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He's Gearing Up To Plant 12-Inch Corn
He hasn't done it yet, but Jon Brower of Claremont, Minn., is prepared to harvest corn in 12-in. rows planted by a Deere 750 drill equipped with Kinze finger pickup units.
"Few people have tried planting corn in rows this narrow because there isn't a commercial head to harvest it," says Brower, who bought a used 15-ft. Deere soybean head for $500. He welded a 2 1/2-ft. long steel I-beam vertically to each side of the head and bolted reel mounting arms onto the I-beams to raise the reel 30 in. He used lengths of steel tubing welded onto the head in front of both I-beams for reinforcement.
"I've planted corn in 20-in. rows for the past two years and have seen significant yield increases over 30-in. rows. Going to 12-in. rows should increase yields even more," says Brower, who plans to try 12-in. corn for the first time this year. "I got the idea of using a soybean reel to harvest corn from a sugarbeet farmer who had tried it years ago on his 20-in. row corn. He said it worked well except that the extra trash ruined his straw walkers. My Deere 8820 has six straw walkers which should eliminate the problem."
Brower says he thinks his Deere 750 drill can be modified to plant corn. "It has depth bands that are similar to the ones on MaxEmerge planters, and some farmers al-ready use it with Kinze brush-type metering units to plant narrow row soybeans. I think the same idea will work using Deere MaxEmerge or Kinze corn planter finger units. The finger units and brush-type metering units both use the same brackets and mounting hardware so the same drill could be used to plant both corn and soybeans. You wouldn't even need a planter."
Brower says his goal with 12-in. corn is to have equidistant spacing with seeds spaced 12 in. apart within the row. Population would be 43,560 seeds per acre. "I al-ready plant 40,000 seeds per acre on 20-in. rows with no problem. Planting another 3,000 seeds per acre wouldn't be a big change, and with 12-in. rows it might work even better because each plant would have more room to grow. I've set up a test plot to see which hybrids respond best to 20-in. rows. I've found some work much better than others."
To harvest 20-in. corn, Brower had K & M Mfg., Renville, Minn., build a 20-in. corn head out of a used 6-row, 20-in. Deere 642 head and a Deere 643 6-row, 30-in. head. "I bought the 642 head from a farmer who had switched back to 30-in. rows after he quit raising sugarbeets (sugarbeets are grown in 22-in. rows). The tin on the 642 was different than on the 643, and the snouts on the 643 are about 6 in. shorter than the snouts on the 642 so it's not the perfect corn head," says Brower. "However, I modified the head so that all the snouts ride the same distance off the ground."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Jon Brower, Claremont, Minn. (ph 507 528-2351).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2