Análisis de la producción del maíz en la región huetar atlántica de Costa Rica (ING)
A maize crop agronomic analysis was done in the Huetar Atlántica region of Costa Rica. The objective was to identify the environmental and cropping system characteristics affecting the yield. The diagnostic was done through monitoring farmers plots and a survey on the producing unit operation. To analyze the yielding levels in the region, the farmers´ yield plot was compared with the crop potential yield. In order to establish the differences, the maximum yield component values were obtained in a field trial planted in the same region and sowing the same genetic material used by the farmers. The diagnostic showed two main yield limitation sources: low plant density at harvest and low number of ears, due to the ear rots mainly. Therefore, it is important to improve the soil pest management, to reduce the number of plant loss and search for ear rot resistant varieties. The economic analysis desmostrate that the remuneration obtained by corn harvest is lower than a salary at the banana farms. Moreover, the sales price does not compensate the yearly input cost increase, reducing the farmer profit. The situation has stimulated the crop abandonment by numerous farmers, reduction of maize cultivated areas and the change for new production activities. Based on this problematic situation, it is necessary to research on new crops and other alternative activities for the region small farm producers.
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