Maize has different quality standards depending on the use of the crop. Maize grown for animal feed would need to have high protein and starch content, and for human consumption it should have low moisture level as well as high grain weight. Good crop nutrition will ensure high protein and energy levels of grain in the maize cob. It will also help to boost the quality of the ensiled leaf material in forage crops.
Crop Nutrition and Maize Quality
Nitrogen and sulphur increase maize grain protein. Nitrogen supply has to be balanced to ensure good plant growth without increasing lodging risks and delaying maturity. An adequate amount of the nutrient lowers grain moisture content at maturity.
Potassium has a role to play in improving the level of amino acid and protein content in grain maize.
Phosphorus reduces grain moisture at harvest bringing forward maize crop maturity.
Micronutrient supply is also important in helping maintain growth processes that encourage high yields of good quality grain.