Millets - Sorghum, Pearl millet, Finger millet, Small millets (Barnyard, Common, Kodo,Little, Foxtail). All millets, Maize & Barley are known as Coarse cereals

Maize (Zea mays L.)

Image result for maize

Common name: Makka 

Family: Gramineae


Maize is one of the most important cereal crops in the world agricultural economy both as food for man and feed for animals. It is a miracle crop. It has very high yield potential, there is no cereal on the earth which has so immense potentiality and that is why it is called queen of cereals.

Climate and soil:

Maize does well on a wide range of climatic conditions, and it is grown in the tropical as well as temperate regions, from sea-levels up to altitudes of 2500m. It is however susceptible to frost at all stages of its growth. The ideal soils for its cultivation are the loams and sandy loams which should be fertile, deep and well-drained.



Following are the important varieties of the crop:



Vivek 17, PAU 352, PEHM 2, Parkash, Ganga Hybrid Makka 5, Deccan 103, HM 10, DK 701 and Sartaj.

Amber, Jawahar, Shakti, Ageti 76, Jawahar Makka 8, Narmada Moti, Pusa Composite 4, and Vijay.

Maize classification is based largely on the character of the kernels.

1. Flint corn:(Zea mays indurata), 2.Dent Corn:(Zea mays indentata), 3.Pop corn:(Zea mays everta), 4.Sweet corn:(Zea mays saccharata), 5.Soft corn:(Zea mays amylacea), 6.Pod corn:(Zea mays tunicata), 7.Waxy corn:(Zea mays Caratina).

Sowing time::

1.Kharif (monsoon) crop: 15 June to 15 July

2.Rabi (winter) crop:October to November

Seed Rate: 

1.Hybrids: 20-25 kg/ha

2.Composites: 18-20 kg/ha

Seed Treatment: Seed Treatment with Thiram or Captan @ 4 gms/Kg Maize seeds is advocated before sowing if seeds are procured from an unreliable source or kept from the last crop.

Land Preparation: Maize requires a firm and compact bed free from stubbles and weed. One deep ploughing should be given, followed by two or three harrowing to bring the soil to a fine tilth.

Manures & Fertilizers (Recommended):

1.Manures:10 -15 tonnes of farmyard manure, cow dung or compost is required per hectare, which should be in corporated into the soil at ploughing time.

2.Fertilizers: (N: P: K = 120: 60: 40)

One third the quantity of Urea and the whole quantity of SSP & MOP should be applied at sowing time or just before sowing. The remaining quantity of urea should be applied as top-dressing, in two equal, split doses, 30-45 days (knee height stage) and 60 -75 days (tassel initiation stage), after sowing.

Sowing:Furrows are made in the beds at a distance of 70 cms and depth of 7.5 -10 cms. The manures and basal dose of fertilizers are applied in the furrows and mixed well with the soil. Seeds are then sown in these furrows in lines, at a distance of 20 cms (8 inches) and covered over with soil.

Irrigation:The Kharif crop requires irrigation only when there is an extended period of water stress. However the Rabi crop needs frequent irrigation at intervals of 20-25 days.

Weed Control: Losses through weed competition in early stages cannot be offset by keeping the field weed free later. In case the weeds are not brought under control at right time, there is 50-60 per cent reduction in yield. Maize crop is infested with grassy and broad-leaved annual weeds. Among grassy  weeds, Echinochloa colonum, Enhinochloa crusgulli (sawan), Dactyloctenium aegypticum (makra), Elusine indica (kodo), Setaria glauca (banra), Cynodon dactylon (doob), Phragmites karka (narkul), Cyperus rotundus (motha), Sorghum  halepanse (banchari) are common. The broad-leaved weeds are Celosia argentia  (chilimil), Commelina benghalensis (kankoua), Phylanthus niruri (hulhul), Solanum nigrum (makoi), Amaranthus viridis (chaulai) and Podrtulaca oleraceae (naunia).

Weeds having broad leaves and most of the grasses can be conveniently controlled with a single pre-emergence application of Atrazine @ 1 kg/ha. Weeding is necessary as weeds interfere with the plant growth, particularly during the initial stages. 2- 3 weedings may be required. Plants should also be earthed up after every weeding for a better crop stand. Interculture operations should not be continued after flowering.

Plant Protection:


Leaf Blight: Manifestation of oval to round, yellowish-purple spots on leaves. The affected leaves dry up and appear as if burnt. In severe cases, the plants may become stunted, resulting in poorly-formed ears.

Control: The crop can be sprayed with Dithane M-45 or Indofil @ 35-40 gms or Blue Copper @55 -60 gms in 18 litres water, 2 -3 sprays at 15 days interval, will effectively control the disease.

Insect Pests:-

1) Stem borer: These borers feed on leaves in the earlier stages. Later on they bore into the stem and cobs, rendering the plant unproductive.

Control: After harvest, the stalks and stubbles should be collected from the field and burnt. Crop can be sprayed twice with Thiodan 35 EC @ 27 ml in 18 litres water, once 20-25 days after germination and the second spray at the time of grain formation (in endemic areas).

2) Red Hairy Caterpillars: Caterpillars feed and destroy the whole plant if the attack is in the early stages of growth.

Control: Egg masses and young caterpillars should be collected as soon as detected, and destroyed.

The field should be ploughed out after the crop is harvested, so as to expose pupae.

Thiodan 35 EC @ 27 ml in 18 litres water should be sprayed only as last resort.

3) Aphids: Tiny, soft bodied insects, usually green in colour. Nymphs and adults suck the sap from leaves and young shoots.

Control: The crop can be sprayed with Rogor 30 EC @ 18 ml in 18 litres water.

4) Grass hoppers: Short-winged hoppers, laying eggs in the soil at a depth of 7.5 to 20 cms, adults feed on foliage.

Control:  Thiodan 35 EC @ 25 ml or Ekalux 25 EC@ 28 mi in 18 litres water can be sprayed.

5) Termites: These pests attack young seedlings as well as mature plants; attack is also visible on roots and lower parts of the plants.

Control: Thiodan 4 % Dust @ 12-15 kg per hectare is applied and mixed well with the soil.

Harvesting:- Cobs which are to be utilized as grain should be harvested when the grains are almost dry or containing roughly 20 % moisture. The appearance in the grains of composite and high yielding varieties however may be misleading as grains become dry while the stalk and leaves are still green. The cobs are removed from the standing crop and sun dried before shelling, otherwise retained in their jackets, if kept for seed or to be consumed or utilized at a later stage.


Local Varieties: 20 to 30 quintals (grain) per hectare.

High Yielding Varieties: 50 to 60 quintals (grain) per hectare.


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Last Updated On:Monday 01 May 2017
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