The Impact of Row Spacing in High Density Corn Systems

Trial Overview

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  • Corn seeding rates are increasing in both irrigated and dryland environments as indicated by final plant populations and ear counts in the most recent USDA Crop Production Summary.1
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  • As farmers move production into higher density systems, continued evaluation of production factors is necessary.
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Research Objective

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  • This study was established to determine the impact of 30-inch rows and 30-inch twin rows planted at high seeding densities on corn yield potential.
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Location
Soil Type
Previous Crop
Tillage Type
Planting Date
Harvest Date
Potential Yield
Planting Rate
Gothenburg, NE
Silt Loam
Soybean
Strip-till
04/25/2016
10/11/2016
230
42-60,000
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Site Notes:

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A 114 RM corn product was planted with a 30-inch planter and a 30-inch twin row planter with rows 8 inches apart.Three replications were laid out in a randomized complete block of four-row plots 80 feet long by 10 feet wide.
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Understanding the Results

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Figure 3. Ear size and plant spacing at 60,000 plants/acre in 30-inch row spacing.
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Figure 4. Ear size and plant spacing at 60,000 plants/acre in 30-inch twin rows.
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  • Yield was significantly increased by planting the 114 RM corn product in 30-inch twin rows as compared to standard 30-inch rows.
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  • In this demonstration, corn planted on 30-inch twin rows had a higher average yield than corn planted on 30-inch single rows. Average yield increased as seeding density increased at 48,000 and 54,000 seeds/acre. 
     
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What Does This Mean for Your Farm

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  • This study indicated that different row spacings such as 30-inch twin rows could increase yield potential over standard 30-inch rows when planting a high density corn product. 
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  • However, this was only one corn product in one environment, so continued studies to assess more corn products and row spacings, such as 20-inch rows, will help build a better body of data.
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  • Results of previous research have varied and earlier work in Nebraska has indicated a 3 bu/acre advantage of using 30-inch twin row spacing when compared to 30-inch row spacing.2
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Discover the optimal planting rate for your selected seed products and maximize their performance in your field.​​