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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, July 21, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesThe Need for Hydroponic Forage

The Need for Hydroponic Forage

Dear Source:

I appreciated your article on Virgin Islands agriculture and the decline of our farming. The outlook for sheep and goats could be favorable provided we can overcome certain constraints. There are two limitations on the amount of animals that can be carried on a farm. The first is overcrowding having too many on too little land causes them to become aggressive towards each other. The other is forage and whether farms have them get enough to eat.
The island had large cattle farms, which were accumulated at a time when pasture lands could be purchased for hundreds of dollars an acre. At that time their families were able to accumulate hundreds of acres. As a result of the division of land between family members and later sales there are numerous holdings of ten, fifteen, twenty acres. It is now difficult to buy any land on the island for less than fifteen thousand. There are people non farm owners who would like to farm. There are people who own land but can not carry enough animals due to not having enough forage to feed enough animals to really be economic. Neither can afford to add land to grow additional forage in fields at that price. The island would benefit from a hydroponic sprout forage operation. This would enable the farmers to carry the maximum number of animals within crowding constraints making the smaller farms viable again.
Richard Marshall Bond Jr.
Arlington, Mass.

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to visource@gmail.com.

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