Marion’s Top Tips for Growing Narrow Row Corn
1. Research has shown that the average stalk diameter increases in 15- and 20-inch rows vs. wider rows.
2. Plant roots are more evenly distributed in narrow rows. This enables the plant to more efficiently absorb nutrients and water and also helps reduce erosions.
3. Narrow rows canopy faster and provide better weed control. (Weeds don’t grow where the sun doesn’t shine.)
4. In 15-inch rows, you’ll normally see only one flush of weeds due to the quicker canopy, so spray early.
5. When spraying with the rows, use the correct wheel spacing and tire size. 12.4 – 54 tires on tractors or spra-coupes work well in 15-inch rows.
6. If correct wheel spacing and tire size is not an option, spray at 90 degrees to the row, especially in research plots.
7. A one-pass, post-emerge Roundup herbicide program does work in 15-inch rows.
8. A one-pass, pre-emerge burn down plus residue herbicide program will work in 15-inch rows.
9. There’s the possibility of increased leaf disease pressure because of the quicker/denser canopy, which holds more moisture between the rows. Scout hybrids with low resistance to leaf disease, especially during a wet growing season and treat accordingly.
10. Farmers with experience growing 15-inch corn believe the yield advantage is greater on poorer soils than on better soils.
11. Canopy temperatures are cooler in narrower rows than in wide rows.
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