Cultural activities led throughout maize cycleFarmers’ practicesResearch recommendations or Standard recommendation UPL-SPF cropping solutions
Soil, climate requirementNo soil testing to determine appropriate soil properties for maize production Sowing is done on available soil to the farmersDeep, medium-textured, well-drained soil, fertile soil with a high water holding capacity in the pH range of 5.5-8.0, annual precipitation of 600-1000mm, mean daily air temperatures of 27oC and 25 oC [1, 3].ZEBA-MOISTURE MANAGEMENT @ 12.5 kg/ha. ZEBA SHOULD BE USED @ 12.5 kg/ha WITH RECOMMEDED DOSE OF FERTILIZER FOR MAIZE PER HA, AS A BASAL APPLICATION. CLIMATE-SMART TECHNOLOGY
Crop Season (sowing window) sowing is done as soon as rain is established in the farmers region Maize should be sown as soon as rains are established [1] In parts of Nigeria where there are two district rainfall peaks, two crops of maize can be grown in a year, April to June and July to September [1, 2]. ZEBA CAN HELP FARMER IN MANIPULATING THE SOWING DATES IN RAINFED AND IRRIGATED SITUATION. ZEBA CAN HELP IN EARLY SOWING, REDUCES IRRIGATION REQUIREMENT AND HELP SUSTAIN PLANT IN DRY SPELL
Variety/hybrid Most of the farmers use saved seeds; grains selected from the previous harvest as seeds. * Small population of the farmers are however aware and have understanding of certified seed technology. * Seed replacement rate percentage? * Sammaz 15 and 14 are the two common varieties used by the farmersSammaz 52 : - up to 6.0 t/ha yeild, medium maturing (110-120 days), resistant to MSV, rust, leaf blight and curvularia leaf spot (CLS) Sammaz 53 : -up to 7.6 t/ha yield, extra-early (80-85 days), resistant to MSV, rust, leaf blight and curvularia leaf spot (CLS). Sammaz 54 : -up to 7.2 t/ha yield, extra-early (80-85 days), resistant to MSV, rust, leaf blight and curvularia leaf spot (CLS). Sammaz 14 : up to 5.8 t/ha yield, medium maturing (106-110) days, resistant to MSV and stem borer Sammaz 15: up to 4.42 t/ha yield, medium maturing (100-110) days, resistant to striga and lodging Sammaz 32 : - up to 4.3 t/ha, early maturing (85 days), resistant to striga and MSV Hybrids (Oba Super 1 and Oba Super 2) Oba Super 1 (white): - up to 5-7 t/ha yield, medium maturing (110 days), resistant to rust, MSV, and leaf blight, tolerant to striga and weevils Oba Super 2 (Yellow) : - Oba Super 1 (white): - up to 5-7 t/ha yield, medium maturing (118 days), resistant to rust, downy mildew, MSV, and leaf blight,FARMERS SHOULD CONTACT NEAREST ADP OFFICE FOR IMPROVED VARIETIES AND AVAILABILITY. RECOMMEND THE VARIETY SUITABLE TO FARMERS AGRO-CLIMATIC ZONES. SEED CARE: STORAGE FOR FARM SAVED SEEDS AND VARIETIES AND USE OF RIGHT SEED TREATMENT CHEMICALS. GOOD STORAGE IS A MAJOR CARE OF SAVED SEEDS. THE STORAGE MUST BE CLEAN, DISEASE AND PEST FREE. FUMIGATION OF THE STORAGE IS IMPORTANT. SAVED SEED SHOULD BE STORED AT OPTIMUM MOISTURE CONTENT FOR STORAGE TO MINIMIZE CHANCE OF PEST AND DISEASE ATTACK. SEED SHOULD BE TREATED PROPERLY WITH APPROPRIATE CHEMICAL BEFORE SOWING.
Pre-sowing activities

-preparation of land

-sowing method, seed rate

-plant population, spacing
- Most of the farmers used draft animals for land preparation due to relatively small land area for crop production per farmer. - Most of the farmers don’t follow the recommended spacing and seed rate and as such don’t achieve enough palnt population.-minimum tillage for field preparation has been more extensively tested and adopted -The seed rate is 20-25kg/ha [1]. 20 kg/ha recommended for hybrid 25 kg/ha recommended for improved varieties - spacing is 75cm by 25cm or 90cm by 20cm. 1 seed is sown per hole for hybrid while 2-3 seeds are sown for improved varieties thinned to 1 plant per hole or per stand at 2 weeks after sowing (WAS) to give population of 53,333 plants/ha [1] FARMERS SHOULD USE QUALITY SEEDS FREE FROM DISEASE AND WEED SEEDS. FARMERS SHOULD SOW WHEN THERE IS ENOUGH MOISTURE FARMERS SHOULD ADOPT RIGHT PLANT SPACING OF 75 x 25 CM
Cropping patternFarmers intercropped maize with legumes and other cereals like millet, sorghum, cassava, as boundary in rice farm,Maize may be intercropped with legumes like cowpea, soybean, butterfly pea (Centrosema pubescens).INTERCROPPIN: MAIZE + CASSAVA MAIZE + COWPEA OR SOYBEAN CROP ROTATION: MAIZE AFTER COWPEA SOYBEAN AFTER MAIZE
IrrigationMaize is grown under irrigation during dry season between November to April [1, 2]Maize is grown under irrigation during dry season between November to April [1, 2]ZEBA ZEBA PROMOTES GOOD WATER MANAGEMENT TO REDUCE SOIL EROSION AND LEACHING UNDER IRRIGATION
Fertilization (both cultures)* Fertilizer is applied by broadcasting * Some farmers use side placement method without covering with light soil thus result in vitalization of urea fertilizer. * Higher bags of fertilizer is used due to application methods that wastes fertilizer?The recommended dose is 120 kg N, 60 kg P2O5 and 60 kg K2O (8 bags of N P K 15 :15 :15 supplemented with 2 bags urea) per hectare split applied at sowing or 2WAS and at 4 weeks after first application [1, 2]. First application is basal application of 8 bags compound NPK 15 :15 :15 at 2WAS and it is top dressed with 2 bags of Urea 6 WASFERTILIZER RECOMMENDATION SPRING FIELD NPK 15:15:15, SPRING FIELD UREA AND SPRING FIELD MOP
Inter cultivation & Weed

Management
* Weeding is manually done using hoes * Some farmers use herbicides (glyphosate, paraquat, atrazine, Nicosulfuron) to control weeds, however, they find it difficult to select the right herbicide for different weed management. * Improper application of chemical not following recommendation is common * Among all the weeds wuta wuta (striga) gain more attention due to level of damage it can cause Weed 2-3 times before manually, mechanically or using appropriate herbicides. Common weeds on maize farm * annual nettle (Urtica urens): annual broad leaf herb * black bindweed (Fallopia convolvulus): annual or perennial broad leave climbing herb * scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis): annual broad leaf herb * fat hen (Chenopodium album): annual broad leaf herb * wild oat (Avena fatua): annual tufted grass * striga (striga haemontica): annual grass with purple flowers
Weeding is manually done using hoes or Mechanical weeding is done with rotary weeder. Cultural methods include: * crop rotation * deep ploughing Chemicals control include: Round up, glycel, forceup (glyphosate) 5L/ha: - non-selective, post-emergence systemic herbicide Samazine (atrazine) 1 kg/ha: - Selective, pre-emergence contact herbicide. Primextra (S-metolachlor) 5 L/ha plus grammaxone (paraquat) 4 L/ha non selective contact post-emergent[2]
PRESOWING WEED MANAGEMENT: LAND CLEARING- SYSTEMIC NON-SELECTIVE HERBICIDES-PERENNIAL GRASSES AND SEKUS: GLYSPRING/GLYCOT 15-20 DAYS BEFORE SOWING @ 2-3L/HA. CONTACT NON-SELECTIVE HERBICIDES – USE PARACOT/PARASPRING @ 2-3 L/HA 10 DAYS BEFORE SOWING: LIFE LINE IS A NON-SELECTIVE CONTACT HERBICIDE USED @ 1.6 L/HA 10-15 DAYS BEFORE SOWING. LIFE LINE SHOULD BE USED AS A PART OF RESISTANCE MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO CONTROL GLYPHOSATE AND PARAQUAT RESISTANT WEEDS. LIFE LINE IS ENVIRONENTAL FRIENDLY AND SAVER THAN GLYPHOSATE AND PARAQUAT PRE-EMERGENCE HERBICIDES: USE COTRAZINE @ 3KG/HA 0-3 DAS. STRIM-USE @ 1.6-2 L/HA 0-3 DAS; STRIM CAN BE TANK MIXED WITH OTHER PRE-EMERGENCE HERBICIDES LIKE PENDIMENTHALIN/SATELLITE AND CREZENDO AND COTRAZINE AS WEED SEED BANK CLEANER IN THE SOIL AND TO MANAGE THE RESISTANCE OF THE WEEDS. POST-EMERGENCE HERBICIDES: USE NICOSPRING (NICOSULFURON 40 OD) @ 2 L/HA AT 2-5 LEAF STAGE IN EARLY POST EMERGENCE. IN LATE POST-EMERGENCE, USE NICOSPRING AT 7-10 LEAF STAGE
Pest and disease management:

* Pests:
Maize weevil
* Most of the farmers describe the maize pest only as worm. * They request for chemical that can control the worm, not any specific chemical. * They mostly apply wrong chemicalIdentified pests of maize include: Maize weevil (Sitophilus zeamais): * They attack maize grains in store * Damage is caused by larvae and adult weevils * Adults are reddish-brown to blackwith four reddish-orange circular markings on the wings * Larva feed for approximately 25 days inside the grain, pupation occur inside the grain and the adult chew its way out of the grain * Total development period range from 35-110 days.
Stem borers
stem borers (Busseola fusca): * They attack maize stem on the field * Damage is largely caused by Larvae * Larvae may bore into the stalk at soil level, tunnel upward causing dead heart or climb up the stem and tunnel downward into the whorl * Damage may be confined to weedy border rows, grass water ways, contour strips and no-till fields * They can be identified by unrolling the whorl or damaged plant * Larvae are creamy in colour with a dark brown or purple band around the body. * Several dark lengthwise stripes may be present which may be absent in fully grown larvaeSTEM BORER: USE LANCER (ACEPHATE 75 SP) @ 800 G/HA AND LANCER GOLD (ACEPHATE 50%+IMIDACHLOPRID 5% WG) @ 1 KG/HA 2-3 SPRAY DEPENDING ON LEVEL OF INFESTATION
Armyworms
Chemical control Apply 1 litre/ha of cypermethrin 10 EC or Lamda cyhalothrin 2.5 E for control of stems borers and army worms. armyworms (Pseudodaletia unipuncta) * They attack maize leaves on the field * Damage is caused by larvae which invade the corn field in large numbers * Armyworms usually feed at night and damage corn by chewing leaves. * Damage is usually first noticeable around the field margins * Damage may be confined to weedy border rows, grass water ways, contour strips and no-till fields * Ragged leaf feeding is evidence of armyworm feeding. * The full-grown armyworm has a greenish brown body with a thin stripe down the center and two orange stripes along each side. The head is brown with dark honeycombed markings.
Chemical control Apply 1 litre/ha of cypermethrin 10 EC or Lamdacyhalothrin 2.5 E for control of stems borers and army worms.
Armyworms USE LANCER (ACEPHATE 75 SP) @ 800 G/HA AND LANCER GOLD (ACEPHATE 50%+IMIDACHLOPRID 5% WG) @ 1 KG/HA 2-3 SPRAY DEPENDING ON LEVEL OF INFESTATION. Sucking pests (THRIPS, APHIDS, JASSID AND WHITE FLIES) USE RENOVA @ 80 G/HA. LANCER GOLD:- 2-3 SPRAY CAN BE ROTATED WITH IMIDACLOPRID 20% SL OR RENOVA. LANCER GOLD IS BROAD SPECTRUM INSECTICIDES, WHEN THERE IS MULTIPLE INSECT ATTACK (SUCKING PEST+ARMY WORM OR STEM BORER).
Bacteria diseases
Bacterial Wilt
Bacterial Wilt: The causal agent of bacterial wilt is Erwinia stewartii which is transmitted by the corn flea beetle. Symptoms * Pale green to yellow streaks with irregular or wavy margins that parallel the leaf veins. The streaks may extend the length of the leaf. * Infections are most common early in the pre-tassel (whorl) stage, or after tasseling. * Early season symptoms include plant death: seedlings infected with Stewart's Wilt wilt rapidly and die. * Dark brown cavities in the lower stalk pith with no evidence of insect injury on the lower stalk. Management * Cultural practices include: crop rotation, Plant resistant hybrids and varieties. * Maintain adequate fertilization levels, particularly that of calcium and potassium. Avoid high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus * Avoid excess soil moisture as this can make plants more susceptible to the disease * Early application of insecticides to control infestations of corn flea beetles.BACTERIA DISEASES: USE BB 20% COPPER SULPHATE AND CUPROFIX DISPERSS (COPPER SULPAHTE+MANCOZEB)
* Fungal disease
ANTHRACNOSE
Anthracnose: caused by the fungus Colletotrichum graminicola Symptoms * Small, round to irregular, water-soaked spots first appear on lower leaves. * Spots later turn yellow and then brown with reddish-brown borders. * Yellow zones often develop around the leaf spots (see figure at right). * Numerous spots can cause leaf tips or entire leaves to turn yellow. Management Cultural practices * Use of resistance plant varieties * Adequate soil fertility management * Rouging of infected plants FUNGAL DISEASES: USE SPRINGZEB 2 KG/HA AS GENERAL FUNGICIDE. MANCOZEB IS A BROAD SPECTRUM CONTANCT FUNGICIDE TO BE USED AS A PROTECTANT FUNGICIDE. A REGULAR SPRAY AT 7-10 DAYS INTERVAL IS REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE OPTIMUM DISEASE CONTROL SAAF 500-750 G/HA:- IT IS A PROTECTIVE+SYSTEMIC FUNGICIDE TO CONTROL DISESASE DURING VEGETATIVE STAGE. FOR FOLIAR SPRAY USE 4-5 G/L OF WATER. SEED TREATMENT @ 500 G/HA AT KNEE HIGH STAGE GLORY 1.5KG/HA: USE TO CONTROL FUNGAL RUST AND DISEASE AT REPRODUCTIVE STAGE.
LEAF BLIGHT

LEAF BLIGHT: Caused by fungus Exserohilum turcicum Symptoms * Gray-green and elliptical at the early stage of infection (1-2 weeks) * Pale gray to tan as they enlarge to 1 to 6 inches or longer * Distinct cigar-shaped lesions unrestricted by leaf veins Management * Cultural practices include: Crop rotation, adequate tillage, use of resistance varieties * Application of fungicides like approach (picoxystrobin 250g/L)
LEAF RUST
LEAF RUST: Fungal disease caused by Puccinia polysora Symptoms * Small pustules, circular to elongated are common on infected leaves * Brown to cinnamon-brown urediniospores appear on the infected leaves Management * Cultural practices include: Crop rotation, adequate tillage, use of resistance varieties * Application of fungicides like Headline SC (pyraclostrobin 250g/L), Prima (picoxystrobin 250g/L)
* Virus diseases
Maize streak virus disease(MSV): They are caused by virus pathogen transmitted by grasshoppers Symptoms * Small, round scattered yellow/white spots or flecks on the leaves which enlarge parallel to leaf veins. * Stunted growth is also common
* Leave chlorosis * Reduced grain yield Management * Planting of resistant varieties * Rouging and burying of infected crops [2] * Chemical control of the disease vector
* HarvestHarvest as soon as maize cobs are matured i.e when the stalks have dried but moisture content is not considered. Harvest as soon as maize cobs are matured i.e when the stalks have dried and seed moisture content is about 17-20% [2].
Storage * Farmers store harvested maize in barns and extra room in their houses. * Some store in actual store house. * Most Farmers apply herbs to maize in store to prevent damage by storage pest. * Some store their maize undehusked also to minimize damage by storage pest. * Only few used synthetic storage chemicals Maize grains should be stored in cool dry condition at 8-10% moisture content after treatment with storage chemicals like thiram 2g/kg, phosphine 2g/kg [4USE ALP

Reference(s)

1. NAERLS and SG-2000 (2016). N-Power Agricultural Extension Master Trainers’ Manual.

2. IITA-IYA (2014). Maize Seed Production Manual.

3. FAO. (1997). Quarterly Bulletin of Statistics. Food and Agricultural Organization: United Nations. Rome Italy.

4. Indorama crop management practices. An agricultural extension initiative.