Corn is the second most popular cereal worldwide and is grown widely throughout the world in a range of agro-ecological environments.

Corn is grown throughout India and acreage has been going up due to increasing demand from poultry feed industry and other industrial purposes. However, 60% of its area is concentrated in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh. Maize is grown in wide range of production environments, ranging from the temperate hill zones in Himachal Pradesh in the North to the semi-arid desert margins in Rajasthan in the West to the humid tropical zones in Karnataka in the South.

There are several problems faced by corn farmers, the major ones of which can be broadly categorized into diseases like Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB), stalk rot, agronomy, output traits like starch content, and abiotic stress tolerance like drought tolerance.

Keeping the challenges in view we are developing potential breeding strategies by following heterotic groups for enhancement of combining abilities while concentrating on maximization of genetic diversity. We are concentrating on intensive inbred line development with unique features. Objectives of our corn research program are:

  • Development of high yielding single cross hybrids suitable for both high management and rainfed situations suitable for High Density Planting system
  • Tolerant to foliar diseases and lodging

Tierra has over 500 + germ plasm collections having sources of resistance to NCLB, DM and tolerance to Drought. The breeding program in Tierra is mainly focused on HDPS with multiple disease resistance (MDR). We have a technology tie-up with Iden Biotechnology, a Spanish company, for high starch corn. We have identified several lines for high Beta Carotene content, suitability for high density planting and dual purpose. Over 1600 hybrids have been tested in the last two seasons and we will be commercially launching two products in Kharif 2016.

Tierra's Northern Corn Leaf Blight (NCLB) tolerant hybrids vs NCLB susceptible hybrids

Hybrid Maturity (Days) Cob Placement Cob Length Grain Type Grain Colour Yield (kg/h) Suitable areas Remarks
TS 2501 110 - 120 Medium (6th Node) 18 - 20 Semi Flint Orange Yellow 7000 - 8500 South and West
TS 2502 110 - 115 Medium (6th Node) 20 - 21 Semi Flint Orange Yellow 8000 - 9500 South and West
TS 2503 110 - 115 Medium (6th Node) 19 - 20 Semi Dent Orange Yellow 6000 - 8000 South and West Good, Stays green, Good fodder quality
TS 2504 105 - 110 Moderately High (7th Node) 22 - 24 Semi Dent Yellow 9000 - 11000 South and West Longer cobs, Purple shank
TS 2505 105 - 110 Moderately High (7th Node) 19 - 21 Flint Orange Yellow 10000 - 12000 South and West Good, Stays green
TS 2506 115 - 120 Medium (6th Node) 20 - 22 Flint Orange 11000 - 13000 South and West Good, Stays green, Excellent tip filling