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Determining Optimum Row Width for Corn Complex

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DuPont Pioneer notes most corn acres in the U.S. and Canada – 85-percent – are currently planted in 30-inch rows. Narrow row spacing of less than 30-inches is used on fewer than five-percent of corn acres. Regional adoption of narrow rows varies widely. The highest adoption rate is in the northern Corn Belt states of Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. Over the years – according to DuPont Pioneer – research on narrow row corn has produced variable results – repeatedly showing it’s a very complex issue with many interacting factors. DuPont Pioneer research conducted between 1991 and 2010 showed an average yield advantage of 2.7-percent with narrow or twin rows in the northern Corn Belt states compared to a one-percent advantage across studies in the central Corn Belt. The accumulated body of DuPont Pioneer and university research conducted over the past 20 years does not indicate that the current 30-inch row spacing is limiting to corn productivity for most of the Corn Belt. DuPont Pioneer says the research also provides little evidence to suggest narrow rows will consistently increase yield relative to 30-inch rows on productive soils under current agronomic practices.

More information on row spacing is available by viewing DuPont Pioneer Crop Insights online. Just visit www dot pioneer dot com (www.pioneer.com) and click on the Agronomy tab for Seasonal Insights.