Corn rows

Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:26 am

anybody planting corn in 18" or so rows with their cub. My sweet corn is ok in wider rows but my open pollinated feed corn does better in tighter rows?

Kirk

Re: Corn rows

Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:31 am

I plant in 36" rows for sweet corn, never tried 18'', but would be easy to go that narrow. When I was back on the farm, we tried field corn in double rows 4" apart and the double rows 30" apart. With a 12 row planter, it would be 6 rows at 30", 6 double rows at 30". So to look at a field planted this way, 6 rows would look normal, 6 rows double, 6 rows normal and so on. After 2 years of keeping good records, yield was about the same and not worth the time to set up the planter for double rows.

Re: Corn rows

Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:34 am

I've never tried it, but there should be several ways to do it, or at least come close. The minimum wheel spacing of 40" may be your limiting factor.

Most of the unit planters (184, 185, 295 etc.) can be spaced at 18" and can be mounted on tool bars. You may be able to find an old multi-row machine and come up with an appropriate tool bar for the back of a Cub. Another option MAY BE to offset one of the belly mount planters by 9" (never tried it). Then you could plant one row, turn around and use the same wheel tracks to plant a second row. That method probably wouldn't be precise enough to cultivate 2 rows at a time (presuming you want to tractor cultivate).

Back to the wheel spacing problem. With the wheels set to 40", the outer edge of the tires will run very close to the adjacent rows. You don't want to run a rear wheel over the top of an already planted row, or run over it while cultivating. Using 8.3 or narrower tires will give a little more clearance than 9.5s. You also might want to consider shooting for 20" rows rather than 18". That way, your rear tires will be centered between the rows you are working and the adjacent rows. I think a 9.5 tire centered between two 20" rows is a much better fit than running 2" off center between two 18" rows. Another option would be to pair the rows with a narrower/wider spacing. For example, pair two rows at 16" then leave 20" before the next pair. That puts the next row another inch away from the outer edge of the tire.

Maybe someone else has tried some of these ideas and will be able to comment from experience. These are just ideas that come to mind and seem worth trying.

Re: Corn rows

Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:46 pm

I basically have no idea what I'm talking about here but why should that stop me :lol:
Twotone's double rows got me thinking. If you set the left wheels out to the full 56" setting and leave the right side at 40" besides having a goofy looking Cub you'll offset the row 4" from center. Drive through the field and turn around and come back in your same tracks and you'll be offset 4" the other way and have an 8" double row. Then move over and repeat. You'll have 8" double rows every 40". Cultivating the outside of the rows shouldn't be hard if you mount the left side shovels offset to match the double row. Don't know about that narrow strip between the double rows though. Hey, I said I have no idea what I'm talking about, just doing a little brainstorming.

Re: Corn rows

Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:22 pm

I keep my cub set up at 40". This year I planted my corn on 20 " rows. I basically planted a row, then planted in the center of my last tire track, while also running over the row I just planted. While I figured it was a waste of time, the corn did come up well, but was hard to cultivate, because my rear wheels are too wide. I set up a small shovel in the center, and one behind each wheel. While I used the 144 with an extension to cultivate, looking back I think it would have worked better to use the crossbar for the planter runner to set up a short shank shovel in the center.The good thing is, at about 12 inches high the corn begins to shade out a lot of the ground, and weeds become less of a problem.

Re: Corn rows

Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:34 pm

Row spacing may not be all that critical for yield. Farmers here use about 24 inch rows and then use spacing in the row to control the number of plants per acre. The number of plants per acre are changed for soil type and whether it is irrigated or dry land corn. Vern

Re: Corn rows

Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:13 am

Thanks for the input guys. This is a good conversation about planting. Just trying to figure out the best plan of attack for spring while the snow flies. I planted my open pollinated corn with a 2 row McCormick at 36" than turned around and put the tire tracks inbetween making the rows 18'' and the corn did quite well. The next section over I could only hit in 36" rows becuse of time/weather I was unable to double back. The 18" did great with less cultivation while the 36 inch rows did lousy. The problem is the property is 2hrs away each way so I leave that planter up there and plant with the cub at home.
I think I can move the 184 planter all the way to one side and get 12" rows by doubling back. It should be ok for the open pollinated but might be too tight for the sweet corn. Still would have to work out the culivating although it would probably be less because of the shade factor.

Kirk