Maize : Zea mays L.

Introduction
Maize is the most important coarse grain, for which around 30,000 ha of land area devoted annually, the second highest extent of land next to rice. Our annual maize requirement is about 200,000 mt from which we import about 125,000 mt at a cost of rupees 1169 million rupees, mainly for utilizing in the provender industry. Local consumption is estimated at 33,000 tons and the requirements for Thriposha and other industries about 8,000 tons and 5,000 tons respectively. In addition to that we import maize products such as corn flakes, corn oil, corn starch and corn flour for different uses. Virtually maize is utilized for production of over 500 different products and bi-products worldwide

Nutritive value %

Carbohydrate

73.76

Protein 

7.20

Fat 

3.99

Minerals

1.04

Moisture

12.81

Fibre

1.20

Calary
vlaue/100g

359.8



Recommended Varieties

Variety

Bhadra

Ruwan

Aruna

Muthu

Year of release

1977

1990

1992

1992





Varietal Characters
Four open pollinated varieties of maize that are recommended for cultivation have following characters.

Character

Bhadra

Ruwan

Aruna

Muthu

Growth habit

erect

erect

erect

erect

Plant height at maturity

195 cm

215 cm

155 cm

170 cm

Ear height

110 cm

85 cm

67 cm

86 cm

Stem

       

colour at flowering

green

green

green

green

base colour

red. purple

red. purple

purple

green/purple

pubescence

present

present

at nodes

at nodes

Leaf 

       

colour

green

green

green

 

sheath colour

green

green

light green

 

blade length (7th leaf)

80 cm

82 cm

91 cm

 

pubescence

present

present

present 

 

no. of lvs/plant

13

13

10-13

13

Flower

       

male infl. colour

light purple

yellow/pink

purple/yellow

yellow

male infl. length

39.5 cm

46 cm

40-46 cm

42 cm

silk colour

light yellow

purple

dark purple

red-dark purple

Ear

       

no. of ears/plant

1-2

1-2

1-2

1-2

length of ear at maturity

22 cm

21 cm

14 cm

35 cm

ear type

cylindrical

cylindrical 

cylindrical

cylindrical

husk colour(before maturity)

light green

light green

light green 

green

no seed rows/ear

14

12-14

14-16

14

no of seeds in a row

40

34-46

42-43

50

node number bearing 1st ear

7

6,7,8

6

6,7,8

Seed

       

colour

orange

orange

orange yellow

white

texture

flint 

flint

semi-flint

floury-dent

1000 sed weight

290 g

225 g

360 g

334 g

days to mature

105-110

105-110

90-100

110-115

average yield 

4100 kg/ha

4300 kg/ha

4400 kg/ha

5300 kg/ha



Field establishment

Climate and Soil requirements
Deep, loamy, fertile soils, rich in organic matter, are preferred for satisfactory growth. Well-drained soils with adequate moisture supply are required for uninterrupted growth of this crop. By establishing the crops with the on-set of the rainy season, the crops can be harvested before depletion of soil moisture. They can be planted in maha similarly, as with other major crops that need 3-3? months to mature and a longer rainy season for uninterrupted growth.

Land preparation
Deep ploughing up to 45 cm is favorable for maize that have deep growth. Ridges can be made at 60cm apart for maize planting. Seeds are planted on ridges to avoid water logging in heavy rainy periods. Sufficient drains are provided to drain off excess water during rainy periods.

Spacing
For maize seeds are planted at 60cm x 30cm one plant per hill or Maize also can be planted at 60cm x 60cm with two plants per hill especially for tall varieties to provide more light.

Planting material
Seed requirement for planting one hectare of maize is 20kg

Time of planting
In Maha these crops can be raised as rain fed as well with supplementary irrigation when there are drought periods. Maha crop can be established with Maha rains that occur in latter part of September or first week of October for successful growth. Yala crops should be established with Yala rains that fall in later part of April. By timely cultivation pest problems can be reduced.

Crop management

Weed control
Weeds could be controlled by manual methods such as weeding and application pre- and post emergent weed killers. Crops need to be maintained weed free at least until flowering stage.

Fertilizer application (kg/ha)
Fertilizer is recommended for different crops as follows

Crop

Urea         

Conc. Super Phosphate

Muriate of Potash

Maize (Rainfed)

225

100

50

Maize (Irrigated)

325

100

50



Irrigation
During dry periods, irrigations are required every 4-7 days depending on the severity of the drought and type of soil.

Diseases and Insect pest control
Root and stalk rots and foliar diseases such as leaf blight and sheath blight are common in humid days in maize.

Harvesting & post-harvest technology
Harvesting
Crops are harvested, shelled and cleaned manually when grain moisture is low and after physiological maturity is reached. Seed moisture is lowered by sun drying to a safer level before shelling the seeds.

Post harvest technologies & food technologies
As post harvest facilities are yet to develop, except seed that need special attention and storage conditions, commercial grain are disposed as quickly as possible to avoid wastage by pest and diseases. As a result a fair priced to most products. About 75% of maize and sorghum are used in feed production.
Economics & marketing

Extents (ha) and production (Mt) of Maize during 1996-2001

Year

Extent (ha)

Production (Mt.)

1996

30895

32963

1997

25796

25689

1998

29790

29790

1999

28904

28904

2000

28646

31052

2001

25888

29001


Exports & Imports of Maize during 1996-2000

Year

Exports (kg)

Imports (Mt.)

1996

1205

91578

1997

 

90241

1998 

 

106537

1999

213

125625

2000

193

123114

2001

 

125000



Cost of production
Cost of Cultivation for rain fed maize 2000/01 - Anuradhapura

Operation

Cost (Rs./ha)

Materials (Rs./ha)

Total (Rs./ha)

Land Preparation

4217.28

-

4217.28

Seeding

2383.30

316.83

2700.13

Fertilizer Application

1257.72

1256.76

2514.48

Weeding/ Earthing

5890.87

-

5890.87

Harvest / Drawing

3712.31

-

3712.31

Processing

2637.69

-

2637.69



Total cost , inclusive of imputed cost

20099.18

2274.97

1573.58

Total cost, without imputes cost

1301.27

21672.76

3576.24

Related Information

 

Unit

Quantity

Unit Price (Rs.)

Seed

kg

15.68

20.20

Hired Labour

md

12.27

185.32

Family Labour

md

96.18

-

Total

108.46

-

Fertilizer, urea

kg 

180.31

6.97



Average yield

2223 kg/ha

Price (Rs./kg)

8.23

Income (Rs./ha)

18259.29

Profit inclusive of imputed cost (Rs./ha)

3377.48

Profit, without imputed cost (Rs./ha)

14719.05

Unit cost + imputed cost (Rs./kg)

9.75

Unit cost - imputed cost (Rs./kg)

1.61


Labour requirements
According to above table labour requirement for a hectare of maize is about 108 units Where hired labour is used labour requirements are as double as these as most of the operations are labour involved. About 75% of the cost of production goes for labour, which can be lowered by mechanizing the cultivation where it is possible.