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Are two rows better than one?

03/04/2013 @ 11:44am

There are two schools of thought on why investing in twin-row seeding technology is growing in popularity. Some believe improved plant genetics are pushing the concept. Others say if you are looking to increase profits by improving yields with the same number of acres, moving to twin rows just makes sense.

“Twin-row production is increasing in popularity due to the potential yield advantages by narrowing corn rows,” says Bill Hoeg, Case IH planter sales and marketing manager.

With the introduction of its twin-row planter technology, the company is offering growers (who can't change their row-width spacing yet want to take advantage of new varieties and genetics to increase yields) an application-based solution.

“Case IH twin-row planters allow you to increase plant populations without having to make any new investments or major modifications to existing harvesting or spraying equipment. Essentially, you change your planter, and everything else remains the same as it was with 30-, 36-, 38-, or 40-inch rows,” he says.

The concept involves staggering seed in two rows 8 inches apart on 30-, 36-, 38-, or 40-inch centers. That means a corn head set for 30-, 36-, 38-, or 40-inch rows can harvest twin rows. “As you look at a conventional planter, this is very similar,” notes Hoeg. “The difference you find with the Case IH twin-row planter is that it has been agronomically fine-tuned to take care of those population settings.

“A lot of the planter settings are leaving the 30,000-to-35,000 range in corn and moving to 45,000. As a result, you have to have plants placed and spaced to take advantage of sunlight, nutrients, and water in the soil. This planter has the ability to do that,” he says.

This technology can also be used with other row crops, like soybeans, cotton, milo, and sunflowers. “Twin-row production is often credited for increased standability of crops,” says Hoeg. “This system utilizes a higher percentage of an acre compared to standard row widths.”

Planters have 8 inches between each of the twin-row pairs. They are fitted with 25 series row units that have an optional floating residue manager or coulter, standard seed firmers, and three different closing systems, which feature Spider Wheels and drag chains.

Twin-row planters will be available in the following models:

» 825A3P is a rigid-mounted eight-row planter. Features a positive ground drive and a 1.6-bushel hopper on each row.

» 4025A3PS is a stack-fold planter. It's available in 12-row 36-, 38-, and 40-inch spacing and 16-row 30-inch spacing configurations. Choose from an 82-bushel hopper or a customer-supplied ProBox. Folds to 25 feet, 2 inches and smaller for transport. Row markers also fold. Hydraulic seed drive is standard.

» 1225A FF and 1625A FF are front-fold planters and include a hydraulic seed drive, instant-response active air auto down pressure, and row shutoff clutches. It's available in 12- and 16-row 30-inch configurations. Models feature an 82- or 150-bushel hopper, or they can be used with a customer-supplied ProBox. Transport width is 13.5 feet.

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