Maize (Zea mays), which is also known as corn, is a cereal grain. The leafy stalk of the plant produces separate pollen and ovuliferousinflorescences or ears, which are fruits, yielding kernels or seeds.
Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with total production surpassing that of wheat or rice. However, not all of this maize is consumed directly by humans. Some of the maize production is used for corn ethanol, animal feed and other maize products, such as corn starch and corn syrup. The six major types of corn are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn
Raw, yellow, sweet maize kernels are composed of 76% water, 19% carbohydrates, 3% protein, and 1% fat (table). In a 100-gram serving, maize kernels provide 86 calories and are a good source (10-19% of the Daily Value) of the B vitamins, thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid (B5) and folate (right table for raw, uncooked kernels, USDA Nutrient Database). In moderate amounts, they also supply dietary fiber and the essential minerals, magnesium and phosphorus whereas other nutrients are in low amounts (table).
Maize has suboptimal amounts of the essential amino acidstryptophan and lysine, which accounts for its lower status as a protein source. The indigenous Americans overcame this deficiency with the inclusion of beans in their diet.
Maize grows in a wider range of soil type than rice, almost every part of Nigeria can grow maize on their soil. With the use of Hybrid Maize and mechanized system of farming, yield of maize can reach up to 10.2 tonnes per hectare, with traditional African type of cultivation, production is 2.1 tonnes per hectare.
Get Spacious Land: maize can be grown in all lands in Nigeria but it performs better in a well drained fertile loamy soil. Look for land that is predominantly loam, if you can lay your hands on forest land, that will be very good.
Clear the land using manual laborers or mechanical means, the bottom line is to remove the weeds and keep the soil loose for proper maize seedbed and ensure the preservation of the topsoil .
Make sure you plant your maize seed as soon as you clear the soil to allow the maize grow ahead of weeds. Delay in planting will expose the hybrids maize to competition with the weeds.
Get Improved Maize Variety: f possible, look for Recommended Verities of maize to improve your yield.
For Early Season Planting, Look for:-
Yellow Open Pollinated Varieties. Western Yellow 1: TZSR-Y-1 (Streak Resistant)
DMR-LSRY (Downy Mildew & Streak Resistant).
Yellow Hybrids Varieties: 8425-8; 8329-15
White, Open Pollinated Varieties: TZPB (FARZ 27); TZB (FARZ 34); TZSR-W-1;
ZPBSR (Streak Resistant); DMR-LSRW (Downy Mildew & Streak Resistant).
DMR-LSRW (Downy Mildew & Streak Resistant).
White Hybrids: 8321-18; 9022-19; (Striga Resistant).
For Late Season :-
Plant early maturing, streak or downy mildew resistant varieties.
Yellow Open Pollinated Varieties: TZESR-Y; DMR-ESRY (Downy Mildew and
White, Open Pollinated Varieties: TZESR-W; DMR-ESRW (Downy Mildew and Streak Resistant)
POPCORN: White Pop: Yellow composite.
Get any of these seed varieties from your State and Institution’s Agric departments or anywhere you can find them, just ask people.
Give space of about one feet to one and half feet from and between each plant. Planting is best by March ending to the first week of April, sometimes up to early May, depending on how early the rain started and the intensity.
Apply Fertilizer and Control The Weeds: Fertilizer may not be needed if the soil is quite fertile. However, the application of fertilizer will aid the crop to yield more.
For Open Pollinated Maize Varieties:
Forest fallows 10 years or more. Apply 200 kg (4 bags) of NPK 25-10-10 per hectare at planting as band or broadcast application.
For Hybrids Corn Varieties:
For every high yields maize, you’ll need to apply 600 kg (12 bags) of 25:10:10 per hectare in two splits that is, at planting (200 kg) and 5 to 6 weeks after planting.
Start the first weeding on your maize farm from 15days after planting and not later than 25days or as soon as you begin to notice the growth of weeds in your farm. A second weeding may not be necessary before the second application of fertilizer (if there is need for second application of fertilizer) many farmers don’t apply fertilizer twice.
Apply Atrazine pre-emergence at the rate of 3kg ai/ha on a clean seed bed.
After all these has been done, next is to wait for the maturity of your corn for the harvest to begin. I don’t want to emphasize on the profit of maize produce because you and I knows there is huge profit and benefits in every farm produce
Maize can be harvested manually by hand-picking the ears at maturity or wit the use of mechanical picker which then requires a separate operation of a maize sheller to remove the kernels from the ear. Whole ears of maize were often stored in corn cribs, and these whole ears are a sufficient form for some livestock feeding use. Today corn cribs with whole ears, and corn binders, are less common because most modern farms harvest the grain from the field with a combine and store it in bins. The combine with a corn head (with points and snap rolls instead of a reel) does not cut the stalk; it simply pulls the stalk down. The stalk continues downward and is crumpled into a mangled pile on the ground, where it usually is left to become organic matter for the soil. The ear of maize is too large to pass between slots in a plate as the snap rolls pull the stalk away, leaving only the ear and husk to enter the machinery. The combine separates out the husk and the cob, keeping only the kernels.
When maize is a silage crop, the entire plant is usually chopped at once with a forage harvester (chopper) and ensiled in silos or polymer wrappers. Ensiling of sheaves cut by a corn binder was formerly common in some regions but has become uncommon.
For storing grain in bins, the moisture of the grain must be sufficiently low to avoid spoiling. If the moisture content of the harvested grain is too high, grain dryers are used to reduce the moisture content by blowing heated air through the grain. This can require large amounts of energy in the form of combustible gases (propane or natural gas) and electricity to power the blowers