Specialized farming practices paired with specialized farming technology can mean “special” results for farmers if you ask Robert Klein. Robert is an Extension Cropping Systems Specialist with the University of Nebraska in North Platte. He says when it comes to seeding and planting plots for crop performance evaluation, using GPS-RTK Auto Steering technology with skip-row planting methods can boost yields.
Robert explains that moisture benefits from skip-row planting in corn, for example, optimizes crop performance and results in crops that are less stressed and won’t be delayed. But, he adds skip-row planting can create time-consuming challenges for growers. That is with the old method. Farmers could spend up to two hours in the field flagging routes with a system no more modern than using a measuring tape. But, Robert says, using RTK Auto-Steer technology cuts the skip-row planting process down to minutes.
“We’ve seen in one case as I showed the results, yields that went from 40 bushels per acre to over 80 bushel per acre by using the skip row system,” Robert said.
Plus, he adds, farmers will have perfect rows that make harvesting easier.
“Another example is where a farmer had had 60 bushel on dry land corn using the regular 30-inch row planting,” Robter said. “With plant two, skip two he moved that to 100 bushels per acre. And he said that’s really a nice way to do it. In fact, that farmer says, ‘I think I finally figured out how to plant dry land corn in western Nebraska.'”
I interviewed Robert about his research shows that precision techniques work seamlessly with skip-row farming. You can listen to my interview here:
Robert Klein, the Extension Cropping Systems Specialist with the University of Nebraska in North Platte, Nebraska