The shortage of water resources influences the future sustainability of sticky Maize (Zea mays L.) production. Deficit irrigation (DI) - a water management strategy - has gained much attention from scientists because of enhanced water use efficiency (WUE). Nonetheless, in reality, when applying this technique, its impact on yield and economic returns should be considered. Through an analytical literature review, this study examined the effect of growth stage DI on Maize production factors, i.e. yield, WUE, and economic returns. The results revealed that Maize’s WUE could be improved with the lowest reduction in yield as water stress was imposed during the vegetative or maturation growth stages. Therefore, the profitable returns could be reached even if the yield was reduced; however, the economic return was sensitive to commodity prices. The present review addressed that the Maize flexible capacities under growth stage water stress presented an opportunity for the optimization of irrigated water and profit preservation by accurately judging the managing time of irrigation implementation.
 CHAUDHARY D. P., KUMAR S., LANGYAN S. Maize: Nutrition Dynamics and Novel Uses. New Delhi: Springer; 2014. ISBN 978-81-322-1622-3.
 UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE-NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE. 2006.
 RODRIGUES G. C., PAREDES P., GONÇALVES J. M., ALVES I., PEREIRA L. S. Comparing sprinkler and drip irrigation systems for full and deficit irrigated maize using multicriteria analysis and simulation modelling: ranking for water saving vs. farm economic returns. Agricultural water management. 2013, 126, 85-96.
 FERERES E., SORIANO M. A. Deficit irrigation for reducing agricultural water use. Journal of experimental botany. 2007, 58(2), 147-159.
 DEJONGE K. C., ANDALES A. A., ASCOUGH J. C., HANSEN N. Modelling of full and limited irrigation scenarios for corn in a semiarid environment. Trans. ASABE. 2011, 54(2), 481-492.
 MA L., TROUT T. J., AHUJA L. R., BAUSCH W. C., SASEENDRAN S. A., MALONE R. W., NIELSEN D. C. Calibrating RZWQM2 model for maize responses to deficit irrigation. Agricultural water management. 2012, 103, 140-149.
 ANDRIOLI K. G., SENTELHAS P. C. Brazilian maize genotypes sensitivity to water deficit estimated through a simple crop yield model. Pesquisa Agropecuária Brasileira. 2009, 44(7), 653-660.
 ISLAM A., AHUJA L. R., GARCIA L. A., MA L., SASEENDRAN A. S., TROUT T. J. Modelling the impacts of climate change on irrigated corn production in the Central Great Plains. Agricultural water management. 2012, 110, 94-108.
 KLOCKE N. L., SCHNEEKLOTH J. P., MELVIN S. R., CLARK R. T., PAYERO J. O. Field scale limited irrigation scenarios for water policy strategies. Applied engineering in agriculture. 2004, 20(5), 623-631.
 KO J., PICCINNI G. Corn yield responses under crop evapotranspiration-based irrigation management. Agricultural water management. 2009, 96(5), 799-808.
 KANG S., LIANG Z., PAN Y., SHI P., ZHANG J. Alternate furrow irrigation for maize production in an arid area. Agricultural water management. 2000, 45(3), 267-274.
 DOERGE T. Safely delaying the first irrigation of corn. Crop Insights. 2008, 18(7), 10-18.
 KRANZ W. L., IRMAK S., VAN DONK S. J., YONTS C. D., MARTIN D. L. Irrigation management for corn. Neb Guide, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 2008, 10(5), 1-8.
 GRASSINI P., YANG H. S., IRMAK S., REES J. M., CASSMAN K. G. Evaluation of Water Productivity and Irrigation Efficiency in Nebraska Corn Production. Neb Guide, University of Nebraska, Lincoln. 2009, 11(4), 1-11.
 FARRÉ I., FACI J. M. Deficit irrigation in maize for reducing agricultural water use in a Mediterranean environment. Agricultural water management. 2009, 96(3), 383-394.
 PEREIRA L. S., CORDERY I., IACOVIDES I. Improved indicators of water use performance and productivity for sustainable water conservation and saving. Agricultural water management. 2012, 108, 39-51.
 HUANG M., ZHONG L., GALLICHAND J. Irrigation treatments for corn with limited water supply in the Loess Plateau, China. Canadian Biosystems Engineering. 2002, 44, 1.29 -1.34.
 HERGERT G. W., KLOCKE N. L., PETERSEN J. L., NORDQUIST P. T., CLARK R. T., WICKS G. A. Cropping systems for stretching limited irrigation supplies. Journal of production agriculture. 1993, 6 (4), 520-529