Twin row seed singulation | It might be one of the best options for improved corn and canola yields
Nine years of replicated research by nine organizations gave twin row spacing with singulation and precise seed placement an 8.1 to 33.5 bushel per acre benefit in corn.
That’s a significant increase, regardless of corn prices in any given year, because it comes without additional input costs. The only additional cost is the price of a new planter.
Based on those third party studies, Great Plains Manufacturing began playing with twin row seeding 12 years ago.
By 2004, the Kansas-based company had enough confidence in the concept to put its own twin row corn planters on the market.
Recent interest in precise canola seed placement through a corn planter, coupled with greater interest in the twin row spacing concept, prompted Great Plains to delve further into this unknown territory, says company representative Ryan Haffner.
“We really haven’t promoted the twin row, precise seed placement on the Canadian Prairies until recently,” Haffner said.
He said interest in the technology has blossomed in the past two years. Great Plains already had the technology, and it was a matter of bringing it to new regions such as Western Canada.
“Mazer Group has just recently taken on our line of Twin Row planters, and they already have orders. The interest level is definitely high with canola growers,” he said.
“Your prairie Canada corn frontier line keeps pushing to the north and west. Producers expanding their corn acreage are finding it easier to justify the investment in a planter. And if they’re growing canola, too, they can use the same planter to get a double benefit from higher canola yields.”
Haffner said corn growers in the Red River Valley and irrigated southern Alberta are fortunate to be in high yielding areas where additional investment pays.
“These are areas where producers can really push plant populations,” he said. “Pushing plant populations is where the twin row concept really shows off, especially in silage corn. In drier areas, where corn plant populations are typically 30,000 or less, I’d say twin row isn’t as much of a benefit. Water is usually the limiting factor.”
He said the interest level is also high with canola growers, who can see a big payback from small improvements in planting accuracy and the resulting seed savings.
Equipment manufacturers who have been working on singulation of canola seed say recent improvements in the process mean growers can expect even more yield benefits.
In addition to the Twin Row Planter, Great Plains is expanding its product line by introducing a dedicated single disc canola planter on 10-inch row spacing.
“We use a pressurized system instead of a vacuum,” he said.
“Vacuums tend to suck seeds through the holes. Great Plains doesn’t have those holes. Seeds have no place to go except into the pockets. We will have a pre-production run of machines this spring. We plan to be a pioneer in canola singulation. Thus far, the results look great. We’re very excited about what seed singulation can do for canola producers.”
Great Plains is the only company with singulation on 10-inch row spacings. Other manufacturers with canola singulation discs are on 15- inch row spacing.
The single disc planter has other features besides singulation.
The operator can lift one set of units to get 20-inch row spacing for corn or soybeans or he can lift two sets of units for corn on 30-inch row spacing.”
The Great Plains Twin Row planter and the single row dedicated canola planter will be on display later this month at Manitoba Ag Days in Brandon.
Great Plains twin row and single row planters are now sold by independent dealers in Western Canada.
For more information, visit www.greatplainsmfg.com.
Twin row factors
Leading manufacturers such as Great Plains are focusing attention on twin row technology for a number of reasons:
- More space in the soil for root development, allowing roots better access to moisture and nutrients.
- Higher plant populations are possible.
- Works with a wide range of crops.
- Better sunlight use.
- In-crop side dressing made easier.
- Bigger diameter stalks.
- Higher silage tonnage.
- Can be harvested with regular 30 inch corn header.