Maize Cultivation

XCrops

 
Methods of Maize Cultivation Seeds used in India Crop Statistics

    Method Of Cultivation Of Maize Crops

    Area of Cultivation

    The states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Punjab account for over 75 per cent of the area and production of this cereal in the country. Each of the districts of Bahraich, Gonda and Bulandshaher in Uttar Pradesh; Monghyr, Saran and Darbhanga in Bihar, Udaipur and Bhilwara in Rajasthan; and Panchmahal in Gujarat put annually over one lakh of hectares under maize. These nine districts account for a quarter of the national area and production of maize in India.



    Season

    Maize is essentially a warm weather or kharif crop and as such is largely dependent upon the rains. There are three distinct seasons for the cultivation of maize : the main season is kharif ; whereas its cultivation during rabi in Peninsular India and Bihar, and in spring in northern India is done. Higher yields have been recorded in the rabi and spring crops. The higher yields are primarily due to better water management and a lower incidence of disease and pests. In most parts of India, maize during kharif is sown with the break of monsoon, the actual dates varying from region to region. It is sown in early March in north-eastern hills, in April to early May in north-western hills, in May-June in Peninsular India, in the end of June to mid-July in the Indo-Gangetic Plains. The late sowing of maize may extend up to late August in certain irrigated tracts of Punjab. Spring maize is sown in late January to the end Rabi maize is generally sown in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in the end of October to mid-November. Both the spring and the rabi crops are raised, more or less, under irrigation.Maize can grow from sea level to 3000 metre altitudes under diverse conditions. Maize does however, require considerable moisture and warmth from germination to flowering. The ideal temperature for germination is 21- C and for growth 32-C. 50-75 cms of well-distributed rainfall is conducive to growth. It can be successfully grown where the night temperature does not go below 15.6oC (60oF). It cannot withstand frost at any stage of its growth. In India, its cultivation extends from the hot arid plains of Rajasthan and Gujarat to the wet hill of Assam and Bengal (receiving over 400 cm of rainfall).



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    Soil

    Maize requires fertile, deep and well-drained soils. Although, it can be grown on any type of soil, ranging from deep heavy clays to light-sandy ones, it is best adapted to well drained sandy loam to silty loam soils. It is, however, necessary that the pH of the soil does not deviate from the range 7.5 to 8.5. Maize plants, particularly in the seedling stage, are highly susceptible to salinity and water-logging. Accordingly, the provision of proper drainage is essential for the successful cultivation of this crop. The light-sandy soils greatly facilitate drainage, but have a relatively poor water-holding capacity; on the contrary, very heavy soils, with excellent water-holding capacity, have relatively poor drainage. Hence, soils ideally suited for maize cultivation should have adequate water-holding capacity and should also provide for good drainage. Over 85 per cent of the maize acreage is sown under rain-fed conditions during the monsoon when over 80 per cent of the annual rainfall is received. The alluvial soils of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab are very suitable for growing maize crop.



    Field Preparation

    A good seedbed for maize should be fine but compact. Maize kernels need a seedbed which is friable, well aerated, moist and free from weeds. It is desirable that the previous crop refuse is buried under with a mould-board plough. In due course, two or three ploughings with the wooden plough are given. In case the tractor is used, one ploughing followed by a couple of diskings is generally adequate. There is no need of preparing extremely fine seedbed for maize. The first ploughing for maize should be done with soil inverting plough so that 20-25 cm deep soil may become lose. It should be followed by two or three harrowings or three or four intercrossing ploughings with local plough. Planking should be done with each ploughing. It is important to note that while preparing the field for maize, crop leveling is not overlooked. A properly leveled and uniformly graded field is necessary for good water management.



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    Seed and Sowing

    It is necessary to use certified seeds of improved varieties. Before planting, the seed lot must be tested for its germination percentage and the seed quality must be adjusted accordingly. Experts point out that for achieving maximum yield, every year a new hybrid seed must be used. Sowing made a week to ten days before the usual date of the break of monsoon, with initial one or two irrigation, provide a better chance for the establishment of plants, and yield increases of 15-20 per cent have also been recorded.It is important that optimum plant density is maintained in maize, because unlike tillering plants such as rice or wheat, maize cannot compensate for lost space. Maize is sown in rows, 60-75 cm apart, whereas the plants in the row are spaced at 20 to 25 cm. A population of 60-75 thousand plants per hectare at harvest is required for obtaining the optimum yield. Sowing in rows is generally done with drill or by dropping the seed behind the plough. The practice of broadcasting, particularly under rain-fed conditions and for fodder maize is still prevalent in several parts of the country. Seventeen to 20 kg of seed for the grain crop and 35-40 kg per hectare for the fodder crop is needed.Maize should be planted across the slope and the seed sown 3-5 cm deep. The planting depth to a large scale will depend on the moisture status of the field and the type of soil. For example, if the soil is dry and sandy, it is advisable to plant deeper. Normally planting is done in one of the following ways: Planting on the side of the ridge: A method adopted in high rainfall situation Planting in narrow furrows: A method adopted in low rainfall areas Planting in flat bed with no earthing up: In normal conditions Planting on flat bed and earthing up after 40-50 days of planting: In areas where is heavy storm during rainy season



    Water Management

    Maize is extremely susceptible both to excess water and moisture stress. Maize can withstand heavy rain, however the water should not be allowed to stand in the field any time during maize growth. Water stagnation even for as small period as six hours can destroy the crop. Hence for kharif cultivation, it is essential that adequate drainage is provided. It may be provided in the form of very shallow surface drains at 40-50 m apart (depending on the slope and the texture of the soil) across thd slope can connected to a main outlet. Shallow drains do not obstruct the movement of cattle or tractors during cultivation. Surface drains should be provided before sowing. In regions with about 60 cm of well-distributed rainfall during the growing season, any additional irrigation is not necessary. A good crop of maize does require about 460-600 ml of water during its life cycle. It must be ensured that the maize plants never wilt because of water shortage any time during their life cycle. Tasselling and silking stage is very crucial. At this stage water shortage for even two days can reduce maize yield by 20%. Also inadequate soil moisture during flowering and post-flowering particularly during the grain-filling period markedly reduce the yield. During the grain filling period, the most susceptible stage, additional irrigation, if needed, should be applied. The total number of irrigations will depend on the rainfall-distribution pattern. The spring and rabi crops are entirely raised under irrigation; the number of irrigations may, however, vary from 5-10, depending upon the type of the soil and the prevailing temperature.



    Fertilizer management

    Fertilizers and manure both play a critical role in maize cultivation. For obtaining high yields, the maize crop should be heavily manured. Twenty-five to thirty cartloads of farmyard manure or compost should be ploughed into the soil before sowing. For hybrid and composite varieties of maize, 100-120 kg of nitrogen, along with 60 kg of P2O5 and 40 kg of K2O per hectare, is recommended. The precise level of application of phosphorus and potash should be modified in the background of soil analysis. One-third of the nitrogen and total quantity of potash and phosphorus should be applied before sowing, while the remaining nitrogen should be applied as side-dressing at the Knee-high stage and at tasselling in two equal doses. In freshly levelled fields and soils with very light texture, a soil application of 10-20 kg/ha of zinc sulphate before sowing has also given good results. To control soil-infesting insects, 10-20 kg of 10% DDT or BHC per hectare may be mixed with basic fertilizer application. Farmers planting local varieties may apply 40-60 kg of nitrogen to the soil per hectare.



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    Harvesting

    The maize crop is harvested when the husk has turned yellow and the grains are hard enough having not more than 20 per cent moisture. The appearance of the plant may be misleading, particularly in the case of high yielding hybrids and composites whose grains are dry, while the stalk and leaves may be still green. Ears are removed from the standing crop. Harvested ears are dried in the sun before shelling. In the case of the late-sown crop, farmers prefer to harvest the whole plants and pile them, and the ears are removed later. Maize stalks are used as a cattle-feed and fuel. In fact, no part of the maize plant, even the cobs from which the grains have been removed, is left unused.Maize grown for fodder should be harvested at the milk to early-dough stage; the earlier harvested crop is likely to yield less and have a lower protein content. For silage, however, the late dough is preferred. Both power- and hand-operated low-priced maize shellers are available indigenously. These shellers are considerable more efficient than hand-shelling or beating with sticks, the common practice in northern India.Farmers using hybrid maize should not save their own seed for their next crop, as the advanced-generation hybrid seeds are likely to lead to a yield reduction of 25-30 per cent. However, farmers can save seed from composites and the open-pollinated varieties, when grown in isolation. At least seeds from 500 to 1,000 ears of the best-yielding, normally-spaced plants resistant to prevalent diseases and pests should be bulked. Ears should be dried, shelled and treated with an insecticide and the treated seed is necessary, as the untreated seeds on ears are at times badly attacked by stored-grain pests and the germination is markedly reduced.Considerable variation in grain yield is observed. The yield levels depend upon the variety, the amount of the fertilizer used, the rainfall pattern, etc. Under irrigated conditions and recommended cultural practices, an average yield on 4 tonnes per hectare in the Indo-Gangetic Plains is not uncommon; in Peninsular India and at higher elevations, a mean yield of 5-7 tonnes per hectare has frequently been obtained. Under low-fertility and rain-fed conditions with poor-yielding varieties, a grain yield of about one to two tonnes/ha is obtained



    Rotation Crop

    Since maize is a short-duration crop, it conveniently fits into a wide range of crop rotations. In northern India, particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Bihar, it is rotated with wheat, potato, barley, etc. in a one-year rotation under irrigated conditions. It is also grown in rotation with cotton and sugarcane in a two-year rotation. It is usually grown as a pure crop, but occasionally legumes, e.g. mung, arhar or beans, and quick-growing vegetables, e.g. pumpkins and various types of gourds are taken as subsidiary crops. In central India, under rainfed conditions, however, cotton and arhar are grown mixed with maize. A usual kharif crop can also follow maize grown for green ears or fodder. In spring, very early-maturing varieties, e.g. Sathi or Kathr are intercropped in sugarcane. Given below are some of the most important crop rotation:
    Maize - potato 1year
    Maize - wheat 1 year
    Maize - toria - wheat 1 year
    Maize - potato - wheat 1 year
    Maize - berseem 1 year
    Maize - toria - sugarcane 2 years
    Maize - wheat - sugarcane 2 years
    Maize - wheat - cotton - berseem 2 years
    Maize - senji - sugarcane - cotton 2 years
    Maize - wheat - jowar - sugarcane 3 years
    Crops like soybean, urd, moong, cowpea etc., are also grown mixed with maize. These legume crops are grown in the space between two rows of maize. In some parts of the country maize is also grown with pigeonpea.

    Types of maize grown in India

    Sweet Corn

    There are several varieties of sweet corn seed. The most common three types are normal sweet corn, sugar-enhanced and super-sweet. Sweet corn must be grown in well-fertilized and moisture-rich soil. Sweet corn varieties are most often used in canned corn and sold in grocery stores as "corn on the cob.


    Dent Corn

    Dent corn gets its name from the depression that develops at the crown of the kernels. It is a hybrid mix of flint corn and gourseed. Dent corn is one of the most commercially produced corn crops in the United States and is often used in making livestock feed. Hogs are often fed whole ears of corn.


    Flint Corn

    Flint corn kernels are hard and smooth. Although flint is produced in the United States, more production of flint corn takes place in South America, Asia, Central America and Europe. Flint corn matures earlier than other seed corn types. The kernels on an ear of flint corn are often multicolored. Flint corn is used to make hominy, popcorn and corn chips.


    Baby Corn

    Plant produces good yields of tiny ears of baby corn. These tiny ears of corn are very tender and entirely edible. Excellent for stir fries and pickling. Best if harvested within 5 days of the appearance of silk.


    Delectable Corn

    Plant produces good yields of 8" long small kerneled bi-colored ears of corn. There are 16 to 20 rows of small kernels. They are remarkably sweet and tender. Also recommended for baby corn production.


    Golden Midget Corn

    Plant produces good yields of small 4" ears of yellow corn. These baby ears are extremely sweet and tender with old fashioned corn taste. Perfect for whole ear freezing.Successive plantings has to be done every two weeks for 6 weeks for continuous harvest of baby corn ears.


    Broom Corn

    Plant produces high yields of beautiful straw used to make crafts and brooms. It grows without ears. Also used for fall decoration arrangements. Birds love the seedheads. This variety grows multi color straw. Excellent for home gardens and market growers.


    Butter and Sugar Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious 8" long bi-colored corn. Kernels are golden yellow and creamy white.


    Gotta Have It Corn

    Plant produces good yields of deliciously sweet bicolor corn. Ears have 16 kernels across. Gotta Have It is a breakthrough in breeding - sweeter than sugar kernels! Its bicolor kernels are incredibly sweet, similar to Kandy Korn, yet one who tastes Gotta Have It for the first time reacts the same way: "Ummmmm- better than any sweet corn I've ever tasted!" Gotta Have It Corn is one of the best there is, the perfect sweet corn.


    Indian Ornamental Corn(Autumn Explosion)

    Plant produces high yields of beautiful 9" long ornamental corn. The corn grows in a rainbow of colors with various combinations of glossy red, white, pink, yellow, cola, purple, and some variegated kernels. There are even some kernels that are striped and spotted. A quarter will produce purple husks. This variety was developed for decorative purposes only. A basket of Indian corn makes an attractive gift, and is a good seller at craft shows. Excellent for home gardens and market growers.


    Indian Ornamental Corn(Large Kernels)

    Plant produces high yields of beautiful ornamental corn. The corn grows in a rainbow of colors. This variety was developed for decorative purposes only and produces produces large multi-colored ears. A basket of Indian corn makes an attractive gift, and is a good seller at craft shows. Excellent for home gardens and market growers.


    Indian Ornamental Corn(small Kernels)

    Plant produces high yields of ornamental corn. This variety has small kernels and grows in a rainbow of colors. Beautiful colors and great for fall and Halloween decorations and winter arrangements. Easy to grow. Excellent for home gardens and market growers.


    Peaches and Cream Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious bi-colored sweet corn. Ears will grow 7 -" long and have 14 rows of golden yellow and creamy white kernels.


    Quickie Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious bi-colored sweet corn. Ears will grow 7 -" long and have 14 rows of golden yellow and creamy white kernels. Excellent flavor. Suitable for home gardens and market growers.



    Rainbow Ornamental Corn

    Plant produces good yields of colorful bi-colored ears of corn. Beautiful colors and great for fall and Halloween decorations.


    Sugar Dots Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious bi-colored sweet corn. Ears are 8" long with 16 to 18 rows of golden yellow and creamy white kernels. Developed by Ferry-Morse. Excellent quality corn.


    Broom Corn(Deer)

    Plant produces high yields of beautiful straw used to make crafts and brooms. It grows without ears. Also used for fall decoration arrangements. Birds love the seedheads. This variety is also grown for deer pastures.


    Ambrosia Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious 8" long bi-colored corn. Kernels are golden yellow and creamy white.


    Blue Hopi Corn

    Plant produces good yields of 9" long ears of blue kernel corn. The Indian Blue corn is grown to make tortilla corn chips. It is an orginal American Indian variety. Also great for beautiful decorations.


    Black Aztec Corn

    Plant produces high yields of beautiful 7" long blue-black corn. Used for making popcorn. Kernels pop white and tender. It makes a half a bushel from one pound of kernels. Excellent variety for roasting and grinding into cornmeal. Also used for fall decorations. A heirloom variety dating back to the 1860's from South America. Excellent for home gardens and market growers.


    Creme Puff Corn

    Plant produces high yields of popcorn. Stalks grow just like sweet corn. Excellent popcorn variety. Ears should remain on the stalks until dry and brittle. Great for school projects! Suitable for home garden and market growers.


    Japanese Hulness White Popcorn

    Plant produces incredible yields of white corn. This is a great open pollinated variety suitable for making white popcorn. Great for school projects. It is extremely productive.


    Red Strawberry Corn

    Plant produces good yields of sweet 6" long corn. Excellent popcorn variety. Great for school projects.


    Snow Puff Popcorn

    Plant produces high yields of delicious sweet white popcorn. It is the best tasting and most tender popcorn. It expands to a huge size when popped.


    Bloody Butcher Corn

    Plant produces good yields of 12" long ears of red corn. These ears weigh approximately - pound. Can be eaten fresh when young as corn on the cob, or used to make flour and cornmeal. Withstands heavy winds, drought and heat.


    Ruby Queen Corn

    Plant produces good yields of 8" long ears of red corn. Yes, it's really red! This is an extra sweet, tender variety that is very flavorful! The ears have 16 to 18 rows of kernels. Best when picked when it is blush red for maximum sweetness. Or you can let it ripen to full red so it can develop its rich, old fashioned flavor. There is no need to isolate from other corns, but we suggest that you grow another SE variety to help with pollination. An added bonus the red tassels and stalks make fantastic autumn decorations.


    Silver King Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious sweet white corn. Ears are 8" long and have 16 rows of white kernels.


    Silver Queen Corn

    Plant produces good yields of sweet 9" long white corn. Corn has 14 to 16 rows of snow white kernels and ark green husk. One of the best tasting white corn on the market.


    Stowell Evergreen Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious sweet white corn. Ears are 9" long with 14 to 24 rows of kernels. This variety has excellent flavor and tenderness. A favorite variety grown by home gardeners and market growers.


    Trucker's Favorite Corn

    Plant produces high yields of delicious sweet white corn. Ears are 8" long and have white kernels. This variety does well under adverse weather conditions and is heat tolerant. Resists corn earworms! Disease Resistant.


    Hickory King Corn

    Plant produces good yields of 8" long white corn. This is a great open pollinated variety. It has the largest kernels of any other variety and grown in the cotton belt regions. Excellent for home gardens and market growers.

    Country Gentleman Corn

    Plant produces heavy yields of delicious sweet white corn. Ears are 8" long and have white kernels. It is one of the most unusual sweet corn varieties because the white kernels are arranged irregularly, not in rows. It holds well much longer than most heirloom varieties. Also known as Shoepeg Corn.


    Argent Corn

    Plant produces high yields of delicious sweet white corn. Suitable for home gardens and market growers.


    Avalon Corn

    Plant produces high yields of high quality sweet white corn. Suitable for home gardens and market growers.


    How Sweet It Is Corn

    Plant produces high yields of high quality 8" long sweet white corn. This variety has 2 to 3 times the sugar of ordinary sweet corn. Suitable for home gardens and market.


    Ivory Corn

    Plant produces high yields of high quality 8" long sweet white corn. This variety has 2 to 3 times the sugar of ordinary sweet corn. Suitable for home gardens and market.


    Silver Knight Corn

    Early variety produces high yields of high quality 7 -" long corn with 16-18 rows of white kernels. This variety is a sugar enhanced variety and is one of the most popular mid-summer corns. Suitable for home gardens and market growers.


    Bodacious

    Plant produces good yields of 8" long ears of yellow corn. This is a very flavorful variety that holds its flavor well after harvest. The ears have 16 to 18 rows of kernels. Resistant to corn smut. It keeps its sugary taste longer than others without getting starchy.


    Early Sunglow Corn

    Plant produces good yields of 8" long ears of yellow corn. This is a very flavorful variety that holds its flavor well after harvest. The ears have 16 to 18 rows of kernels. Resistant to corn smut. It keeps its sugary taste longer than others without getting starchy.


    Golden Chief Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious sweet yellow corn. Ears are 8" long and have 16 rows of yellow kernels. This variety grows well in cool soils.


    Golden Cross Bantam Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious sweet yellow corn. Ears are 8" long with 12 to 14 rows of yellow kernels. This variety grows well in most soils.


    Golden Queen Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious sweet golden yellow corn. Ears are 9" long and have 16 rows of golden yellow kernels.


    Illini Xtra-R-Sweet Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious sweet yellow corn. Ears are 8" long and have yellow kernels. This variety retains sweetness twice as long as regular corn.


    Jubilee Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious sweet yellow corn. Ears are 8" long and have yellow kernels. This variety has excellent flavor and tenderness.


    Kandy King Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious sweet yellow corn. Ears are 9" long and have yellow kernels. This variety emerges before soil has warmed.


    Kandy Korn Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious sweet yellow corn. Ears are 8" long and have yellow kernels. This variety retains sweetness for days after picking.


    Merit Corn

    Plant produces good yields of delicious sweet yellow corn. Ears are 9" long and have 18 rows of yellow kernels. The silk removes easily from the ears making it a favorite choice.


    Sugar Baby Corn

    Early plant variety produces good yields of delicious sweet bi-colored corn. Ears are 7" long and have white and yellow kernels. This variety does well under adverse weather conditions.


    Swiss Ice Corn

    Mid-season variety produces excellent yields of 8" long ears of corn. The kernels are sweet and tender. An good choice for early planting.


    Sugar Buns Corn

    his early producing variety produces good yields of 7" long ears with 14 rows of deliciously sweet yellow corn. One of the finest tasting corn you can grow! It stays fresher longer too.Suitable for home gardens and market growers.


    Sundance Corn

    This very early producing variety produces high yields of 7" long ears with 14 rows of deliciously sweet yellow corn. A variety with a uniform appearance and great flavor.Suitable for home gardens and market growers.


    NK 199 Corn

    Plant produces high yields of high quality 8" long yellow corn. The kernels have the perfect sweetness and is particularly good for canning. Suitable for home gardening or market growers.


    Mirai 308BC Corn

    Plant produces high yields of high quality 8" long bicolor corn. The plant have 16-18 rows of kernels and are very sweet and tender. The plants have have dark green husk. Suitable for home gardening or market growers.

    Maize Production and Consumption statistics

    Market YearDomestic Consumption(1000 MT)Consumption Growth RateProduction(1000 MT)Production Growth Rate
    1999113504.58 %115107.77 %
    2000119505.29 %120404.60 %
    2001127006.28 %131609.30 %
    200212000-5.51 %11150-15.27 %
    20031350012.50 %1498034.35 %
    2004139002.96 %14180-5.34 %
    2005142002.16 %147103.74 %
    200613900-2.11 %151002.65 %
    2007142002.16 %1896025.56 %
    20081700019.72 %197304.06 %
    200915100-11.18 %16720-15.26 %
    20101810019.87 %2173029.96 %
    201117600-2.76 %21300-1.98 %
    2012192009.09 %220003.29 %


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