The maize yield per hectare in Nigeria is 1- 12 tons. The conventional maize farmer in Nigeria gets about 1 – 2 tons of maize grains per hectare due to the implementation of poor agronomic practices.
Maize farmers who implement good agronomic practices can get a yield of up to 12 tons per hectare. There are instances of smart maize farmers in Nigeria that recorded yields of 5 – 7 tons per hectare.
The yield of maize in Nigeria is impacted by a lot of factors. The main reasons for the low yield in maize farming in Nigeria is inadequate fertilizers, poor maize varieties and poor plant spacing.
Factors that can impact maize yield in Nigeria
The following factors can impact maize yield in Nigeria:
- The use of fertilizers
- Soil fertility
- Maize Varieties
- Poor plant spacing
- Availability of water or irrigation
The use of fertilizers
Most maize farmers that record low yield in Nigeria use little or no fertilizers on their farms. Maize is a heavy feeder; it needs a lot of nutrients.
To get a good yield from your maize farm, you may need to use 8 – 15 bags of NPK and urea fertilizers (50kg bags) per hectare of maize. You should do a soil test before you buy any fertilizers.
Maize does well when well fertilized.
The soil in Nigeria has a low nutrients profile. Our soil in Nigeria usually lacks most of the nutrients that will enable the maize plants to do well.
In order to get a good yield from your maize farm, you should ensure that your soil is fertile. If your soil is not fertile, you increase the fertility of the soil by adding manure and fertilizers to the soil.
The use of the old open pollinated maize varieties can lead to a low yield per hectare. Aside this, the open pollinated maize varieties are not tolerant and resistant to pests and diseases like the hybrid maize varieties.
The use of hybrid maize varieties can lead to an increase in maize yield because they are bred to produce high yields and also to tolerate stresses like high planting population, water stress, pests and diseases.
Poor Plant Spacing
Poor plant spacing can also cause a low maize yield. Most maize farmers in Nigeria do not plant their maize crop according to the standard planting spacing of 50 cm by 25 cm. Some just plant as they deem fit.
Your one hectare maize farm should have at least 50,000 maize plants. For those who use drip irrigation, the planting population can be increased to 66,000 plants per hectare.
If your plant population is low, you are likely to get a poor yield.
Availability of water or Irrigation
The lack of water can reduce the yield of your maize crop significantly. The use of irrigation can significantly boost your maize crop yield as the availability of water for the maize plants is assured.
You should endeavor to have irrigation in place in your farm in order to assure a good yield.
Weeds can reduce the yield of your maize crop by 98%. If your maize farm is populated with weeds, you are likely to get a low yield.
Herbicides like Lagon should be used to address weed problems; also, hand weeding can be done to remove weeds.
Do you grow maize? If yes, kindly share your yield data with us in the comment’s section.
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