Influence of Seeding Rate and Skip-Row Planting on Corn Grain Yield

Trial Overview

  • Using a skip-row planting configuration in arid environments has been a common management practice, especially for cotton.
  • Skip-row planting could be a beneficial practice for dryland corn in some environments.
  • Typical growing conditions in central Texas could be conducive for a skip-row planting configuration in corn.

Research Objective

  • To determine if a 2-1 skip-row planting configuration has any advantages compared to solid planting of corn in central Texas.
  • Evaluate the optimal seeding rates or planting densities of corn for skip-row compared to solid planting.
Soil Type
Previous Crop
Tillage Type
Planting Date
Harvest Date
Potential Yield
Planting Rate
Hillsboro, TX
18,000 to 36,000

Site Notes:

DEKALB® DKC67-42 brand SmartStax® corn was planted at 4 seeding rates (18,000, 24,000, 30,000, and 36,000) in both solid and skip-row planting configuations. Solid planting was on 30-inch rows using 6-row plots. Skip-row planting was arranged using 6-row plots, with rows 2 and 5 unplanted.  Skip-row populations were on a per-acre basis, meaning that the seeding rates within a row were actually 1.5 times higher than corresponding within-row rates in the solid planting treatments.



Understanding the Results

  • Solid planting of corn, at all seeding rates, out yielded skip-row planting (Figure 1).
  • With the solid planting configuration, yield tended to increase as seeding rate increased up to 36,000 seeds/acre.
  • With the skip-row planting configuration, there was little variation in yield across seeding rates, with 30,000 seeds/acre having the highest yield.
  • Excellent growing conditions, particularly during grain fill, contributed to well above-average corn yields at this dryland location.

What Does This Mean for Your Farm

  • With excellent growing conditions and extremely low drought stress, skip-row planting may not provide an advantage over solid planting of corn.
  • DEKALB® DKC67-42 brand SmartStax® corn responded well to higher seeding rates with solid planting on 30-inch rows.
  • Optimal seeding rates in skip-row plantings (based on total land area) may be lower than solid planting because of the resulting excessive within-row populations.
  • Additional research on skip-row planting of dryland corn is needed to determine potential advantages for this practice under drought-stress conditions.