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Ag Training in Honduras

posted Feb 26, 2011, 11:18 AM by Bob Whitney   [ updated Feb 26, 2011, 11:26 AM ]
Recently Dan Watson and I made a trip to Copan Ruinas, Honduras to visit our project there and so I could do some teaching for the folks in our Agriculture Project.  They had a very wet year in 2010 with a series of hurricanes that pushed storms back and forth across the interior of Honduras and dropped lots of rain.  This set up a summer growing season with very little sunlight, very damp conditions, some corn leaf disease and lots of nutrient leaching.  Corn crops were poor and what was produced, have fungus in the shuck and ruined the corn. 
I spent a lot of time teaching them about the fungus that attacked the ears and how to prevent the problem by harvesting early and drying the grain.  It is traditional to leave the ears on the plant until they dry but in a year like 2010 it is far better to bring the corn ear into a dry building (even into the house) to dry than let them mildew in the field.  It was amazing to hear old time farmers talk about their dads doing this but they didn't remember why!