Short season maize varieties that take around 4 months and less to mature

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Farmers often ignore the short rains of between September to December yet it presents an opportunity to take advantage of the short season crops to boost their food reserves or build surplus for the market. The following are short season maize varieties that farmers can make use of.

They are bred for the medium and low altitude areas of up to 1600 metres above sea level and areas that receive around 800 mm of rain.

These short season varieties do well in areas that include Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia, Kisii, Homa Bay, Suba, Migori Rongo, Siaya, Bondo, Tinderet, Nandi, Kericho, Bomet, Narok, Sotik, Trans Mara, Muranga, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Embu, Meru, Machakos, Kitui, Mwingi.

1. WH507 - Company: Western Seed Co

Average yield 35 bags per acre. It matures in 4 months 120-135 days). Good for green maize (remains green longer). It has a big comb.

2. KH 500-33A - Company: Freshco

Average yield 35-40 bags per acre. Matures in 4 months (120-140 days). Good standability, Resistant to Maize Streak Virus (MSV) and smut disease. Flinty and white grain (resists weevil damage) tightly packed. Large cob and stalk. Good taste as green maize when roasted.

3. WH505 - Company: Western Seed Co.

Average yield is 30 bags per acre. Maturity is 4 months (120-150 days). Tolerant to drought. Tolerant to most leaf diseases.

4. KH 500-13A - Company: Freshco

Average yield is 35-40 bags an acre. Maturity 4 months (120-140 days). Tolerant to Maize Streak Virus, leaf blight and leaf rust. Good stalks for cattle feed. Good standability.

5. WH 403 - CompanyWestern Seed Co.

Average yield is 30-35 bags per acre. Good husk cover, Does not lodge (fall due to wind and weight). Maturity is 4 months (120-135 days).

6. WH 402 – Western Seed Co.

Average yield is 40 bags per acre. Slightly tolerant to  Maize Lethal Necrosis (MLN) disease. Maturity is 4 months (130-160 days).

7. Kh 500 - 43A – East African Seed Co.

Medium maturing, suitable for growing in medium to high altitude. Double Cobber. Good for roasting and has a sweet taste. Maturity is 100 days. Average Yield: 28-32 bags  / acre. The cobs are large and have tightly packed flint grains with a good husk cover. It is resistant / tolerant to Maize Streak virus and head smut.

8. DH 01 – Kenya Seed Company

Average yields of 16 bags per acre. Matures in 70-90 days. Long stay Green trait, drought tolerant, good level of tolerant to leaf blight, common rust and ear rot

9. DH 02 – Kenya Seed Company

Yields of 18 bags per acre. Matures earlier than DH 04, in 70-100 days. Tolerant to Maize streak virus. Tolerant to water stress. Has a long stay green trait.

10. DH 03 – Kenya Seed Company

Matures in 80-120 days with yields of 22 bags per year. A good level of tolerant  to blight and MSV. Good husk cover.  Has better stand ability. Good moisture stress tolerance.

11. DH 04 – Kenya Seed Company

Matures in 80-120 days with yields of up to 24 bags per acre. Short. Drought tolerant. Good husk cover and standability.

12. PH1 and PH4 -Kenya Seed Company

These varieties perform well altitude between 12 and 100 m above sea level. Recommended for growing in theLake region and the Coastal strip. Matures in 75-120 days with yields of 16 bags per acre. Has good husk cover. PH4 is tolerant to most leaf and ear diseases and water lodging.

13. DROUGHT TEGO – Dryland Seed Ltd

Tego is a drought and low nitrogen tolerant hybrid good standability. Good tolerance to major diseases (GLS, MSV and blight). Altitude zone: 1,000-1,600 meters. Good husk cover. Days to maturity: 125-134 days.

14. KDV1, KDV2 and KDV4 -Dryland Seed Ltd

Open pollinated varieties recommended for low to medium altitude areas. Early maturing; flowering in 45-52 days and maturing in 75-90 days. Drought tolerant. Good standability. Good husk cover. Yields: 10-17 bags per acre.

15. KH500-21A - Dryland Seed Ltd

Hybrid variety with short stature, good standbility. Early maturing - 100-110 days. Good husk cover. Resistant to maize streak virus (MSV) disease. Fairly resistant to head smut. Yields of nupto 28-32 bags per acre.

This list is not an all inclusive list. For more information, visit and inquire from seed companies and research institutions like KARI ( The website of seed companies;

>> Have you planted any of these varieties? How did it go? Leave a comment below!! 

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