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New Way To Plant Corn
"It gives corn more room to grow and weeds don't grow up underneath," says 0llis Popplewell, Russell Springs, Kty., who plants each corn field twice travelling in different directions to create a checker-board pattern in the field.
Popplewell won Kentucky's corn production contest last year with his no-till yield of 186.6 bu. per acre and he gives much of the credit to his unique planting method. The idea is to plant one-half of his planned plant population of 34,000 plants per acre traveling one direction through the field and plant the other half traveling crosswise.
"I think it gives the plant more room to grow, making better use of soil nutrients and blocking the growth of weeds by creating a closed canopy," says Popplewell, noting that there may also be less lodging because the plants are spaced so evenly around each other.
Popplewell says he doesn't lose any corn at harvest despite the irregular corn planting pattern. "All the stalks slip into one snout or another. We simply follow one set of rows and the corn in between goes one way or another," he says, noting that he plants 37-in. spaced rows as a compromise between his corn head, which is set for 36-in. rows, and his chopper, which is set for 38-in. rows. He uses Paraquat and Aatrazine for weed control.

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #1