How to get fodder from maize.

Thinning: This is removal of weak, thin and sick plants whilst weeding the crop or as need for fodder arises. Maize thinnings are of high nutritive value and can be obtained even after flowering so that only one or two plants are left to mature for grain.

Leaf stripping and topping: This involves removing the bottom leaves and cutting off the plant top soon after the ‘dough’ stage.
Harvesting the stover (the maize stem and leaves): This is done after the maize cobs have been harvested. The stover can be either green or dry depending on how long it is left in the store.

Salvage crop: This is an option when the maize crop fails, for example when the rains fail.

Denser planting: More fodder from a maize crop can be obtained through denser planting. This involves either planting more seeds per hole or using a closer spacing than is usual for maize.

More seeds
Plant 4 or 5 instead of the usual 2 seeds per hole to increase the number of plants and hence the amount of available fodder:
• Apply double the usual amount of fertilizer or manure: 20 g (two teaspoons) fertilizer instead of the usual 10 g (one teaspoon) or four handfuls instead of the usual two handfuls of manure per hole at planting
• Dig holes double the normal size and spread the maize seeds evenly.

Closer spacing
Reduce the spacing of the planting holes to 30 cm between holes and 60 cm between rows to increase the number of plants. Apply fertilizer and manure at the usual rate: 10 g of fertilizer or two handfuls of manure per hole at planting.

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