Maize ranks third in importance among cereals, after wheat and rice, in the food economy.
On average, water consumption is considered at around 5000-6000 m³ / ha for the development of the entire crop cycle, reaching high production levels.
Naturally, these values are variable according to the water availability of the land, the climatic course and the cultivation technique. The irrigation program must perfectly satisfy the water requirements in the period included between the emission of the plume (about two weeks before flowering) until the milky-waxy ripening, (5-6 weeks after flowering) for a total of 50 -60 days.
Throughout the productive cycle, the irrigation time and the volume of irrigation must be calculated to rationalize the use of the water resource avoiding the minimum stress, which is manifested by a foliar wilt that could mean a loss of production estimated in some cases in 6-8. % up to date.
The irrigation volume should be established in order to wet the surface layer of soil approximately 0.70 m thick.
Until the first years of the new millennium corn had always been irrigated with methods characterized by low irrigation efficiency. Thanks to the new environmental awareness, the increasing decrease in water resources and the increase in energy costs, the use of drip irrigation in the cultivation of corn has also been developed in recent years.
The advantages of the drip use in corn are several and of great importance:
– An average gain of 30-40% is achieved;
– Better quality of the grains thanks to the reduction of periods of hydric and nutritional stress that results in a reduction of mycotoxin attacks;
– Water saving of the order of 30% thanks also to the indifference of the drip method with respect to the wind and the loss by evaporation;
– With fertigation it is possible to distribute the fertilizers in a timely and fractional way in time to best meet the demands of the corn. The irrigation of maize with localized irrigation is carried out using the appropriate strips of seasonal drippers equipped with labyrinth drippers and turbulent flow of different flow and distance between the drippers.
The technique of the suberigación is applied more and more frequently in the culture of the maize. This practice allows reaching the highest levels of irrigation efficiency and saving the nutrients by directly distributing the fertilizers in the rhizosphere.
The installation is made in mechanical mode and in this case it will be necessary to use integrated drip thicker than those used on the surface.