Maize is an important food crop after Wheat and Rice. It is the main source of food for the residents of North Western mountainous regions of Pakistan.
Maize is used to prepare starch, vegetable oil, glucose, custard, jelly, corn flakes and other food items. The factories which produce these food items are based in Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Rahim Yar Khan and Rawalpindi. In Punjab, maize is cultivated on 16 lac acre area approximately. Maize can also be used as poultry and livestock food. Maize crops are categorized into two types in whole year. One is spring corn and the other is seasonal corn. Baharia Makai (Spring Corn) is considered the most important type of maize because its production per acre is much more than seasonal corn. Moreover one outstanding advantage of spring corn’s cultivation is that the growth seed can easily be prepared due to greater distances among the fields of maize in spring season. The growth seed which is obtained through spring corn fields can be easily used in other Khareef seasonal crops. Spring corn (only hybrid type) can be cultivated from mid of January to end of February while seasonal corn (throughout Punjab except arid and mountainous region of Rawalpindi division) can be cultivated from start of July to mid of August. Cultivation timing should be changed according to seasonal condition. Maize crops are cultivated in the regions of Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan, Faisalabad, Jhang, Chiniot, Sahiwal, Okara, Pakpatan, Sargodha, Mianwali, Lahore, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujranwala, Sheikupura, Jehlum, Gujrat, Attock and Rawalpindi (except mountainous region). In last year (2015-16), due to absence of suitable rates, there was a decrease in the cultivated land area for seasonal maize as compared to the year 2014-15. The two reasons behind healthy growth in the production of maize in year 2014-15 are the augmentation of land area for hybrid type of corn and better weather conditions.
Appropriate pesticides and fungicides should be used as per recommendation of experts of the department of agriculture.
Different fertilizers should be used on the basis of laboratory assessment of land before cultivation by keeping the basic fertility of land in mind.
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