Handbook of Maize: Its Biology

pp 563-576

Production, Breeding and Process of Maize in China

  • Jiansheng Li

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Maize has become one of the most important crops in China recently. The total output of maize grain increased 12-fold during past six decades. The average grain yield of maize ranks the second place among cereal crops. Maize is mainly used for animal feed, accounting for 67.45% of total production in 2006. Much of maize production is concentrated in the slope long narrow regions from northeast to southwest, which is called the Chinese Corn Belt. Agronomically, maize in China is classified into two major types, spring and summer maize. Maize disease prevalence in China varies with areas, planting seasons and cropping patterns. Asian maize borer is a predominant maize pest. Hybrid maize. Today, hybrids cover 97% of total national planting areas of maize, which contributes 40% of grain yield increase in China. Maize germplasm introduced from the US Corn Belt has played an important role in developing elite hybrids but local germplasm is also important in China. During the past decade, biotechnology as a powerful tool has gradually been adapted into maize breeding programs in China. For the processing industry of maize in China, wet milling is a majority processing technology, which accounts for 60–70% of total processing maize. In the future, to meet the demand of a large domestic market, the increase of total output will depend more on average grain yields so that genetic improvement could play a more important role in raising average yield than before.