Research Farm at Catlin, Illinois, USA
November 2003 Articles

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Row Spacing Makes No Difference

Years ago, farmers were growing corn and soybeans in 40 inch rows.  Then they moved down to 38 and 36 inch rows, but finally 30 inch rows became the standard.  Many farmers also planted soybeans with drills at 7.5 inch rows.  Some went to soybeans with 15 inch rows.  Finally, growers experimented with corn at 15 or 20 inch rows.

In the July-August issue of Agronomy Journal, there is an interesting article comparing corn and soybean rotations on no-till and conventional tillage, at 7.5, 15 and 30 inch row spacings.  Palle Pedersen at ISU, and Joseph G. Lauer at UW did the research near Arlington, WI.  They concluded that row spacing did not make a difference in yield except that in corn, 7.5 inch rows reduced yields by 11%.  They also found that corn yielded 5% better in conventional tillage and soybeans yielded 6% better with no-till.

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