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'Maize' an amazing grain

Rebinson P.L.
Rebinson P.L.
September 27, 2022
'Maize' an amazing grain

Maize also known as corn is a cereal grain, scientifically known as ‘Zea mays’, from the family ‘Poaceae’, and it is mainly used as animal fodder and to make various food products such as cornmeal, snacks, biscuits, tortillas, etc.

Maize and corn are simply the same terms used in different regions that refer to the same cereal grain. The name maize is used in British English usage while corn is an American English usage. Maize is the most important food crop in the American regions, just as rice and wheat are the staple food in Asia. The grain is believed to have originated from Central Mexico where it was first cultivated around 6,500 years ago.

Today, maize is the most produced grain in the world and is considered as the third most important cereal crop after rice and wheat. And the grain is a staple food in various parts of the world. It is used directly in the form of masa- the dough made with ground maize used to make tortillas- or in forms of processed food products.

It is also used to brew certain alcoholic drinks-especially beer; to make oil, used in cooking which is less expensive than most other types of vegetable oils; and to make the biofuel called corn ethanol(ethyl alcohol)-the kind of ethanol which is the main source of ethanol fuel in the US.

A warm and humid climate is required for maize which is a fast-growing crop that can be harvested after 3-4 months from planting. Its cultivation can be done on various types of soils such as loamy sand, clay loam, etc. But soils with good organic matter and adequate water holding capacity are the most suitable ones for the best productivity.

Maize is a kharif crop- a crop that is planted at the beginning of the rainy season- and it is usually sown from June to August. However it can be sown all year round provided the plants are watered sufficiently and taken good care of.

The plants normally grow up to 10 feet in height and produce 2-4 fruits known as ears of corn- the spiked parts of the plant, wrapped in husks containing the kernels or grains commonly in yellow colour that number up to 800 on average, attached to the cobs-the central cylindrical parts of the fruit from which the kernels grow in 14-16 rows.

The United States is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of maize in the world. The other major producers are China, Brazil, Argentina, Ukraine, India and Mexico. After the US the top exporters of maize are Argentina, Brazil, Ukraine, France and Russia. And Japan is the top importer, followed by Mexico, China and Vietnam.

In India, Andhra Pradesh is the largest producer of maize, followed by Karnataka, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

The main trading hubs of maize in India:
Andhra Pradesh(Ananthapur, Guntur, Karimnagar, Godavari)
Karnataka(Davanagere, Coorg, Chitradurga, Bellary, Kolar)
Rajasthan(Udaipur, Bhilwara, Banswara, Ajmer)
Maharashtra(Nasik, Pune, Aurangabad, Sangli)

Names of maize in different Indian languages:
Hindi                  Makka
Tamil                  Solam
Malayalam         Cholam

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What colour is maize?
    The colour of maize is normally yellow. However, it is also found in purple, red and white colours.
  • Time when maize is picked?
    Maize is grown in kharif and rabi seasons and the harvest can be done 20-25 days after its silk appears.
  • Where was maize, the most important American food crop, first grown?
    Maize was first grown in Southern Mexico more than 10,000 years ago.
  • What is the difference between corn and maize?
    Both corn and maize refer to the same grain crop. Corn is a term used in American regions while maize is the term used in the UK regions and other parts of the world.
  • What do Italians call maize?
    Italians call maize, 'mais' or 'cereale.'
Rebinson P.L.
Rebinson P.L.
Rebinson P.L. (@ebinso) is a self-published author, content marketing strategist, copywriter and editor who has been writing blogs, articles and advertising copies for various firms since completing his master's in English literature. He's dedicated to helping and guiding businesses of all sizes to achieve their desired reach and popularity.
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