One of the crops that cannot be absent in our spring garden is corn or corn, cultivated for centuries as a basis in food today is still a very interesting and important crop, as well as food, we can grow sweet corn, corn for Popcorn or even bread and we can also use it to feed our chickens, it is also perfect to put on the edges of the orchards even to use it as a “living hedge” and it slows us down a bit the possible strong winds.
Corn is a rustic plant of easy development but that does not indicate that with certain care and preparation we will achieve better development and production of our ears, it is important to put it in mid-spring or early summer depending a little on the area in which we live and that the risks of frost have passed in our garden since it is quite sensitive and the crop could spoil.
The corn needs a loose soil but above all rich in nutrients, it is also important to pay attention to the waterings, they do not take very well the lack of irrigation and less in the development of the cob, which can even suffer malformation of the grain, so the waterings should be quite abundant and continuous.
I leave you with the video so that you can see in detail all the steps that we must follow and the recommendations to plant corn successfully in the garden. In addition, there is a very interesting option that is to associate corn with legumes such as beans, which will help us to fix nitrogen in the soil and, in turn, corn serves as a support and guide! In addition, if we put pumpkins, they will help us and serve as “padding” so that competing herbs do not come out for the nutrients of the corn, especially in the early stages, this association is known as a pre-Columbian association or milpa.
Through genetic improvement and field experiments in creole maize crossed with commercial hybrids, Dr. Rafael Ortega Paczka developed three new varieties of maize with high potential for the Mexican countryside , due to their optimal performance even in conditions of moderate and prolonged drought. .
These are the Estrella, Eloísa —white grain— and Celeste —purple grain— varieties, which were obtained after several years of collecting Creole corn in the southeast of the State of Mexico ; Based on this work, he selected the best varieties to cross them with commercial hybrids and carry out the evaluation of these crosses. Currently, it is working on the development of more varieties to expand the range of options that respond better to change or you can search rotavator spare parts online.
The Conacyt Informative Agency exclusively interviewed the doctor, who works as a research professor at the Chapingo Autonomous University (UACh), attached to the Directorate of Regional Centers, who explained that the first step was the collection of corn samples through the project MILPA (1995-2000), funded by the McKnight Foundation and implemented by researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the UACh, the Postgraduate College, the National Institute of Forestry, Agricultural and Livestock Research (INIFAP) and the University of Guadalajara.
“As part of this work we characterize and evaluate the samples collected in various places and years, we describe, for example, how many rows the ear has, how long it takes to flower in different environments, what was the average yield in different climatic conditions, in short, we obtained many data. From this work we detected which were the best white and purple grain creole maize ”.
Once the best maize was defined, in 2001 the researcher and his team began to improve them through crosses with commercial hybrids to reduce the height of the plant and other characteristics; For several years the crosses were subjected to participatory evaluation in field experiments with farmers from various localities in the southeast of the State of Mexico.
“Through this procedure, which takes a year for each cross and several years of testing and selection in the field, where it is necessary to carry out the experimental planting, monitor its growth and yield, evaluate the characteristics of the plant, ear and grain, we obtained three varieties. Later we describe them and with the data obtained we obtain their registration in the National Catalog of Plant Varieties of the SNICS-Sagarpa ”.
Corn is normally planted 3-5 cm deep and in rows. It should be planted at a uniform depth and with adequate humidity.
The spacing between the rows depends on the machinery and personal preferences (between 50 and 100 cm) generally at 75 cm.
The shorter distances between the rows and greater distances between the plants, allow the plants a better use of the light, the humidity, and the nutrients.
Seeder speed must be adjusted, ensuring depth and spacing accuracy.
Planting density. Between 90,000 and 110,000 seeds / Ha, this corresponds to a planting frame of 65 by 16 and 72 by 12 respectively in an average cycle. It is a common practice to plant 10% more than necessary to compensate for possible losses. Normally the germination percentages are over 95%, 5 to 10% is lost due to the attack of insects, diseases or weeds.
Stronger soils imply more sowing doses at 2 cm depth
Sandier, lighter soils imply less sowing doses at 6 cm depth.
The selection of the variety of corn is very important, to ensure that the crop reaches the desired maturity in each zone.
The varieties are classified by their FAO cycle, which is established according to the thermal integral (accumulation of hours with a T ª between 6 and 30º C) from birth until reaching physiological maturity (grains with 70% dry matter), After this point, frost is no longer likely to damage the ear of the corn, and the kernels can no longer accumulate any more dry matter. In Asturias for fodder corn, we use cycles that go from 200 to 700, although the most frequent ones go from 200 to 500.
Biologically engineered maize hybrids produce an insecticidal toxin using a gene from Bacillus Thurigiensis bacteria and are resistant to borer and other species of caterpillars.
But anyway, the use of insecticides is indicated in almost all occasions.