“After four years of working with about 35 farmers over several thousand acres and different weather situations, we averaged a 9.6 bushel yield increase when the only variable that we could come up with was row width…”— Allen Berry, no-tiller, Nauvoo, Ill.
While 30 inches remains the most popular row-width spacing for corn, plenty of farmers have experimented with different spacings over the years. A 2014 study by Marion Calmer of Calmer Corn Heads showed that at a seed population of 32,000, 15-inch rows were more profitable than 30-inch rows by about $60 per acre.
Allen Berry got interested in narrow rows in the 1990s and has done a great deal of research on his own farm as well as with growers across the country. The Nauvoo, Illinois, no-tiller has since become a strong proponent of narrow rows as his trials have repeatedly shown an advantage for the weed-suppressing system. For this podcast, Frank Lessiter talks with Berry about the various configurations he’s tried, why he’s currently planting 20-inch non-GMO corn, his thoughts on whether or not no-tillers need coulters, and much more.
P.S. There’s lots more great no-till stories and history in Frank Lessiter’s new book, From Maverick to Mainstream: A History of No-Till Farming. Check it out here.
No-Till Influencers & Innovators podcast series is brought to you by Montag Manufacturing.
Montag Manufacturing is your fertilizing equipment specialist. Offering dry, liquid and complete fertilizer systems as well as auto-steer carts, Montag’s precision fertilizer-placement solutions will reduce your rate, increase your yield and assist your stewardship goals. Visit them at montagmfg.com.