cultivation of MAIZE (Zea mays) Maize: also called corn, is a member of the grass family (Gramineae). It is a cereal crop which produces grains that can be used as food by human beings as well as livestock(read livestock management here). The seed/fruit of maize is a caryopsis, i.e, it has its epicarp fused with the mesocarp.

Land Preparation for the cultivation  of maize
This is done by clearing the land or bush with cutlass, making ridges or heaps manually with hoe, or mechanically by ploughing, harrowing and ridging.

maize Varieties/Cultivars:

during the cultivation of maize, the following varieties are used. These include dent maize, flint corn, flour corn, pop corn, sweet corn and pod corn.

Climatic and soil requirement for the cultivation of maize

Maize requires a temperature of 26°C – 300C, rainfall of between 75cm – 1 5ocmper annum and a well drained sandy loamy soil ofpH6-7.

Method of maize propagation

Maize is propagated by seeds. The maize seeds can be planted manually by stick or cutlass, or mechanically by planter. which is a mechanized way for the cultivation maize

Planting date for maize

Early maize is planted between Marc b/April and late maize is July/August. Maize (early or late) is also planted depending on location and rainfall.

maize Seed rate for planting:

The quantity of seeds required to plant one hectare of land is 25kg- 3Okg/hectare; two to three seeds are also recommended per hole. Quantity of seeds used usually depends on spacmg or plant population desired.
Spacing: 90cm x 30cm at one seed per hole or 75cm x 25cm at two seeds per hole for the cultivation of MAIZE
Planting: Planting can be done manually, using cutlass or mechanically by planters at two to three sees per hole at 2 – 4cm deep. Germination occurs four to seven days later.

Cultural Practices in the cultivation of maize

(a) Supplying: Replanting of seeds to replace those seeds that did not germinate.
(b) Thinning: Removal of weak plants from a stand to give rise to one or two vigorous crop plants.
(c) Fertilizer Application: Apply N.P.K 15:15:15 (200kg/Ha) (four bags) at planting. Also apply 250 kg (five bags) or 150kg (three bags) of urea per hectare, five to six weeks after planting. Farmyard manure, poultry droppings/organic manure can also be applied as side dressing or by broadcast method in the cultivation of MAIZE

(d) Weeding: this is done three to four times at regular intervals. Weeding can be done manually by hoeing, cutlassing, etc: or chemically with the use of specified herbicides with the use of spec

ified herbicides; or mechanically with machine.
Control of pests and disease: This is done anytime at regular intervals or prevent it completely, using appropriate chemicals for the cultivation of MAIZE

Maturity period for maize:

This takes up to two to three months (60-90 days) for wet maize, three to four months (90 – 120 days) for dry maize after planting.
Harvesting: Maize can be harvested by hand, sickle or corn picker by combined harvester. Maize matures 90-120 days after planting. It is harvested either green or dry. It is mostly harvested green for consumption when the silk dries and turns brown. Maize is harvested by plucking the cobs on a small scale and by machine.

Uses and Processing maize
Maize can be eaten either boiled or roasted or processed into corn flour, corn flakes or used for corn meal, beer, baking flour and livestock feed.

Storage of maize
Dried maize cobs can be stored either in cribs, rhumbus or in a fireplace, on a small scale or in silos, on a large scale.

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