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Corn grown for grain and silage in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia has traditionally been planted in 30” wide rows. More recently, many producers have been experimenting with narrow or twin-row spacing configurations. There exists a growing body of literature documenting the potential yield and agronomic benefits from corn spaced in either 15” wide rows, or twin-rows, which are 7.5” wide on 30” centers (Cox et al., 2006; Cox and Cherney, 2002; Widdicombe and Thelen, 2002; Cox and Cherney, 2001). The twin-row spacing has particular appeal for many of our dairy operations who often make the decision to harvest forage or grain at or very near to the time of harvest, depending on their storage and use requirements. The appeal of the twin-row spacing is the flexibility to either harvest corn for forage or grain without the investment in specialized harvesting equipment, while at the same time taking advantage of potential yield benefits from the narrow row system. Furthermore, a twin-row system would allow typical in-season crop inputs (side-dress fertilizer, post- emergence herbicide applications) to occur without the danger of crop damage.
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November 16, 2018