilizer el-
even better with our pineapples, said Mr. sentative for Hi-Pro, who presented on Nutri-
tion, advised the farmers on the use of the ter and soil structure. ements react chemically with each other and
Arnold.
Diamond R granular fertilizer, which contains Soil fertility can be simplified by using tie-up becoming unavailable to the crop.
According to the pineapple farmer, each
100 per cent bio-solids. As an organic mate- the analogy of human health and well-being. Also, with low soil organic content some fer-
person who attended the session has started to
see improvements in their yield and have been rial, it is used to retain moisture, improve soil Good personal health is achieved prima- tilizers are washed out of the soil leaving only
spreading the word about the Hi-Pro products fertility and aid in microbial action. rily with the supply of a balanced diet and small amounts to be absorbed by the crop.
to those farmers who were not able to attend. He updated them on Suretrex, which pro- proper functioning of anatomical structures. When fertilizers are applied to crops on
Dagreon Burton, Technical Sales Repre- motes good root hair development to aid in the So too in plants, optimum growth and soils with organic matter above the minimum
sentative for Hi-Pro said the response from the uptake of nutrients from the soil. Mr. Gordon production are intrinsically linked to a healthy threshold there is greater efficiency of the fer-
farmers in Ginger Hill was positive and en- told his audience that the more root hair pro- substrate (growing medium) capable of sup- tilizer as a consequence of the following ac-
couraging. duced by a plant, the better the crop yield, as plying the required nutrients. tions:
He said Ginger Hill is the largest produc- root hairs are primarily responsible for the up- Typically, a majority of Jamaican soils, Humus is a complex biochemical component
ing area for pineapples on the island, primarily take of nutrients, water and other valuable min- like most tropical soils (as a consequence of of organic matter. Humus in the compost
because of the constant rainfall the area re- erals required by the plant. high temperatures which cause rapid deple- bonds with nutrients keeping them from being
ceives. Most of the farmers, he noted, have 1 He also addressed the benefits of the am- tion) have low organic matter content and re- washed through the soil profile or evaporat-
quire on-going replenishments and judicious ing;
acre to 3-acre plots, with about 15% of farmers monium nitrated Diamond R- a useable form
in the area owning 10 acres and over. of nitrogen readily available for the plant- and Fertilizers bonded to humus do not react
management to maintain good health.
just one more of a wide range of Diamond R
The demand for the Hi-Pro products at Here is where organic matter as compost chemically with each other and do not tie-
products distributed by Hi-Pro to improve ef-
the event was so high, we sold most of what or bio-augmented organic matter comes into up, remaining available to the crop; and
we had on display, Mr. Burton said. ficiencies on the farm. Microbes in the compost help the roots ex-
Submitted by Denise Johnson
play.
Among the items demonstrated were the tract the nutrients the crop needs.
Flash insecticide, which reduces infestation of DJohnson@jabgl.com To be Continued in August 2017 issue
About the Beet Armyworm
RADA - Extension Focus
14 THE AGRICULTURALIST JUNE 2017 WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM

T
Special Advisory for the Farmers of South Manchester and South St. Elizabeth
his serves as a special advi-
sory for farmers in South St.
Elizabeth, South Manchester
and their environs from the Min-
istry of Industry, Commerce,
Agriculture and Fisheries
(MICAF) and the Rural Agri-
cultural Development Authority
(RADA).
Significant increase in the
population of the beet army-
worm has been reported by
Typical mature larva of beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua (Huebner)

Digging of 1 ft deep trenches


RADA. Findings indicate that
around the field can be an effec-
within 1-3 days there will be a
tive method in preventing mi-
massive hatching of young
gration of mature worms from
worms in the fields. Farmers are
field to field.
advised to ACT NOW by apply-
ing the following strategies:
Farmers, work together, as
community involvement is crit-
Intensify the monitoring of
ical in successful management
scallion, onion and other crops
of the beet armyworm!
at least twice per week or every
three days for the early detection
Refrain from leaving mature
Life cycle of beet armyworm

of the egg sacs mostly seen at


(This is the most effective stage scallion in the field harvest all
the tip of leaves
to use approved insecticide mature scallion leaving this in
the field will provide more food
Spray crop with approved in- measures). Handpicking is rec-
for the beet armyworm
secticides at egg hatching, when ommended where practical. Use
worms are very young and be- of environmentally friendly
ACT NOW to get pest num-
fore they move inside the leaf. products is recommended, as
they are less harsh on the natural bers down.
enemies (or farmers friends)

For further information please contact:


The nearest RADA office
1-888-ASK-RADA or the Research and Development Division,
Plant Protection Unit (Bodles Research Station) in St. Catherine.
RADA (toll free) 1-888-ASK RADA (275-7232)
RADA St Elizabeth - 966-2285/2232
MICAF Research and Development Bodles - 983-2267/2281
WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM JUNE 2017 THE AGRICULTURALIST 15
16 THE AGRICULTURALIST JUNE 2017 WWW.THEAGRICULTURALIST.COM