It may be a new year, but it’s the same ol’ host for Wheat Pete’s Word (only a little bit because we named it after him, and mostly because he’s a one-of-a-kind).

This week, you’ll be dazzled by the organic matter talk, as some clarification was needed, plus Peter Johnson takes on the yield loss after corn-on-corn critique head on. From there, we deep-dive into the do’s and don’ts on 15″ corn spacing, and Johnson includes some neat-o trivia you can wow your friends with at the next dinner party.

Don’t forget to send Peter your questions, comments, plot results, etc! Leave a message at 1-888-746-3311, send him a tweet (@wheatpete), or email him at [email protected].


  • Organic matter clarification. Can you add more, faster? Sure! Check out David Montgomery’s work here.
  • Did you know? A 180 bu. corn crop removes about 36,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Neat, but let’s remember it doesn’t all STAY removed.
  • If a crop following itself loses yields wouldn’t continuous corn eventually yield next to nothing? No, and Wheat Pete explains why.
  • Does single cut make more haylage than double cut?
  • Narrow corn rows may be necessary for maximum yields, but there are trade-offs— lower quality silage, for example. Whatever you do, do not double plant, warns Johnson.

One thought on “Wheat Pete’s Word, Jan 4: 15″ Row Do’s and Dont’s, Green Under Snow, & Building OM

  1. “Corn is a grass and if we ever want to see it reach it’s full economic potential we need to learn to grow it as a grass.” Marion Calmer said that at Innovative Farmers in 2011. Thanks to Dr. Bill Deen I had been experimenting with twin and ultra narrow rows since 2009. There is the obvious economic challenges of making the switch however if you are willing to think outside the box and plan ahead the profitability is there to be taken advantage of. This is true most especially on livestock farms with multiple crop rotations that include cereals already planted in 6″ or 7.5″ or 8″ rows.
    Corn is grown in rows because we mechanized corn production around the width of horses and oxen. The equipment exists to plant, care for and harvest solid stand corn and if we really want to accelerate profitability, soil regeneration, improve air and water quality we will switch to solid seeded crop production.
    You are absolutely correct on the double planting technique. That second pass increases soil density which reduces oxygen and light plus requires more time energy for the plants to emerge.

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