Corn or Maize (Zea mays) is a plant that belongs to the family of grasses (Poaceae). It is cultivated globally as it is one of the most important cereal crops worldwide. Maize is not only an important source of human nutrients, but also a basic element of animal feed, and raw material for the manufacture of many industrial products. The products include corn starch, maltodextrins, corn oil, corn syrup, and products of fermentation and distillation industries. It is also being recently used as biofuel. Maize is a versatile crop grown over a range of agro-climatic zones.

The Role Of Elements

Maize is a global crop with many different types suitable for a wide range of climatic conditions. It is a cereal crop of economic importance. Potassium has an important effect on its quality and yield of corn crop through:

  • Has an important role in the photosynthesis process and increase vegetative growth.
  • Increases efficiency of plant absorption of water and nutrients.
  • Increases resistance of corn plants to insect and fungal diseases.
  • Increases weight, size and number of grains per cobs and improve its quality.
  • Increases resistance of plants to environmental stress factors (high temperatures - frost - drought - salinity).

Phosphorus plays an important role in the corn crop as it helps to: -

  • Increase plant growth and development.
  • Improves seed germination process and accelerates its development.
  • Promotes development and growth of roots.
  • Increases the efficiency of flowering and seed formation.
  • Increases protein content in grains.

Calcium has an important role in the corn crop: -

  • Increases growth, yield and productivity.
  • Good root distribution.
  • Improved properties of cob.
  • Give strong stem.

Deficiency Symptoms


Potassium deficiency symptoms on the corn crop are appear on the edges of the old leaves that turn yellow, and then these leaves appear burnt as the symptoms of deficiency:

  • Weak stem with short internodes.
  • Small cobs with not grains filling and the top are grains-free.
  • Plants become less resistant to unfavorable environmental conditions.
  • Plants become more susceptible to fungal and insect diseases.


Phosphorus deficiency Symptoms on corn crop shows a shortage on old leaves in the form of scarlet or purple- color on the edges of the leaf:

  • General weakness in plant growth.
  • Inability of plants to tolerate environmental stress.
  • Low yield and seed ratio in cobs.
  • Plants become more susceptible to fungal diseases.


Decrease calcium leading to yellowing and deformation of young leaves as well: -

  • Weak of stem.
  • Twisting the young leaves down.
  • Death of the shoot tips.
  • Shortage of meristem cells growth.
  • Brown spots on the edges of leaves appearance.