MAIZE CULTIVATION

Zea mays, Poaceae

Maize is a World’s leading crop and is widely cultivated as a cereal grain. It is a crop having wider adaptability. Maize processes higher yield potential among the cereals and hence known as “Queen of Cereals”.

It is originated from Central America (Mexico). 

It contains 10% Protein, 4% oil and 70% Carbohydrates.

Maize protein is called as “Zein” and is deficient in Lysine and Tryptophan.

Classification of Maize

  1. Dent Corn – Zeamays indenta

It is extensively grown in USA and the kernel of the dent corn appears like a tooth so named as dent corn

  • Flint Corn – Zemays indurate

It is commonly cultivated in India and its kernel is hard and smooth.

  • Sweet Corn – Zeamays Saccharata

Sweet corn kernels have translucent and horny appearance before maturity. This corn is chiefly cultivated to produce kernels for the canning industry.

  • Flour corn – Zeamays amylacea

Kernels consists of soft starch hence it is also called as Soft corn.

  • Pop Corn – Zeamays everta

When Pop corn grains are heated, endosperm cracks open due to the vapour pressure consequently releasing the loose floury mass. It is chiefly used to prepare the food products like Corn flakes, Corn chips and Pop corns etc.

  • Waxy Corn – Zeamays certain

The waxy corn caryopsis has two-layered endosperm, and it is used to produce starch.

  • Pod corn – Zeamays zunicata

It is a primitive type of corn and has no significant importance.

Varieties and Hybrids

Ganga-101, Ganga-2, Vikram, Vijay, Amber, Kisan, Jawahar, Sona, Pratap, Kanchan, Lakshmi, Tarun, Amber, Shaktiman-1,2, Ganga -2, Mahi Kanchan, Mahi Dhavan

Seeds that are available in our app which gives good yield are

  1. Maize JKMH – 8008
  1. Maize JKMH – 8110
  2. Maize JKMH – 4510
  3. Suncrop Maize 126
  1. Mahyco Maize M – 4065

Climate

Maize is a tropical plant and it requires warm humid climate. It is very sensitive to soil moisture. It doesn’t have the ability to withstand frost at any stage of growth.

The optimum pH range of soil is 6.5-7.5. It requires 600 mm of rainfall. Optimum temperatures for germination are 21℃ and for growth is 32℃ respectively. 

Soil                                               

Maize can be grown on variety of soils, but it gives best results in well drained soils. 

1. Best soils- Deep dark silt loams

2. In semi-arid climates- Deep soils (Heavy Texture)

3. In sub humid climates- Sand Loam soils

Season

Kharif – Sowing is taken in last week of May to 2nd week of June and harvesting is done in late September or October. 

Land preparation

It can be done by giving 2-3 shallow ploughings during summer season. Deep ploughing is done to control weeds & for efficient conservation of moisture.

Application of Fym or Compost

Apply 12.5 t/ha of FYM or compost to the field along with 10 packs of Azospirillum (2000 g/ha) and incorporate into the soil.

Application of Fertilizer       

  • Apply a blanket recommendation of 60 kg/ha Urea, 30 kg/ha DAP 30 kg/ha MOP for normal red soils and 40 kg/ha Urea, 20 kg/ha DAP for black soils.
  • Apply half of the Urea and full dose of P2O and K2O with FYM as basal dose along with Azospirillum (10 packets/ha).
  • Top dressing is done by applying remaining half of Urea at tasseling stage

Seed treatment

Treat the seeds with fungicides like Thiram Or Carbendazim @ 2kg. Later it has to be trated with Azospirillum @ 600g/ha.

Seed rate

  1. For Composites : 15-20 kg seeds/ha
  2. For Hybrids : 25kg/ha
  3. For Fodder purpose : 40-50kg/ha

Spacing:    

Spacing of 60×20cm is followed.

Method of Sowing

Dibbling is mainly followed. Seeds have to be sown 2-3cm deep & should not be more than 5cm.

Weed Management

Maize needs two inter-cultivations & two hand-weedings.

First inter-cultivation is done between rows near to plants for earthing up and Second inter-cultivation should not be done near the plants nor deep.  

The combined use of herbicides & inter-cultivations is the most effective technique of weed control in maize. 

  • Pre-emergence application of Atrazine @ 2kg/ha should be sprayed 2 or 3 DAS, by wetting the entire surface uniformly. Later the soil should not be disturbed for 4-5 weeks after application of the herbicide.
  • Post-emergence application of 2,4 D at 1 ½ – 2 kg/ha at any time when maize is about 20cm height.

Water Management

Maize crop is sensitive to both moisture stress and excess moisture, hence irrigation has to be given according to its requirement. Optimum moisture availability during the most critical phase (45 to 65 days after sowing) has to be given. Otherwise yield will be reduced.

Regulate Irrigation according to the following growth phase

Germination and establishment phase- 1-14

Vegetative phase- 15-39

Flowering phase – 40-65

Maturity phase – 66-95

Critical Stages

For moisture and nutrients point of view, Period between Tasseling and Silking stage is critical.

Harvesting

Harvesting is done when the sheath covering the cob will turn yellow and dry at maturity, the seeds become hard and dry.

Tear off the cob sheath by using the gunny needle and remove the cobs from the plant.

Threshing and Winnowing can be done to seperate the seeds from the cobs by using mechanical methods

Yield

We can obtain 4-5 tons/ha of yield for local varieties and 9-10 tons/ha for hybrids

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