Great Plains: Taking Yields to the Next Level with Twin-Row Corn

August 5, 2009 07:00 PM

Margy Fischer, Farm Journal Machinery Editor

As farmers look to push yields to the next level, some are eyeing narrow row corn as an option. Twin-row corn is a production practice that staggers the corn at diagonals for maximum root spacing.
"Why consider a row spacing change,” asks Tom Evans, VP sales Great Plains Manufacturing. "Because genetics are changing fast as we expect yields to increase and twin rows can bring out the best in those high-yield hybrids. And twin rows can increase yields without a need to change corn head.”
With a twin row planter, moved one row unit is moved 4”left, one row unit is moved 4” right. Center-to-center is 22” and the row units are staggered 14”. In the Mississippi Delta they set up planters for 38” and 40” twins.
"As for row cleaners, we run a right wheel on right row unit and left wheel on left row unit and sweep both row units,” says Evans.
Great Plains Manufacturing has been a Farm Journal Test Plot partner for more than a decade with twin row corn field tests. This year, the company entered into a partnership with Monsanto and planted 63 plots in 8 states to compare twin rows and 30” rows.
"Compared to twins, 15” rows canopy too fast and cut off the light to the plant,” Evans says. "Twin rows can allow you to increase population by 4,000 to 5,000 plants per acre and provide unrestricted root growth to the plant.”

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You can e-mail Margy Fischer at

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