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Bioliquid Fertilizer Update

Tim Motis and Stacy Swartz

Bioliquid fertilizer (BLF; also known as organic liquid fertilizer) is popular within ECHO’s network and among smallholder farmers around the world. This fertilizer is easier to make than other on-farm amendments such as compost and is easily adaptable. ECHO encourages using locally available manure and plant options. Recognizing a need for information on the nutrient composition of BLF, we (ECHO staff in Florida) created two formulations of BLF and sampled them over time for nutrient analysis. This article summarizes our findings, which shed light on when to apply BLF and nutrient amounts with and without manure.

Tithonia and neem fermented liquid for termite control

by Tim Tanner, founder of Kilimo Timilifu (https://kttz.co.tz/)

Tithonia is known for its high nitrogen content, palatability as a livestock forage, and rapid growth throughout the tropics and subtropics. Network member Tim Tanner has also experimented with using it, as well as neem, to control termites before planting trees.

‘Asia Cayenne’: A Mild-Tasting Chili Pepper

Tim Motis

Capsicum annuum includes many varieties of chili and sweet peppers, with wide diversity in fruit size, shape, color, and flavor. Cayenne peppers are typically long and thin in shape. As a chili type, most cayenne varieties are pungent. Pungency is what gives hot peppers their spicy flavor. Cayenne peppers can be hotter than jalapeños. Not all cayenne varieties, however, are pungent. ECHO’s global seed bank offers ‘Asia Cayenne’, which produces an abundance of long, narrow, bright-red peppers without the pungency of other chili peppers. 

Considerations for crop selection

Stacy Swartz and Tim Motis

ECHO often receives questions about crop selection as network members start new agricultural initiatives or enter a new area. Each agroecosystem is complex and should be evaluated for production, environmental, and socioeconomic tradeoffs as you consider the selection of a crop for cultivation, whether exotic or native. This article will focus on the initial selection of a crop for cultivation using moringa (Moringa oleifera), sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas), and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) as examples.