July1 , 2022

7 points to consider when starting a maize farm

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7 points to consider when starting a maize farm

In recent years, farming in Nigeria has taken a substantial and reasonable turn in a better direction, creating jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurs who dare to go into the farming business. There is no end to the prospects of creating more wealth through farming in the coming years.Maize is a cereal Crop and it is one of the most widely distributed food crops in the world. Maize which is also known as corn is a crop that produces grains which can be used as food for human beings and livestock. Maize can be used for other things asides being used for food, large quantities of maize derivate are being used for industrial production of pharmaceuticals, paper, textile, paint, biofuels, and many more.Aside from being a commercially viable crop, setting up Your Maize Farming Business can be daunting. This can easily be achieved in the following steps:

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Read also: what FG is saying about maize supply gap

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1.  Get A Suitable Farmland

Maize is best grown in rich loamy or sandy-loamy soils. Avoid waterlogged areas, ensure trees and vegetation do not overshadow the maize plants. It makes sense to take a lease on the farming equipment required for maize farming for a period. Farmlands are vast and available in Ogun, Oyo, and Osun State at a low cost. You can rent land on a yearly basis for 4,000 Naira per hectare in these states.

2.  Pick the Maize Variety

The improved maize varieties have the best genetic potential for maximum yield per hectare. High-yielding varieties with good farming practices and management would translate the maize farms’ produce to high profitability and returns on investment. It is important to get the maize seed that is accepted in the market, how fast they grow, how resistant they are to pests and diseases, and how well they can survive drought based on their consumption of water or not.

3. Time of Planting

The best time to plant your maize seeds is to do it right after the rainy season has started (about 2 or 3 times after the first rain). Planting during this period will aid better growth and maturity for your maize crop because some maize plants need a lot of water during their growth process, some consume as much 450 to 600 ml of water. For market and demand reasons, it is better to start your maize farm within the early planting season. The optimum planting date is between 15th March and 15th May.

Read also: 3 workable Farming business growth tactics

4.  Weeding, Disease Control, and Fertilizer

It is important to understand that the fertility of a soil determines the need for fertilizers or not. There are different types of fertilizers you could purchase, but irrespective of how fertile the soil is, if you want higher yields, you can apply fertilizer to the farmland. Good Fertilizer costs around 6,000 Naira to 10,000 Naira. It is important to protect your maize crops from weed, pests, and diseases like armyworms, downy mildew, strigas, grasshoppers, and several others.In as much as your resources are limited and you are working on a budget, the key to profitability in maize is to maximize your yield. This can be achieved with these few steps:

 

5. Ensuring plant density and population.

• In general, one hectare of farmland can be used for growing 60 thousand stalks of a maize plant. From each of them, you can cultivate 1-2 cobs. Per hectare of land, it is possible to harvest 80-90 thousand maize cobs. This would significantly boost production per hectare of land provided other necessary things are done to complement the population.

6. Farm Workers

Another option is hiring workers with their equipment. They would weed the soil and till it, so it can be loose enough to preserve the topsoil and seedbeds. In addition, farm workers charge as low as 4,000 Naira to weed one acre of farmland. The manual labor on the farm includes harvesting, weeding, planting, spraying, etc. Alternatively, you can hire government tractors. The price is 7,000 per hectare for plowing and 5,000 per hectare for other operations. For seven hours, one worker can easily gather and deploy bags approximately 2.500 cobs. Per hectare of farmland; with this, you can yield 2,000-4,000 kilos of maize.

7. Planting an Alternative Crop

You may need to consider planting alternative crops in alternating years, such as soybeans. Planting an alternating crop helps to diversify the chemical demands of your soil. This results in high yield crop production and continual production year in year out; making you realize profits on from both crops.

You will never realize the profitability of Maize Farming in Nigeria until you try it. Maize matures very fast. It takes about 2 months to harvest, i.e. it takes a relatively short time to realize returns of investment made on the crop farming. If properly done, you can make from 50% and above returns on investment. The target yield for a hectare is 3tonnes. Averagely, 1 ton of maize crop sells for NGN60,000, Now multiply 60,000*3 = NGN180,000.

An advantage of maize farming is that you can always sell it to the last grain. It can be purchased by farmers for cattle and livestock feeding. You might also want to consider harvesting dry and green maize leaves for feeding and bedding of animals. Maize farming requires commitment, monitoring, and serious attention.

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