MAIZE IN THE IRRIGATED FARMING SYSTEMS .Rafhan Maize Products Limited, Faisalabad, reported that

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  • MAIZE IN THE IRRIGATED FARMING SYSTEMS OF

    THE PUNJAB: AN EXPLORATORY SURVEY

    H. Ramzan Akhtarl

    Derek Byerlee2

    Paul W. Heisey2

    E. John Stevens2

    PARC/CIMHYT Paper No. 86-14

    !Agricultural Economics Research Unit (PARC), Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad

    2PARC/CIHHYT Collaborative Programme

    1986

  • Maize Research Reports In This Series

    Byerlee, D. and S.S. Hussain. 1986. Maize production in NWFP: A review of technological issues in relation to farmers' circumstances. PARC/CIMMYT Paper No. 86-1.

    Stevens, E.J., M.Q. Chatha, M. Salim, and D. Byerlee. 1986. Farmer oriented research and the transfer of maize technology for NWFP and the Islamabad Capital Territory of Pakistan. PARC/CIMMYT Paper No. 86-2.

    Fischer, K, and H.I. Javed. 1986. Production of maize grain and fodder in the Northwest Frontier Province and Islamabad Capital Territory of Pakistan. PARC/CIMMYT Paper No. 86-3.

    Amir, P. 1986. Maize marketing and utilization in Pakistan. PARC/CIMMYT Paper No. 86-4.

    Stevens, E.J., M. Aslam, D. Byerlee, and M.Q. Chatha. 1986. Report of an onfarm maize travelling workshop. PARC/CIMMYT Paper No. 86-5.

    Hussain, S.S., M. Ahmed, M. Haq Nawaz, and S. Hayat. 1986. Maize in the irrigated farming systems of Mardan District: Implications for results and extension. PARC/CIMMYT Paper No. 86-6.

    Style guidelines of PARC/CIMMYT publicat~ons. PARC/CIMMYT Paper No. 86-11.

    Khan, K., D. Byerlee, M. Ahmed, M. Saleem and E.J. Stevens. 1986. Farmer managed verification of improved maize technology: Results and experiences from Swat, 1985. PARC/CIMMYT Paper No. 86-12.

    Eskridge K.M., R.F. Mumm, M. Aslam and E.J. Stevens. 1986. Selection for genotypic stability using expected utility maximization and safety first rules. PARC/CIMMYT Paper No. 86-13.

    Single copies of these reports may be obtained by writing to Dr Qasim Chatha, Maize Coordinator, NARC, Islamabad,

    or to CIMMYT, P.O. Box 1237, Islamabad.

    Published by the Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre

    Collaborative Programme with funding from USAID Contract 391-0489

    ii.

  • Acknowledgements

    We gratefully acknowledge contributions by staff of the Ayub Agricultural Research Institute, Faisalabad; the Agricultpral Economics Research Units and the National Coordinated Maize Programme, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council; and funding and supporting agencies/organizations. We compliment the secretarial and logistical services of Haroon Pervaiz 3nd Mrs Shama Hussain. Editorial contributions by J. W. Pilgrim Associates (Private) Ltd are acknowledged.

    iii.

  • Table of Contents

    Page

    Acknowledgements . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . ... . . . .. . . iii Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii

    Introduction

    Research Method

    The Crop Production Environment

    1

    1

    2

    The Cropping System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Maize Crop Rotations . . . . . .. ..... .. . .. . . 3 Perceived Trends in Maize Area .... ..... 6

    Kharif Maize Production Practices . . . . . .. . 6 Land Preparation . . . . ................... 6 Varieties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Planting Method and Seed Rate .. ... .... 8 Planting Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Weed Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Plant Protection . . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . .. . .. .. 9 Fertilizers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Thinning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Irrigation Scheduling . . . ............. .. 10 Harvesting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Marketing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Utilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

    Contract Maize Grower System of Rafhan Maize Products Limited, Faisalabad .. . . ... 12

    Factors Limiting Productivity of Maize 13

    References 15

    iv.

  • List of Tables

    Table

    1. Area Under Various Crops During Rabi and Kharif Seasons in Faisalabad and Toba Tek Singh Districts,

    Page

    1983-84 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

    v.

  • Figure

    1.

    2.

    List of Figures

    Kharif Maize Rotations

    Spring Maize Rotations

    vi.

    Page

    5

    7

  • Summary

    Data generated during an informal exploratory survey of maize production within the Faisalabad and Toba Tek Singh Districts, which was conducted during October, 1985 by a multi-disciplinary team of agricultural economists and a maize agronomist from the Agricultural Economics Research Unit, Faisalabad, and PARC/CIMMYT (Pakistan Agricultural Research Council/Interna~ional Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre) is reported and discussed. Socio-economic and natural circumstances of farmers located within the study area, maize cropping systems, and production and marketing practices including major limiting factors are documented.

    Major features of the climate included two production seasons, neither of which were ideally suited to maize production. Cold temperatures delayed the planting and emergence of spring maize, which was often reflected in poor stand establishment. Heat stress caused plant mortality at early vegetative stages in kharif (summer) maize crops; and at later reproductive stages, infertility, kernel abortion, and poor grain fill in both spring and kharif crops. All maize crops were irrigated using canal and/or ground water which was, at times, augmented by limited rainfall. Monsoon rains often delayed the planting of maize and caused severe soil crusting. Overall water shortages were commonly reported, with maize generally being managed as a catch crop of lower manage1ial priority compared with cash crops such as wheat, cotton and tobacco. Irrigation systems which were historically designed for 50 percent summer and 25 percent winter use efficiency were realizing between 100-120 percent efficiency in areas having adequate supplies of ground water (and energy for pumping water).

    Maize production during 1983-84 represented 23 percent of the kharif cropping area within the districts surveyed (74,000 ha), of which 60 percent was harvested for grain. Especially with smaller farmers, animal fodder was progressively thinned from the maize grain crop. In many instances, large farmers produced maize fodder separately from grain by utilizing high plant densities and harvesting at mid reproductive stages of phenology (growth). Individual land holdings were generally less than five hectares and usually owner operated, but tenancy was practiced.

    Chemical fertilizers, insecticides and weedicides were readily available. Some farmers regularly purchased seed from recognized sources, while the majority of farmers were unaware of recently released improved varieties. Good quality seed of improved varieties was not readily available. The use by farmers of mixed material containing germplasm from 0lder varieties such as Jl, Neelam, and Akbar was recorded, hcwever, no conscious varietal maintenance (selection pressure) was practiced by these farmers.

    vii.

  • Input and product marketing and distribution services appeared to function reasonably well, although credit availability was poor and often untimely. A shift from sugarcane to maize was reported by farmers in response to the following problems associated with sugarcane; a) reduced gross margins, b) marketing difficulties, and c) the long duration of the sugarcane crop (approximately 14 months).

    Rafhan Maize Products Limited, Faisalabad, reported that they contracted between 500 and 600 farmers from the Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Multan Districts each year to produce approximately 12,000 hectares of spring maize, usually planted after potatoes. No official (Government) statistics were available for spring maize production. Rafhan contract growers reportedly produced, on average, 3.6 tonnes of grain per hectare from spring planted maize (i.e. approximately double the official grain yield average for kharif maize production).

    Sub-optimal plant populations in both spring and summer planted maize fields, 10,000-25,000 plants per hectare below recommended levels, appeared to be a major factor limiting improved prodactivity. The use of appropriate agricultural mechanization (especially land preparation and planting methodologies), control of wild pigs, the use of fungicide (for spring maize), weedicides, and insecticides warrant further on-farm research in an effort to identify technologies which will improve the establishment and ultimate productivity of maize crops. Priority should be given to developing earlier maturing spring maize cultivars with cold/heat tolerance, and increasing the availability to farmers of improved varieties of maize seed adapted to current cropping systems/practices.

    viii.

  • Introduction

    Maize in the Punjab accounts for just under half the planted area and just under half the total production of maize grown in Pakistan. A survey conducted in the Punjab in 1982/83 .by Rafhan Maize Products Limited concluded that 60 percent of the maize area is planted primarily for grain. A smallbut .. influential proportion of maize grown in the Punjab (just over two percent of the total area) is produced by growers under contract to Rafhan, primarily in the spring season. To date, no detailed production survey has been conducted among maize growers in the Punjab for the purpose of guiding research and extension efforts in maize.

    The Agricultural Eco