Maize Cultivation Point Wise Notes for Competitive exam

Maize Cultivation

Maize Cultivation

  • Abundant starch (65%)
  • Indian growers produce close to 24.2 million tonnes of maize per year from close to 9.0 million hectares of land. 
  •  Madhya Pradesh is the largest producer of maize in India.
  •  The inflorescence of female flowers is spadix 
  • Belonging to the family Poaceae.

Wet milling

  • Industrial starch production – sweeteners
  • Paper lamination. 
  • Textile wrap, sizing and laundry finishing

Dry milling

  • Animal feed, brewing, breakfast cereals, other food
  • In India dry milling is the predominant process for both flour and animal feed
  • In the new millennium Maize is an alternate crop to rice and wheat


  • Wild ancestor – Teosinte
  • Place of origin Mexico
  • De Condole (1886) – New Granada (now Colombia)
  • Reeves (1944) – lowlands of South America (because of historical evidence for pod corn)

Distribution and cultivation


  • Area- 139 million ha
  • Production-600 million tonnes
  • Next to Rice wheat in area and production
  • Leading producer country. USA > China.

In India

  • Area-6 Mha
  • Production-10 ML


  • 35% production is consumed by human
  • 25% poultry feed and cattle feed
  • 15% food processing
  • Area under Maize is increasing due to good demand



  • Seminal roots
  • Tap roots
  • Associated lateral root
  • Adventitious roots.
  • Prop / brace roots-anchorage to shoot


  • Leah sheath, blade
  • Auricle ligules
  • Wax production in leaf
  • Tassel-branched inflorescence
  • Ear/ Cob-Top one or several auxiliary buds terminate in ear
  • Husks (prophyll)- modified leaves cover ear
  • Cob- thick axis containing multiple rows of paired spikelets

Cultivated species of maize/ maize grain types-

Flint corn (Zea mays indurata)-

  • kernel covered with hard starch.
  • Colourful-white, yellow, red-blue or their variable.(Maize Cultivation)

 Dent corn (Zea mays indentata)

  • Mainly in USA (95% area)
  • Hard starch is confined to kernel
  • 3% sugar

 Sweet corn (Zea mays saccharta)

  • For food and energy and harvested at 70% moisture
  • 20% sugar in dent
  • Vit. C & A

Floury corn (Zea mays amylacea)

  • Kernel composed of soft starch
  • Easy to grind. (Maize)
  • Primarily used by natives of Andean Highlands of South-America

Pop corn (Zea mays everta)

  • Small kernel

Waxy corn (Zea mays ceretina)

  • Waxy appearance in kernel
  • Amylopectin starch mainly. (Maize)
  • Used for wet milling starch industry

Imp varieties in India-

  • Hybrids– Ganga 1, Ganga 11, Deccan 105,
  • Composites/Synthetics – Amber, Vijay, Ageti, Shakti 1


  • Mostly during Kharif
  • Early sowing in Apr-may in Mysore
  • Rabi season with good yield
  • Tropics – throughout year (July-Aug, Sep–Oct, Jan-Feb)

Irrigated – May June

Field preparation-

  • Well drained light scils
  • Deep ploughing
  • Ridges and furrows
  • Moderate tillage
  • FYM

Spacing & plant density-


  • kharif – 60-70,000 Plant/ha
  • Rabi – 80,000-100,000 Plant/ha

Spacing –

  • 60 x 20 cm (grain)
  • 45-50 x 20 cm (Seed)

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.

Planting depth-7-8 cm in flat beds.

Nutrient management-

  • Heavy nutrient feeder
  • Variety– 150:75:75 kg NPK/ha
  • Hybrid– 200:100:100 kg NPK/ha

Water management-

  • Highly sensitive to flooding and drought
  • Critical stage-tasseling and silking stage
  • Water requirement – 600-700 mm

Weed control-

  • Crop – weed competition – 6 weeks
  • Ridges and furrow method and earthing is effective
  • Hoeings is also done
  • Herbicides-Atrazine (as pre-emergence) is effective


There are two methods of maize harvesting:

Plucking of cobs

  • The ears are removed from the standing plants and they are piled to open for twenty four hours and they are spread for drying in the sun. In this method stalks may be used as green fodder.

Stalk cutting

  • The plants are cut and piled up in the shade and the cobs are removed after two or three days of harvesting. The dried plants are used for haymaking.
  • Maize grown for fodder are harvested at the milk to early dough stage. The earlier harvested crop usually yields less and is poor in protein content. For silage making late dough stage is preferred.


  • yield of 27.8 q\ha maize

Cropping sequence-

  • Rice – ground nut – maize is common
  • Maize (Kharif) – Wheat (Rabi) – emerging in N- India.

Read More-


      Leave a Reply