91 Bags of Maize per Hectare in Nigeria – How a Farmer Achieved this Feat
We visited one of our clients some years ago and he reported to us how he had a yield of 91 bags of maize from one hectare of farmland.
Mallam Yinus (not real name) cultivated one hectare of hybrid Pioneer maize seeds on his one hectare of farmland. We advised him on the best agronomic practices to implement. He implemented good agricultural practices and smiled to the bank.
Maize farmer around him had a yield of 2 – 3 tons per hectare; he recorded a yield of 9.1 tons (91 bags of maize) per hectare.
Maize farming turned the life of Mallam Yinus around.
How did this farmer achieve a yield of 91 bags of maize per hectare?
The following strategies were used by Mallam Yinus to achieve a yield of 9.1 tons (91 bags) per hectare of maize planted in Kaduna, Nigeria:
The maize farmer plowed his land twice. The vegetation on his farmland was plowed into the soil. This vegetation served as manure to the soil.
Harrowing was done two times to make the soil loose and break all the soil crumbs. The soil was well prepared and loose enough to allow the penetration of air and oxygen.
Chicken manure and rice husk were spread on the soil and tilled. The essence of the addition of manure and rice husk was to improve the nutrient level of the soil and also to improve the water retention capacity of the soil.
The maize farmer cultivated the crop in the rainy season but he installed a drip irrigation system on his farm.
He knew the erratic nature of rains, so he used his irrigation system if rains did not fall. He also fertilized the maize plants by using soluble fertilizers passed to the roots of the maize plants through the drip irrigation system.
Choice of Seeds
The maize farmer had always used open pollinated maize seeds in the past. This time, we advised him to use a good hybrid maize seeds. He contemplated using hybrid Dekalb Maize seeds but he later settled for Pioneer maize seeds were used and he got a fantastic result.
Mallam Yinus’ highest yield when he planted open pollinated maize seeds was 2.9 tons per hectare.
Hitherto, Mallam Yinus used an intra-plant spacing of up to 1 metre. This time, he used an intra-plant spacing of 25cm. He had over 50,000 maize plants on one hectare.
Few days after sowing his seeds, he replanted the seeds that did not sprout. This is to ensure that the maize plant population was optimum and above 50,000 plants.
Mallam Yinus used a unique type of planter which ensured that the seed planted are spaced at 25cm. Two holes were created at once by the planter; seed is put in one hole while Diammonium Phosphate Fertilizer (DAP) was put in the other hole.
The labourers planting the seeds were closely monitored so that no hole was skipped. One of the problems of maize seeding is the intentionally skipping of planting holes by labourers.
We educated the maize farmer about the ills of weeds in maize farming. Mallam Yinus used Glyphosate herbicide few days before seeding the maize seeds. He also used Lagon herbicide.
The yield of maize plants can be significantly increased if the maize farmland is kept weed free in the first few months. You can lose 60% of your yield if weeds compete with the maize plants in the first few weeks.
The Lagon herbicide ensured that the maize farmland did not have weeds for over 2 months. The weed free status of the maize farm ensured that the maize plants used the water and nutrients on the soil alone; this led to a significant increase in yield.
The soil in Nigeria is poor. We conducted a soil analysis for Mallam Yinus. His soil was acidic, so we advised him to add lime to his soil which he did.
The maize farmer used 3 bags of Diammonium Phosphate (DAP), 1 bag of calcium nitrate, 1 bag of NPK 15:15:15 fertilizer and 5 bags of urea fertilizer.
Mallam Yinus was advised to use these fertilizers based on the result of his soil test. You are advised to do a soil test before applying any fertilizers to your soil and maize plants.
The activities of insects, whiteflies, army worms, mites and nematodes can ruin your hope of getting a high yield from your maize farm.
Mallam Yinus used Belt Extra Insecticde, Decis and Vellum nematicides. The maize farmers around Mallam Yinus’ farm battled with army worm, Mallam Yinus however did not have any issue with Army worms as he used high quality pesticides.
Humic acid and potassium humates were mixed with foliar fertilizers and sprayed on the foliage of the maize plants.
Urea mixed with potassium humates were also sprayed on the maize plants twice. 2kg of urea fertilizer was mixed with 1kg of potassium humate in 200 litres of water. This was sprayed on the maize plants twice.
The sprayed solution helped in increasing the mass and size of the maize plants’ leaves. Larger leaves mean better photosynthesis and increased yield. Foliar application of urea mixed with humates can also help during drought period.
Mallam Yinus got a turnover of about N1.7 million after selling his 91 bags of maize. Do you grow maize? If yes, why not share the details of your yield with us in the comments’ section.