Corn Yield Response to Planting Speed in Southern North Carolina

Trial Objective

  • An optimum at-harvest plant population is required to help realize the yield potential of a corn product. As growers increase their acreage, they sometimes increase their planting speed to cover more ground in the same planting window.
  • The objective of this experiment was to understand how planting speed can affect yield potential and profit.

Research Site Details



  • Treatments were planted at the Regional Technology Center (RTC) in Maxton, NC with a CASE IH 1215 Rigid Mounted planter with 20/20 SeedSense®, CleanSweep®, DeltaForce®, and vSet® equipment attachments.
  • Each treatment was planted on conventionally-tilled flat ground in two replications on 12 row strips that were 500 feet long with 20-inch row spacing.
  • Treatments included planting speeds of: 4.5, 6.0, and 7.5 mph.
  • Each treatment was sub-irrigated and received 300 units of nitrogen. All other agronomic practices were per local standards.

Understanding the Results







What Does This Mean for Your Farm?

  • The increased planting speeds decreased average corn yield at this location and correlated to a loss from $6.90 to $86.25 per acre.
  • It is important to evaluate potential yield loss when planting at speeds that exceed planting accuracy.