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Introduction

Both as food for man and feed for animals, maize is one of the most important crops in the world agricultural economy. It has yield potential far higher than any other cereal in India. With the growth in demand of poultry feed, the demand for maize is also going up.

Following is the consumption pattern for maize produced in India at present:

  • Human consumption 35%
  • Poultry feed 25%
  • Cattle feed 25%
  • Food processing (corn flakes, popcorns, etc) 15%.

Maize is a short-duration crop, it conveniently fits into a wide range of crop rotations. In northern India, particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Bihar.

Popular Varieties

The maize is generally available in some varieties i.e.

  • Dent
  • Sweet
  • Pop- Corn
  • Flint

Maturity Indices 

Maize is mature when the grain has about 30 to 32% moisture. Although there are optimum maturity stages for harvest, maturity is not the only determinant of harvest time. Early harvest has several advantages including less lodging from stalk rot and severe storms, less chance of weather changes that may delay or prevent harvest, less pre-harvest ear fall, and less grain is shelled during mechanical ear snapping.  Early harvest often results in more energy use for drying but the extra maize saved can more than cover the energy cost. In spite of optimal harvest timing, maize harvest losses can still occur at “Gathering” in the “Combine Cylinder” and at “Separating”. The traded maize is often dried for processing, and is available for sale in a number of different formats including whole cobs, individual kernels, and ground flours.

Harvesting

Harvesting is a single deliberate action to separate the cob from its grown medium. Harvest maize as soon as it is dry otherwise it will be attacked by weevils. Harvest the crop when the outer cover of the cob turns from green to white colour. At the time of harvest, moisture content of the seed should be around 25 per cent.

Packaging

Good packaging is necessary for easy handling, transportation and storage. The maize corn is transported from field (threshing floor) to the market and storage godown in gunny bags. Good quality gunny bags either new or second hand with proper treatment is necessary to avoid spoilage and to protect the corn from moisture and in stack attack etc.

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