Go to Top


Crop: Maize

Scientific name :
Common / Local Name :



Introduction :

Among the cereals in India, maize ranks 5th in total area fourth in total production and third in yield per hectare. In Goa and adjoining areas, the crop is grown during rabi along with vegetables as a border crop. However, there is a vast scope for cultivation of maize during kharif on sloping uplands especially as an intercrop in cashew and mango plantations.  Maize is known to be very responsive to better management. For realizing high yield in kharif maize, it is essential to follow the entire package of practices at the appropriate time.

Plant population :

A population of 65-70 thousand plants per hectare at harvest is necessary for realizing high grain yield. It will be necessary to attain about 10% higher stand at germination.
For attaining the desired level of plant density, it is desirable to use a row-to-row and plant-to-plant spacing of 75 cm x 18 cm or 60 x 22 cm.

Seed Rate
About 20 kg of seed would be needed to sow one hectare. Seeds should be sown about 5 cm deep to ensure good seedling growth and vigour.








Time of sowing :

The date of sowing has to be suitably adjusted by making the best use of their natural precipitation and providing adequate time for land preparation for the following crop. In irrigated area, it is most desirable to complete the sowings 10-15 days before the onset of the rain. This practice has given 15% higher yield than that obtained from fields which are sown with or after the onset of rains. Early sown fields get adequate time for weed management. For rainfed areas, which entirely lack irrigation facilities, it will be desirable to sow the crop as soon as adequate amount of soil moisture has been built up to ensure germination and establishment of proper plant stand.


Seedbed preparation :

A clean, smooth, deeply ploughed but firm seedbed is ideal. It is desirable to sow the crop on half way the ridges to avoid damage due to water-logging and to provide adequate moisture in the root zone. Shallow drainage channels should be provided at suitable intervals across the slope to check losses due to water-logging.


Fertilizer application :

Besides obtaining high yield, it is desirable to build up soil fertility through  judicious application of the fertilizers to optimize returns for every rupee invested. The available quantity of the farmyard manure should be incorporated into the field before sowing. A combination of organic manure and chemical fertilizer is known to give better yield and improve the soil fertility than the use of fertilizer alone.

a) Quantity of fertilizers
A balanced application of 60-120 kg N,40-75kg P and 40 kg K/ha depending on the soil test values is recommended.

b) Application of fertilizers
One-fourth of the total quantity of nitrogen and the entire uantity of phosphorus, potash and zinc (if required) should be applied in banks 5-7 cm deep before sowing. The rest of the nitrogen should be applied in 2 unequal doses as side dressing. Half of the total nitrogen (60 kg N/ha when the total dose is 120 kg N/ha) should be applied when the crop is at knee-high stage (20-30 days after germination). While, the rest of the nitrogen (30 kg N/ha) should be applied after the emergence of flag-leaf, but before the emergence of tassels. The fertilizers should be applied 10-12 cm away from the base of the plant to avoid plant injury. Soon after application, the fertilizer on the soil surface should be covered to minimize losses.

c) Foliar application of fertilizers

One or two sprays of 2% urea (spray grade with low bio-rate content) and application of micronutrient mixture can be given in 3-5 weeks old crop to restore the vigour which may have received setback because of delayed weedings and inadequate drainage. Higher concentration of urea should not be sprayed, as it might lead to foliar injury.

water management :

Maize can be grown on rainfed regions where the distribution of rainfall is enough to ensure adequate soil moisture during the life-cycle of the crop. For construing high & stable yields, the available sources of irrigation should be tapped to provide 1 or 2 irrigation at the critical stages in years when rains fail.
The water used should be fit for irrigation. Maize is known to be susceptible to water logging as well as soil moisture stress. Since flowering and grain-filling stages are most critical, the crop should be irrigated at these stages, if rains fail.

weed management :

Weeds having broad leaves and most of the grasses can be conventionally controlled with a single pre-emergence application of Atrazine @ 1 kg/ha. In addition, 2 intercultivations are needed to keep weeds under check.


insect Pest Management :

The maize stalk borer, Chila partellus is a major pest during Kharif season throughout the country. First foliar application 0.1% Endosulfan (35EC) or 0.05% Lindane (20.EC) should be applied in 10-15 days old crop followed by second application of 4% Endosulfan granuless or 1% Lindane granules @ 15 kg/ha in plant whorls a fortnight later, if necessary.


disease Management :

A number of diseases occur during Kharif season Incidence of maydis and turcicum leaf-blights or downy mildew may occur at times in some pockets. The incidence of these foliar diseases may increase in the late-sown crops.The best way to avoid these diseases is to grow resistant varieties and undertake timely sowing. Turcicum and maydis leaf-blights can be controlled by 2 or 3 sprays of Zineb (Dithane 2-78) @ 2.5kg/ha 1000 litres of water at intervals of 10-15 days.


Harvesting :

  • In the absence of irrigation facilities and failure of rains, maize may be profitably harvested at any stage of its growth. At the pre-flowering stage it may be used as to fodder and at early-dough to late dough stages for green-ear, and the stover may be used to feed cattle.
  • Maize crop grown for grain should be harvested when it reaches physiological maturity containing 25-30% moisture and ears should be removed before cutting the stalk.

    The expected yield is 5-6 tonnes of grains and 25 tonnes of fodder.



Input availability

Input availability

Address/Contact details




For detailed list kindly click here   


For detailed list kindly click here