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It is also known as Bhutta (Bengali), Makai (Gujarati), Maka (Hindi, Marathi, Oriya), Musikinu
jola (Kannada), Makaay (Kashmiri), Cholam (Malayalam), Makka Cholam (Tamil), Mokka
jonnalu (Telugu)


¸ Maize (Zea mays L) is one of the most versatile emerging crops having wider adaptability
under varied agro-climatic conditions.
¸ Globally, maize is known as queen of cereals because it has the highest genetic yield
potential among the cereals.
¸ Maize is cultivated throughout the world. From 58°N latitude to 40°S latitude.
¸ It is cultivated on nearly 177 m ha (2013-14, Source: USDA) with worldwide production
more than 960 MT (2013-14) in about 160 countries having wider diversity of soil, climate,
biodiversity and management practices.
¸ USA is the largest producer of maize in the world, followed by China and Brazil; USA is
also the largest exporter of maize.

Top Maize Producing Countries, 2013-14

¸ USA has the highest productivity when compared with the global average of 5.5 tons /hectare
due to 85 per cent of the area under BT-SCH (Single cross hybrid and remaining 15 per cent
under SCH seeds backed by temperate climate and long duration crop. The yield in EU nations
is as high as 6.6 tons /hectare due to 100 per cent area under SCH, temperate climatic conditions
and long duration crop. The yield in China is low when compared to EU nations due to sub-
tropical climate and medium duration crop. Brazil has lower yield due to dependence on rainfall
and tropical climatic conditions.
¸ The differences in yield across the globe are mainly due to environmental, technological,
economic and organizational factors. In most developed countries the climate is temperate;
likewise they use sufficient inputs and a well mechanized system for the maize production.
¸ India’s yield at 2.5 tons/hectare is less than half the global average of 5.5 tons /hectare.
Constraints for low productivity include:
∑ Climatic conditions resulting in drought/excess water associated with increased pressure of
∑ Cultivation in kharif is mainly under rain-fed conditions on marginal lands with inadequacy
in irrigation
∑ Only about 60 per cent of the area is under SCH. Lack of development of single cross
hybrid technology, which is a key to higher productivity gains like USA, China and other
∑ Limited adoption of improved production-protection technology
∑ Deficiencies in the production and distribution system of quality seed

¸ Maize is grown throughout the year in India. It is predominantly a kharif crop with 85
per cent of the area under cultivation in the season. Maize is the third most important
cereal crop in India after rice and wheat. It accounts for ~9 per cent of total food grain
production in the country.
¸ Maize production in India has grown at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of
5.5 per cent over the last ten years from 14 MT in 2004-05 to 23 MT in 2013-14.
¸ The area under maize cultivation in the period has increased at a CAGR of 2.5 per cent
from 7.5 M ha in 2004-05 to 9.4 M ha in 2013-14, the remaining increase in
production is due to increase in yield. Factors such as adaptability to diverse agro-
climatic conditions, lower labour costs and lowering of water table in the rice belt of
India have contributed to the increase in acreage.
¸ Productivity of maize (yield) has increased at a CAGR of 2.9 per cent from 1.9
tones/ha in 2004-05 to 2.5 tones/ha in 2013-14. Introduction of Single cross hybrid
(SCH) seeds coupled with adequate rainfall in 2007-08 contributed to 20 per cent
increase in yield.
¸ Maize production is dominated by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, producing ~38 per
cent of India’s maize in 2010-11.
¸ Nine states viz. Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar,
Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat account for 85 per cent of India’s maize
production and 80 per cent of area under cultivation.
¸ Andhra Pradesh has the highest yield followed by Tamil Nadu due to majority of the
area being covered under Single Cross Hybrids (SCH).


¸ Maize consumption in India has grown at a CAGR of ~4 per cent over the last ten
years from 14 MT in 2004-05 to 19 MT in 2013-14. There was a decrease in domestic
consumption in 2009-10 primarily due to the drought that lead to decline in production.
¸ Most of the maize in India is used in the poultry feed industry. Poultry industry is
heavily dependent on maize as it forms 50-60 per cent of the input required for broiler
feed and 25-35 per cent of the input required for layer feed. Maize is the preferred
source of energy in feed when compared with other substitutes due to availability, higher
energy and price economics. Poultry feed’s share has remained around 45-50 per
cent of the total demand for maize in the country over the past 4-5 years.
¸ Maize is the basic raw material required for manufacturing starch and constitutes 60-70
per cent of the total operating costs. Maize has 60-65 per cent starch content, hence
cannot be easily substituted by other commodities.
¸ Maize crop furnishes huge quantities of green fodder for cattle. In addition to big
industries, several cottage industries are also flourishing on the byproducts of maize.
¸ Historically maize was used more for local consumption and less for commercial use.
Maize utilized for direct human consumption has reduced over the years and is expected
to further reduce due to rising income levels which has made preferred cereals like
wheat and rice more affordable, increasing commercial demand from poultry and starch
industries leading to higher farmer realization.
¸ Developed countries like USA and European nations have a very low ratio of maize
going towards direct maize consumption as most of the maize goes toward production of
feed, starch and ethanol. Maize is consumed directly as food primarily in developing
countries of Africa and Central America.
¸ Maize grain contains about 10% protein, 4% oil, 70% carbohydrate, 2.3% crude fiber,
10.4% albuminoides, 1.4% ash. Maize protein ‘Zein’ is deficient in tryptophan and
lysine, the two essential amino acid.
¸ Maize grain has significant quantities of vitamin A, nicotinic acid, riboflavin and
vitamin E. Maize is low in Ca and fairly high in P.

The primary centre of origin of maize is considered by most authorities to be the

Central America and Mexico, where many diverse types of maize are found. The discovery of
fossil maize pollen with other archaeological evidence in Mexico indicates Mexico to be the
native of maize.


Maize (Zea mays) is an annual plant which belongs to family Gramineae and Genus Zea. Zea
mays L. has a normal chromosome complement of 10 pairs. It is divided into seven groups. The
classification is based largely on the character of the Kernels (Kipps, 1959).

1) Flint corn (Zea mays indurata):

¸ Flint corn, also known as Indian corn, is used for similar purposes as dent corn.
¸ The endosperm in this type of maize kernel is soft and starchy in the centre and
completely enclosed by a very hard outer layer.
¸ The kernels are usually rounded but are sometimes short and flat.
¸ Colour may be white or yellow.
2) Dent corn (Zea mays indentata):
¸ About 95% of production in USA is dent corn.
¸ In this type of maize kernels have both hard and soft starches. Hard starch
extends on the sides, and the soft starch is in the centre and extends to the top of
the kernels.
¸ In the drying and shrinking of the soft starch various forms and degrees of
indentation result.
3) Popcorn (Zea mays everta):
¸ Popcorn, a type of flint corn, has a soft starchy centre surrounded by a very hard
exterior shell.
¸ Size of the kernels is small but the endosperm is hard.
¸ When popcorn is heated the natural moisture inside the kernel turns to steam that
builds up enough pressure for the kernel to explode. When the kernel explodes
the white starchy mass that you like to eat forms. All types of corn will pop to
some degree, but they won't necessarily have enough starch to turn inside out, or
an outside layer that will create enough pressure to explode. One of the oldest
forms of corn, evidence of popcorn from 3600 B.C. was found in New Mexico.
4) Sweet (Zea mays saccharata or Zea rugosa)
¸ Sweet corn is primarily eaten on the cob, or it can be canned or frozen for future
consumption. Sweet corn is seldom used for feed or flour.
¸ Kernels possess a considerable amount of sugar which absorbs water, making the
cells turgid, on drying these cells collapse, making the grains shrivelled or
¸ Sweet corn is extra sweet because it contains more natural sugars than other types
of corn. (Field corn contains 4% sugar at the same stage standard sweet corn
contains 10% sugar.) Almost 50% of the sugar can be converted to starch only 24
hours after sweet corn is picked, so it is best to eat it fresh.
5) Soft or flour corn (Zea mays amylacea):
¸ Flour corn is used in baked goods because it has a soft, starch-filled, kernel that is
easy to grind.
¸ Flour corn is primarily white, although it can be grown in other colours, for
example, blue corn. They are like flint kernels in shape.
6) Pod corn (Zea mays tunicata):
¸ The pod corns are characterised by having each kernel enclosed with in a pod or
husk. It is a primitive type of corn and hence of no importance.
7) Waxy corn (Zea mays ceratina kulesh):
¸ The endosperm of the kernel when cut or broke gives a waxy appearance. It
produces the starch similar to tapioca starch for making adhesive for articles.

Maize is a tall, determinate annual C4 plant varying in height from 1 to 4 metres producing
large, narrow, opposing leaves (about a tenth as wide as they are long), borne alternately along the
length of a solid stem. The botanical features of various plant parts are as follows:

Root: The root system of maize is fibrous and deep. It is usually well developed. Normally
maize plants have three types of roots,

i) Seminal roots or Temporary roots – Consists of radicle and a number of lateral

roots (usually 3-5) which arise at the base of the first node of the stem under the soil
surface just above the scutellar node.
ii) Crown or Coronal roots: They arise from the basal portion of the stem. The first
four or five crown roots appear at the base of the second internode as soon as the tip
of the coleoptile reaches to the soil surface. These are actually functional roots.
Following the seedling stage, they constitute the principal part of the root system.
iii) Brace, aerial or prop roots: They arise from second, third and sometimes fourth
nodes above the soil surface. All may or may not enter the soil. Their primary
function is to give anchorage to the plants.

∑ The stem is made up of approximately 12-18 alternating nodes and internodes, and is
completely filled with pith.
∑ The number of internodes may vary but on an average there are 14 internodes. A leaf is
attached to each node and often a bud or branch arises at a node. Internodes are
somewhat flattened and grooved on the side next to the leaf sheath.

∑ The leaves of maize develop alternatively on opposite sides of the stem.

∑ Each leaf consists of a thin, flat and expanded blade with a definite midrib and smaller
veins and more rigid sheath.
∑ Each sheath surrounds the internode above the node to which it is attached.
∑ The number of leaves varies from 12-20.
∑ Stomata are present on both the surfaces of the leaf.

∑ Maize is normally a monoecious plant having two types of inflorescence, the female
inflorescence which develops in to an ear (cob) and the male inflorescence, which
contains the male flowers
∑ The flowers are borne on two different parts of the plant. The male flowers are borne in a
cluster (tassel) on the top of the end of the stem as terminal panicle, while the female
flowers are borne inside the young cobs which spring from one of the nodes on the stem
usually located about the midway on the stalk.
∑ The branches of the tassel are spirally arranged around the axis. The spikelets are usually
arranged in pairs, one sessile and the other pedicillate. Each spikelet is enclosed by two
glumes. There are two florets per spikelet. Each floret consists of three staments, two
lodicules and a rudimentary pistil.
∑ The female spikelets have single flower, sessile and densely packed in a several vertical
series on a thick and cylindrical rachis. The style is a very long silky filament the cluster
of which is known as silk and the ovary is obliquely ovoid.
At anthesis, just prior to shedding of pollen, the lodicules swell to several times their
former size and push the palea and lemma apart, making it possible for the anthers to be extruded
by the elongating filaments. Anthers then break near the tip, forming pores through which the
pollens are shed in huge number in the wind. In each plant, tassel usually sheds some of its
pollen before the silks of ear emerge from the husks. Pollen shed continues for about a week.
When the pollen grains fall on the silks, they are trapped by small hairs and by the moist, sticky
nature of the surface.


∑ The individual maize grain is botanically a caryopsis, a dry fruit containing a single seed
fused to the inner tissues of the fruit case.
∑ The seed contains two sister structures, a germ which includes the plumule and radicle
from which a new plant will develop, and an endosperm which will provide nutrients for
that germinating seedling until the seedling establishes sufficient leaf area to become


Maize is a tall, determinate, monoecious, annual plant. It produced large, narrow,

opposite leaves, borne alternatively along the length of stem. All maize varieties follow same
general pattern of development, although specific time and interval between stages and total
number of leaves developed may vary between different hybrids, seasons, time of planting and
location. The various stages of maize growth are broadly divided into the vegetative and
reproductive stages as follows:

Vegetative Stages

∑ Seedling/Sprouting stage comes about one week after sowing, and the plants have about 2-4
leaves at this stage.
∑ Grand growth stage also called knee height stage of plants arrives about 35-45 days after
∑ Tasseling/Flower initiation stage is the stage at which the tassels or male flowers appear.
Generally the maize plant would have attained its full height by this stage.

Reproductive Stages

∑ Silking stage involving the formation of the female flowers or cobs is the first reproductive
stage and occurs 2-3 days after tasseling stage. This stage begins when any silks are visible
outside the husk. These are auxillary flowers unlike tassels that are terminal ones. Pollination
occurs when these new moist silks catch the falling pollen grains.
∑ Soft-dough/Milky stage commences after pollination and fertilization is over. Grains start
developing but they do not become hard. This soft dough stage is noticed by the silks on the
top of the cob which remain partially green at this stage. The covering of the cobs also
remains green.
∑ Hard- dough/Maturity stage shows that the leaves get dried; silks get dried completely and
become very brittle. Harvesting is done at this stage.


Maize is a warm weather plant. It grows from sea level to 3000 metre altitudes. It can be
grown under diverse conditions. It is grown in many parts of the country throughout the year. Kharif
(monsoon) season is the main growing season in northern India. In the south, however, maize may be
sown any time from April to October. The most suitable temperature for germination is 210C and for
growth is 320C. Extremely high temperature and low humidity during flowering damage the foliage
desiccate the pollen and interfere with proper pollination resulting in poor grain formation. 50-75 cm
well distributed rain is conducive to proper growth. Maize is very sensitive to stagnant water,
particularly during its early stage of growth.


Maize can be grown successfully in variety of soils ranging from sandy loam to silty
loam soil. However, soils with good organic matter content having high water holding capacity with
neutral pH ranges from 5.5 to 7.5 are considered good for higher productivity. Being a sensitive crop
to moisture stress particularly excess soil moisture and salinity stresses; it is desirable to avoid low
lying fields having poor drainage and also the field having higher salinity. Therefore, the fields
having provision of proper drainage should be selected for cultivation of maize.


Maize needed a seedbed which is friable, well aerated, moist and weed free to provide the
better contact between seed and the soil. Plough the field with disc plough (20-25 cm deep) once
followed by cultivator ploughing twice, after spreading FYM or compost till a fine tilth is obtained.
Planking should be done after each ploughing.


Time of sowing:

Maize can be grown in all seasons viz; Kharif (monsoon), post monsoon, Rabi (winter) and
spring. During Rabi and spring seasons to achieve higher yield at farmer’s field assured
irrigation facilities are required. During Kharif season it is desirable to complete the sowing
operation 12-15 days before the onset of monsoon. However, in rainfed areas, the sowing time should
be coincided with onset of monsoon. The optimum time of sowing are given below.

Season Optimum time of sowing

Kharif Last week of June to first fortnight July
Rabi Last week of October for inter cropping and up to 15th

Spring First week of February

Seed rate and plant geometry:

To achieve higher productivity and resource-use efficiencies optimum plant stand is the key
factor. The seed rate varies depending on purpose, seed size, plant type, season, sowing methods
etc. The following crop geometry and seed rate should be adopted.

∑ Plant the maize across the slope. Sow the seed 3-5 cm deep.
∑ Hybrids 20-25 kg per ha, Composites 18-20 kg per ha.

S. Purpose Seed rate Plant geometry Plant population

No. (kg ha-1) (plant x row, cm)

1 Grain (normal and QPM) 20 60 x 20 83333

75 x 20 66666
2 Sweet corn 8 75 x 25 53333
75 x 30 44444
3 Baby corn 25 60 x 20 83333
60 x 15 111111
4 Pop corn 12 60 x 20 83333
5 Green cob (normal maize) 20 75 x 20 66666
60 x 20 83333
6 Fodder 50 30 x 10 333333
7 Rabi Maize 20-22 60 x 18 90,000

Seed treatment:

To protect the maize crop from seed and major soil borne diseases and insect-
pests, seed treatment with fungicides and insecticides before sowing is advisable/
recommended as per the below given details. Seed should be treated with Bavistin or
Derosol or Agrozim at the rate of 3 g/kg of seed.

Disease/insect-pest Fungicide/Pesticide Rate of application

(g kg-1 seed)
Turcicum Leaf Blight, Banded Leaf Bavistin + Captan in 1:1 2.0
and Sheath Blight, Maydis Leaf Blight ratio
BSMD Apran 35 SD 4.0
Pythium Stalk Rot Captan 2.5
Termite and shoot fly Imidachlorpit 4.0
Tillage and crop establishment:

Tillage and crop establishment is the key for achieving the optimum plant stand that is the
main driver of the crop yield. Maize is mainly sown directly through seed by using different
methods of tillage & establishment but during winters where fields are not remain vacant in
time (till November), transplanting can be done successfully by raising the nursery. The
different situations require different sowing methods for achieving higher yield as described
(i) Raised bed (ridge) planting: Generally the raised bed planting is considered as best
planting m e t h o d f o r maize during monsoon and

Winter seasons both under excess moisture as well as

limited water availability/rainfed conditions.
Sowing/planting should be done on the southern side
of the east-west ridges/beds, which helps in good
germination. Planting should be done at proper spacing.
Preferably, the raised bed planter having inclined plate,
cupping or roller type seed metering systems should be
used for planting that facilitates in placement of seed
and fertilizers at proper place in one operation that
helps in getting good crop stand, higher productivity
and resource use efficiency.

Using raised bed planting technology, 20-30 % irrigation water can be saved with higher
productivity. Moreover, under temporary excess soil moisture/water logging due to heavy rains, the
furrows will act as drainage channels and crop can be saved from excess soil moisture stress. For
realizing the full potential of the bed planting technology, permanent beds are advisable wherein
sowing can be done in a single pass without any preparatory tillage. Permanent beds are more
beneficial under excess soil moisture situations as the infiltration rate is much higher and crop
can be saved from the temporary water logging injury.

(ii) Zero-till planting: Maize can be successfully grown

without any primary tillage under no-till situation with less
cost of cultivation, higher farm profitability and better
resource use efficiency. Under such condition one should
ensure good soil moisture at sowing and seed and
fertilizers should be placed in band using zero- till seed-
cum-fertilizer planter with furrow opener as per the soil
texture and field conditions.

The technology is in place with large number of farmers particularly under rice-maize and
maize-wheat systems in peninsular and eastern India. However, use of appropriate planter
having suitable furrow opener and seed metering system is the key of success of the no-till
(iii) Conventional till flat planting: Under heavy weed infestation where
chemical/herbicidal weed management is uneconomical in no-till and also for rainfed areas
where survival of crop depends on conserved soil moisture, in such situations flat planting can
be done using seed-cum-fertilizer planters.

(iv) Furrow planting: To prevent evaporative losses

of water during spring season from the soil under flat as
well as raised bed planting is higher and hence crop
suffers due to moisture stress. Under such
situation/condition, it is always advisable to grow maize
in furrows for proper growth, seed setting and higher

(v) Transplanting: Under intensive cropping

systems where it is not possible to vacate the field on
time for planting of winter maize, the chances of
delayed planting exists and due to delay planting crop
establishment is a problem due to low temperature so
under such conditions transplanting is an alternative and
well established technique for winter maize. Therefore,
for the situation where fields are vacated during
December-January, it is advisable to grow nursery and
transplant the seedlings in furrows and apply irrigation
for optimum crop establishment.

Use of this technique helps in maintenance of temporal isolation in corn seed production
areas for production of pure and good quality seed as well as quality protein maize grain. For
planting of one hectare, 700 m2 nursery areas are required and the nursery should be raised
during second fortnight of November. The age of seedlings for transplanting should be 30-40
days old (depending on the growth) and transplant in the month of December-January in furrows
to obtain higher productivity.


For higher economic yield of maize, application of 10 to 15 tones FYM ha-1, 10-15 days
prior to sowing. However, as a general recommendation, one could apply 120 kg N, 60 kg P2O5
and 40 kg K2O ha-1 is recommended for hybrids and 80 kg N, 30 kg P2O5 and 20 kg K2O/ha
for composite. In the part of the country, where the soils are deficient in zinc, it is advisable to
apply 20-25 kg ZnSO4 per ha. Full doses of P, K and Zn should be applied as basal preferably
drilling of fertilizers in bands along the seed using seed-cum-fertilizer drills. Nitrogen should be
applied in 3-splits as detailed below for higher productivity and use efficiency.

S. No Crop Stage Nitrogen rate (%)

1 Basal (at sowing) One third
Remaining two-third N in two equal doses Two third
2 At knee height stage (30-35 DAS)
3 At tasseling
Fertilizer should be placed about 3-5 cm to side and 3-5 cm deeper than the seed. The
remaining N is top dressed at the appropriate time between the two rows.

Nutrient deficiencies in crops reduce yields, quality and profits to the farmer. Yield can
often be reduced 10-30% by deficiencies of major nutrients before any clear symptoms of
deficiency are observed in the field. Due to Zn deficiency white bud of maize occurs.

NOTE: A crop of maize yielding about 14 tones of dry matter (both grain and Stover) takes up
about 161 kg N, 34 kg P and 110 kg K per ha.
- For Rabi crops apply 120 kg N, 60 kg P2O5 and 40 kg K2O ha-1
- One fourth of nitrogen and the total quantity of phosphorous and potash should be applied
before sowing. The rest of nitrogen should be applied in two equal doses at knee-height
stage, while the rest of the nitrogen should be applied with the emergence of the flag leaf.


∑ Maize is very susceptible both to excess water and moisture stress. Never allow water to stand
in the maize field at any stage of its growth. Water stagnation even for six hours continuously
and sufficiently damage the crop.
∑ Maize can tolerate the heavy rains, provided water does not stand in the field for long periods.
Therefore, drain away excess water by making a drain of adequate capacity at the end of the
∑ A good maize crop requires about 460-600 mm of water during its life cycle.
∑ Do not allow maize plants to wilt due to water shortage at any stage of the life cycle.
∑ Tasselling to silking stage is critical. At this stage water shortage even for 2 days can reduce
maize yields by about 20%. The same for 6-8 days can pull down the yield by 50%.
∑ In raised bed planting system and limited irrigation water availability conditions, the
irrigation water can also be applied in alternate furrow to save more irrigation water.
∑ In rainfed areas, tied-ridges are helpful in conserving the rainwater for its availability in the
root zone for longer period.
∑ For winter maize, it is advisable to keep soil wet (frequent & mild irrigation) during 15
December to 15 February to protect the crop from frost injury.
∑ Four to six irrigations are needed during Rabi crop season.
∑ If six irrigation are given, they should be applied at the following crop growth stages:
- Two irrigation up to flowering at an interval of 20-25 days, one at the time of flowering,
two after flowering and one at early grain filling stage.
∑ If only five irrigation are given, irrigation at the vegetative stage may be avoided and if only
four irrigation are given, irrigation after the dough stage may be avoided.


∑ Weeds are the serious problem in maize, particularly during kharif /monsoon season they
competes with maize for nutrient and causes yield loss up to 50-60 % reduction in yield.
Therefore, timely weed management is needed for achieving higher yield.
∑ Maize crop is infested with grassy and broad leaved annual weeds.
Grassy weeds: Echinochloa colonum, Echinochloa crusgulli (sawan), Dactyloctenium
aegypticum (makra), Eleusine indica (Kodo), Setaria glauca (banra), Cynodon dactylon
(doob), Phragmitis karka (narkul), Cyperus rotundus (motha), Sorghum halepanse (banchari)
are common.
Broad leaf weeds: Celosia argentia (chilimil), Commelina benghalensis (Kankoua), Phylanthus
niruri (hulhul), Solanum nigrum (makoi), Amaranthus viridis (chauli) and Podrtulaca oleraceae

∑ The maize crop kept weed free for 30 to 45 days after sowing is almost similar in yield as that
kept weed free for entire crop season.
∑ Atrazine being a selective and broad-spectrum herbicide in maize checks the emergence of wide
spectrum of weeds. Pre-emergence application of Atrazine (Atratraf 50 wp, Gesaprim 500 fw)
@ of 1.0-1.5 kg a.i ha-1 in 600 litre water, Alachlor (Lasso) @ 2-2.5 kg a.i ha-1, Metolachlor
(Dual) @ 1.5-2.0 kg a.i ha-1, Pendamethalin (Stomp) @ 1-1.5 kg a.i. ha-1 are effective way
for control of many annual and broad leaved weeds.
∑ While spraying, following precautions should be taken care by the person during spray, he
should move backward so that the Atrazine film on the soil surface may not be disturbed.
Preferably three boom flat fan nozzle should be used for proper ground coverage and
saving time.
∑ One to two hoeing are recommended for aeration and uprooting of the remaining weeds, if any.
∑ For areas where zero tillage is practiced, pre-plant application (10-15 days prior to seeding) of
non-selective herbicides viz., Glyphosate @ 1.0 kg a.i. ha -1 in 400-600 litre water or Paraquat
@ 0.5 kg a.i. ha-1 in 600 litre water is recommended to control the weeds. Under heavy weed
infestation, post-emergence application of Paraquat can also be done as protected spray using
NOTE: If pulse crop is to be raised as intercrop, do not use Atrazine.


A. Insect-pest management

i.Stem Borer (Chilo partellus): Major pest of maize in India is Stalk borer. Chilo partellus,
popularly known as stalk borer that occurs during monsoon season is a major pest
throughout the country. Chilo lays eggs 10-25 days after germination on lower side of
the leaves. The larva of the Chilo enters in the whorl and cause damage in the leaves.
ii. Pink Borer (Sesamia inference): Sesamia inference occurs during winter season
particularly in peninsular India. The moth of the Sesamia is nocturnal and lays eggs on
lower leaf sheath. The larvae of the Sesamia enter the plant near the base and cause
damage to stem.
Control of Chilo and Sesamia:
∑ For control of Chilo and Sesamia, foliar spray of Sumicidin 20 EC @100 ml, Decis 28
EC @200 ml or Sevin (Carbaryl) 50 WP @250 g and Nuvacron monocrotophos 36 wsc @
275 ml/ha in 125 L of water by starting spray 2-3 weeks after sowing.
∑ The Chilo can also be controlled by release of 8 Trichocards (Trichogramma chilonis) per
hectare at 10 days after germination.
∑ Intercropping of maize with suitable varieties of cowpea is an eco- friendly option for
reducing the incidence of Chilo on maize.
iii. Shoot fly (Atherigona sp.) In South India it is a serious pest but it also appears on spring and
summer maize crop in North India. It attacks mainly at seedling stage of the crop. The tiny
maggots creep down under the leaf sheaths till they reach the base of the seedlings. After
this they cut the growing p o i n t o r c e n t r a l s h o o t which results in to dead heart
Control of Shootfly:

∑ Sowing must be completed before first week of February so that the crop will escape
shootfly infestation.
∑ Spring sowing must be accompanied with seed treatment with Imidacloprid @ 6ml/kg
∑ Application of Phorate (Thimet) granules @ of 15 kg per ha at the time of sowing in furrows,
will control this pest.

iv. Termites (Odontotermes obesus)

∑ Termite is also an important pest in many areas. For control of termite fepronil granules
should be applied @ 20 kg ha-1 followed by light irrigation. If the termite incidence is in
patches, than spot application of fepronil @ 2-3 granuled/plant should be done. Clean
cultivation delays termite attack.

v. Other emerging pests:

∑ Recently some other non-traditional pests are also causing damage to maize crop viz.
larvae of American Bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) which causes damage to cob in
Southern part of India while the Chaffer beetle (Chiloloba acuta) feeds on maize pollen
which adversely affects pollination in northern part of India.

B. Disease management: Maize crop suffers from different pathological maladies resulting in
considerable loss in yield. Symptoms of important diseases and their suitable control
measures are given below:
i) Seed Rot and Seedling Blight
∑ General symptoms of these diseases are poor emergence or patchy growth, rotting of seed in
the collar region of mesocotyle, presence of red brown lesions on radicle or mesocotyle and
wilting of seedlings. To control them treat the seed with 3 g of Bavistin or Thiram per kg of
ii) Black Bundle Disease
∑ Blackening of vascular bundles appears as black dots on the cut ends of the stalk. In severe
cases, leaves dry and plants wilt. Ears may rot may not form at all. To control this disease
treat the seed with systematic fungicides like Bavistin, or Benlate at the rate of 3 g per kg
iii) Bacterial Stalk Rot
∑ Stalk rot is caused by the bacterium Erwinta carotovora var Zea It survives itself on
diseased debris.
∑ The bacterium infects the plant, especially at the collar, at any stage of its growth period.
∑ The organism dissolves the middle lemella of the cell walls, as a result the tissues
disintegrate and the plant collapses to the ground. Basal internodes become soft, discoloured
and give a bad fermenting smell.
Control Measures:

∑ Select well drained field or arrange proper drainage to avoid water-logging.

∑ Avoid injury on the plants at the time of weeding and top dressing of urea
∑ Bleaching powder should be applied along the rows at the rate of 20-25 kg per hectare.
iv) Pythium Stalk Rot
∑ Partial infection of any lower inter node is the characteristic symptom of the disease.
∑ Infected plants become soft and at this point the plants get twisted and topple over the
∑ It becomes serious if plant population is over 75 thousand plants per hectare and water
accumulates during knee high to pre-flowering stage of crop growth.
For its control, apply Captan in poorly drained pockets of the field along the rows at the rate
of 150 g per 100 litres of water.
v) Sugarcane Downy Mildew:
∑ Long, rather broad, yellowish or whitish stripes appear on or up to the upper leaves of the
plant. Whitish coarse fungus growth is more apparent on affected leaves and may spread up
to tassels. In severe cases, infected plants remain stunted and their leaves look pale yellow
in colour

Control Measures:

∑ Grow tolerant varieties like hybrid Ganga safed-2, Tarun, Naveen, Kanchan etc.
∑ Rogue infected plants which can be used as fodder.
∑ Spray Mancozeb 75 WP 1:5 kg + 0.25 kg Zinc sulphate in 500 litres of water per hectare.

vi) Brown Stripe Downy Mildew

∑ Characteristics symptoms are chlorotic to straw coloured stripes on the lower leaves and
after sometime on upper leaves also. Fine Cottony growth of the fungus can be seen on the
affected leaf surface during morning hours.
Brown stripe downy mildew can be controlled by three to four, 1 sprays of 0,25% Zineb or
Mancozeb 75 WP. Give first spray as soon as disease appears in the field. The sprays should
be given between -10 to 15 days intervals depending upon the severity of disease.

vii) Maydis and Turcicum Leaf Blights

∑ In maydis leaf blight, individual spots are greyish; tan, up to one and half inches in length,
oval-shaped with straight zonations. Turcicum leaf spots are greyish green or straw coloured
and boat-shaped. They are comparatively fewer in number and larger in size than those of
These diseases can be controlled by two to four sprayings of Zineb or Mancozeb 75 WP
known as Maneb (2.5 kg in 1 000 litres of water; hectare).


∑ Harvest maize crop when husk has turned yellow and grains are hard enough having less
than 30 per cent moisture. Do not wait for stalks and leaves to dry because they remain
green in most of the hybrids and cornsposites.
∑ Remove the husk from the cobs and then dry them is sun for seven to eight days. Thereafter
grains are removed either by beating the cobs by sticks or with the help of maize shellers.

By following improved cultivation practices as indicated above, it gives 50-60 quintals of
grain per hectare in case of hybrids and 45-50 quintals in case of composites under irrigated
conditions. In case of rainfed crop yield levels are about 20-25 quintals for hybrids and 15-20
quintals for composites.

Quality Protein Maize:

∑ Discovery of Opaque-2 (O-2) mutant had opened the tremendous possibilities for
improvement of protein quality of maize which later led to the development of Quality
Protein Maize (QPM).
∑ Quality Protein Maize (QPM) has specific features of having balanced amount of amino
acids with high content of lysine and tryptophan and low content of leucine and isoleucine.
∑ The biological value of protein in QPM is just double than that of normal maize protein
which is very close to milk protein, as the biological value of milk and QPM proteins are 90
and 80% respectively.
Quality Protein Maize, Specially and Other Corn Type Cultivars

Corn types Cultivars

QPM HQPM 1 and HQPM 5 (all states of India), HQPM 7, Vivek QPM 9
(Peninsular India), Shaktiman 1, Shaktiman 2, Shaktiman 3 and Shaktiman 4
(Bihar), Shakti 1 (Composite)
Baby corn HM 4, VL Baby Corn 1 (composite)
Sweet corn Madhuri, Win Orange, Priya (all composite)
Pop corn Jawahar, Amber, Pearl and VL Pop corn (composite)
Fodder African Tall, J 1006 and Partap Chari 6

Hybrids: Hybrids are the first generation (F1) from crosses between two pure lines.
Composites: A composite variety is produced by mixing the seed of several phenotypically
outstanding lines and encouraging open pollination to produce crosses in all combination among
themselves. The mixed lines used are rarely tested for their combining ability of strains. The
composite such as Jawahar, Vikram, Kisan, Amber, Sona and Vijay (in 1967 these were
released for the first time in the world), Ageti 76, Pratap, Navjot, Prabhat are produced by this
Synthetics: A synthetic is produced by crossing a number of lines that combine well with each
other. Once synthesized, a synthetic is maintained by open pollination in isolation. Synthetics are
tested for their combining ability of strains.
Unlike hybrid, its seed can be used from year to year maintaining the production potential
undiminished, whereas if grain produce of a hybrid is used as seed, it gives 15-20% less yield than
the F1 generation seed.
The hybrids and composites have been grouped in the following 4 maturity groups:
Group A: Maize Cultivars in this group mature within 100-105 days. These include hybrids (such
as Ganga 5, Ganga 2) and composites (Kisan, Vijay).
Group B: Maize Cultivars in this group mature within 90-95 days (Medium duration) such as
Tarun and Ageti 76.
Group C: Maize Cultivars in this group mature within 80-85 days (Short duration), suitable for
rainfed conditions such as short duration hill regions. Such cultivars are also useful as an intercrop
in sugarcane or any other long duration crop.
Group D: Maize Cultivars in this group mature within 75-80 days and some even in 60-65 days
(extra early cultivars), suitable for flood prone areas, coastal regions or regions where either maize
raised as a short season zaid catch crop or as an intercrop, e.g. Diara 3, D 765 and MCU 508 and
sathi maize

∑ Idea of Hybrid maize was first developed by E. M. East and G. H. Shull in 1910 by
Single cross hybrid technique (mostly used in USA and China)
∑ Double cross technique for hybrid seed production D. F. Jones (1920). This double cross
technique is mostly used in India. First time in 1961 four double cross hybrids were released:
Ganga 1, Ganga 101, Deccan, Ranjeet, Later on, other double cross hybrids were released- VL
54, Himalayan 123, Hi-starch, Ganga 2, Ganga 3 and Ganga 5.
∑ All India Coordinated Maize Improvement Project (AICRIP) was started in 1957.
∑ Maize variety relased from CSA, Kanpur Azad Uttam, Sharad, Mani, Azad Kamal

Maize based intercropping systems

Intercropping systems Suitable area/situation
Maize + Pigeon pea All maize growing areas
Maize + Cowpea
Maize + Mungbean
Maize + Urdbean
Maize + Sugarcane
Rice + Maize
Maize + Soybean

Maize + high value vegetables Peri-urban interface

Maize + flowers
Baby corn + vegetables
Sweet corn + vegetables
Maize based sequential cropping systems in different ago-climatic zones of India
Agro-climatic region Cropping system
Irrigated Rainfed
Western Himalayan Region Maize-wheat Maize-mustard
Maize-potato-wheat Maize-legumes
Eastern Himalayan Region Summer rice-maize-mustard Sesame-Rice+maize
Lower Gangetic Plain region Autumn rice-maize Rice-maize
Middle Gangetic Plain region Maize-early potato-wheat- Maize-wheat
Upper Gangetic Plain region Maize-wheat Maize-wheat
Maize-wheat-mungbean Maize-barley
Maize-potato-wheat Maize-safflower
Trans Gangetic Plain region Maize-wheat Maize-wheat
Eastern plateau & hills region Maize-groundnut-vegetables Rice-potato-maize
Maize-wheat-vegetables Jute-maize-cowpea
Central plateau & hills region Maize-wheat Maize-groundnut
Western plateau & hills region Sugarcane + Maize
Southern plateau & hills region Rice-maize Sorghum-maize
Maize-rice Maize-sorghum-Pulses
East coast plain and hills region Rice-maize-pearlmillet Maize-maize-
Maize-rice pearlmillet
Rice-maize Rice-maize + cowpea
West coast plain and hills region Maize-pulses Rice-maize
Rice-maize Groundnut-maize

Gujrat plains and hills region Maize-wheat Rice-maize

Western dry region Maize-mustard Maize+legumes

Island region Rice-maize Maize-rice

Rice-maize + cowpea