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PFR Report

It's Time to Rethink Your High Populations

Published on Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Row widths and planting population are two management practices that farmers have complete control over that are often considered to be crucial to increasing yield and return on investment (ROI.) That’s why Beck’s Practical Farm Research (PFR)® team continues to compare 15 in. and 30 in. rows at various planting populations in an attempt to determine the Economic Optimum Seeding Rate (EOSR) for each row width.

After ten years of evaluation, the results of this study continue to be profitable. In light of the continued success, Beck’s PFR team gave this study the PFR Proven stamp in 2016.  This 10-year, PFR Proven data has shown that 15 in. row soybeans continue to generate a higher yield than the 30 in. row soybeans. In fact, the 10-year, multi-location average favors 15 in. rows with a $31.09/A. advantage over 30 in. rows.

However, when the population is increased from 150,000 to 175,000, the ROI drops over $10/A. in 30 in. rows and over $20/A. in 15 in. rows.

Seeding costs are one of the primary input expenses on the farm and, when taking into account today’s grain prices and seed costs, it is one of the few adjustments you can make on your farm without increasing your input costs. To maximize your investment, Beck’s 10-year PFR data recommends a seeding rate of 100,000 in 15 in. rows or 125,000 in 30 in. rows for the highest return.

How can you determine the EOSR on own farm? Utilize test strips with populations ranging from 120,000 to 140,000 seeds/A. at both a 15 in. and 30 in. row width.

Click below to see the full results of this study.


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Jim Schwartz

Jim Schwartz

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