Corn School: Finding a fit for 60-inch rows

Episodes:

Sixty-inch spacing for corn is sure not for everyone, but the math and soil conservation rewards can work for farmers who have limited rotations and can benefit from extended grazing for livestock on well-established cover crops.

That’s Sunderland, Ontario, farmer Ed Hanson’s takeaway from the first year of growing corn in 60-inch rows on his farm. Hanson, who also works for Cangrow Crop Solutions, teamed up with farmers in Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia this summer to facilitate on-farm trials testing the wide-row strategy.

On this episode of RealAgriculture Corn School, Hanson shares what the group learned in year one. He notes that they planted several different row configurations ranging from 60-inch rows (population 16,000 plants) to 30-inch twin row centres on 60-inch rows. Cover crops — mainly annual ryegrass, clover, radish and turnip — were then planted at the V3 leaf stage of corn.

Hanson says his group was satisfied with the results of the trials. Corn yields were lower, about 12 percent, but seed savings were significant. Hanson notes that beef farmers benefitted from significant fall grazing opportunities as cover crops extended pasture feeding into December. The practice also helps the farmers meet soil conservation goals. (Story continues after the video.)

At reduced populations and added sunlight, corn plants produced up to three ears helping to compensate yield lost due to fewer plants. Hanson notes that hybrid selection is critical; a ‘flex’ hybrid that has the ability to produce higher yields and more ears in lower populations is a must. Pre-emerge weed control is also another key management practice to keep fields clean before the cover crop is planted and established. Hanson also recommends banding fertilizer at the corn roots for efficiency.

In the video, Hanson also discusses the role social media, specifically Twitter, played in facilitating the experience, exchanging ideas and engaging the group, especially with interaction limitations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, Hanson was pleased with the first year of trials and they’ll be looking to incorporate learning for 2021 trials.

Click here for more Corn School episodes.

Leave a Reply

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

gdpr, __cfduid, PHPSESSID, wordpress_test_cookie, woocommerce_items_in_cart, woocommerce_cart_hash, wp_woocommerce_session, wordpress_logged_in, wordpress_sec, wp-settings, wp-settings-time, __cf_mob_redir, wordpress_cache, realag
__cfduid

Marketing

Measuring interactions with the ads on the domain.

__gads,fsk_ut_2317
IDE

Statistics

These are used to track user interaction and detect potential problems. These help us improve our services by providing analytical data on how users use this site.

_ga,_gid,_gat,_cb,_chartbeat2,_chartbeat4
_ga,_gid
metrics_token

Preferences

Preference cookies enable the website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.

chartdefaults, comment_author, comment_author_email, comment_author_url
JSESSIONID, _os_session,anonymous_votes,csrf-param,csrf-token,user,user-id,user-platform,intercom-session,intercom-lou,intercom-session
personalization_id, tfw_exp

 

Register for a RealAgriculture account to manage your Shortcut menu instead of the default.

Register