MULTAN - The Punjab government has set maize production target at 3.6 million tons and experts believe that farmers should complete sowing from early July to mid August to get better production on way to achieving the target.

In a release issued by media liaison unit of the Punjab Agriculture department, agriculture spokesman said that sowing target in Punjab was set at 1.525 million acres.

The sowing and production targets for three divisions in South Punjab including Multan, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan were fixed at (138,300 acres, 376,200 ton), (31,400 acre, 67,210 ton), and (16,280 acres, 10,410 ton) respectively.

Farmers were advised to select fertile land. Experts, however, added that hard pan field was not suitable for maize cultivation. However, in case of no other option, farmers should break its hardness by deep ploughing and level it.

Ploughing and levelling should be done three to four times and disease-free seed treated with suitable anti-disease or anti- pest agent be utilized for sowing.

The varieties including FH-810 which carries a potential of giving 136 Maunds per acre in 120-125 days or Yousuf Wala hybrid seed which has potential of 137 Maunds per acre in 115-120 days, be utilized for sowing.

Moreover, single cross or double cross hybrid varieties developed by private companies including Pioneer, Monsanto, ICI and Syngenta also give good production.

Around 12-15 kilogram per acre seed is required in case of sowing by drill while in case of sowing by hand on beds only 8-10 kg per acre seed is required. Quantity of seed per acre, however, largely depend on factors including seed germination strength, seed weight and cultivation techniques.

For better production, farmers should sow maize in rows by using cotton drill, planter and pore. If possible, farmers should perform sowing by hand on beds and row to row distance should be maintained at 2.25 to 2.5 feet for better germination, good production while saving resources like seed and water.

Crop sown by drill or planter should get first water 10-12 days after germination. However, in case of sowing on beds, field should remain moist till the germination.