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  Package Of Practices

Kharif Introduction > Kharif Package Of Practices > Rabi Introduction > Rabi Package Of Practices > Zaid Package Of Practices >

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Package Of Practices For Increasing Productivity Of Kharif Maize


  • Among cereals, maize in India ranks 5th in total area, fourth in total production and third in yield per hectare.
  • Presently only 20% of the maize area is irrigated. In view of the limited irrigation resources and the adequacy of rains of the south-west monsoon in normal years, the major maize area will continue to be grown during Kharif, Maize is known to be very responsive to better management.
  • The package of practices not only differ for various cropping systems in different regions of the country but also require some adjustment to meet the specific needs of the individual farmer so as to help him to increase his productivity and profit.
  • For realizing high yield in kharif maize, it is essential to follow the entire package of practices at the appropriate time. Any lapse in the execution of any one component of the package or a delay in operation is likely to adversely affect the yield level.


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Package Of Practices For Increasing Productivity Of Kharif Maize

1. Choice of Cutivars

  • The Directorate of Maize Research has developed a number of high-yield hybrid and composite varieties of different maturity groups. It is essential to carefully choose the hybrid or composite of the most appropriate maturity and grain type.
  • It is desirable to buy certified seed of the recommended hybrids and composites. The seed of hybrids must be bought fresh every year.

2. Date of sowing

  • The date of sowing has to be suitably adjusted by making the best use of their natural precipitation and providing adequate time for land preparation for the following crop.
  • In irrigated area, it is most desirable to complete the sowings 10-15 days before the onset of the rain.
  • This practice has given 15% higher yield than that obtained from fields which are sown with or after the onset of rains. Early sown fields get adequate time for weed management.
  • For rainfed areas, which entirely lack irrigation facilities, it will be desirable to sow the crop as soon as adequate amount of soil moisture has been built up to ensure germination and establishment of proper plant stand.

3. Seedbed preparation

  • A clean, smooth, deeply ploughed but firm seedbed is ideal. It is desirable to sow the crop on ridges to avoid damage due to waterlogging and to provide adequate moisture in the root zone.
  • Shallow drainage channels should be provided at suitable intervals across the slope to check losses due to waterlogging.

4. Fertilizer application

  • Besides obtaining high yield, it is desirable to build up soil fertility judicious application of the fertilizers is necessary to optimize returns for every rupee invested.
  • The available quantity of the farmyard manure should be incorporated into the field before sowing. A combination of organic manure and chemical fertilizer is known to give better yield and improve the soil fertility than the use of fertilizer alone.

a) Quantity of fertilizers

  • A balanced application of 60-120 kg N,40-60kg P and 40 kg K/ha is recommended.

b) Application of fertilizers

  • One-fourth of the total quantity of nitrogen and the entire quantity of phosphorus, potash and zinc (if required) should be applied in banks 5-7 cm deep before sowing.
  • The rest of the nitrogen should be applied in 2 unequal doses as side dressing. Half of the total nitrogen (60 kg N/ha when the total dose is 120 kg N/ha) should be applied when the crop is at knee-high stage (20-30 days after germination).
  • While, the rest of the nitrogen (30 kg N/ha) should be applied after the emergence of flag-leaf, but before the emergence of tassels.
  • The fertilizers should be applied 10-12 cm away from the base of the plant to avoid plant injury. Soon after application, the fertilizer on the soil surface should be covered to minimize losses.

c) Spray application of fertilizers

  • One or two sprays of 2% urea (spray grade with low bio-rate content) and application of micronutrient mixture can be given in 3-5 weeks old crop to restored the vigour which may have received setback because of delayed weedings and inadequate drainage. Higher concentration of urea should not be sprayed, as it might lead to foliar injury.

5. Plant population

  • A population of 65-70 thousand plants per hectare at harvest is necessary for realizing high grain yield.
  • It will be necessary to attain about 10% higher stand at germination.
  • For attaining the desired level of plant density, it is desirable to use a row-to-row and plant-to-plant spacing of 75cm x 18cm or 60 x 22cm.

6. Seed Rate

  • About 20 kg of seed would be needed to sow one hectare. Seeds should be sown about 5 cm deep to ensure good seedling growth and vigour.

7. Irrigation

  • Maize can be grown on rainfed regions where the distribution of rainfall is enough to ensure adequate soil moisture during the life-cycle of the crop. For construing high & stable yields, the available sources of irrigation should be tapped to provide 1 or 2 irrigation at the critical stages in years when rains fail.
  • The water used should be fit for irrigation. Maize is known to be susceptible to water logging as well as soil moisture stress.
  • Since flowering and grain-filling stages are mot critical, the crop should be irrigated at these stages, if rains fail.

9. Weed control

  • Weeds having broad leaves and most of the grasses can be conventionaly controlled with a single premergence application of Atrazine @ 1 kg/ha. In addition, for 2 intercultivations are needed to keep weeds under check.

10. Crop Protection

i. Insect pests

  • The maize stalk borer, Chila partellus is a major pest during Kharif season throughout the country. First foliar application 0.1% Endosulfan (35EC) or 0.05% Lindane (20.EC) should be applied in 10-15 days old crop followed by second application of 4% Endosulfan granuless or 1% Lindane granules @ 15 kg/ha in plant whorls a fortnight later, if necessary.

ii. Diseases

  • A number of diseases occur during Kharif season in various parts of the country. Incidence of maydis and turcicum leaf-blights or downy mildew may occur at times in some pockets.
  • The incidence of these foliar diseases may increase in the late-sown crops.
  • The best way to avoid these diseases is to grow resistant varieties and undertake timely sowing. Turcicum and maydis leaf-blights can be controlled by 2 or 3 sprays of Zineb (Dithane 2-78) @ 2.5kg/ha 1000 litres of water at intervals of 10-15 days.

11. Harvesting

  • In the absence of irrigation facilities and failure of rains, maize may be profitably harvested at any stage of its growth. At the pre-flowering stage it may be used as to fodder and at early-dough to late dough stages for green-ear, and the stover may be used to feed cattle.
  • Maize crop grown for grain should be harvested when it reaches physiological maturity containing 25-30% moisture and ears should be removed before cutting the stalk.


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  • Currently maize is grown in India annually in about six million hectares. The important maize-growing states are Uttar Pradesh (1.9 million ha), Bihar (0.9 million ha), Rajasthan (0.9 million ha), Madhya Pradesh (0.85 million ha), Punjab (0.17 million ha), Gujarat (0.37 million ha), Karnataka (0.33 million ha) and Andhra Pradesh (0.31 million ha).
  • The average productivity of Rabi maize is 22.49 q/ha recorded during the last few years (1993-96).
  • It is relatively high in, Karnataka (25.3 q/ha), Andhra Pradesh (31.9 q/ha), Tamil Nadu (15.8 q/ha) as compared to Maharashtra (14.5 q/ha).
  • The major causes for lower yield in several Rabi maize growing regions are the adoption of relatively low yielding cultivars and inadequate utilization of the crop-production/protection resources.
  • The possibility of Rabi maize can provide a major breakthrough for rapid increase in production and productivity, as yields are much higher as compared to Kharif.


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Package Of Practices For Increasing Productivity Of Rabi Maize

1. Choice of Cultivar

  • The success and the level of profit from Rabi crop depend to a great extent on the choice of the maize hybrid/composite to be grown.
  • Open-Pollinated varieties traditionally grown in Kharif are not likely to give high yield in Rabi.
  • Farmers should therefore be encouraged to sow only high yielding hybrids suitable for Rabi season.
  • The use of F1 hybrid seed is essential for realizing high yield. The recommended hybrids, in general, have given 60% to 80% or more grain yield than the local varieties in most of the evaluation trials, with an average yield level of 6 tonnes or more per hectare.

2. Sowing in Rabi

The choice of optimum date of sowing is more important in Rabi than in Kharif. sowing, however, varies with the location.

States Most suitable period of sowing
Bihar 20 October-10 November
Uttar Pradesh 15 October-10 November
Andhra Pradesh 15 October-15 November
Gujarat 15 October-10 November
Maharashtra 20 October-10 November
Tamil Nadu 15 October-10 November
Karnataka 15 October-15 November

3. Fertilizer application

  • The efficiency of nitrogen utilization is better in Rabi than in Kharif, primarily because of better water management and lower leaching losses.
  • The available quantity of farmyard manure should be applied before sowing, since a combination of organic manure and inorganic fertilizers give better results than the use of fertilizers along.

Dose of Fertilizers

  • The quantity of fertilizers to be applied depends mainly on soil fertility and the preceding field management. In general, a balanced application of 120:60:40 kg/ha of NPK is recommended.

Method of Fertilizers application

  • One-fourth of nitrogen and the total quantity of phosphorus and potash should be applied before sowing.
  • The rest of the nitrogen should be applied in two equal doses. Half of the total nitrogen (60 kg N/ha) should be top-dressed at knee-high stage, while the rest of the nitrogen should be applied with the emergence of the flag-leaf.
  • Nitrogen in the form of urea should be carefully applied 15-20 cm away from the plants to avoid any leaf injury. Best response from nitrogen is obtained when the top-dresses fertilizer is covered with light soil after application.

4. Plant density and seed rate

  • A population of 90,000 plants/ha at harvest is desirable for realizing high grain yield in Rabi.
  • A spacing of 60 cm between rows and 18 cm between plants would provide the desired plant population density. For this purpose, 20-22 kg of seed would be needed to sow one hectare of land.
  • Before sowing, seeds should be soaked over-night in warm water (45C at the time of seed soaking). This treatment helps in obtaining better plant stand and healthy crop. Seeds should be sown 4-5 cm deep.

5. Weed control

  • Broad leaved weeds and most of the grasses can be conveniently controlled with the application of Atrazine @ 1kg/ha before seedling emergence.
  • In addition, 1 or 2 intercultivations are adequate to keep the weeds under control.

6. Irrigation schedule

  • Timely availability of assured irrigation is one of the major factors determining the success to crop.
  • Four to six irrigations are needed during the Rabi crop season. If six irrigations are given, they should be applied at the following crop growth stages
    • Two irrigations up to flowering at an interval of 20-25 days
    • One (essential) at the time of flowering
    • Two after flowering
    • one at early grain filling

7.Plant Protection


  • Diseases problem in Rabi maize is comparatively less. However, turcicum leaf blight & common rust occur in moderate to high intensity.
  • Post flowering stalkrots, particularly charcoal-rot occur predominantly in late sown crop, specially when the temperatures at maturity is high and the crop is subjected to soil-moisture stress.
  • The best remedy to minimize yield loss due to these diseases is to grow resistant varieties.
  • For charcoal not management, water stress should be avoided at post-flowering stage, 3-4 sprays of Dithane M-45 effectively reduce rust and turicum leaf blight intensity in susceptible varieties.

Insect pests

  • Maize grown in Rabi is known to be free from the attack of any major insect pests that usually affect the Kharif crop.
  • However, two borers, Chilo partellus and Sesemia inferens are major pests. Treatment with Endosulfan (35EC) 0.1% spray on 10-15 days old crop followed by 4% Endosulfan granules @ 15kg/ha in the whorls 15 days later helps in substantially reducing the loss due to these borders.


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Package of practice - Zaid maize

Practices Discription
1. Land Preparation
a. Irrigation before sowing Required
b. Tillage One deep ploughing with mould board plough followed by 2 shallow ploughing with harrow or cultivalor or desi plough
c. Soil treatment In zinc defficient areas apply 20 kg Zink sulphate per hac at last ploughing
2. Variety Select best variety of the area
3. Sowing time First fortnight of february.
4. Seed rate 18-20 kg per hac
5. Seed treatment 2.5 gm thirum/kg seed
6. Method of sowing  
a. Fertiliser application  
i.) compasite varieties 80 kg N + 40 Kg P2O5 + 40 Kg K2O
ii.) Desivarieties 60 kg N + 30 Kg P2O5 + 30 KgK2O 1/2 of N + P and K apply at the time of sowing.
b) Sowing Sow seed behing the plough in lines
c). Spacing
(i) Row to row spacing Desivarieties 45cm compasite & hybrid - 60 cm
(ii) Plant to plant 20-25 cm
iii.) Depth of sowing 3.5 cm
7.) Weed Control  
a. Chemical Control

1.5 Atrazine 50% WP mix in 800 lit of water and spray in 1 hac 2 or 3 days after sowing


Alchahol 50 EC 45 lit/hac mixed in 800 lit of water and sprayed within 48 hrs after

b. Physical control 1st inter culture 15 to 20 days after germination and 2nd after 30 to 40 days after germination
8. Crop protection As required
9. Irrigation 6-8 irrigation with 10-12 days interwell.
10. Harvesting & threshing Harvest the corns when their leaves starts yellowing after harvesting spread carns for drying after drying remove grain either by hands or by sheller.
11. Remarks
a.) Don't mix zink sulphate with phosphorus and use.
b.) Top dress balance nitrogen 30 days after sowing.
c.) Dont delay sowing delay in sowing will adverly effect seed formation
d.) There should be enough moisture in soil at the time of corn iniciation
f.) Protect crop with birds and animals.



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