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Try twin rows?

Efficiency is the name of the game in farming. Getting the most for your input dollar is a necessary consideration when growing crops, and young and beginning farmers are looking to incorporate new practices to boost yields. Planting techniques is the subject of one conversation taking place in the Farmers for the Future network.

“I am seeing more and more twin rows in my area,” says network member Steve Link of Poplar Grove, Illinois. “That is to say, there is a row of corn, and within 3 to 6 inches there is another row, compared to the usual 20-something inches to the next row.” Link goes on to question the newness of the practice and whether it's becoming common. “I can see the theory that I'll get twice the yield, but is it worth doubling the cost of my seed corn?” he asks.

“My cousins use the twin-row method you are talking about,” says David Ernst. “There is a yield advantage as well as added stalk strength. However, my cousins don't double the seed rate. They increase it a little bit but not near double the population. They are just utilizing the potential of the seed by spacing it more efficiently. That is the main advantage of it.”

“This sounds interesting, but I have not seen it take off in a big way around my part of Kentucky or Tennessee,” adds Grant Hildabrand. “I'm guessing that around here, variable rate will show more economic benefit than double rows. I'm just a cattle farmer, though.”

“There are all sorts of conflicting information available about twin rows,” warns Mike J. “Some studies suggest a yield advantage and others don't. What I've seen lately seems to not suggest any real advantage to using the twin-row method. So who knows what to think?”

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