Maize is cultivated by farmers either intensively or extensively. It is an important source of carbohydrates for both humans and livestock. This article reviews the methods a maize farmer can use to increase production of maize in his or her farm. Below are the approaches that increases maize yields.
1. Inter-cropping. This is the practice of planting maize plants together with other leguminous plants such as groundnuts, peas and beans. These legumes have ability to fix nitrogen in the soil thus increasing fertility of the soil.
2. Push-pull strategy. This is a method used to control stem borers in maize. It involves planting some plants such as nappier grass at the edge of the farm to attract moths. The nappier grass produces a sticky fluid which makes it difficult for the moths to fly to the maize plants. Moths are the parents of maize stem borers.
3. Apply fertilizers in correct proportions. The farmer can use either organic manures like compost manure or inorganic fertilizers such as DAP (Di-ammonium Phosphate) on the farm to add the nutrients to the maze plants.
4. Maintain your farm clean by controlling weeds and picking up foreign materials such as plastics and metals from the farm. If their is high weed infestation, competition for nutrients, water, light and space will be high between the weeds and the maize plants. In addition, metals and plastics causes fungal diseases to maize.
5. Practice crop rotation to help maintain nutrients at equilibrium in the farm. Crop rotation also improves both soil structure and texture.
6. Control floods to avoid water logging in your farm. Floods causes anoxia and hypoxia to the maize plants.
7. Choose maize varieties that can do well in your area. The prevailing climatic condition is the guiding factor in choosing seeds. In dry area, the farmer can plant drought resistant and early maturing maize varieties.
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