Skip-row corn reduces risk for western Nebraska
Relative yield of the various skip-row planting patterns were compared and related to the standard planting pattern for each site and across all 23 trials. In lower yielding environments, skip-row planting patterns improved grain yield compared to the standard planting pattern. (See Figure 2.)
The data indicate that in lower yielding environments, the gain from using skip-row patterns, particularly the double skip-row pattern, will likely be greater than for the standard patterns. However, in higher yielding environments, skip-row patterns will likely produce less yield than traditional planting.
The benefits of skip-row planting patterns for stabilizing dryland corn grain yields should be considered by all dryland growers in the Central Great Plains west of 101° W longitude.
Risk-averse growers will see the greatest reduction in yield variability with the double skip-row pattern, while growers with moderate risk-aversion may want to consider the single skip-row pattern. We recommend using either of these two patterns when grain yields are expected to be less than about 75 bushels per acre.
If yields are expected to fall between 75 and 100 bushels per acre, growers may consider using the single skip-row pattern. For areas with yield potentials of more than 100 bushels per acre, growers should use standard planting patterns. We did not see sufficient response to planting two rows and skipping one row to recommend its use instead of the standard planting pattern.