Ecological Requirements

Soils

Maize can grow on a wide range of soils though it performs best in well drained and well aerated loam or silty loams or alluvial soils with a pH of 5.5 – 7. It is intolerant of water logging.

Altitude

It can grow in a wide range of agro-ecological zones in Kenya ranging from 0-2200 M Above Sea Level depending on variety. Very low or high altitudes results in poor yields.

Temperature

The optimum temperatures for good yields is  300C. Cold conditions extends the maturity period whereas high temperatures lower the yields.

Rainfall

Maize grows well with 600 – 900mm of rainfall. The rainfall should be well distributed throughout the growing period. The rainfall is most critical at flowering and silking stage. Drought at flowering time interferes with pollination and drastically reduces yield. Towards harvesting, dry conditions are required to facilitate drying of the grain.