When one follows the various steps involved in maize production and good practices during and after harvest. Then growing maize is a profitable activity.
Selecting the right time to harvest:
- Maize is ready to be harvested when the stalk and leaves of the maize plant turn completely yellow and the hair on the tip of maize ear starts to fall.
- The grains should be shiny, yellowish and bright.
- If the grain is hard and you do not dent it when you press it with your fingernail, then your maize is fully ripe and should be harvested without further delay.
- If harvest is not done in time, insects like weevils will attack the grain, some maize plants will fall down and termites will eat them.
- Harvest when your maize is fully ripe.
- Empty and clean the inside of the granaries but also the surroundings. Clean your harvesting tools, such as basins, tarpaulins and bags as well as the drying area.
- Timely invite some of your neighbours or members of the association to help you with the harvest.
- If you grow several varieties of maize in your field, harvest first the improved varieties because they are less resistant to attacks compared to local varieties.
- Dehusk your maize directly in the field to avoid bringing home maize husks infected by pests.
- Put aside those maize ears that have been attacked or are mouldy, and burn them.
- Sort the cobs again at home to make sure the maize you want to store is healthy.