Rabi Maize Crop Punjab

General Information

Maize (Zea mays L) is second rated grain that is used collectively in form of foodstuff or fodder. Globally, maize is known as queen of cereals because it has highest genetic yield potential among the cereals. Grains provides food items which are consumed in the form of starch, corn flakes also glucose. It is also used as animal feed in poultry. Maize can be cultivated in any soil as they require less fertile soil and various chemicals. Moreover, it fetch less ripening span, 3 months, in comparison to paddy, which takes 145 days.

By growing maize, farmers can easily shield the deteriorating grade of soil , preserve 90% of water and 70% of potency as compared with paddy and can make more profit than wheat and paddy,” reported by vice chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. It serves as basic raw material to thousands of industrial products like oil, starch, alcoholic beverages etc. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, J & K and Punjab are Major Maize growing states. AP and Karnataka is major producer of maize in south.
 

Climate

  • Season

    Temperature

    21°C - 27°C
    35°C (Max)
  • Season

    Rainfall

    50-100cm (Min)
    250-400cm (Max)
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    21°C to 27°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    25-30°C
  • Season

    Temperature

    21°C - 27°C
    35°C (Max)
  • Season

    Rainfall

    50-100cm (Min)
    250-400cm (Max)
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    21°C to 27°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    25-30°C
  • Season

    Temperature

    21°C - 27°C
    35°C (Max)
  • Season

    Rainfall

    50-100cm (Min)
    250-400cm (Max)
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    21°C to 27°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    25-30°C
  • Season

    Temperature

    21°C - 27°C
    35°C (Max)
  • Season

    Rainfall

    50-100cm (Min)
    250-400cm (Max)
  • Season

    Sowing Temperature

    21°C to 27°C
  • Season

    Harvesting Temperature

    25-30°C

Soil

Fertile well-drained alluvial or simply red loams free of coarse elements and full off nitrogen are ideal soils for maize cultivation. Maize can be grown on wide range of soils including loamy sand to clay loam. Definitely depleted plains are effective suited to the cultivation, even though it grows up in various hilly zones equally. Soils with fine organic matter containing good water holding capacity with pH ranging from 5.5-7.5 are required to increased yield. Heavy clay soil is not suitable for cultivation.

Soil test is necessary to know deficiency of any nutrient in the soil.

Popular Varieties With Their Yield

Buland: Applicable for throughout the State in irrigated areas during rabi season. Crops mature within 178 days. It is high yielding variety and tolerant to cold. Gives Average yield of 31 qtl/acre.

Partap 1: Applicable for throughout the State in irrigated areas during rabi season. Crops mature within 180 days. It is tolerant to cold and resistant to diseases. Average yield of 25 qtl/acre is obtained. Suitable for baby corn cultivation.
 
PMH 9: Developed by Punjab agriculture University. Cold tolerant and late maturing variety. Suitable for rabi season. It is resistant to lodging and common rust. Ready to harvest in 180 days. It give average yield of 32.5 qtl/acre.

Variety suitable for spring cultivation

PMH 1: Applicable for cultivation throughout the state, under irrigated conditions for kharif/spring and summer season. It is long duration varieties, matures in 95 days. Stem is sturdy and of purple color. Average yield is about 21 qtl/acre.

PMH-2: Short duration variety, mature in 83 days. Cultivated under rainfed as well as under irrigated conditions. This hybrid is tolerant to drought. Ears are medium long with orange flint grains. Average yield is about 16.5 qtl/acre.

JH 3459: Short duration variety, mature in 84 days. It is tolerant to drought and lodging. It has orange flint grains with average yield of 17.5 qtl/acre.

PMH 10: Hybrid variety gives average yield of 31.6 qtl/acre.

DKC 9108: Hybrid variety gives average yield of 33.24 qtl/acre.

PMH 7 and PMH 8

Other state varieties:

HM 11: Late maturing hybrid. Grains are of orange color. It give average yield of 29-30 qtl/acre.

Madhuri and Priya:
Suitable for kharif as well as for Rabi season. In Rabi season, these varieties are ready for harvest in 80-85 days. 

Land Preparation

For cultivation selected land should be free from weeds and remains of previously grown crop. Plough the land to bring the soil to fine tilth. It may take 6 to 7 plough. Apply 4-6 tons/acre of well decomposed cow dung across the field, also apply 10 Azospirillum packets in field. Prepared furrow and ridges with 45 cm to 50cm spacing.

Sowing

Time of sowing
The crop is sown in the month of mid-October - November.

Spacing

To obtained higher yield along with resource-use efficiency, optimum plant spacing is the key factor.
1) For winter and spring maize : Use spacing of 60x20 cm
2) Sweet corn : Use 60x20 cm spacing
3) Baby corn: Use 60x20 cm or 60x15 cm spacing
4) Pop corn: Use 50x15 cm spacing.
5) Fodder: Use 30x10 cm spacing

Sowing Depth
Seed should be sown at depth of 3-4 cm. For sweet corn cultivation keep depth of sowing to 2.5 cm.

Method of sowing
Sowing can be done manually by dibbling seeds or by mechanically with help of tractor drawn ridger seed drill.

Seed

Seed Rate
Purpose, seed size, season, plant type, sowing method these factor affect seed rate.
1) For winter and spring maize : use seed rate of 8-10 kg/acre.
2) Sweet corn: Use seed rate of 8 kg/acre.
3) Baby corn: 16 kg/acre seed rate.
4) Pop corn: 7 kg/acre seed rate.
5) Fodder: 20 kg/acre seed rate.

Intercropping: Pea can be taken as intercrop in maize plant. For that take one row of pea between maize crops. In autumn sugarcane and maize can be intercropped. Sow one row of maize plant after two row of sugarcane.

Seed Treatment
To protect seeds from soil borne diseases and insect pest, seed treatment is necessary. To protect seeds from downy mildew, treat the seed with Carbendazim or Thiram@2 gm/kg of seeds. After chemical treatment, treat seed with Azospirillum@600 gm+ rice gruel. After treatment shade dry seeds for 15-20 minutes. Azosprillum helps in fixing of atmospheric nitrogen in the soil.

Or use any one fungicides from below

Fungicide name Quantity (Dosage per Kg seed)
Imidacloprid 70WS 5 ml
Captan 2.5 gm
Carbendazim + Captan (1:1) 2 gm

Fertilizer

Fertilizer Requirement (kg/acre)

UREA DAP     OR     SSP MURIATE OF POTASH ZINC
155 55 150 20 8

 

Nutrient value (kg/acre)

NITROGEN PHOSPHORUS POTASH
70 24 12

 

Winter Maize: For optimum yield apply Super phosphate@150 kg, 155 kg of Urea and 20 kg of Potash per acre.
 
Spring Maize:
For optimum yield apply Super phosphate@150 kg, Urea@110 kg and MOP@20 kg per acre.

Apply whole dose of P and K fertilizer and 1/3rd amount of Urea fertilizer at time of sowing. Give remaining quantity of Urea in two equal spilts. Apply 1/3rd of Urea in mid-January and remaining 1/3rd at time tasseling stage.

Do soil testing and apply potash fertilizer only if soil show its deficiency.

Zinc and magnesium deficiency are common in maize crop. To overcome this deficiency, apply Znso4@8 kg/acre as basal dose. Along with zinc and magnesium deficiency, iron deficiency is also observed. Due to this whole plant gives yellow appearance. To overcome this deficiency, apply micro-nutrients mixture@25 kg/acre mixed with 25 kg of sand after sowing the maize seed.

Weed Control

Weeds are the serious problem in maize, particularly during kharif/monsoon season they competes with maize for nutrient and causes yield loss upto 35%. Therefore, timely weed management is needed for achieving higher yield. Take atleast one or two hand weeding in maize crop. First 20-25 days after sowing and second when on 40-45 days after sowing. If weed infestation is high, spray with Atrazine @500 gm per 200 Ltr of water. After weeding, apply fertilizer as top dressing and carry out earthing up operation.

Thinning and Gap filling: Thinning means removing excess plant and keep only healthy seedlings and maintained plant to plant distance of 20 cm. Carry out thinning operation at time of first hoeing. Do gap filling with seedling of 4-6 days older than main crop at time of first irrigation.

Irrigation

3-4 weeks after germination apply first irrigation. Apply remaining irrigation at intervals of 4-5 weeks upto mid-March. Additional 1 or 2 irrigations are required depending rainfall and temperature conditions.

Seedling, knee height stage, flowering and grain feeling are the most sensitive stage for irrigation. Water stress at this stage cause huge loss in yield. In case of water scarcity, irrigate alternate furrow. It will save water also.

If crop is affected due to severe cold apply light irrigation immediately.

Plant protection

Stalk and Stem Borer
  • Pest and their control

Stalk borer or stem borer: Chilo partellus, commonly known as stalk borer that appears throughout the monsoon time period. It is a serious bug all over the nation. Chilo lays eggs 10-25 nights after germination on inferior portion of the leaf. The larva gets into in the whorl and then triggers deterioration in the leaf and cause shot hole. Larva of stem borer is yellowish brown with a brown head.

For stem borer, release egg parasitoid Trichogramma chilonis @ 1,00,000/acre coinciding egg laying period. Three releases at weekly interval are desirable. Third release is to be accompanied with larval parasitoid Cotesia flavipes @ 2000/acre. Mix Phorate 10% CG @5kg/acre or Carbaryl 4%G @ 1 kg/acre with sand to make up total quantity of 10 kg and apply in the leaf whorls on the 20th day of sowing. Or Spray insecticide like Carbaryl 50 WP @ 1 kg/acre on the 20th day of sowing or Dimethoate 30% EC @ 250ml/acre. Spray of Chlorpyriphos @ 1-1.5 ml/Ltr of water at 10-12 days after germination provides good control.

Corn Worm

Corn worm: Larva feeds on silk and developing grains. Larva of corn worms shows color variation from greenish to brown. It has dark brown grey lines on the body with lateral white lines.

Set up pheromone traps at @6 /acre. Apply Carbaryl 10 D @10kg/acre or Malathion 5 D @ 10kg/acre on 3rd and 18th day after panicle emergence.

Pink Borer

Pink Borer (Sesamia inference): It inference arises in times of the winter season mainly in peninsular India. Larvae of the pink borer cause damage by feeding on all parts of maize plant except roots. The larvae form circular or “S” shaped tunnels filled with excreta inside the stem and, also show exit holes on the surface. In case of severe damage, breaking of stem occurred. Seed treatment with Carbofuran (40F) 5% W/W @ 2.5 g/kg of seed was also found effective. The Chilo can be regulated by introduction of 3-5 Trichocards (Trichogramma chilonis) per acre at ten days after germination. Light and pheromone traps can be used to assess the incidence of adult moths.

Shoot bug

Shoot bug: Shoot bug laid eggs inside leaf tissue and covered with a white waxy substance. Due to infestation plant become unhealthy, stunted and yellow. The leaves wither from top to downwards. The midribs of the leaves turn red due to egg-laying and may dry up subsequently.

If infestation is observed take spray of  Dimethoate @ 2 ml/Ltr of water.

Shoot fly

Shoot fly: It is a major pest of South India but sometime observed in spring and summer crop in North India. It causes damage at seedling stage and causes drying of seedling or dead heart.

To control shoot fly infestation, Plough land after harvesting of previous crop also remove stubbles and remains of previously harvested crop. Do seed treatment with Imidacloprid @ 6 ml/kg of seeds, it provides good control of the shoot fly. Soil application of  Phorate 10% CG@4kg/acre at the time of sowing. Spray any one of pesticide like Dimethoate 30% EC@300 ml/acre or Methyl demeton 25% EC@400 ml/acre.

Termites

Termites: Serious pest of maize observed in most areas. To control apply Fipronil@6kg/acre followed by light irrigation. If the termite incidence is in patches, than spot application of Fipronil@2-3kg granuled/plant should be done. Keep cleanliness in field.

Maydis leaf blight
  • Disease and their control:

Maydis leaf blight (MLB): MLB is caused by Bipolaris maydis and generally appears in warm tropical and sub-tropical areas to wet temperate climate. Young lesions are small and diamond shaped. As they mature, they elongate. Lesions may coalesce, producing a complete “burning” of large areas of the leaves.

Application of 2-4 sprays of Diathane M-45 or Zineb @ 2.0-2.5 gm/litre of water at 7-10 days interval from the first appearance of disease controls the spread of pathogen.

Post flowering stalk rot

Post flowering stalk rot: It is one of the most destructive diseases and is caused by complex association of multiple pathogens. It affects roots, crown region and lower internodes of crops. If incidence of this disease is observed then minimize use of  potassium fertilizer. Follow crop rotation. Do not give water stress at flowering stage. Application of bio-control agent such as Trichoderma formulation in furrow @10 gm/kg of FYM at 10 days prior to sowing provides good control.

Brown stripe downy mildew

Brown stripe downy mildew: Lesions start developing on lower leaves as narrow chlorosis or yellow stripes, 3-7 mm wide, with well-defined margin and are delimited by the veins. The stripes later become reddish to purple. Lateral development of lesions causes severe striping and blotching. Grow resistant varieties. Do Seed treatment with Metalaxyl@6 gm/kg of seeds. Remove infected plant and destroyed away from the field. Spray with Metalaxyl@1 gm/Ltr or Metalaxyl + Mancozeb@ 2.5 gm/Ltr of water.

Pythium stalk rot

Pythium stalk rot: In this disease, basal internodes become soft, dark brown water soaked, causing the plants lodge. Damaged internodes commonly twist before the plants lodge.

Remove remains of previous crop and keep field clean before sowing. Maintained optimum plant population in field. Do Soil drenching with Captan at basal internode (5-7 week growth stage)@1 gm/Ltr of water.

Turcicum leaf blight (TLB)

Turcicum leaf blight (TLB): This is one of the most important diseases in Northern and North-eastern hills and peninsular India and is caused by Exserohilum turcicum. If infection take place at silking stage then significant economic damages observed. Early symptoms show slightly oval, water soaked, small spots produced on leaves. First appear on lower leaves in severe infestation complete plant give burning appearance. If not controlled at proper time, it has the potential to cause yield reduction up to 70%. To control take spray of Mancozeb or Zineb @2-4 g/litre at 10 days interval after first appearance of the disease.

Bacterial Stalk Rot

Bacterial Stalk Rot: The stalk near the ground become water-soaked with brownish discolouration and are easily breakable and give unpleasant smell.


Avoid water logging in field and provide proper drainage. Apply Bleaching powder containing 33% chlorine@4 kg/acre as soil drench at pre-flowering stage.

Deficiency and their remedy

Zinc Deficiency
Mostly observed in areas having use of high yielding variety. Broad band of white-yellow along with reddish veins are appeared on each side of mid rib on second or third leaf from top of plant.
To overcome zinc deficiency, apply Zinc Sulphate@10 kg/acre at time of sowing. If deficiency is observed in standing field, apply Zinc Sulphate and mixed with equal quantity of dry soils and apply along the rows.

Harvesting

Harvesting should be done when cobs outer cover turns from green to white. The optimum time of harvesting maize is when the stalks have dried and moisture of grain as about 20-17%. Drying place or equipment should be dry, clean and disinfected.

Sweet Corn: When crops come nears to maturity, examined a few ears daily to determine the time for the first picking. Corn is ready for harvest when the ear is full size for the variety, has a tight husk, and has somewhat dried silks. The kernels are fully developed and exude a milky liquid when punctured. Delay harvesting causes reduction in sugar content. Whether harvesting is done by hand or machine, sweet corn should be collected at night or early in the morning.

Baby Corn: Ears are harvested 45-50 days after emergence, when silks are 1-2 cm long (within 1-2 days after silk emergence). Harvesting is carried out in morning when temperature is low and moisture is high. The picking of baby corn should to be done once in three days and generally 7-8 pickings are required depending on genotypes used.

Pop Corn:
Leave ears of Popcorn on the plant for as long as possible. If the weather allows, leave them in the field until the husks are dry and papery.

Post-Harvest

Sweet corn must be moved quickly from the field to packing sheds, where it should be rapidly sorted, packed, and cooled. It is generally packed in wire bound wooden crates, which can hold from 4 to 6 dozen ears, depending on the size of the crate or ears.

References

1.Punjab Agricultural University Ludhiana

2.Department of Agriculture

3.Indian Agricultural Research Instittute, New Delhi

4.Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research

5.Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare