Maize, also known as corn, is one of the most notable grain or cereal crops in the world. After all, maize is a core part in the production of important products. Examples of such products are food products, ethanol, and livestock feeds, amongst others. The widespread cultivation of maize is due to those dynamics. Maize is relatively hassle-free to grow, handle, and store. Maize is also known as corn. In some countries, particularly Africa, maize is a staple food. Maize is grown widely in Africa, Americas, and Asia. So there is quite a huge demand for the food crop and its many products which is why it makes business sense to start a maize farming business. In this article we shall be looking at some essential knowledge areas that you must acquaint yourself with before you start the maize farming business, and the maize farming business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
Maize farming is a lucrative business, providing income for millions of people, but there are some essential decisions that you need to make before you venture into the corn farming business. You have to make a decision on how many hectares you want to farm, which type of maize you will farm, which season you are going to plant your maize, and your target market. These choices will be affected by the amount of capital you have, and the size of your target market. If you do not have a lot of capital, you can always start small and grow your maize farming business overtime. You also need to carry out market research (Who are you going to sell the maize/corn to? At what price?) and write a corn farming business plan before you venture into the business. As indicated earlier, maize is also known as corn in other parts of the world.
At a basic level, maize is cultivated for subsequent sale as grains or green mealies. These green mealies can be cooked or roasted. Then from post-harvest, the list of monetization approaches widens. The grain can be sold to millers who in turn process it into a wide assortment of food products including maize meal. You could even do the milling yourself and sell the end product. You can solely focus on cultivating maize seed. In countries where maize is the staple food, there is huge market of direct customers. As in, there are countless people looking to purchase maize for various uses.
Maize is an important industrial raw material so you can make money from that. For instance, maize is used in the production of alcohol and biofuels. You can sell to livestock feed producers; maize is a major ingredient of livestock feeds. Maize has global economic value so you can export it. There are significantly more returns from exporting your maize, especially to neighbouring countries. Numerous niching options when it comes to maize farming. That is why there are many business model options to pick from.
Land for Maize Farming Business
Type of soil is an important factor for a good maize harvest. Maize can be grown in a variety of soil types. However it needs soil which is fertile and well drained. Another important factor is the pH of the soil, as it affects the availability of nutrients. Maize/Corn grow well in soil with pH of between 6-7. If the pH is lower than this, the maize produced will be of poor quality, and it may experience abnormal growth. Thus the pH of soil for maize should be close to neutral or slightly acidic. If the pH is too acidic, lime should be added to increase the pH of the soil to between pH 6-7. Other properties of good soil for maize include: sufficient and balanced quantities of plant nutrients, good internal soil drainage, good moisture, and good effective depth of the soil. It is important that before you start farming maize/corn on your farm, you check whether the soil is suitable for maize farming. Your corn farming business plan should take into account the cost of purchasing or renting the land.
Machinery and Equipment for Maize Farming
Land preparation must be properly done to ensure the soil is ready for the maize. The type of machinery and equipment needed for your maize farming business depends on the scale of production. For small scale this can be done using hand-held equipment whereas for medium to large scale heavy machinery such as tractors are needed. Machinery and equipment which maybe needed include tractors, combine harvesters, fertilizer spreader equipment, irrigation equipment, spray equipment etc. Most farmers usually hire big machinery like tractors when they want to use them, rather than purchasing them outright as they are expensive.
Adequate water supply is also important meaning that irrigation maybe necessary. However maize farming can also be done without irrigation in areas which have a good supply of rainfall. There may also be need of grid hydroelectricity energy for the irrigation systems, standby diesel generators for use during power outages, or solar powered irrigation systems. Farmers especially in the rural areas who do not have the modern farming equipment use animal drawn equipment in maize farming. The higher the level of mechanization at your corn farm, the higher the efficiency of your operations, and the profitability of your maize farming business. The maize farming business plan should include the costs of acquiring and hiring the various machinery and equipment.
Maize Farming Inputs
You require various farming inputs when doing maize farming. You start maize farming by planting maize seeds. Ensure that you use high quality maize seed from certified maize seed companies. It’s unwise to buy cheap, poor quality maize seeds as that will lead to poor harvest yield and low quality maize produce.
Fertilizers are also essential during maize farming as they support the growth of the maize by providing nutrients. The amount and type of fertilizers needed for maize farming depend on the fertility of the soil and the target yield. The most important nutrients for maize farming are Nitrogen and Phosphorous. Potassium and Zinc are also required. Organic matter is also needed in maize farming. This can be in the form of compost, decayed leaves, animal manure etc. The functions of organic matter in maize farming include: increasing soil fertility, positively influencing the moisture level & temperature of the soil, increasing the soil friability and increasing the amount of decomposers organisms in the soil. Organic matter also increases the capacity of the soil to retain water and nutrients. It’s a soil conditioner.
Other essential maize farming inputs include herbicides, for effective weed control at your farm. Pesticides and fungicides are required for protecting your maize/corn plants against insects and fungi. Diligent measures must be put in place to fight against pests, diseases and weeds. The costs of acquiring all these inputs should be included in your corn/maize farming business plan.
Pest And Disease Management
The most common field pests in maize farming are aphids, army worms, cutworms, leaf hoppers, and termites. Getting rid of these pests relies heavily on early detection and interventions. The first defence is proper land preparation and regular weed control. This alone can avoid incidences of pest insect pest infestations. Then as a rule of thumb you must always inspect your maize crop daily. Once you notice any insect pests you use chemical methods such as insecticides.
These animal pests feed on the maize crop thus destroying the crop. Examples are pigs, rodents, baboons, monkeys, and birds, amongst others. Warding off most these animal pests requires robust physical security e.g. perimeter fences. You can also consider having people who scare off the animal pests. Scarecrows have also proven to be very effective in keeping animal pests away.
In maize farming you need to know there are 2 main groups of storage pests. These are primary pests, secondary pests. The former attach healthy grain whereas the latter attacks damaged or vulnerable grain. Examples are weevils and larger grain borer. An important consideration in the fight again storage pests in maize farming is the temperature. Maintaining dryness also discourages the breeding of pests. No wonder before storing maize you must ensure it is adequately dried up. The presence of moisture and dirt promote pest development – that is why hygiene is important.
The most common diseases in maize farming are fungal and viral diseases. Notable fungal diseases are gray leaf spot, leaf blight, root rot common rust, head smut, and downy mildew. Fungal diseases are often aggressive. Once they set in, any delay in taking action leads to colossal losses. That is why it is important to avoid them in the first place.
One way to avoid them is deliberately cultivating hybrid maize varieties. Another way is to ensure there is no waterlogging and dirt lying around. If the fungal diseases do emerge, immediately use fungicides to get rid of them. The same applies for viral diseases; they are best prevented. Effective pest control helps prevent viral diseases since pests are usually the culprits in transmission.
This depends on your scale of maize production and also your level of mechanisation. Significant mechanisation tends to reduce the number of workers you will need. However, it is not usually that hard to find cost-effective human resources on a contractual basis. So you will need to hire part time farm workers as and when necessary. The duties of the maize farm workers include cultivating the land, ploughing, planting, irrigation, applying manure & fertilizer on the land, weed & pest control, harvesting. The maize farming business plan should cater for the costs of paying all your employees.
Capital for Maize Farming Business
This depends on the scale of maize production and level of mechanisation amongst other factors. You can get a loan from the bank, or funding from investors, to use as capital to start your maize farming business. If you plan to raise capital from investors and a loan from the bank, you need a good maize farming business plan. If you don’t have access to investors and bank loan, you can use your personal savings and start small, and grow your business overtime. Maize farming is profitable, so if you reinvest the profits you get, you can quickly grow. Even if you are not planning to get a loan, you should still get a maize farming business plan to guide you in starting and operating the business. It is essential for you to have a maize/corn farming business plan before you venture into the maize farming business, so that you know all the costs involved and you make an informed decision.
Harvesting And Storage Of Maize
You can carry out maize harvesting using manual techniques or mechanical techniques. Manual techniques often entail the use of hands. Mechanical techniques often entail the use of combine harvesters. When the maize is around 20 percent moisture level it is ready to be harvested. That moisture level must drop to around 12 percent before the maize can be stored. That is why the maize grain will have to undergo some drying process prior to storage. Drying can be done naturally using the sun or artificially e.g. using heated air.
Storage Of Maize
You can store your maize in a bulky state or you can pack the grain into sacks or bags. It is important to ensure optimum grain moisture levels are reached first. You must also properly sort the grain to eliminate damaged or diseased grain. For long term storage, the grain will need to be chemically treated to protect from pests and diseases.
The market is huge and actually needs more players to start maize farming businesses. The demand for maize is very high, individuals consume maize and products processed from maize. Maize meal and Maize flour is used in meals all over the world. Maize is not just for human consumption but also for animal consumption. Maize is used in stock feed production for livestock production. The starch from the maize is used for a long list of things such as cosmetic products, adhesives, paints, inks, and medical drugs amongst many others. In some countries there are grain marketing entities. These entities buy maize directly from farmers. These provide the easiest way to get your maize purchased with little to no marketing effort. You can also take advantage of farmers’ markets to market your maize. The internet and social media platforms are also effective in generating leads. You can also approach potential bulk clients such as millers, manufacturers, and distributors. Some continents such as Africa actually import large quantities of maize annually. However there are vast patches of arable land on the continent. There are so many talking points on this but the relevant one for this subject is about potential. This means the market is not being adequately served by the local maize farmers. Market-wise it is a foregone conclusion that the market is vast and limitless. The maize business plan ought to include a proper marketing plan to use in your maize farming business.
Keys To Profitability
Choosing the right soil or improving it is pertinent (especially fertility). Comprehensive land preparation is also important in optimizing the soil. Choose the right maize variety, especially hybrid ones that have high yields and disease resistance. See to it that you actively monitor and deal with pests and diseases. Your storage regime of the maize grain must be done properly. Most losses in maize farming are post-harvest so be vigilant. Your choice of planting time must be carefully considered. It must be cognizant of weather implications and market demand dynamics. Adequate water availability is imperative but whilst ensuring there is sufficient drainage.
Pre-Written Maize Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the maize farming business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive maize farming business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the maize production business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the maize/corn farming business, how to farm the maize, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global maize/corn farming business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your maize farming business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the maize business.
Uses of the Maize Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The maize business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your maize farming business
- As a maize farming business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the maize farming business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Maize Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The maize farming business plan include, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Risk Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements (Including technical aspects of how to farm the maize, inputs requirements etc)
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in the maize farming business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your maize farming business
The Pre-written maize farming business plan package consist of 4 files
- Maize Farming Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 90 Pages)
- Maize Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 90 Pages)
- Maize Farming Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 41 pages)
- Maize Farming Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of hectares, selling price of the maize etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Maize Farming Business Plan (PDF)
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