Maize, or corn, is scientifically referred to as Zea Mays. It is among the family of crops referred to as cereal. It is grown all over the nations of the world. Here in Africa, in Nigeria to be precise, it could be said to be among the staple foods, being cultivated annually, during the rainy season. Farmers that are opportune to be around naturally irrigated areas, or with the capital to establish irrigation systems could cultivate maize throughout the year.
Maize is still the simplest crop to cultivate. All that is needed is your piece of land, and the necessary pre-planting and planting operations, with maintenance. However, as simple as maize farming could seem, if the necessary and correct operations are not employed, you would not achieve the best productivity. When it comes to maize farming, there are some processes that you, as a farmer must employ, before you can get the best out of your crop. Below are some tips on the required steps, to ensure your maize farming gets the best productivity;
1. Pre-planting operations
This is the initial stage. It is the stage where you cultivate the plot of land; you do the clearing and the optional, turning of the soil. Also at this stage, after you have cleared and burnt the brushes on the plot, you could apply some chemicals to cover the seed of weeds that have fallen as you clear the bushes. Note that, while you burn the bushes, do not burn them on the entire land; try to pack them into heaps and burn them in heaps. This would help retain the organic matter in the soil. Bush burning kills organic matter that is present in the soil.
2. Planting Operations
Under this stage, we have the actual maize planting. The seeds should not be more than two per hole and the spacings should be 75 by 50 centimetres. Depending on how large your farm is, you should attempt to plant a plot at once, a day. Having to plant some today and continue the rest tomorrow would not give an even growth.
Also, in planting your maize seed, you could employ a lining Style. Stretch lines along the plot of land. Peg the plot at the four corners and some in the middle to maintain straight lines. Let the lines meet to reveal an even and straight line, it is along this line you would plant your maize. This would enable you to maintain a straight plantation. It also aids the quick planting Process.
3. Post-Planting Operations
Weeding & Fertilizer applications
This is the maintenance stage. The maize is expected to start growing after 5 days. In the second week, you must apply fertilizer. Manuring is not advisable at this stage because it works with long-term effects. Specially formulated fertilizers should be applied after two weeks. The liquid fertilizer is also preferable because you would add some selective herbicides that would kill the weeds but spare the maize on the farm. The liquid fertilizer would be mixed with the herbicides in your 15-16 litre sprayer. The chemicals should be effective within 5-7 days of application.
In case of those that cannot afford the liquid fertilizer, some organic fertilizers could be applied to boost the growth, after two weeks of growth. Make sure you weed the farm, before fertilizer application for those that cannot afford the liquid fertilizer, and liquid or powder herbicides. Apply another round of fertilizer, after six weeks. This would take it to the stage of harvest. Also, there is knowledge and understanding in fertilizer application— do not just buy anyone. Some boost growth, while some aid fruiting. Preferably, those that aid fruiting also have the ingredients that boost growth.
After you might have followed the process properly, you are sure to achieve the best productivity , a successful and rest.
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