May20 , 2022

Secrets To Successful And Profitable Maize Farming Business

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Secrets To Successful And Profitable Maize Farming Business

Truth be told for anyone to be successful in maize farming you need the following:

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Land Preparation

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Try as much as possible to avoid removing the top soil when clearing. If land is a virgin land with shrubs and trees, consider felling the trees with mechanical saws, cutting down shrubs, and then apply a mix of pre-emergence and systematic herbicide on the land. Burn when dry. Ploughing and harrowing of land should be done then planting should follow.

Timing Of Planting

Timing of planting is critical as it can affect your income in maize farming business. Early planing always yields better and brings more profits. For dry grain production, time your harvest for when the rains have gone or are about to go.

Read also: How to make huge profit from maize farming

High Yield Seeds

Even though you cannot control other factors like rain, sunshine and disease and pest infestations, the choice of a good high yielding maize variety seed is within the farmer’s control.

Any farmer who wants to be successful in maize farming should choose disease resistant, high yielding maize hybrid variety, preferably one that gives yields above 3tonnes per hectare. Good open pollinated varieties(OPV) from trusted seed companies can also be used. Example of hybrid seeds are DK 920 hybrid maize variety and a good example of OPVs are Oba98 and SUWAN series.

Know The Appropriate Seed Quantity Per Area Of Land

About 20kg of open pollinated seeds per hectare while about 15kg of hybrid maize seeds is needed per hectare.

Use Recommended Spacing

Your loss will be compounded if you don’t space properly. Normally, 25cm in between stands and 75 cm between rows is usually used for OPVs although different spacing may apply for hybrid seeds.

For efficiency avoid manual planting. Hire a manual or tractor mounted planter depending on the size of land. Planting using a planter makes planting easier, faster and more efficient than hand/manual planting.

Read also: 7 points to consider when starting a maize farm

Fertilizer Application

Fertilizer can be applied in 3 split applications as follows at planting, four weeks after planting and a third at six weeks to eight weeks. Use Npk and urea. For efficiency budget a minimum of 4 bags per hectare. 3 bags of NPK 15:15:15 and 1 bag of urea.

Keep Farm Weed-Free

Ensure your maize farm is free of weeds from the 3-10 leaves stage. Generally make sure your farm is free of weeds at all times because weeds compete with maize plant for food.

Harvest At Right Time

You can harvest cobs green or dry depending on your target market. Maize is harvested green for fresh consumption.

For grain production, harvest only when maize has dried fully, for better accuracy shell at 150days. This is to avoid losses due to Mycotoxin growth during storage. Depending on the time of the year and market price will determine if you will harvest fresh or dry(for grain).

 

Sometimes, dried shelled maize is by far more profitable than selling fresh. Right now a tonne(1,000kg) sales for about N150,000. While Fresh maize usually commands more money during the early maize season.

I will be happy to entertain more questions and look forward to your success this farming season

Contributed by Sylvester Eze

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