Twin Row Planting
I have been considering updating some no-til planting equipment. Does anyone have any experience on twin row technology? I have been looking at some of the Great Plains equipment and was wandering if this is the way to proceed. Also, is there anyway that a twin row 30' planter/drill can be converted to 10" single row for small grain applications. Maybe I'm looking for something that doesn't exist. Sure would be nice to only need to maintain and store one piece of equipment versus two.
Re: Twin Row Planting
We have a neighbor who does it, and says that his yields have never been lower with twin rows, than conventionally planted corn. His yield bump has been anything from zero, to 15 BPA or so. From visits with him over the fence, I have come to 2 conclusions, one of which may just be the area around here.
1) getting the row units 'timed' and keeping them that way, is critical. You want the offset rows to plant the seeds halfway in between the row next to it. If you wind up with plants side-by-side instead of staggered, your yields will actually go DOWN with twin rows. Properly staggered, in the worst years (with one exception) your yields will never be less with twin rows, and will usually be at least a little bit more.
2) This setup doesn't work that well if you are mudding your crop in. The rows run so close to each other, that one row can cause compaction in the row next to it. Neighbor made the comment that he tried planting a bit, figured it was too wet, and waited a couple days to finish. Said he could tell to the row when he was combining, where he let the ground dry out a bit. I'm just guessing, but I wonder if the guage wheel of one row ran too close to the top of the row beside it. His rows are offset only 3-4 inches or so, and it's just a guess, but it's about all I can come up with. He also applies starter fertilizer with an opener that applies fertilizer below, and in between, the twin rows. I guess maybe running 3 openers in a 4 inch swath could be part of the problem in mud, as well.