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pb47581
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narrow vs wide rows

Never planted that 1st kernal of corn. Always drilled beans for 20 years, can you explain differance between narrow and wide rows? thanks

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7 Replies
Veteran Advisor

Re: narrow vs wide rows

Generally speaking, around here, 'wide' rows are over 30 inches apart, 'narrow' 30 or less.  With some people going down to 22 or 20 inch rows, those definitions may be diffeent now.

In theory, you get better yields with more ideal plant spacing.

For example, at 27,000 population on 36 inch rows, the plants are about 6 inches apart within the row, and 36 inches apart, from row to row.  The principal behind narrow rows, is to even this spacing out.  At the same population, if you had 18 inch rows, instead of 36, the plants would be a foot apart, making them spaced more evenly across the field.  Theoretically, in an ideal situation, you'd have the rows close enough together, so that the spacing from one plant to the other, was the same in all directions.  In practice, as rows get narrower and narrower, you start to run out of room for the planter units to fit, or space for trash to flow, or even to have enough space between rows for a tractor tire to fit without running something over.

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Senior Contributor

Re: narrow vs wide rows

I have wondered why 24" row spacing for corn never happened?  Some have gone to 20" , which to me seems tight.  but most around here are at 30".  If I was younger I would go for the 24" centers for corn.  Any twin rows out there in NE.?

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: narrow vs wide rows

I know of two brothers who are experimenting with twin rows.  They run a fairly good sized operation, and run two planters, and they plant some fields twin rows, others in regular rows.  I know one somewhat, and the other fairly well, and the one says that so far, the twin rows are promising, but on one field that had a little glypho resistant weeds show up, commented that they just couldn't get a cultivator setup to clean up the field nearly as well as the regular rows.  From what I understand, they are going to try to either go with a pre-emerge residual herbicide, or at least something besides just gly on the twin row fields.  His comment is that they got a yield bump, where they could keep it clean.

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Senior Advisor

Re: narrow vs wide rows

Here is something ISU says.  

http://www.agronext.iastate.edu/corn/production/management/planting/row.html

 

I think there is something newer out but I can't find it.  you might try checking in with your state extension to see what they say.  It gets somewhat situational dependent, it seems to me.  

 

The trick is there may not be enough difference to make a change between systems, but it might be important to make the right choice now even though the differences are small.  Newer corn hybrids, weed control and machinery might change things, but who is to know?

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: narrow vs wide rows

My neighbors comment that although they are encouraged with the twin rows, weed resistance, and the ability to cultivate tells them not to get rid of their regular planter, at least for problem fields.

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Contributor

Re: narrow vs wide rows

We are 20" rows for corn and beans. If you are use to wider spacing it seems pretty tight . But my nephews started to run the combine this year , and they didn't have a issue with the rows being tight. We been on the 20" for 10 years now seen a yield jump in corn,  beans has stayed the same.

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Senior Contributor

Re: narrow vs wide rows

I heard this past week that a local seed company is having 12" row corn planter built.  They hope to bred the corn to be much shorter and then plant it at 60,000 pop!!!  How would they harvest that?  Bean head?  Kind of like milo I guess.  The main man in this seed company not only thinks 'out side of the box" he is a "doer of out side of the box" and he has been very successful in the past. 

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