maize can be a very lucrative agricultural business to venture into if you know what you are doing, especially growing them in the dry season.
Maize is very lucrative already in it’s farming season which is rainy season, but the profit is insane and mouth watering when grown in the dry season.
This is because maize is taken as a seasonal crop which is grown in rainy season by majority of the people, thereby ignoring the cultivation of maize in the dry or non rainy season and thereby making the crop very scare or 95 percent in extinction in this period, unless the canned ones.
The purpose of creating this content is to motivate and aid people who are very willing to start maize farming in dry season to do so because in dry season, fresh maize is almost impossible to come by and if you mistakenly see any, you will be very astonished at the price, before I venture into this farming, i was suffering the same issue of corn scarcity during this period of time because i am a great lover of corn, then i made researches and experimented this method I am going to teach you on dry season maize farming and it worked greatly.
To be honest about this, this is a huge opportunity that many people miss which might make them to be smiling at the bank in a short period of time, although it requires hard work and exceptional care to succeed, that might even be the reason many people don’t bother about this because they are too lazy and don’t want to disturb themselves with the troubles involved or maybe lack of resources to do it.
Read carefully and follow me step by step as i teach you how to grow corn in the dry season and probably make huge amount of profit or returns from it.
To start this kind of farming at this period of time, here are the steps and process:
Locating/Getting Good Farmland for Dry Season maize cultivation
During the dry season, known as harmattan season in Africa, there are very strong winds that is so powerful that it do uproot trees and destroy houses, dry the land in totality.
Also the sun at this period of time is very severe that it looks as if it could burn the skin.
These are the two factors that made it impossible for farmers to grow maize and other crops, but there is a way to surpase that, that’s siting a good location and a good farmland.
In order to succeed, the location of the land matters and the soil also matters, before getting the farmland for this crop, here are the things to look out for:
Is the land surrounded by a mountain or mountains?, are there large trees surrounding it, is it located near a water body like stream, lake, river etc.
Also the quality of the soil matters, maize thrives on a good loamy soil with a pH of 50 and above, so the soil have to be checked, and if it is not up to 50 pH or probably 40 or 45, you can still grow your maize with the help of manure or Fertilizer, so don’t worry about that.
If all I stated above are in place, then it is a good sign that you have gotten a good farmland for this period of corn farming.
Some of the things to look out for and avoid when trying to locate a good land for dry season corn farming are:
If there are Bamboos in the land, if the land is rocky or has stones littered all over it as maize plants don’t thrive much on rocky land, If there are huge trees inside the farm, rather than around it as you don’t want to waste time and resources cutting big trees, if there are signs of pests like locust in large number, if the soil has large number of clay soil, If the wind seems to be more or disturbing in such place, as you will notice that from the trees around that area.
Once you see any of these bad signs, first check wether you can be able to control it, if not, then look else where for a good land.
Preparation of Land for Dry Season maize Farming
When you have successfully located and acquired a good farm land for this type and period of corn cultivation, the next step to go about is to prepare the farmland and make it ready and good for the farming to proceed.
To prepare the land for maize farming, It have to be cleared! the first thing to do is to clear the land off bushes and cut the trees that are right inside the farmland or cut all their branches if you like.
Then rake the land after clearing the bush and cutting the trees. Raking the land also is very important because by this process, you will be able to bring out dangerous objects in the ground that might hurt you or your crops, objects like broken bottles, sticks, containers, nylons, and many more harmful objects in the ground, including stones that might damage your working equipments.
After raking, get an organic manures such as animal dungs and spray it on the empty land, then spray water too on the land to aid the dungs to dissolve in the soil and also to soften the land a bit.
Note – Compost is also great if you have time for it to decay and dissolve into the soil, if you don’t have time to wait for it, proceed with animal dungs or Fertilizers.
The best time to start doing this is during the month of September, October. So that before the dry season could be over, the crops have matured, harvested and sold because on an average, corn takes about 2 months or 3 to grow, depending on the breed or type.
When the manures has fully been dissolved into the soil, ” this might take about a week or two with consistent watering ”, then proceed to make the holes where they are to be planted, the holes should be 8 inches deep in the soil and a foot interval from each other.
Note – At this point in time, making a farm bed for maize farming is greatly discouraged because of heavy wind, due to the fact that the plants will have more stamina growing on the plain or flat earth surface than on farm beds.
Maize Planting in Dry Season
Immediately the hole have been made, the next step is to get the maize and plant.
The maize seeds should be sown in a row of 3 or 4 per hole and cover them with the soil.
Before you could sow the seeds, you might need to apply some Fertilizers that will help them to germinate and also discourage insects/ants from tampering with the seeds. 10:10:10 fertilizer is good.
Once you have sown the seeds, water the them and continue to do so every day so that all of the seeds could germinate very quickly and successfully.
It usually take around a week for the seeds to germinate, if everything goes great, you will start seeing some tiny piece of them on the surface, and within some days will get bigger.
At this period, water is needed frequently.
Care of maize plants/Farm in Dry Season
After you are done with the sowing, this is where the work normally gets tough in this season of corn farming.
Dry Season or otherwise known as harmattan in Africa comes with much trouble, here are some of them and how to take care of the crops to overcome them.
Wind Control: Wind is the second most dreaded reason people shy away from growing maize in the dry season, especially in Africa because unlike other crops, maize plant is very fragile and tall, so it is prone to wind.
Maize plant on average is 12 feet tall and above, depending on the type or breed involved!, so this made it possible for any slightest atom of wind to bend or even break or uproot them.
Although I have explained how to take care of this above during the land siting period. Try to get a land that is located where the amount or pressure of the wind is very minimal, there must be trees surrounding the farm, but not inside the farm, so that they will protected maize plants from the wind, although the trees should not totally block the sunlight from the plants as they still need it to survive, or the land should be sited in between hills or Mountains so that they will block off the wind.
like as I have advised earlier on this topic, don’t or avoid making farm bed or ridges for the maize plant at this period of time because they will need to be given much stamina when grown on a flat or plain land, compared to ridges and farm beds.
Failure to adopt these tricks to checkmate the excess of the wind will be very catastrophic for you as all your hard labor and sufferings might be wiped out in a single minute by wind.
Sun heat Control: Another disadvantages of growing maize in the dry season is the hot weather that emanate from the sun heat.
In Africa during the dry season, the sun tends to grow hotter and the weather becomes very hot, this kills any type of smaller crops and weeds and it even dry the leaves on trees.
This is a very discouraging factor that hinder the growth of maize plants and if not properly controlled will definitely kill them.
To control the excessiveness of the sun from harming the maize plants, some of the tricks or systems I stated above to curtail wind disturbance is applicable here.
Things like leaving the large trees around the farm land, siting it near a mountain or hill.
Some other suggestions might be growing the maize with yam, potato or melon which will help to shade off the sunlight to a minimum level and also protect the soil from being dried up entirely by the sun.
Building Irrigation: Apart from Controlling the wind and the amount of sunlight in the farm, another very important care to be given to the maize plants is Irrigation or watering.
Just like man and animal, the plant also need water to survive, grow and give great yields, so building a good irrigation system is very impossible to do without!.
Unlike during the rainy season that you will just plant your corn and forget about watering them and they will be sustained by rainfall and do great, in this period of time “dry season” , such is impossible!.
As I have explained above, before locating the farm you want to use to grow this plants in the dry season, make sure there is a water body such as river, lake or stream near the area for easy access to them and for building the irrigation easily.
To build the irrigation, channel a pipe or host to the water body, and to your farm, and be spraying water to the farm through it.
Another alternative is to get a big water tank, call water suppliers to fill it up, connect a host to it and use it to be spraying water on the plants.
If you can manage it and if your farm is small, water the plants with watering can or bucket.
Note – the watering time for the farm should be around early in the morning when the sun have not fully been in the sky and late in the evening when the weather is far much cooler.
Water at least 2 times everyday.
Applying Manure/Fertilizer: To help the plants to grow very healthy, faster and yield good quality and amount of maize, manure and Fertilizer has to be applied!.
Although in ordinary farming periods, fertilizer and manure are important to the plants, but in dry season maize farming, it is very important or more necessary to apply them than in the rainy season, due to the fact that the soil is hard and the maize plants will be struggling to beat the hard soil and establish their roots deeper.
Despite all the watering, the roots will still struggle to go deeper on its own, so the application of manure will help to some extent in softening the soil and also help the plants to grow quicker and stronger and produce good quality corns at the end of it.
To apply manure, start at the beginning, even before you sow the maize, by so doing, the fertility of the soil will be increase and also the land will be soften to some extent.
Then when the plants have germinated and growing, apply another round, and that is the final till they are harvested.
To apply Fertilizer, take a half tea spoon of fertilizer, make tiny hole around each of the maize plants and spread the fertilizer into them, then cover slightly with earth.
Irrigation will take care of it in terms of making it absorbable to the soil.
For manure, the same process should also be used, but the measurement will have to be 1 full teacup of animal dung per plant.
Weeding: In this time of farming, weed is not a threat at all, but in some lands, especially where the soil is very fertile, immediately the irrigation water touches the soil, few weeds might sprout out!, if left unchecked might habour pests and also compete with the plants to absorb their water and also the soil fertility which they need to grow healthy and yield good fruits.
So they need to be removed immediately they are seen!.
To remove them, use weeding hoe or carefully spray herbicide on them and they will die!.
Note – after weeding manually with weeding hoe, endeavor to burn them or take them out of the farm to prevent them from re-growing.
Mulch: Mulching is a great way to take care of maize plants in the dry season, thus is for the fact that the land is dry at this time and the weather very hot, to prevent the sun from further drying up the soil and killing the plants, mulching is very necessary.
To mulch, get bunch of compost ( green leaves) an use them to cover the bottom of the maize plants.
This will help preserve some water in the soil and also protect or cool the roots of the plants, despite the hot weather.
Mulching should take place when the plants might have grown up quit a bit.
Pest/Disease Control: One of the most disturbing factors people encounter in maize cultivation is pest and diseases, but in this time period of growing maize, there are lots of pests compared to growing maize in the rainy season, this is simply due to the fact that during non rainy season, all manner of animals, insects and birds roam about freely and could attack your plants if not protected appropriately.
The attack starts from the moment the seeds are sown right to when they have matured and has yields.
From the day the seeds are sown, if not properly mixed with anti insect Fertilizer, they could be eaten by insects like anthills, soldier ant etc.
When they might have germinated and start growing, pests like Caterpillars, bugs,rodents, squirrels and even birds will try to destroy the leaves, spray insecticide and scare away the birds with scarecrows.
When they have flowered and have corn/yields, birds, fowl, rodents, squirrels etc will come for it if not properly protected, and to protect them, scarecrows is useful here.
Maize diseases such as the worm that ear and cause the rot of corns don’t usually survive in this weather, an if some do survive, they should be taken care of by harvesting and keeping the corn under the sun.
How to Harvest Maize/Corn in Dry Season
If you have followed all my instructions and steps, then congrats because it is time to harvest the maize.
After 2 to 3 months of taking care of them, they are now ready to harvest.
To be honest, there is no different between harvesting maize in ordinary days and doing the same in the dry season.
All you have to do is to cut the plants down and break the maize from their plants.
To know when they are due for harvest, their leaves will start changing color from Green to yellow, so are the silk and the corn itself.
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